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Tournament Recaps - Week 18

Updated: May 23

Junior Grand Slam hosted all our remaining teams this past weekend and we have TWO first place finishes!! See which teams went the distance!


12 RED | 5-1 | 2nd Place

The 12 RED team was back in action this week at the 2024 Junior Grand Slam. The team started of the weekend showing their dominance making quick work of the competition on Saturday with the below results:

  • Crushing OVBC Black 25-5, 25-6

  • Wisconsin Juniors 12-Elite 25-8, 25-12

  • McHenry Junior's Purple 25-9, 25-7

  • and Mission 25-16, 25-20


That pushed them into the gold brack for Sunday morning.

In the Semi-finals of Gold on Sunday, I AM came out strong again and Crushed Sting Silver 25-9, 25-16. 


In the finals, I AM 12 RED faced Wisconsin Juniors who they had faced and beaten once earlier this year. Over the past couple of weeks 12 RED had been pushing hard to be more aggressive offensively and take more chances. 


We lost a very close game 1 (25-22) and lost game 2 (25-14).  For the team, this tournament was a success although we lost in the final match. Watching the players play VB outside their comfort zone and deal with adversity will definitely help in the long run. As a coach, I'm super happy with the progress of individual players and the team over the course of the past month and this year. We continue to get stronger as we prepare for nationals in about a month and we are all excited to have another chance to be challenged by some really good teams.


During the tournament, the team earned 5 serving pins (Londyn 2, Molly 2, Charlee 1) 1 serving professional pin (Londyn) , and 4 overpass pins (Haylee 2, Molly 2)! Two players also received All Tournament Team honors(Londyn and Molly)! Congratulations to the team for helping them achieve these honors.



Way to BET (Believe, Encourage, Trust) on each other ladies! 

You guys are going to crush the balance of the season!


13 RED | 6-0 | 1st Place

13 Red came away with another 1st place finish, this time at the Juniors Grand Slam Event! The team finished 6-0 on the weekend and are playing their most consistent volleyball of the season right now!


We started out pool play on Saturday finishing a perfect 6-0 in sets won!  Sunday’s challenge round matched us up against a scrappy Mindset Premier team out of Illinois. We beat them 25-10 in the first set and fell a tight 2nd set 24-26. We won the match in 3 in a very exciting 15-12 finish to advance to the semifinal round of the gold bracket!

 

The semifinal match had us taking on Heat 13 Red.  It was a tight 1st and 2nd set.  We lost 23-25 and won 25-23 to force a deciding 3rd.  I AM came out hot and took control of the set winning it 15-7 and moved on to the Championship match!! In the championship, we got to take on Milwaukee Sting 13 silver and looking to get some revenge from playing them earlier this year.  It was again a tight match, but the girls came through winning 2-0 with scores of 25-23 and 26-24! 

 

The team as a whole played great and very consistent all weekend.  A huge shoutout to All-Tournament Team selections Elin Winkler, Grace Ross-Corbett, and Addie Lempke on their exceptional performances! Elin stabilized us in the backrow with her solid serve receive and defense.  Grace come through with so many excellent digs and tough serving, and Addie led our front row with the most kills on the weekend!

 

We have 1 more tournament before we head to Dallas for Nationals! The girls have shown so much improvement and are super excited for their first Nationals trip!


14 RED | 4-2 | 4th Place

This past weekend, the 14 Red team played in the Junior Grand Slam at the Baird Center in Milwaukee. We have slowly gained back some momentum on the season over the past few tournaments because of some lineup changes and error reduction through some increased confidence. At the MVP tournament we made a golf bracket in a very tough tournament and played extremely well against maybe the best team we had played all season. Even though we didn't win it felt like a turning point to us. 


This past weekend at the Grand Slam We came in as a #1 seed in our pool but in this tournament getting first or second in our pool wasn't going to be enough to make gold. A challenge match was also awaiting us. In our first two matches of day #1 we took care of business fairly easily. Played extremely clean and crisp volleyball from start to finish. Our final match of day #1 was against a 1W National team that we have lost to two times this season. The girls played a hard fought match with a lot of big momentum swings. The big difference was the play of our middles. They completely owned the net the entire match. #Shoutout to our MVP and All-Tournament Team Sunny. She was the x-factor in every match we played over the weekend. We were finally able to break through against this team and take 1st in the pool.


For day #2 we started off the day crossing over against a tough 414 team that we beat in the finals of Power League. Another big challenge of this weekend was the moving parts of our roster. Many of the girls have made sacrifices to be at tournaments this year by missing other events/activities. This weekend was our turn to sacrifice for those team members that have other important things going on in their lives. In this match our libero Brooke was put into the position to play outside and she played the entire match without a hitting error. Besides a very poor set 2, the girls controlled this match and we were able to get to gold. We had a lot more moving parts in the gold bracket and played some of the toughest competition of the season and it was a lot to overcome. At the end of the day, it was another top 4 finish and beating a team that we had lost to two times before. A big success and we move to the closing parts of the season. I continue to be proud of the resilience of this group. We continue to put pressure on them to work harder, persevere, and go outside their comfort zone. We are starting to see those changes come to life!


14 BLACK | 3-3 | 11th Place

Coming Soon!


15 RED | 5-1 | 2nd Place

We came in with the honor of the #1 seed in teh tournament! Our day one pool conist of RVA, Elevate, and Reinas De La Cancha. The most anyone scored on us we 14 points! We cruised through the day but knew we had some work to do on day two!


We kicked off with a crossover match to go to Gold or Silver brackets. We played Iowa Select 14's team and they were big and tough opponents. The match was neck and neck. Game one we won 26-24. Set two we lost 26-28. Our AP workouts must have kicked in because Milli went back and served 8 points to help us take control and win 15-4. By far the hardest crossover match in our division!

#Shoutout to Lauren for bailing us out of the crossover match with clutch kills throughout that match!

Our semis was against our friends over at Milwuakee Juniors. They are crafty hitters and created chaos on our side at times but we found the rhythm and was able to control the game and win in 2 (25-19, 25-23)


No we made it to the FINALS! We faced off with MOD out of Illinois and we've bested them in the last tournament but they ended up winning it anyway. They had a chip on their shoulders going into this one and they played a great game and we played well but fell short to match the intensity MOD brought. We lost in 2 (19-25, 22-25)


Overall great performance. We have aquired an expection that we should win every tournament which is great and sad when we fall short. Big strides in getting our Middles involved and congrats to our All-Tournament winners, Emmalee and Morgan!

We had fun bonding over setting up and taking down courts and having a nice team dinner between playing and takedown.


15 BLACK | 3-3 | 9th Place

This past weekend the team headed downtown for the big Juniors Grand Slam tournament at the Baird Center. This was a big tournament for the team, as they were placed in the Open Division for the first time. The goal was to enter this tournament preparing for the faster pace of play they would see at nationals in June. Excited and up to the challenge, the first opponent was Balance 15-White. Bigger hitters and even bigger serves had the team on their heels for the first set, but they came roaring back in the second to clinch it and take it to a third. Balance rallied and brought deep, hard serves and took the third. The final was 15-25, 25-22, 6-15. The second opponent was MOD 15-Gold, and they ran into a buzzsaw. Tremendous serving brought in a 25-9 win for the first set. MOD dug in, and began to find their serve and serve receive, and took the second set 25-22. Like the #heartattackpack likes to do, we were going to a third. Momentum stayed with MOD, and the team just couldn’t overcome it, dropping the third set 10-15. Encouraged by the good play of the last match, the team then battled a very good Milwaukee Jrs. 15-1 team. Jrs. Took the first 25-18, but the tenacity of 15-Black took the second 25-19…and once again going to a third. The momentum started quick for the Jrs. team as they took an early lead with difficult serving, and the team dropped the third 8-15 going 0-3 on day 1.


Day 2 was a new day, and the goal was the same – focus on growing and battling bigger teams. Sunday had an all new vibe, and the girls came out on fire in the Bronze Challenge Round. Defense, setting, and hitting all were alive and flowing together right out of the shoot. 414 15-Elite had it’s hands full, and I AM took it two- 25-23, 25-18.

#Shoutout | Ava (MB) was ON FIRE at the net all of Sunday! Her big block and MONSTER overpass kills gave the team an advantage the entire day.

 Moving into the bronze bracket, the team faced a motivated 1W Bay National team. I AM came out dominate once again with strong serving and defense. Keeping them out of system and when in, having a big block at the net frustrated 1W Bay early, and I AM took it in two, 25-23, 25-18.

 

The Bronze Bracket final brought back a familiar team that had beaten them the day before, MOD 15-Gold. But today was a new day, and MOD was overpowered early, taking set 1, 25-21. MOD came roaring back in the second, and it was a fight for every point. Down 21-25, a time out was called to refocus the team. The team was challenged by coach Montano - “1 point at a time. Let’s fight for 22. That’s all that matters is that one point and getting us to 22.” Amary’s (S) nasty float had MOD on their heels. 22…23…24…25. One point turned into 4, and I AM was on the brink of a comeback. MOD pushed back, and points were exchanged through great hitting and defense. However, I AM had the upper hand and took the 2nd set 28-26 securing 9th place in the 15-Open Division.

 

#shoutout | Team Defense: the entire team played controlled and intense defense for the tournament. Balls did not drop without someone on the floor, and seemingly impossible ones became points. The tenacity and grit of the team gave them a 3-0 Sunday!


16 RED | 3-3 | 5th Place

Coming Soon!


16 BLACK | 6-1 | 1st Place

16 Black finished the weekend as Champions of the Grand Slam Tournament. We started seeded 8th and went in with the goal of finishing higher. So off to the races. Even with the always dreaded AM wave, the girls played well out of the gate. Sam started Saturday with a multi point serving run that set the tone and helped lead 16 Black to a strong first match win in 2 sets. 2 OPK (Overpass Kill) pins: Morgan and Laila. 28 digs in this match set a high bar for the girls to beat.  


Second match was against WI Juniors. We were a little flat, and couldn't find the next gear to finish this match. Tough 2 set loss to finish pool play. Ava with 2 OPK pins.


Taking 2nd in our pool meant we had to work to stay in Gold. Next match in crossover games was against Next Level. I AM 16 Black found the groove here. The level of play and focus from everyone was a joy to watch. Strong serving from Sam (#ServePin) and Lily followed by excellent defense carried us through with another 2 set win. OPK pins: Alayna and Lily. Final match of the day was against 608 Juniors. Another match where strong serving led the way. Katie for another Serve Pin and OPK pins for Alayna and Lily. This win earned us a spot in Gold and a guaranteed higher finish than our 8th seed.  


Best part of Saturday was how the team kept their cool and maintained focus throughout our matches. We were missing a couple players, which allowed us to play a slightly different line up. The girls didn't even blink and kept up the high level of play.  


Sunday was another early start as we entered play in the Gold bracket. We had accomplished our initial goal, now we could soar. Thankfully, we picked up exactly as we finished Saturday. First match against the WI Juniors team that we lost to in pool play on Saturday. A few small serving runs were the only hiccups this match. We pulled out the win in 3 sets. 4 more OPK pins: Alaina, Ava and Lily for 2. In the semi-finals we were up against MOD who were the #1 seed coming into the tournament. Determined to make the finals, strong serving and a never give up attitude led the way for a 2 set win and trip to the Gold Bracket Championship match!


Championship match was against an tough Just A Game (JAG) team who was the #2 seed coming into the tournament. The girls never took their foot off the gas and we finished in 2 sets to close as champs. Serve Pin for Lily and a Pancake for Katie.   Outstanding plays and effort from all. Big blocks from all the front row, buttery dishes from setters, never quit digs, chase from all defenders, and huge hits from all attackers. Lots of fun to watch and coach. Super proud of the team.  (IMHO- the yoga session Thursday had everyone relaxed.  Thanks Paula)


17 RED | 3-3 | 6th Place

This past weekend, I AM 17 Red stayed local in Milwaukee for the Junior Grand Slam tournament. We fit into a five team pool and played all four matches of pool play on Saturday morning. The team came out hot and ready to work hard right from the start. We faced Wisconsin Elite first and kicked it into gear right away, sweeping them 25-18 and 25-20. The next match was against a solid Juniors 18s team who we had faced before. The games were back and forth the entire time, and I AM had two long runs at crucial times, capitalizing on an exhausted Juniors team, 26-24 and 25-23. Without much break, I AM's third game was tough and their streak had some to a stop. The team fell, 19-25 and 20-25 but that did not steal their thunder. They were able to bounce back quite quickly for the fourth and final match of the day where they beat 414 in two sets, 25-18 and 25-17. Overall, Saturday was a lot of competitive volleyball and a pretty consistent level of play throughout the day. 


Sunday morning was a little bit of a tougher start for I AM. They matched up against Wisconsin Elite 18 and could not bring back the intensity from the day before. We fought hard after losing the first set, but came up short; 17-25 and 23-25. The next match of the day was another battle, both teams exchanging points from the third set. I AM came on top the first set, sneaking out the game win 25-23 but Elevate came out hot the second set, forcing the team's first 3 set match of the weekend. I AM tried hard to overcome adversity, pushing each point but could not stay on top. Despite I AM's two losses on Sunday, the girls worked extremely hard and continued to use the skills they have been improving on in practice. The team is ready for a few weeks of break before their tournament in Illinois on Father's Day weekend to prep for Nationals in July!


17 BLACK | 3-3 | 13th Place

Coming Soon!



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