The Shock 16U team began their 2019 season with a three day event at The Asics President’s Day Classic in Omaha, Nebraska on February 18, 19 and 20.
With a team that has six new additions, Shock packed up and headed down to the U.S. for their first competition as a new group. We opened the day against a smaller Kansas team that hopefully taught us a lesson about not being ready to play as we dropped the match in the third set 14-16. That result put us in a position in which we had to win both of our remaining matches in order to, at the very least, have a say in whether or not we moved on in the top bracket. The girls stepped up and played better the rest of the day ultimately overcoming a very rough start in the last match of the day (11-25 in the first set) to finish at 2-1 and first in our pool.
Sunday came and we had a goal of trying to build on our finish from Saturday. We played very well at times but were still subject to some inconsistent play. Shock was able to play steady enough to come out of Day 2 with a record of 3-0 setting us up for the round of 16 in the top bracket.
With all three day tournaments, you look forward to Day 3 the most when you are still playing for it all. What was really nice to see in Omaha was a single elimination bracket the rest of the way; the fact that you have to keep winning to keep playing puts a heavy emphasis on controlling your errors. The team played efficiently in the first two matches of the day and won both in straight sets.
Shock would now face Mizuno Northern Lights from Minnesota which tends to field big, strong teams at the higher end of their club. We got exactly that and MNL came out quickly with multiple combinations and a fast pace. Once we adapted a bit to that, we settled in but ultimately fell 23-25 in the first. The second set was much more consistent and the girls were able to deal with the big MNL squad by putting up a few decent sized blocks of their own. Our opponent got a bit deflated and we ran away from them at 25-15. It came down to the third set with both teams fighting hard for every point. With the score at 9-9, we ran into a few mental errors, a few physical errors and an opponent who was experienced in getting the job done. Shock dropped the third set 15-10 which ended our tournament run at the semi-finals.
The weekend was a good start for the new group and quite a few important goals for the weekend were attained.
P.S. Good luck to our basketball players as they try to make a deep run in playoffs and Provincials!