3 teams left and 2 finish up their seasons! All teams headed downtown Milwaukee for the Juniors Grand Slam tournament.
This past weekend was our last tournament of the year. We played downtown in the Junior's Grand Slam. In the weeks leading up to this tournament we spent a lot of time talking about, and practicing, minimizing our unforced errors and playing smart. We saw some improvement in most matches this weekend, it was certainly noticeable.
We started out Saturday playing 4 matches in a 5 team pool. Play started at 7:30am, so thankfully our first match was fairly easy giving us time to wake up. We cruised to a 2 set victory and got the blood pumping. Our second match was against a much better Madison Elite team. In the first set we traded 1-2 point leads the entire set and came out ahead 25-23. In the second set Elite got hot, we didn't have an answer, and they took a 19-12 lead. This is where our practice paid off. We stayed calm and continued to play consistent, relatively error free ball. We let Elite make the errors as we crept back in and took the match with a 25-23 win.
Our 3rd match was the one that got away from us this weekend. We let all those unforced errors get the best of us and never could find our groove. We lost in 2. Our last match put us up against the eventual winner of our pool. We played a good first set and stole a win 25-21. After that the other team woke up and had too much offense for us to have an answer. We finished pool play 2-2 tied by matches with 2 other teams. We ended up in 3rd, and wound up in the silver bracket.
Day 2 started out like day 1, with an easy victory. The next 2 matches were very similar. We played very good teams and started out with a loss, in one case a pretty bad loss. We rebounded in game 2 with a win to set up game 3. Both 3rd sets were hard fought back and forth tough sets. We won match 2 16-14 and match 3 15-13 to finish the day winning the silver bracket.
#Shoutout to Sophia for getting 2 big kills to finish out our last match!
We had some errors and issues in the last 2 matches, but overall we played a consistent good 6 sets. Both of these sets had crazy long rallies that stretched the matches out to over 1 hour and 15 minutes each.
For the weekend we went 5-2 and played some very competitive teams. Overall this was the best we've played in a tournament. It was a great end to a very fun season!
The girls of 16 RED finished the season on a high note with a 2nd place finish. They went 5-1 over the course of two days in the Juniors Grand Slam event in Milwaukee only dropping 2 sets all weekend and one of them by the minimum 2 points. Saturday was another dominating performance holding all of their opponents under 18 points in all the sets. Sunday saw a great start and a convincing victory over a team they had previously lost a close match against. They really worked hard and overcame some tough times dealing with injuries and fatigue from a long season and many playing another sport or two alongside volleyball. I know Coach Jeff and I are super proud of all the progress they made looking back to how they started in January to where they finished the past two tournaments is astounding. As a team they never finished lower than 2nd place in silver and had a few championships along with some 2nd place finishes. They are truly a talented bunch with a bright future. I had a lot of fun coaching them this season and I look forward to seeing where they are headed in their high school seasons and beyond.
We had a great 2-day tournament filled with some exciting matches. We finished 2-1 on day one that got us to the gold bracket for day 2. We won our first two games with some solid serving from the team and some big runs from Ellie Lopata. We lost both our setters for our 3rd match but the team put up a good fight against a solid Juniors team.
#Shoutout to Madison Schmitt for stepping up to set after 2 minutes of practice.
Day 2 started off with an exciting 3-game match where we fell short by 2 points. Both teams played good volleyball and even though we lost that one we definitely had fun playing. We won our next two matches and needed in another 3-game match where Ellie Lopata once again dominated at the service line causing the team to use both their timeouts during her serving run!
It was a solid showing for our first post-season run to Nationals. We handed out our Legacy jackets to some very special players on the team for being with I AM since the beginning of their club careers. Abby Proefrock, Madison Schmitt, Morgan Theiler, Julia Marti, and Helena Ashley.