While the annual U.S. winter invasion of Canadians is typically isolated to Florida, there was a small contingent redirected to Washington DC. The 13U Girls Black Dynamite marched into Capitol Hill for their first international 3-Day tournament, the Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic 2015. While the quest to DC was not specifically retaliation for 1812, Black Dynamite was looking to Dynamite the “House” vs simply burn it down!
What an experience for all!!! – a convention centre with hundreds of thousands of square feet, volleyball courts as far as the eye could see, an electric atmosphere, and dedicated athletes all around.
Day One – First Match against NYC. Their powerful serves had Dynamite on their heels and trailing for both sets. A slow start for Dynamite. It appears NYC is not just home of the Big Apple but also the big serves. [Match 10-25//10-25]
Match two against Delaware. Dynamite regrouped from the first match. In set one, Dynamite fell behind early trailing 7-23 but mounted a counter attack via strong serving to reach 17-23. Unfortunately, Dynamite’s Cinderella story comeback fell just short. Set two was closely contested with a see-saw battle throughout the game. Again, Dynamite was just short of the mark. It appears it wasn’t just George who had problems crossing the Delaware. [Match 17-25//24-26]
Match three brought on the Maryland Juniors. It was clear from the play that Dynamite’s confidence and cohesiveness was returning – good passing, serves and hits. A close first set but again Dynamite fell short. In set two, the Juniors took an early lead (0-7) and Dynamite had challenges with the serve-receive. Dynamite remained determined but to no avail. [Match 23-25//13-25]
Day Two – Match one brought on the Arlington Elite. The Elite were looking to bury Dynamite but the Black were not going to lay down. Dynamite managed to maintain the lead for the majority of the set but finally succumbed in the end. Set two was again close but ended the same. [Match 21-25//19-25]
Match two presented the Evolution from Alexandria and Dynamite’s “TSN turning point”!! Both sets were hard fought but Dynamite prevailed for their first victory on US soil!!! [Match 25-21//26-24]
Match three delivered the BRYC (Braddick RD Youth Club). Dynamite had found their groove and never looked back with consistent play in all areas. [Match 25-12 //25-17]
A winning day!
Day three – elimination day. The first opponent was a rematch against the Maryland Juniors. Dynamite trailed in the beginning but ran the score to a 24-16 lead. The Juniors showed their tenacity and fought back for victory in extended play. A hard loss for Dynamite. The second set, Dynamite took control and never lost the lead. On to the tie-breaker. Dynamite once again fell behind early and couldn’t regroup in time. The US tournament came to an early end. [Match 28-30//25-20//9-15]
As the expression goes, “experience” is the hardest teacher as you face the test before the lesson. This tournament provided Dynamite with valuable experience and as such lessons to form the building blocks for the future. And true to the Canadian spirit, Dynamite showed our southern neighbours a cornerstone to their continued success as a team: A-ttack C-haracter.