I AM Volleyball
2023 Tournament Recaps - Week 8
Qualifiers and more!
We placed 4th this past weekend! We took the team that got 2nd in gold to 3 sets. The boys were 2 feet taller than all of our boys! Defense wins championships!
13 Red played in the Badger Region Qualifier this weekend. Going in, we were the number 7 seed which put us in a tough pool, starting off with MKE Sting 13 Gold. After a slow start in the first set, we were able to put up a fight in the second set which gave us some momentum for the following matches. Our second match of the day was against FC Elite 13 white which ended in a heart breaking 3 set loss. We let a few too many important points slip away but were able to rebound with a win in our final pool play match against Premier. Our 7th place match against MWP didn’t go quite how we wanted it to, but it easily was our best defensive play of the day. It was a lot of fun to watch the long rallies and scrappy plays that were happening. A huge highlight was one of our middles, Sunny, getting numerous blocks during the match! It was a long day for our team but they should be proud of the progress they have made over the season so far! We definitely need to keep improving our ball control but there has been so much growth in our defense and out of system hitting!
#Shoutout to Addi for earning a serving pin!
#Shoutout to Brooke for earning a pancake pin!
#Shoutout to Mya for earning Tournament MVP! She has worked really hard on her timing as a right side hitter and took aggressive swings all weekend! She also was a reliable passer in her serve receive rotation.
This tournament is in the past now... we'll leave it at that. :)
15 Black played up an age group this weekend at Red Knights Gnome Challenge. We entered this tournament with high expectations and were happy to see those fulfilled as we brought home the championship medals.
We started the day with a quick win in set 1 against Club W. In the second set we lost our focus and struggled with our serve receive. We allowed Club W to get ahead of us a bit. A strong serve brought us back into the game, but we could not finish our attacks and missed too many serves that led to us losing the set. Our passing struggles continued in set 3 and we fell 11-15. Even with the tough loss - Rylee earned the first pin of the day with 5 aces in the match. This was a tough loss for us as we all believed we could play a much better game then what we showed in that first match. The coaches put a bit of pressure on the girls to regain that focus, wipe the memory and play 'our game'. Our second match was against Azuri and we handled that very well.
#GetThePin Rylee earned her second Pin (Overpass kill) and Katie added a serving pin to our day totals.
Match 3 was against the host Jr Red Knights. We kept our poise and continued to tighten up our ball control in serve recieve. These 2 matches were a bit more our speed with consistent serving and better passing. The girls also worked hard to run plays out of freeballs including attempting a couple slides - which is a new skill we have been trying to incorporate into our game. #1st Slide kill to Olivia The first playoff match was against the undefeated Epic White team. This was our best serving match in that we only missed 3 serves out of 51 attempts. Shout out to Laila and Sam for 2 huge serving runs. Laila ran off 8 in set 1 and Sam had an incredible 14 serves in the second.
#GetThePin Laila earned 2 pins in this match, an Overpass Kill and an Ace pin.
This was a nice start to the playoffs for us as we served aggressively and controlled the game from the beginning. The championship match pitted us against another undefeated Epic team. This was a lot of fun - not only due to the final result - but also demonstrating some gritty scramble plays and the execution of a few well run plays. The girls were communicating and planning freeball plays early, executing them with all hitters earning kills. This is only possible when the back row delivers good passes to the setter.
#GetThePin Olivia - 2 Overpass Kills, Elyse - Overpass Kill Congrats the girls on an exciting tournament.
Looking forward to building on this momentum going into another couple weeks of practice.
This past weekend saw 16 Red in another tournament that featured the best teams in the state! Our hard work and good results from earlier tournaments earned us the 7th seed to start the tournament which allowed us to not have to play in the play-in round or the 1st round of pool play and we got to start in the championship pool round where 12 teams would be whittled down to an elite 8 to make day 2. To start the tournament we had to play #2 FC Elite Navy. Both sets were close to start but the higher seed pulled away in the middle and took both sets 17-25 and 15-25. After a break we played our second and final match of Saturday against #15 Madtown 16-2 National. After a fast start we let our opponents back in but pulled out a close first set 25-23. The second set was close until 14-14 when I AM put the pedal down and won 25-17. Going 1-1 on the day earned us a spot in the top 8 for day two with 5 national bids on the line.
Day two opened up with a tough draw against #1 Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold. Playing with nothing to lose 16 Red put up some big blocks, dug some hard hit balls, and ran a very smooth flowing, aggressive offense saw the first set tied at 13-13. Things fell apart in the back half and Sting took set one 14-25. After a slow start to set two that saw a deficit of 1-7 start the set I AM came roaring back and was once again standing toe to toe with one of the best teams in the country at 20-20! We just couldn’t pull it out in the end and dropped the second set 21-25. Day 2 match 2 saw another powerhouse team of #6 Milwaukee Sting 16 White. This is a team that we match up with very well and it showed as both sets were close the whole way. Sting was a little bit cleaner physically and a little more mentally tough and pulled out the win in straight sets 22-25 and 20-25. The last match of the tournament for us was the 7th place match against #4 Madtown 16-1 National. After a great start and 6 point lead, we were feeling pretty good, however some unlucky bounces and tough officiating halted our momentum and set 1 slipped away 21-25. Still reeling from the first set disappointment, we never really found our flow again after a tough, grueling day of volleyball and dropped the last set 15-25. While we went 1-4 on the weekend and ended on the wrong side of the results we played not only some of the best teams in our region but some of the best teams nationally in our age group really tough and proved that we belong in the conversation as one of the best teams in Wisconsin. Finishing 8th out of 25 teams sets up for potentially getting a nationals bid if some of the qualifying teams move up a division their bids would trickle down to us. Either way we know we can play with anyone in our age group and should have a really fun and exciting rest of the season.
For 18 Red, we knew we had our work cut out for us to make Day 2. The girls have been putting in amazing practice time and the growth we have seen on the weekends has been awesome. To make Day 2 we need a 3-1 showing on the first day to move on. The two matches we were favored in we won with quite ease. Controlling the pace of the matches from start to finish. One of our losses came to FC Elite 18 Elite who ended up winning the qualifier. They were easily the best team we had played all season. They were able to outmatch us in many different ways but the girls still fought the whole way. The big match of the day came against Sting 18 White. We battled hard in both sets and unfortunately our losses came down to a few small errors in big moments. A few things could have created better opportunities for us but we will take it as a learning experience and hope to get to Nationals in a different way. Nate and I continue to be proud of the effort and team unity that we see week after week. We look forward to the Champions Cup this coming weekend where we are one of the favorites. The girls are excited about the opportunity to be the team that is being chased. Time to live up to our expectations!