After seven months, 10 tournaments, 130+ training hours, the 2015-2016 season for the ladies of H2 14 IL West came to an end on May 7th at the Panther Classic at Greenville College…
To quote Horace: “Success in the affairs of life often serves to hide one’s abilities, whereas adversity frequently gives one an opportunity to discover them.”
I have never really taken that quote to heart as I have today. Yesterday at our tournament I believe our girls earned the right to say this is indeed very true.
After 2 weeks of ice and snow cancelling our last 2 tournaments, this group of girls was ready to finally play volleyball. They knew we were already a “man down” with our setter being on a school Beta Club trip, but they wanted to PLAY! Over a month ago, one of our OH went down with a knee injury during league play. She was progressing well in therapy and was going to help us and play a few rotations. She was attempting to “get her feet wet” and not just jump in head first. So, they started the day with 7 players.
During pool play, they were off to a pretty good start. We had some success and won some sets pretty easily. That’s when our luck changed…
Our defense/RS hitter had stepped up and become a setter for us. She was adjusting well and doing a great job. She went up for a short set and came down, landing on her ankle wrong. She laid on the court in pain. Our girls were all stunned. What would they do now? They had practiced their new rotations with her setting…now what? She was carried off the court and taken to the hospital for an x-ray. Our biggest fear was that her ankle was broken and she’d be out for the season. Now, we were down to 6 players.
The girls re-grouped and our Libero stepped up to set in her absence. Again, that meant a change in rotation and people playing different positions than what they were used to. During the last 2 games in pool play, our OH re-injured her knee trying to go for a ball. Those were our only 2 losses of the morning. Now we were down to just 5 players.
Our team ended up 2nd in our pool in the Gold Division. We had to play Saint Louis Metro in the semi-finals. We played together and came out strong. We won the first set, lost the second set, and went on the play a third. Our girls knew that it was “now or never”. If we lost this set, we would ref and go home. We took a time out and said we were going to finish strong and win the GOLD. We had both our injured players back on the bench coaching and cheering us on. We went on the win the third set and play PVC for the championship. PVC was the only team we had lost to during pool play. We had to step up and play positions we weren’t comfortable with to get this done. We had middle hitters playing defense, we had OH setting, everyone playing their hearts out. In the end, we had achieved our goal—1st Place in GOLD!
“Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.”
Way to fight hard, H2 Crush!
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I have to start by saying the entire H2 organization has made all of us proud!
Before embarking on our first major tournament of the season, we practiced hard in order to mentally prepare. We came out of the gates the first day guns blazing. We set out to climb our way from normal pool play all the way to the Gold bracket. And we simply did that.
We finished day one and two completely unblemished 6-0! Before the last game in day one, one of our Defensive Specialists Caitlyn Reilly came down with a high fever and chills. Putting her health first, we sent her home to get better. This meant that our middle blockers now had to play defense and they did just that! I continue to be impressed with the way the girls rally together to fight it out. The third day, she came back and dug balls with a vengeance.
Through all the adversity this team has faced, they have persevered time and time again. Sarah McLain has really stepped up and shown true leadership, which is evidenced by the team’s victories for the last couple of weeks. We couldn’t ask any more from such a wonderful girl on and off the court. Not to mention she has a beautiful back set and a super precise serve J MaKenzie Templeton continues to show how much smarter about the game she has become. The huge block is only getting bigger and her monster swing more consistent. Hannah Wilson continues to develop as an all-around player having to play dual roles as a hitter in the front row and a speedy defensive specialist in the back.
We made it to the semifinals and ended up with a loss to a very good team. We finished tied for third in Gold. Not too shabby since there were up against 33 teams.
It’s time to play hard…stay focused…and have fun! H2 on 2…
H2 17 Cardinal made their first road trip this past weekend and headed to Memphis for some good food, good music, good times and good volleyball. After going 3-0 day one against Cajunland, Team Momentum, and Memphis Metro, 17 Cardinal started day two with a couple close sets of 24-26 against Nola and Asics Louisiana. “Our girls were able to win in 2 sets against both those teams while emotions were high after losing one of our middles Damadj Johnson to injury. I am so proud of the way these girls adjusted and really came together as a team this weekend,” said Coach McBride. Beating the undefeated Louisiana team took 17 Cardinal into the championship! There they faced a very good Memphis Juniors team but lost in 2 hard fought sets of 23-25 and 25-19. Great job 17 Cardinal!
What an amazing weekend!
In the past few weeks, our team has had to face challenge after challenge. With our outside hitter, Lilly Edwards, being down with a broken ankle we had to make some adjustments. Despite playing through an injury last week, Ava Mitchell fought through and helped us to gold only to suffer a high ankle sprain during practice this week. This left us down a setter from our normal 6-2 rotation.
Sarah Mclain confidently stepped up and helped us execute a 5-1 rotation without having time to make adjustments in practice. Saturday we split winning 1 match and losing 1 match.
Today, we traveled to Cape Girardeau to compete in another 15s tournament. We finished 2nd in pool play to advance to the quarterfinals. Our girls really stepped on the gas taking down Net Threat 14 (quarterfinals) and Perryville Pride in the semifinals.
We earned our rematch to play Net Threat 15, which was our only loss of the day, in the finals. Against all odds, the girls played their hearts out losing the final 2 sets.
Although we didn’t win Gold, we definitely demanded respect! Let’s face it, we’re just a bunch of 8th graders (and a 7th grader) taking on as many challengers as possible. How can you be anything but proud of taking home silver in a 15’s tournament? These girls continue to make us as coaches, families and H2 proud! Let’s keep up the good work.
H2 on 2…
15s H2 Academy did a good job today, despite a few struggles from the last two tournaments. The team ended in third position at the Silver Series tournament played at the HOA’s Davies Volleyball Complex.
We played well the second two games of the pool against KC Zoom and Olathe Volleyball, winning the first one and splitting with the second team. We took third position in the pool to qualify for the playoffs and lost our first game to Aftershock F15 – 1. Making us third in the tournament.
I not only got to help coach our wonderful 14 Cardinal girls today, but had the pleasure of watching and interacting with every other H2 team in attendance.
14 Cardinal came out the gates pretty solid and steadily climbed set after set, match after match. We finished pool play undefeated and not to mention with a 59+ point spread. After a series of H2 v H2 games, we made it to gold finals against Momentum Navy.
The first game we won 25-21. We spent the first game learning how to play their game instead of plugging the work into our equation and playing ours. Nonetheless a victory. Second game we set out to correct that and correct that we did. Ava Mitchell came out the gate with a monster serve giving us a 14 to zip lead. Our middles Makenzie Head and Jesse Miller connected with our setters proving how much of a powerhouse we can be with our middle attack. All of the players there played an instrumental part in each point. The hard work and dedication that we as players, parents, and coaches is paying off big. We went on the win the Final game 25-8 by playing OUR game!
Today all the girls from all the H2 teams made us as an H2 Family proud…and since it was an H2 hosted tourney, it wouldn’t be fair unless an H2 team took home the gold.
H2 on 2…
Belleville West Tourney: The H2 11 Cardinal team played on Sunday in the Belleville West 11s tourney. Although going into the tournament short-handed due to a basketball conflict and an illness, the Cardinal wasn’t going to let that bother them.
The girls opened up pool play with a split versus St. Charles Elite and then followed that up with a split with St. Charles Stars. The final pool play match was against Gemini and the girls easily handled that match to end up second in their pool and a trip to the gold playoffs.
Unfortunately the semi-final match against TESL 11 Black didn’t go the way of the Cardinal as the girls lost in three games to end their day tied for third. Still without four of their girls, a very admirable effort from Coach Brenda and the girls!
Individual notes include Lexie Griffin continuing her dominant serving as she is serving over 98% on the season. Lexie Hayes had a dominant set in the win over the Stars and kudos to Kennedy Fox and Rayna Hunter on their increased roles and play on the day.
Good news is that Cardinal gets another chance at TESL Black this Friday during the first round of the Premier league.
Happy birthday to Izzy and Gabby!
Hubba, Hubba, Hubba! Go H2!!
PLAY, SHOP, EAT & MEET MEMBERS OF YOUR NEW H2 FAMILY
WHILE WATCHING ALL OF OUR TEAMS COMPETE!
175 Mason Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Pool Play Begins at 8am
Dear H2 Parents and Players,
This year marks the 7th year of our Mega Scrimmage “H2 Family” Tournament, which serves to kick-off our season in an “ALL CLUB” friendly competition format.
Please plan on joining us for the day, as our teams meet in intra-club shortened matches as we prepare for the beginning of the season. We will have a fully stocked spirit store for your spirit wear apparel needs!
Our purpose is to allow opportunities for you to meet some of the other players and parents that are playing in our system, to purchase some spirit wear prior to the beginning of the season, and to meet coaches who coach throughout our system and will likely have an impact directly or indirectly on the development of your athlete.
We have 22 teams on three courts that will play over 75 games during the course of 7 hours! This year’s pool play schedule was created by our very own David Owens, Director of Recruiting and 15UA head coach, who I can assure, has done everything possible to create a balanced and exciting experience for all of our members.
In addition, this year’s raffle should prove to be even more fun than years, with drawings set to get started a little before noon, including 3 IPad Mini’s , and a 42Inch Television!
We look forward to you joining your athlete in experiencing all that is H2 as we work hard to make this a great day for the entire club!
For additional raffle tickets, contact Jen Wright, at 618.792.8656.
SUN., DEC 12, 2014!