The President’s Day tournament was this weekend and our girls took a trip to Saint Louis to participate. There was no 11’s division so our girls played up into the 12 Club division. The 11’s do not get to go to nationals so the coaches decided to enter this tournament because it would be a great learning experience of how a qualifier would be next year.
The first day our girls were a little intimidated, which is expected for the young ones at their first tournament of this size. We finished the day 0-3 and we had a long talk on how to be a great teammate. The coaches stressed to players and parents that win or lose, the most important thing is to play as a team and support each other.
The girls took this message to heart and came out ready to play Sunday. We were placed in Bronze, but the girls played their hearts out all day. Our first match was a victory in straight sets against MJVA 12 Daleke. A huge part of this tournament, being that it is a 12’s tournament, was the serving. The girls usually get to serve 5 feet in front of the end line at this age. However, they were forced to stay behind the line and serve the full 30 feet. We overcame 13 missed serves and won the match 25-9, 25-13.
The play-in game to the Bronze championship was against Core U11 Carolina. An exciting match that went to 3 sets with our girls winning 26-24, 19-25, 15-11. The girls learned a lot about overcoming adversity this match, something that was preached the previous day. A few missed calls from the ref in the first set was overcome with some serving from Jena Holder who went on a 6 point run with 2 aces.
The girls were now in the Bronze Championship vs. High Performance 12 Gray. Although they were a third team, these Hi P girls were huge and great servers. Our girls fought their hearts out but unfortunately came up short 18-25, 23-25.
The coaches talked after the game and said how proud we are of their efforts. Coming up a few points shy of a 12’s team was an impressive feat. However, the most exciting part of the day by far was the girls’ attitudes. They took what we told them on Saturday and put it into play on Sunday. They played their hardest, they talked and cheered on the court, and they were very positive the whole day. After the match there were no tears. Although it is never fun to lose, I think the girls realized how much fun this game is when you play it with a positive attitude. They all left without their voices from screaming all day.
Overall, this tournament was a great experience for our girls. We got to see what a big tournament is like and we got to watch our friends of H2 12 Under Armour and H2 16 Black play. The coaches fully believe we took huge steps towards achieving our girls for the year.
The girls play in Premier League Friday then head to the Saint Peters Rec Plex for an H2 tournament Saturday.
On the final note I would like to thank the girls and coaches of H2 12 Under Armour who came and sat on our bench, taught us new cheers, and supported us when they had the opportunity. We always appreciate when a team takes time out of their day to show us support. It means a lot to our girls when the older teams come and cheer us on so thank you again!