The ladies of H2 14 IL West jumped back into playing up in a 15’s division tournament on April 30th at the new Lamborghini Centre home of PAO. This was the final 15’s division test for the season. The girls finally came together to realize they can compete at this level. After a rough opening set against Blue Steel 15’s, our superior serving lead to a second set blowout splitting the match. Next up was a tough Vision Pink 15’s team that had a sharp shooter outside that overpowered our blockers causing the girls to go down in a hard fought two sets. Last match of the pool play pinned the girls against Serves-U-Right 15’s. Just like with Blue Steel, the girls started slow losing the first set, only to come out of the gates with quick hitting service runs leading to another blowout split. Unfortunately due to the splits, we finished 3rd in pool play. The girls didn’t let this bother them. They went out against a tough VB Pro 15’s. Today’s typical slow start cost us the first set. As I gazed over the girls in the pre-2nd set huddle, I saw a relaxed fire. I let them savor the moment because they knew what they had to do. The girls battled hard the 2nd set going down 17-15. VB Pro thought they had the match in their clasp until newcomer Grace Braun stepped to the service line after a sideout and served the team out to a 19-17 win to include two aces. The girls came to the 3rd set charged and ready to battle. Again, our laser-like serving set the girls out to an 8-2 lead which they never relinquished. The 14’s took their first match from a 15’s team this season! This led the girls into a no-rest rematch with Vision Pink 15. Again the girls battled to the final whistle. Unfortunately, a number of unforced errors coupled with the hitters from Vision seemed to hit all of our open spots ended the day for the ladies of 14 IL West in two sets.
Outside hitters Asia Jansen and Megan Schleifer each had a monster day leading the offense with Asia hammering 16 kills to Megan’s 15. Both had 11 digs and four service aces. Middle hitter Payton Hogue wasn’t far behind with 14 kills on the day. The defense was anchored by the play of Libero Lannie Kaercher sticking 18 digs and DS Jordan Carroll adding four digs. It was fantastic to see the ladies dig deep within themselves. Every girl came out with aggressive play in all aspects of the game. To watch these ladies leave it all on the court to beat #60 Gateway Ranked VB Pro 15 in three sets showed themselves and each teammate they can truly compete no matter the age of their competition. Way to go ladies! Tori and I are extremely proud of you!