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2024 Tournament Recaps - Week 9

Updated: Mar 7

Big weekend for our Red teams as they head into the Badger Region Qualifier in Madison. Our other teams head to the Champions Cup in Appleton and down to the RecPlex!


11 RED | 1st Place

6th tournament of the season, 6th straight championship match...and for the 3rd time, we've come out on top!  Our girls had a 9 team event at the Rec Plex on Sunday and we started the day as the top seed.  We had worked all week on adding some new wrinkles to our play.  The first was the use of the back set.  Jaidyn and Kennedy worked extremely hard in practice to develop this new skill.  While they were only able to employ it a handful of times on Sunday, even having them do it during warmups was cool to see.  Watching them actually use the form as they were taught was really cool and a sign of very coachable players.  The girls also worked on how to handle a very short freeball to Kennedy (our shorter setter), who would simply step back and immediately set it to a pin hitter for a kill attempt; the girls did this a bunch of times!  Reagan and Sarah also had some very timely and crucial kills against a gritty and improved Adversity squad in the championship match.

One of the best highlights of the weekend was Stella Walter's serving. 

One of the best parts of working with the younger players is seeing them improve in an area they were determined to get better in.  Since the start of our season, Stella encountered challenges getting her serve in from the step-in distance, so the coaches, along with Stella, were reluctant to have her serve in matches.  But, she worked her butt off in practice to become consistent from the step-in distance.  Then, she slowly worked her way back, little by little, each practice.  Yesterday, after 2 step-in serves, her days from that distance came to an end.  She proceeded to successfully serve from the full distance with ease and increasing confidence.  The 11Red team is now a full squad of full distance servers!  Stella was our MVP from yesterday, due to her timely serving, a handful of kills in the front row (her first time in the front row), her handling of some tough serves, and a season-long willingness to work at something and not become discouraged.  I wish all athletes had this mindset!  When things become challenging, you either work at it, or shy away from it.  Stella chose the work.


The girls are ready for Badger Region next weekend!


12 BOYS

Coming Soon!


12 RED | 1st Place | American Bid

At the beginning of the season, the 12 Red team knew they had a special group, and set some pretty high goals for this season.  This weekend at the Badger Region qualifier, we knew that we would have an opportunity to meet some of those goals. 


It started right away in the morning with the first match of the day against Milwaukee Sting Gold.  The girls were excited for this opportunity and knew they were in for a battle.  I AM went point for point in both Game 1 winning 25-23 and game 2 losing 20-25. This set up a 3rd game and I AM knew they would need to get off to a quick start.  I AM took an early lead and never looked back, eventually winning 15-12.  



12 Red then faced a good Madtown team in match 2 with no break.  I AM kept the momentum in game 1 easily winning 25-18.  I AM did their best to try and keep the momentum however they lost a very tight 2nd set, 23-25 and ran out of energy in the 3rd set 6-15.  12 Red then had a much needed break so they could refuel before their next match.

In match 3 against FC Elite Navy, 12 RED came out firing with great serves and a quick transition offense to cruise to a 25-10, 25-13 victory.  


With Madtown and Sting gold both losing to Sting Black, I AM knew they had a chance to take 1st place with a two set victory over Sting Black. This was the 1st time I AM played Sting Black and they knew they would be in for a battle. In a very intense 1st game, both teams battled every point with neither team ever being ahead more than 3 points. Sting Black took a 23-22 lead, however 12 Red sided out and then took the lead 24-23.  Some great defense and a perfectly placed line swing (photo below), I AM took home game 1 25-23. Game 2 started out the same as game 1 as a back and forth battle. I AM then grabbed a 5 point lead only to see Sting Black again battle back. With I AM leading 19-17, Charlee Krull went on an awesome serving run and I AM took a commanding lead 24-17, and would eventually win game two 25-18. 



The serve receive and defense of I AM Proved to be more than any team could handle over the weekend.  With Eden Miller and Londyn Wiskirchen both earning their 1st pancake pins of the season and Emma Timm helping in the back row, the ball was never allowed to hit the floor without a body! It's truly amazing what a team can accomplish when everyone trusts and believes in each other! We are so proud of this group!


13 BOYS

Coming Soon!



13 RED | 4th Place | American Bid

13 Red earned an American Division bid after finishing in 4th place at the Badger Region Qualifier in Madison last weekend! What a fun tournament! We started out Saturday winning by forfeit because the other team only had 5 people show up on time. We then went on to sweep both G-Force and Madtown 2-0 each to take first place in our pool going 3-0 on the day. Yay! We advance to day 2 and are now in the top 8!


Sunday morning we played against a solid FC Elite team winning 25-22 and 25-23. This win advanced us to the top 4 and secured us a bid to Nationals!!


Now we headed into the semifinals and would be taking on Sting 13 gold for the first time this year. It was an exciting first set! We played them tough and were up 18-15 before a controversial service ace on the back line and a few errors down the stretch and we fell 25-27. We were aggressive and confident, which are 2 things we have been talking a lot about. Unfortunately from there, we never got back on track and lost the match 0-2, while also dropping the 3rd place match to Sting white. 


Overall a lot to be proud of for this team! We played one of our best sets against the top team from the state. We had moments of greatness throughout the 2 days and continue to work on consistency and sustaining our level of play throughout an entire tournament. 



14 RED | 5th Place

14 Red came into the Badger Region Qualifier ranked 5th overall. We knew the competition over the weekend was going to be some of the best we faced all season. On Day 1, we started off with an easy win against VVVBC. We were able to serve them extremely tough from the start and they had a hard time putting any type of pressure on us. In match #2, we played one of the national teams from Madtown Juniors. This proved to be a tougher test. They had a much stronger first contact from the passing and serving perspective. Where we were able to extend ourselves was in long rallies through our scrappy play and more consistent pressure through our offense. Going into the final match of day 1, we knew we had already secured playing on day 2. That was our main goal for the weekend since this team was unable to complete that feat last year. We played FC Elite 14 White, a team we played earlier this year and lost a close championship match to in a Prep Dig championship game. We once again battled hard against them but couldn't find a consistent rhythm. We made quite the comeback in set 2, fighting off 8 consecutive set points to get the set back to 24-24 but were unable to finish the job. We hope to see this team again in the future.


On day 2, we began with one of the top seeds in the tournament, FC Elite 14 Navy. This team came at us with a lot of size and put forth consistent pressure against us. They are very solid at every facet of the game. We played with this team for most of both sets but some unforced, untimely errors proved to be the difference. We are happy with how we competed against this caliber of a team and the difference right now is we need to do it for 25 points. That is going to be a focal point going forward. In the consolation semifinal, we matched up against Sting 14 White and dominated for most of the match. We went on big runs with our serving and defense leading the way. Our blocking stepped up big in this match and proved to be the difference. In our final match, we played the top national team for Madtown Juniors. Once again, what set us apart was a stronger first contact in serve receive, defense, and serving. It was a tough fight the whole way through but we finished in two sets. We were able to finish the tournament in 5th place...what we came in ranked. No higher bid unfortunately, but a successful weekend nonetheless. Us coaches continued to see different areas of improvement every weekend and different areas of focus that can continue to give us goals to move forward.



Even though we didn't earn a bigger bid this weekend we continue to be proud of the success we are creating for ourselves. We have grown so much in the little time we have been together. We are only beginning to scratch the surface  of what we can be this season! The Badger Region Championships is next... :)


15 RED | 4th Place | Freedom Bid

Coming into our 4th weekend in a row playing in tournaments and this one was the toughest one both physically and mentally. We got a 2 seed in our pool for day one and played Madtown-3, Tenacity, and FC Elite-White. We served well enough to cruise through our first two matches vs Midtown and Tenacity. The battle between FC was intense! Both teams undefeated, neither one planned on losing. The first set we were down by a little for most the game and was able to tie it up in the 20's and extended the game all the way to 30-28 with amazing big time plays from Morgan Vetter! FC hit hard and Morgan stuck those balls perfectly without a flinch. Her serving all day was top notch too! Set two was the same story and we pulled off the win 26-24 giving us the 1 seed out of the pool.


Day two we played Fond Du Lac Fusion and we were going hot and cold throughout the set. Maybe it was the pressure of the moment or lingering fatigue from the day before... But yeah again, we were able to play well enough to win in 3 sets 2-1.



Our biggest challenge of the night would be our semifinals match... We already won our bid to Nationals Freedom division so the next match was a bonus game. We play MKE STING GOLD! We would most likely not see this team again all year so this was our shot to take on a top team in the State. The first set did not go as plan as we went down by a lot early and spent the rest of the set trying to figure what works and doesn't work. Set two we had the jump and held the lead for most of the game but lost some quick points in the 20's that flipped the score and lost in 2.


Confirming our bid was a huge victory at the qualifier! The girls worked hard and now we get a weekend off before Badger Region Championships!

#Shoutout to Ana and Hannah for crushing it at the OH position. Fearless and relentless no matter the opponent!

16 RED | 6th Place

Coming Soon!


16 WHITE | 5th Place

16White participated in a stacked Prep Dig Champions Cup tournament last weekend. Coming in as the 8th seed, we earned a spot in the Gold bracket (our first Gold bracket of the season) and finished with a higher standing than our seed.


Our team learned a lot about handling pressure situations. As we continue testing the girls with tougher competition, this will be a great reference point to understand what's required in order to compete at those levels.

#Shoutout to RaeAnn and Alaina for getting recognized as top performers by Prep Dig on Saturday! Also Elyse and Ada for making the highlight reel!

Pins

Overpass Kill - Maddie, Romilly

MVP - Rylie


17 RED | 4th Place | Freedom Bid

This weekend, I AM headed into Madison for the Badger Region Qualifier looking for a bid to Nationals and walked away EARNING that bid for themselves. This would be I AM 17s second consecutive season with a bid to the National Tournament in July. The weekend was a huge success with many team wins along the way.


Saturday is where the weekend’s momentum heated up from the start. The team faced Reinas 17-1s in their first match and held the team to 16 points or less in the two sets. Southern Heat was next and once again, I AM won in two sets, 25-20 and 25-22. The third and final match of the day was against a strong FC Elite team. Both sets had many rallies and lots of back and forth points, but I AM struggled to finish strong. We fell 22-25 and hung with them the second set but a last minute run by FC Elite led to a loss 18-25. Despite our 3rd match loss, I AM was headed to the Gold bracket on Sunday and stoked for an opportunity to prove their strengths and what they have worked so hard on in practice.

Sunday afternoon I AM was back it and ready to face some tough, yet fun competition. A win out of the gates, locked I AM into earning a bid. The first team we matched up against was Sting 17 white. Each and every girl showed up to play their game, disciplined and confident in their role on the court. The team worked hard on offense and defense, as everything was clicking. Serving aggressive put Sting out of system and our middles and rightsides put up massive blocks to shut down their hitters. On top of that, our defense set up well around the blockers hands to keep the opponent’s swings from hitting the floor. I AM’s setters moved the ball around and hitters executed well off transitions. Finally, serve receive was spot on all match from both outsides, Gabi Weyde and Brooke Bartelt. 25-17 and 25-10 were the final scores of the match.



The second match of the day, I AM paired up against FC Elite 17 Navy. The team came out slow scoring but not sluggish. Their opponents had some great hitters and we put up a good fight. We did not give up in the second set, battling back to force a third set. Unfortunately, I AM came up short but gave FC Elite a run for their money, falling 19-25. That match wrapped up the weekend for I AM 17 Red, as the team already received their bid and finished in 4th place for the weekend. The team will have a few weekends off, with some great reps in the gym during the week, before the Badger Region Championship in Milwaukee at the end of the month.


17 WHITE

This weekend our team traveled to Appleton, WI to participate in the PrepDig Champions Cup tournament! It was exciting to have our games recorded on BallerTV and have the PrepDig staff checking us out. We won our first pool play game against 1W Bay 17 Crimson pretty decidedly in 2 sets.

#Shoutout to Megan for being noticed by PrepDig as one of the top performers of the morning!

The next two games were tough losses against 18s teams in Wisconsin Blaze and WI Flight. We took 3rd in our pool and were headed into the Silver bracket. 


We had great energy going into Sunday’s Silver bracket match ups. We beat Milwaukee Jrs 17s Elite and WI Ice 17 Purple in two sets each. Our communication and good vibes were flowing for sure! For the Silver championship match, we faced a familiar foe—1W Bay 17 Crimson (who we had beat already in our very first match on Saturday). But as one of us said, they were not the same team and we needed to bring our A game. It was verrry close the whole time and as we went into the third game, we knew we had to give our all. We were down 0-5 then 3-8 due to some tough serves. But then Audrey stepped up and served quite a few in a row with at least 4 aces!! She got us back into the game at 11-8 and there was no looking back from that.

#Shoutout to Audrey for the aggressive serving in a high pressure situation!!

The game ended with a monster block from Megan, and that was the win! We celebrated the undefeated day with a picture with our new mascots Extra #shoutout to all the parents, grandmas, aunts, uncles, siblings, and friends who came to see us play!

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