On Saturday April 21, H2 Illinois 14 Black competed at the Panther Classic in Greenville Illinois. The morning was off to a very good start with taking second in their pool, defeating SI eclipse 14 Gold and Air Assault VBC AR but losing to Attack in 2 sets. After losing that match to Attack, they knew they wanted to play them again in the finals. When bracket play came around, the girls were dominating the court. You could tell their sights were set for the gold finals. Kloi Karban finally had her break through moment when she took the biggest, hardest, and fullest swing I had seen her take all season but then she kept doing it! Addison Rode was definitely a force to be reckoned with when it came to her running the slides. When it came to our back row, Lexie Hays and Kate Conway were making perfect passes constantly and diving everywhere, along with Maddie Vieth having the mentality of “no ball hits the floor”. With so many players on it and the girls’ hope for seeing their nemesis again, they were facing Attack once more. However, they just couldn’t get out of their heads and couldn’t stop overthinking who they were playing. Once I said, “stop worrying about them and who they are and what they are doing. We worry about us and how we play”, the girls really went back to who we are as a team. The girls may not have been able to take home first place, but I think the girls learned more about themselves more than anything and what really works for them. Throughout the entire tournament the girls were able to keep the opposing teams off balance and out of system with their aggressive serves. Also, due to the great passing our setters were able to get our hitters one-on-one attacks by moving the ball around and keeping the middles involved. I’m excited to see what this next weekend holds for the girls, especially with it being the last tournament for us. The girls have really shown some amazing improvements this season! Can’t wait to end strong!