H2 STL 17 illini Black Placed 2nd at PAO Challenge

This weekend our H2 STL 17 Illini Black continue their season stronger than ever with another win at the PAO Tournament on Saturday, 10 February 2018 placing Second in Gold.

Our ladies started the morning playing against Quincy Saint ending their morning pool placing first place after winning against K Elites 17.

The ladies were set to play into the Gold bracket. We started to work as a team with a goal in mind, compete hard to take the gold. Team work started to show and help them win the first playoff game against JNVBC 17-1 in two set taking us down to the championship game. The score was 19-8, 21-19.

Once we started to play the Championship game, the team found their match for the day. We fought hard and well. At the end we lost the final game placing us second in the Gold Bracket. The championship game score against SLVVC17 Blue was 14-25, 26-28.

Big shout out to Abby Grabowski, who play her first full game after her hip surgery this past December. During the game, she did not give up and showed that perseverance always pay. Great job Abby.

Our young ladies are aware that team work and not giving up is a priority. We are coming back stronger than ever for the next tourney. The team continue to demonstrate that hard work, and resiliency on the court, will help us accomplish anything.

Remember, “Never, never, Surrender” Winston Churchill.


17 Illini Black placed 1st at PAO Tournament, 28 January 2017

This weekend our H2 STL 17 Illini Black continue their season stronger that ever with a great win at the PAO Tournament on Sunday, 28 January 2018 placing first in Gold.

Our ladies started the morning a little slow splitting 2 games against CCElite and Volleyball Pro 17 National. After a few hit and missed and couple conversation between the team, the team came back taking the final pool game against JNVBC winning both set 19-16 and 19-9 placing us second place in pool play and sending us to Gold playoffs.

The ladies did not stop there. They knew they wanted to finished strong and take the win. They target was set and they were not ready to lose their games. We started to work harder as a team and that is when the fun started. Between Ally Grabowski great assistant coaching support, Abby J strong middle hits, Allie, Machala, Taylor, Tayler’s great blocks and hits, Claire’s sets and dump across the net, Jacqueline, Nicole, Abby W great back row coverage and defense and Abby G final great serves, our team took the last two games in three sets and place 1st in Gold. First playoff score against JNVBC was 19-12, 15-19 and 16-14. The championship game score against HTH was 10-19, 19-16 and 15-13, placing us first in Gold.

We have a great group of young athletes. After losing a few sets the team demonstrated that hard work, and be resilient on the court after a few mistakes, we can come back and take the tourney like a storm. Remember, “Never, never, Surrender” Winston Churchill.
Go H2 STL 17 Illini Black

H2 Boys 14 UA Place Second in Gold Division at Sportplex Blast

This weekend our H2 14s boy’s started the season with a win.

Coach Andre, Illinois Region Director, with the help of his Daughter Sydney, H2 18U Illini Black setter, took our H2 14 boys team down to Cape Girardeau MO to play their first tournament of the season and bringing back some hardware.

With only six players we marched into the court using a new rotation that our boys never practice before. However, after a little rough start and good instructions, our Magnificent 6 worked their hardest during the pool play. Between Robbie and Flynn’s sets, Andrew, Brayden, Louis and Mackie’s hitting, excellent defense and serves, together they helped our team place first place during the morning pool rounds. We split our first game against Rockwood boys 19-8 and 18-20. Second game against Midwest Elite 14, won both sets 19-10 and 19-7. Our final game against NSSC 14s was split 16-19 and 19-17.

The boys did not stop there. With a bye during playoff time, our Magnificent 6 played against the second seeded team from the second pool division, Stl Crossfire boys’ team, winning the game in three sets. This game was a nail bitter. Splitting the first two sets, we had to go to third set. This game was close. They boys were back to back. But we were not going to give up after taking the lead with a score of 16-15. Mackie’s serving forced the STL Crossfire team to overpass the ball giving Andrew the chance to provide a perfect pass to Flynn so he could set Brayden in the middle and boom, down goes the ball helping us score the final point sending us to the final Gold Championship game.

After some great plays during the championship game we lost against the Kansas team, Sick Pac 14. The boys were tired, you could see it in their faces. But they keep fighting until we finished our championship game. Sadly we lost the two sets placing us second in the Gold Bracket.

The resiliency these young boys demonstrated on the court was impressive. Especially when we were missing a few players. Mackie, our usual libero/DS played all around as our second middle hitter and he owned the spot. Flynn also took a different role for us, helping our team as our second Right Side Hitter and did an excellent job. Between blocks attempts on the net, hitting, tips, serves and helping with the defense both players helped our team during all our games. But it does not stop there. Andrews, Louis, Braden and Robbie had their best moment on the front row and all around. Their spikes, tips, blocks and serves were crucial for our team to take the lead and go all the way to the Gold Championship games.

I just want to say thanks to all the parents for letting me lead our boys’ team. The last time I coached boys was over 30 years ago and this opportunity brought me back into memory lane. As long as I can I will be there to be your mentor during this new venture with H2.