When you start a season ranked 23rd and in DIII/IV there are not a lot of expectations of qualifying for Nationals. Coached by Chris Sweeney and Mike Garcia, this team really worked hard in practice to improve. The coaches knew that there was a lot of room for improvement and that the team could come together to produce some great results. This proved to be true as we won the first two Power tourneys and ended up with ourselves in DI in Power 3. At that point, with a mixture of powers and qualifiers coming up, we had a few injuries that held us back a bit but finished in the Gold Bracket at two of the 3 qualilfiers. The team used that experience heading into the RMR Qualifier. Finishing 3rd in the qualifier was heart breaking for the players as they played really well. A bid to Natls. ended up just out of reach and our season was completed. A few days later we got the call from the RMR office that some realocation bids had happened at the 15s level and since we placed 3rd in our region qualifier, we were next in line for a bid to Natls. The girls were all very excited to hear that something that seemed so out of reach at the beginning was now a reality. We lost a player due to injury, Ally Brown, two players to moving to another state, Madison Krumm and Kori Thomas, and another player who had family commitments scheduled out of state during our Natls. scheduled play time, Amber Medellin. With that, we chose a few players from other teams to help us prepare and go with us to Natls.
Our Natls. team included the following members;
Megan Orth Dylann Bylund Madi Brown
Jessica Mahan Alicia Phillips Allie Garcia
Maxine Eurich Tara Sweeney Madison Adkins
Jordyn Kinsey Marlo Masters
Coaches Chris and Mike
Coach Kevin Campbell
Chaperone Kris Adkins
Our first scheduled match was on Sunday evening at 6pm. We got to the site and found that the courts were running almost two hours behind. We began our first match after 8pm and played a great first game with the score being 25-27 and a narrow loss. It was a very exciting first game for our tourney. The next game did not prove to be as good and we went down in two games. After that we knew we had some time to wait for our next match with the courts being behind. Some of the players went out in the lobby to walk around and such. Then we heard an announcement over the paging system for our team to report to a court for play. We scrambled to find everyone and the girls were pretty frazzled for the match and did not play like they can. We lost in two games and did not feel well about how we played. On day two the games were going as scheduled and we started pretty close to our scheduled time so waiting around was not an issue. We played pretty good volleyball at times on day two and went 1-2 with one of the losses being pretty close. Our win for the day came against New Mexico Jrs and it was good for the kids to see they could win at Natls. It helped boost our confidence some going into day 3. Day 3 proved to be somewhat like day 2 in our 4 team pool. Our level of play was up and down again and we were only able to pull out 1 win for the day against a New Jersey team. The final day we played ICT Elite and had a good match but didn’t quite pull it out and lost in two games. We finished 39th overall, which was better than our seed coming in but not as well as we would have liked. It was a good experience for the girls to play at that level for an entire tourney.
For this team to get to Natls from where we started was a feat that not many other teams could do. The coaches appreciate the hard work from the kids and are proud of their accomplishment in making it there. Not every team gets that chance. Thanks to the players and Coach Mike for a great season and I look forward to seeing their progress in the future.
CSA 15 Navy