November 24, 2018
Durham Attack’s boys 13U Venom captured the gold medal in their 13U Provincial Cup debut in Cornwall this weekend. Although expected to do well after their silver medal in 14U the previous weekend, this was their first experience with triple ball this year, which meant they couldn’t rely on their thundering serves to carry them to victory. Undaunted, the team put on quite a show, winning four straight sets in pool play, beating the Maverick Copperheads 25-19 and 25-18, followed by Pakmen Black 25-18 and 25-20, in a set where the lead went back and forth until Venom pulled away at 18 points.
With over three hours to wait until their quarter-final match, the team had plenty of time to eat and bond. Fortunately, any concern about the length of the wait affecting their play was vanquished when they easily beat the Maverick Lonestars 25-10 and 25-13. Venom carried the momentum from that win into the semi-final match against PVC Panthers, winning 25-7 and 25-10, beating the over-under on which a couple of parents, who shall remain nameless, were heard to make a friendly wager.
Their semi-final victory set them up for the finals, which proved to be a rematch against the strong Pakmen Black. The first set saw the teams match each other point for point until Venom shut the Pakmen down at 16 points, led by the consistently strong and smart play of Aidan Slean. In the second set, Venom stepped up their game in response to Pakmen’s solid defense. Inspired by the attacks of Terence Neblett, in which the ball seemed to have eyes, finding every hole in the defense, the team was on point and they came out on the winning end of several long rallies to take the match with a 25-17 win in the final set.
The entire team played well, with a noticeable improvement in several players over the past few weeks. Venom has now qualified for 13U and 14U Premier, so the team will be facing some stiffer competition in future tournaments. I think they are up for the challenge.
The parents would like to extend their gratitude to team parent Jennifer Davis, our designated ball tosser for the day, and to the host club Cornwall Vikings for providing the minor officials and excellent signage at the venue. As always, the team is grateful for the leadership and guidance of Coaches Slean and Stanley.