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Keystone Juniors 12s strike GOLD! (3/4/18)

By W. Keir , 03/10/18, 1:30PM EST


Our Keystone Juniors 12s ran a 5-1 offense for the 1st time this season.  Unfortunately, this new offense took the team some time to get used to and they had a very rough go at it in the beginning as they opened pool play with a 1-4 record.  They were in the middle of playing top seeded AVA after dropping the previous set 25-22. 

It was their best set of the day and very encouraging against such a tough foe!  Captain Payton Holdsworth asked me "Are we out of it?  Do we have any chance of making the playoffs?".  I told Payton and the team "No, we still have a chance but we can't lose any more!"  They went back out on the court and beat AVA for the first time this season 25-17. (lost to them in their 1st tournament in straight sets).  This brought them to 2-4 with a match against TEVA left and they needed to win both and they also needed some other help in pool play just to qualify for a tiebreaker set to get into the playoffs. 

In their first set against TEVA, they were losing 21-17 and I called timeout.  I told the girls that our best server Annie Corcoran was our next server and that they needed to work really hard to win this next point to give ourselves a chance.  They did just that and Annie served out the rest of the set as Keystone won 25-21 improving to 3-4. 

It was in the next set (8th set) that our team finally got in a groove as they beat TEVA convincingly improving to 4-4 earning us a tiebreaker match against Yorktowne.  From that moment on, Keystone never trailed for the rest of the day as they beat Yorktowne 15-7 as Julia Richter and Maddie Brown had 2 kills and Leighton Egan had 2 assists and 1 kill. They advanced to the semi final set to face Delaware Juniors who swept us earlier in the day.  But our serving came alive as Annie Corcoran, Payton Holdsworth and Vanessa Mancini started to dominate!  Julia Riley completed the victory with an ACE to advance us to the Finals for a rematch with AVA. 

In the finals, our serving was again strong but this time we were going against a team with alot of height and they had the best server we faced against all year.  This finals matchup was decided by our defense as Libero Aislin Oneill, DS Julia Riley and DS Stephanie Moyer stood very TALL in serve receive as they limited AVA's offense with stellar play!  Our Keystone Juniors completed the day with 7 straight set victories in achieving their 1st Gold Medal of the season!  Congratulations 12s, we are all very proud of your accomplishments!