The string of victories at the Aces Tournament on March 3 began with the girls playing great ball and putting up huge numbers. In our first two matches against Clinton County Elite 17 and Quincy Saints 17, the girls were able to put up point spreads in the teens. The day’s game play was a true team effort, as every player was able to contribute to the winning. We saw a lot of consistency in game play and closing out sets quickly. The fast offense our team has become accustomed to running and our trademark team scrappiness was key.
Megan Eickhoff led the day in serving aces, and in her typically reliable way led the team’s offensive line with a strong presence. Kodi Hayes and Sonya Timchenko did an excellent job of killing the ball from the middle at key points in each match. Alexis Armstrong and Cat Pelster showed their abilities across the net, and RS Breanna Woods was able to put down some big kills in the final set at a time when they really needed it.
Our defensive line, although it changed frequently due to some new creative lineups, was able to hold the competition throughout the day. Quick defense and aggressive game play from the hitting line allowed Zari Montgomery to go on a 13-point serving spree to start set 1 of finals, and that set the tone for how the final matches would play out. 17 Cardinal ended the day with an impressive win in the final match 19-2, 19-14.
The H2 UA 17s Tourney at Meramec on March 10 began with 17 Cardinal matched up against Clinton County Elite 17 again, and their front row came back with something to prove! However, they were no match for our quick, scrappy defense, and Cardinal came out with a double victory. The girls then quickly put down two games against Quincy Saints, and turned their focus to a strong H2 17 Illini Black team. The sets were close, but Cardinal came out on top. 17 Cardinal then defeated H2 15 Crush in two sets in the semi’s, only to meet up with 17 Illini Black again in the finals. It was a great finals match. 17 Cardinal was able to squeak out a win in set one, but came out on fire for set two to claim their First in Gold title.
The higher level of play of the competition at the H2 17s tourney brought out some fantastic play in our girls. Kodi Hayes had the day of her life on the court, wowing us all with the authority she showed on the court. Cat Pelster had a huge presence and took some big swings throughout the tourney. Our always-reliable defenders did a great job of maintaining control of the back court all day against some HUGE hitters. Lauren Breidenbach had exceptional serve receive throughout the tourney, while Mandie Herron and Lauren Holsclaw did a fantastic job of passing some hard-driven balls and reading the off-speed shots. Always fun to watch our defense! They are amazing when they work together!