After returning home from the January Thaw (for the first time without the border closing on us), both the 14u and the 18u SHOCK teams were able to finish in the top 8 of their divisions, losing close games on Sunday morning, both to Mizuno Northern Lights teams in their respective quarter finals. The weekend was not a total disappointment though, as both groups got a chance to see some fresh faces on the floor with 4 new players joining the 18's group this year, and of course, all 12 members of the 14u tournament getting to wear the SHOCK colors for the first time...well one athlete was on vacation and will get her chance this weekend.
The 18's coasted through day 1 with 2 wins, and were tops in their pool come Day 2. The second day of competition provided a little more excitement as the 18's squared off against a couple of teams from Wisconsin and were able to start the tournament on a 4-0 run. Their last game of the day had them pitted against a very talented and athletic CIA team from central Iowa. The 18's did not bring their best match to the table and dropped the 3rd game of the day 2-0 to the eventual tournament champions, setting up a date with the Northern Lights 18 1's, the best team that the club has to offer in a quarter final. A grueling battle on Sunday morning saw the SHOCK 18's drop a tough 3rd set 15-13, and relegated to playing a 5th place match against another very tough Northern Lights opponent in the 17 2's group. SHOCK played hard, but eventually dropped the match 2-0 and came away with a 6th place finish out of a possible 20 teams.
The 14's got their first taste of the high flying competition that the Midwest has to offer, and the girls were fresh off receiving their SHOCK gear, and looked great stepping on to the floor for the first time in the black and orange. After a brief 30 second warm up (thanks ref), the girls started the match a little flustered against the Northern Impact, but eventually pulled away from a 12-12 tie to take a commanding 25-13 victory in set 1. A line up turnover, and the girls were put to the test a little more in set 2, but clawed out a 25-22 victory to win their first match as members of SHOCK. The second match of the day against the Northern Lights 14 Red had a bit of a different taste, with a very talented and well trained group on the other side of the net. The girls competed well but dropped the match 2-0. After a long, and anxiety filled first day, everyone went home feeling pretty good about the first day of competition. Day 2 saw the 14's face off against the CIA 14's group who went on to place 2nd in the tournament, and the coaches, parents and players all felt a sense of accomplishment by competing with the very skilled group, but lost 2-0. The next two matches were also a grind, with SHOCK coming out on the right side of a 3 set match, followed by a close 2-0 win to finish 2nd place in the pool. Sunday brought about 2 more tough teams to compete against, but the girls never showed any let down and competed all the way to the end. A 6th place finish out of 24 teams was a great way to start the year off right, and provide the girls with lots of experience and some confidence heading into the rest of the season here in Manitoba.
This weekend will see the 18's head off to Las Vegas for the President's Day Classic, while the 14's will stay local this weekend and play in the 15u Joust Valentine's Day tournament. Both groups will look to build off of their first experience on the floor this year and hopefully come home with some hardware. Stay tuned for results.
Have a safe and happy long weekend, and play hard!
SHOCK Volleyball Club