Our 13s team played in the the 14s Mandatory 2 Tournament this last Sunday at Artesia High School.
The day started out as it usually does for the Starlings: meeting at 4:30 am in the old Von’s Parking lot. 2 Families forgot the ‘Spring ahead’ time change. Thanks to the fact that we were the second seed in the bracket, which meant we had to referee the first game, we were all able to get to the venue in time to play. The venue itself was not the greatest, both for viewing and for moving on an off the court.
The first complication to the day was the ‘no show’ by the fourth seed. The remaining coaches agreed to a ‘3 games to 25’ format, which meant the first two teams had to come back onto the court and play another game, and that the Starlings had to play 6 games in row without a break.
The long ride and the lack of warm up time and space reared its head in the first game. The team lost the game 23-25 due mostly to the 7 service errors.
The second game started out fairly even, then Jazmine Stenger-Smith strung together a solid run of 8 serves with 6 aces to have the Starlings pull ahead by a comfortable margin. A key kill by Hitter Michaela Metcalf halted a comeback attempt by the other team and the Starlings went on to win 25-14.
The third game featured great service runs by Brooke Nelepovitz and Allie Sliva with 8 serves and 5 aces and 6 serves and 4 aces respectively. Solid Serving by Becca Stoffel and solid defense by libero Grace Tesdale rounded out this match’s victory.
The fourth game featured generally solid play by the starlings. Jazmine lead the offensive charge with 9 serves 3 aces and 2 kills. Grace and Becca made solid defensive plays throughout. Hannah Farmer made a key pass to keep a long rally going and gave the Starlings a critical point. The Starlings won by 25 to 23 with the 5 missed serves making the game a bit too close for Coach Stokes’ comfort
The fifth game was fairly even until the end. Lead by Brooke’s 5 kills, the Starlings held on until the end, but ended up losing 20 to 25.
The sixth game was the most exciting of them all. If the Starlings won this game, it meant a move up to a higher bracket. There was solid play all around with great defensive plays and only one service error. Key kills by Allie, Michaela and Becca kept the game within Starling’s favor. With injured player Sara Cordes providing moral support, the Starlings battled neck and neck with the other team. With the score tied at 23, Maddy Perez was serving for the first time in a tournament. Maddy showed no effect of the pressure, and got both of her serves over the net and the other team was unable to return either. The Starlings won 25 to 23.