After taking 2nd place in pool play on Day 1 only losing to South River Volleyball Club (SRVC) and dropping the 1st match of Day 2 in 3 sets, 15 Black went on a run to sweep the next 2 matches putting them in the Gold bracket on Monday.
In the quarterfinals, the good guys defeated Barrie Volleyball Club from Ontario, Canada in 2 sets to advance to the semifinals and set up a rematch with and avenge the Saturday loss to SRVC. After spotting SRVC a sizable lead in the 1st set, the good guys fought their way back but eventually succumbed 25-22. Listening to the coaching staff tell them they were the unquestionably the better team, 15 Black now knew it to be true. They jumped out to an early lead and never looked back winning 25-21, forcing a decisive 3rd set. Upon taking the court with renewed confidence and energy, the 3rd set outcome was never in question as the good guys jumped out to 5-2 lead. Despite the best efforts of the opposing teams’ parents to give away 15 Black’s serving spots, 15 Black built on the early lead and took an 8-3 lead to the side change. With the lead stretched to 13-5, the intelligence evolution continued as 15 Black simply traded points to earn a 15-7 win and claim their spot in the finals vs CJVA.
15 Black started out on fire racing out to a 13-8 lead. They continues on that path until the score stood at 22-17. Then the wheels fell off. CJVA went on a 7-1 run to claim a 24-23 lead. One good swing from the bad guys and the 1st set was in the books – albeit to the wrong team. 15 Black showed its heart and determination after being down 12-9 in the 2nd set. Realizing time was running out, the good guys played inspired volleyball to capture the lead for the first time at 19-18. With neither team going on a run of more than 2 points the rest of the set, 15 Black seized the opportunity to extend the match and won a critical rally on its first set point, 25-24, to win the 2nd set 26-24 and force a Winner-Take-All 3rd set for the tournament championship. No matter how hard 15 Black tried, scrapped, dove, talked and worked, it wasn’t meant to be. CJVA ran to a 3-1 lead and it only grew from there. Down 7-2, 15 Black made a valiant run to close the lead to 8-5 and force a CJVA timeout. After a series of 3-1 runs, it only took 1 good swing from the opposition to end the match, 15-7.
It was a tremendous start to the season for the 15 Black team claiming 2nd place and defeating some very good teams. The final finish showed the girls played 8 of their 9 matches against teams that finished in the top 10 of the tournament: Tourney Champions CJVA, Semifinalists SRVC (two times) and Royal Legends Blue, quarterfinalists Yorktowne, Barries Elite & Royal Legends Orange and #10 overall CALI Blue. The confidence of 15 Black, which was not there when pool play began Saturday, was out in full force Monday and will only continue to grow. The bar has been set and the expectations are high going forward!!