After back to back 15’s division tournaments which tested the ladies of H2 IL West 14, we returned to a 14’s division tournament at Principia College. The girls took what they learned from playing bigger, stronger, faster 15’s and a great week of practices and didn’t allow either of their first two competition teams to reach double digits, even taking one set 19-1. The third match of pool play was against a tough team from Hannibal, MO. The Hannibal team took charge early the first set and never looked back. The girls did step up their game to battle to a 19-17 loss the second set. The ladies entered medal play after finishing second in pool play and faced a tough St. Louis Crossfire team with a couple of good hitters and a deep bench. The girls did everything they could to hold on against Crossfire, but as with the Hannibal match, their depth in rotations was too much to overcome. We succumbed in the first round of medal play in two sets.
We arrived into the tournament without two valuable assets in 6-rotation outside hitter Megan Schleifer and middle Abby Johnson. Less than full strength, meant a couple players had to fill into positions they’re not accustomed to, namely part-time Libero Lannie Kaercher taking her talents to the role of middle blocker. Outside hitters Asia Jansen and Meredith Heuring, along with middle Payton Hogue and right side/setter Megan Vidmar offensive prowess and pinpoint serves contributed immensely to success of the team on this day. Setter Rylee Sudholt was invaluable running the offense and being that sparkplug when the team needed that charge while facing adversity. Normal defensive specialist Jordan Carroll was forced to step up and play middle for a few rotations after Payton suffered a shoulder stinger. She didn’t miss a beat even while being outsized by well over a foot. This tournament was a true test for the girls to show to not only themselves, but their teammates that their training in all around play is paying off. After a weekend off, we return to full strength next weekend at Principia College with the target goal of no less than First in Gold! Great job ladies, Tori and I are proud of you!