Sunday January 21st the H2 Illinois Black team participated in the Stratman Sports Series. The girls finished the morning pool games with 2-1 record. The morning started off a little slow with dropping the first match against MOVA but took some time during the break to regain their focus and grit. The girls rallied the rest of pool play to come out second behind MOVA 14 Black. The first match in bracket play was going to be a tough match and the girls knew that. The first bracket game was against NSSC 141 and their team was by far the heaviest hitters we had seen all season this far. After seeing the warm up of NSSC the girls came out swinging and didn’t back down against this team. These girls were making digs, saves, kills and huge blocks that hadn’t been seen yet this season yet. Kate Conway was moved earlier in the day to outside to see if she could help bring the power hitting, and boy did she bring the heat! Both Kate and Rayna Hunter were making plays and shots we hadn’t really seen yet this season. The front row was more aggressive with overpasses and made sure the balls were put down! All the girls were taking strategy calls and using them from both coaches as well as the bench! The back row was making more digs and killer saves. That game, they really lived by the phase, “no ball drops”. Lexi Hays really lived by this, she was all over the court putting up great passes to get us in system. These girls set an all new standard for the way they should be playing and yes we lost but we gained so much more from that game! These girls never gave up and made the match close, within just a few points. After the game I was approached by other coaches that just couldn’t stop watching. The girls were praised for the defense and great play. I could not be more proud for the way these girls responded, especially to this last team. Ready to see these girls fight like this in the next tournament!