To say injuries have plagued the H2 15 Cardinal team the last several weeks would be an understatement! Starting Middle Kaylee Portell suffered a foot fracture on Feb 18th taking her out of the lineup for at least 6 weeks. During the MEQ, the team’s second middle, Anna Johnston went down with a minor sprain in Game 1. Anna retuned for Game 3 and played on Day 3 of the event only to get crushing news the following day that she needed 2 weeks rest. And to round out the IR (Injury Reserve), starting setter Lainey Broussard suffered a major sprain during a private lesson the following week. These injuries were devastating to the team from the perspective of running our system and positional specialties. But one thing these injuries did not break was our team spirit and our desire to compete!
Watching players step into roles they have not played all season to fill the gaps so the team could continue on and compete in local tournaments and even in a 16s tournament over the last several weeks has made the coaching staff so very proud! Every player has been completely open to learning new things and stepping in where needed to do their very best for their team. Before sharing results, I want to first say thank you to all the players that stepped in and contributed where needed and for working as a team through a very challenging time.
H2 15 Cardinal competed in the Show Me Qualifier this weekend in Kansas City, MO. We prepared to play in this competitive event down 2 middles and one setter and on the day we departed for the event, we received great news; Kaylee Portell and Anna Johnston would be ready to play in the event! So we entered the event down just one setter which put us in a better position to compete. Day 1 we had some rusty spots throughout matches but we ended the day 2 -1 keeping us in the upper bracket and in the running to compete for gold. Day 2 the team faced the toughest competition we have seen in a while. They battled against a very strong Central Iowa team dropping both sets in a very exciting game. The parents from the Iowa team told some H2 parents that we were the toughest competition they had faced thus far in the tournament. We definitely made them work for their win!
We dropped 2 more sets to a Performance 15 team due to an inability to control unforced errors during the match. We definitely could have played better and the girls are learning to work on focus and ball control. The last match H2 was defeated by Madfrogs 15. Don’t let the name fool you, this team was unbelievable and we gave them a good fight during the match. H2 ended Day 2 winless but with a lot to learn from and continue to work through as a team.
Day 3 the girls faced a Texas team Alliance in the Bronze division. The team just couldn’t seem to get the flow and build an offense that would end the rallies in our favor. Dropping 2 sets to Alliance we ended the weekend placing 54 out of 116 teams. Not the result we wanted but with two players just returning from injuries, we worked as a team and pushed through a pretty tough weekend of competition. We leave those losses behind us taking the things we need to work on when we get back in the gym. The girls had a great time on and off the court. They also enjoyed exploring KC!
Next up is the Gateway Bid Event! We look forward to having a full healthy roster and getting back to basics on the court to find the formula to win.