Our 12′s finished their season in style with a 3rd place finish! Coach Paige had MUCH to say…”This team has come such a long way just since I coached them a month ago!! I can honestly say they played their absolute hardest, fighting and pushing in every match against some pretty tough teams! There were several times they were down anywhere from 5-10 points and they fought back to win! Hannah’s serves were killer all day, leading us in aces! She is such a strong and consistent player and never shows frustration with herself or others. She truly is a leader on the court! I was so impressed with Addy as she had a few errors in the beginning but was so coachable and ended up following Hannah in aces AND leading us in kills! Madison led in digs….she is such an amazing passer and I feel calm every time the ball is anywhere near her! Victoria busted it for every second ball all day! Her determination and fight wasn’t unnoticed! I wanted her on the court especially in the tough moments because I knew she would give it all! Malayna subbed in and saved the day in a few games with her serves!! She performed under a ton of pressure which is so hard to do! I absolutely LOVE coaching this team! They are all so supportive of one another even though they are too tough on themselves. Every time I tell them something they actively think about it on the court!So proud of them this weekend and how far they have come individually and as a team!”
Statistically they were led by Addison with 15 kills, Hannah with 13 and Katherine with 7. Assists had Victoria leading with 13 while Katherine had 8. Aces was all Hannah with 25 on the day! (that’s a whole games worth!!) Addison had 18, Hailey and Katherine both had 10 each, while Madison had 7, Tatum 6, Alison and Malayna each had 5.
I had the pleasure of being with our 13′s where we also finished in 3rd place! I was absolutely STUNNED by how well they were playing and how far they have come since I last coached them!! We cruised through pool play, winning all 6 sets…then after a couple hours off, proceeded to win our first round of Gold. After that the REAL fun began!! We essentially ‘steamrolled’ thru the first set of semi-finals in near hysterical laughter as we played our very first ‘consonant’ game! I have to say Sam Chahal had me completely unable to coach as she very fluently could speak in this new lingo!! Let’s just say the jetting was outstanding, the jigging, the jitting, the jeffort, the jabsolutely jincredible javes and jerves just put is in a jood place! The jench was jital in jis jin! (I think our opponents were SO distracted they couldn’t even perform) Needless to say, we didn’t keep it up through the next two games and ended up losing….
We were led by Baylee Burns with 16 kills on the day!! I am happy to say she kept her composure when in the first warm-up of the day she lost half her hair in the antenna!! Nothing apparently can take Baylee out of her game!!….Alyssa was close behind and contributed 14 kills and led in aces with 13! She brings her usual serious competitive nature and also ended up getting a ton of digs in backrow too. My MVP of the Day goes to Jentry Shields who absolutely had the best hitting day of the year with 12 kills and her usual impressive serve receive passing!! She also leads us in great prayers before each game and carefully prays for no “injuries or angries”! Carsie Francis also had 12 kills, and clearly comes from a family of very precision ability in operating motor vehicles….maybe that’s why she is able to hit any spot on the court with accuracy! Abby Robinson contributed 10 kills, while Priscilla/Cassidy/Page/Abby C. all had 7 kills each! Setting was led by Page with 24 assists! She has some of the most beautiful hands in VB…putting up some very slow and still sets that just hang in the air!! Carsie and Abby R both had 16 assists each. It can’t go without mentioning that Reagan Jacobs was a digging fiend, playing libero all day and saving just 100′s of balls and putting up nearly flawless serve receive passing! (all this while having the time to work on that hangnail and checking her braids periodically for split ends, I guess….) Thank you 13′s for making MY last tournament of this season one of the funnest EVER!
Our 16′s went to Lonestar where they finished in 2nd place in pool the first day!! Coach Ragan took charge for the entire weekend and they won 2 of 3 matches the second day! I hear stories of their incredible effort (Bella charging thru a row of spectator chairs knocking them over AND saving the ball to win the point) and how many people in the stands (and opposing coaches) were complimenting us on our incredible play! Ruthie Forson finished the weekend with 121 assists!!! THAT is by far a new club record! Emily Caraway and Izzy Espinosa, our two middles combined for 92 kills! (Emily 48, Izzy 44) Jenna Lennox tallied 17 kills, while Rachel and Megan (our former libero) each had 15. Aces was all Allison Renfro with 11. Emily had 10 solo blocks and Izzy and Rachel each had 5. I have to say this team throughout the year have shown us the absolute ‘ultimate’ in teamwork and selflessness! They have lost two players this season and lost 2 others to waivers, our OH’s have had to learn middle, our liberos have had to fill in as both setters and OH’s to make this happen, but thank God we multi-position train ALL the time so we never missed a beat!
Coach Ragan says, “Anybody who has had the privilege of watching the 16′s interact, knows that this weekend was nothing short of exciting! I don’t know that I’ve been around a more close-knit group of kids who support each other more than these girls do! You can walk all around the Convention Center (117 courts) and see so much skill, some crazy height, and big plays….but rarely will you find a team celebrating each other like this team does. They don’t just celebrate the play-ending kill or block, but the girl who set the block, who passed the first ball, or put up the set that allowed the kill. They truly do build on each other and find ways to make each other better, and I’m so amazed at their play this weekend! They adapted so well and so quickly to the changes we had to make going into Lonestar, and there was never a single complaint , only encouragement and support for one another! Their skill is incredible, but more impressive to me is their hearts. I couldn’t be more proud of the way they finished the season, the ones on the court and the ones that came all the way out to show their support (Mya and Lauren). This team shines in a way that represents exactly what our club desires….there’s so much more to encourage and celebrate in our athletes than simple winning!! BUT, the winning was so SO much fun!! ”
As we wrap up this season, I want to thank all the players for their continued effort and hard work throughout all these months and the parents who supported in positive and selfless ways….we SO appreciate you!! We will always strive to build the ‘right’ character first and foremost…as VB skill lasts for a decade at most, but character and heart and attitude will follow you thru an entire lifetime! I am PROUD of our club, and all we strive to stand for, to believe in….as God Himself has brought these girls to us.
Until next week and the Conquerors Tournament/Awards,