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Club News Story

Crossed our fingers!

2016 / 11 / 30

This past Sunday was our first 16U competition of the year. We came in ranked number two as the Ontario bronze medalist Titans were also in our tournament. It was simple, there are four Championship regions so win or come second and we were automatically in Premier and if we finished third we need the odds to play in our favour to be the highest placing third place team from the four regions based on the 2016 Ontario Championships at 15U.

The day did not start the way we had planned losing two sets to the 33rd ranked team from last season, Durham Attack. This team has improved a great deal over the year and have added three very athletic new players to their team. Back to the drawing board and knowing that the loss in pool play (21-25, 19-25) would inevitably put us in a collision course with the Titans in one semi-final. We could not worry about that as the next match in pool play was a must win situation for us lose that one and it was a date with the Titans Revolution in a quarterfinal.

We started out slow against the Titans Conviction but slowly regained our control with a straight two sets win (25-21 and 25-16). On to lunch where we were able to regroup and know that we play a high risk, high reward style of play that is susceptible to us beating ourselves with execution errors. As the season progresses we will limit our errors and hopefully increase our level of execution. 

The quarter final was against a team that we had not beaten on three tries last year losing all three of those meeting in three tight sets where the Thundercats would out grind us with their style of play. This time it was not going to happen to us, we came out firing and dominated the match physically at the net although the scores are not indicative of how we controlled the match from beginning to end 25-16 and 25-20.

That set up a semi final date with the Titan Revolution, we had not beaten this team all season last year until the National Championships where we beat them in two straight in a pivotal power pool match. Not uncommon to the GTA area teams the Titans added some new players to their roster and the once big physical size advantage we had has now decreased. We start the fist set slow but slowly built momentum and began to get hot with each passing point and won the first set 25-18. We were leading 9-4 in the second set where one rotation, a few passing errors and attacking errors had us give up points in bunches. We never recovered and lost the second 16-25.

The third set started out very poorly for us being down 4-8 at the side change but we found our fight again and drew it to 9-10 score. The referee missed a very questionable hand call (double) on the Titans and that made the score 9-11. We battled as much as we could losing 11-15 oddly, it was the four points that we spotted them at the court change.

Our bronze medal match was a must win. We needed to win the bronze medal and hope that the bronze medalists from the three other regions finished behind us last season. We made quick work of a very skilled 15U Titans Quest team in two sets and coach John and a few of us began to work the text messages with girls we knew from the other teams in the three other regions. It was roughly 10:30PM that night that we believed we had earned the wildcard as the highest ranked third place team and a berth to Premier. Although it has not been announced officially we are the highest ranked third place finisher and will be playing at the next OVA competition at the Premier level.

We have proven that we can compete with the very best in Ontario and look forward to competing against them again in January. We will learn from our set backs.

“ You're the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it. ”
– Earvin Magic Johnson
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