The Attack U15 Red girls travelled to Montréal the weekend of January 7 and 8 to take part in the Desjardins Montréal Junior Cup. They played in a joint U15/U16 division.
The first pool game saw the girls face a solid squad from Montréal called Celtiques Bleu. Durham dominated the first set, taking it 25-14.
But the girls got off to a bit of a sleepy start in the second set, sliding as far back as 6-13 early on. Then, behind some solid serving, Attack clawed their way back to win the second set 25-20.
Up next was the U16 Galaxy Rockets. The Rockets brought some strong hitting that the Red girls had some difficulty defending against. Galaxy took the opening set 25-16.
The second set was a neck-and-neck battle the entire way with Galaxy ultimately prevailing 27-25.
After a short break for lunch Attack faced a familiar squad in the Galaxy Jets. A hard-fought first set saw the Red girls come out on top by a score of 25-22. They had an even stronger showing in the second set, taking it 25-12.
Attack finished in second place in their pool.
Then, after a three hour break, teams were re-pooled and the Red girls played their last two games of the day.
First up was the Scorpion Fusion squad from Cambridge.
Fusion seemed to get off to a slow start back but came barrelling back to threaten. Still, Attack held on to take a nail-biter 25-23.
In the second set Attack powered their way to a 25-16 win.
Right after that our girls faced the top team from one of the other pools, another Montreal team named Celtiques Noir.
Both sides kept things close in the early going of the first set. They were tied at 8. Tied still at 16. Then Durham went up 18-16. But the hard-hitting squad from Montreal ultimately prevailed 25-23 to take set one.
Attack got off to a strong start in set two, going up by a score 12 -8. Noir fought back to tie it at 13. The Red girls pulled ahead 18-15 and then powered ahead from there taking the second set 25-19.
A super-early start Sunday morning saw a rematch with Celtiques Bleu in the girls’ final game in pool play.
Attack had difficulty in the early going, falling behind went by a score of 14-1. The girls figured things out and started to work their way back into the game but by then it was too late and Bleu took the set 25-15.
Attack picked up where they left off opening the second set with a 10-0 run and going on to win 25-6.
Up next in the quarterfinals Durham played the tough U16 Galaxy Rockets team once again. Attack fell behind 5-0 early, then fought back to tie the set at both 7-7 and 12-12 but ultimately lost 25-18.
In the second set it was different story. Tied at 5, a streak of solid serves took Attack up 11-5 to open things up. Then the Galaxy girls fought back to tighten things up again and it was tied at 16 and again at 23. Some spectacular defensive moves and a gritty, determined performance kept the Attack girls going and they prevailed to take the second set 25-23, setting up a do-or-die tie-breaker to see who would go on to the semis.
But the Red girls didn’t seem to have an answer for countless kills from the older girls, quickly falling behind 9-0. In the end, Galaxy held on to take the tie-breaker 15-5 but our girls left the court with heads held high.
The U15 Red girls finished in fifth place in the top out of of three divisions and had a lot to be proud of from their weekend in Montréal.
Coach Gord Baxter was pleased with what he saw: “The girls displayed true Attack spirit all weekend both on and off the court. Their skill and “never say die” attitude was on full display at this tournament. Their effort is to be commended!”