18U Provincial Cup – Dec 14, 2013
It was a cold start for the boys this morning, both off and on the court. Fortunately the opportunity to warm up and get their game on came in the form of their first opponents. While not a blow out by any means, Durham Attack did control the flow of the game, through both sets, winning 25-13 & 25-14.
In game 2, vs Aurora Storm, the level of play rose noticeably as all teams warmed up to the challenges of the day. Durham came out strong; blocking, hitting, and acing serves! They were paying attention, concentrating and playing controlled ball. Brad was setting well for solid slams from the front line players and quick defensive reactions from the back row added more points, in rapid succession. After a Storm timeout the momentum started to swing their way, but with a large lead it just wasn’t enough and DA took the 1st set 25-22.Set 2 was nothing short of exciting. A challenging contest between two very determined squads. After a brief communications breakdown, which saw Durham Attack drop the 1st five points, they regrouped, dug deep and came back, hit by hit. While Storm began reading Brad’s sets, making for very effective blocks, timely digs from the back row and strong serving kept Durham Attack in tight, making for some excellent rallies. It came down to Storm winning one more rally and serving out the final point for a 24-26 win. Set 3 saw a somewhat rattled Durham Attack drop behind quickly and not get it together before losing 6-15.
In game 3, DA’s positive playing form returned, as they took on 17U Markham Stingers. While their defence was far from impenetrable, Durham took the early lead with a focused drive, supported by good timing on sets resulting in strong, heavy hitting. It was a back and forth battle, with DA maintaining their initial lead until the final 25-20 win. The excitement continued into the 2nd set with rally after rally, off hit after hit, on both sides of the net. The pressure continued with hard slams from John up the middle and Tristan on the right side, off setting Jared’s strong left side offense. Hard to say just what caused the slide, but after matching point for point to 14-14, Durham seemed to give up the attack and lost the set 16-25. Again DA’s coaches had to find the right words to re-ignite the fire and desire, and they did! In another see-saw battle, the audience was witness to an intense, extreme fight for the right to play for a medal. While the Stingers hit through DA’s blocking with great efficiency, Durham’s serving and strong offence compensated for the breaches in their defence. Sadly, one team must go down to defeat and on this day Durham Attack had the misfortune of having the last two calls go against them, losing 14-16. Congrats to the Stingers who went on to win the Gold medal in this tournament.
The consolation game, to determine 5th place, once again witnessed a renewal of the focus and concentration which got DA so far earlier in the day. While still leaving some holes in their play, strong serves and timely digs accompanied by nicely placed sets for spot on spikes and slams carried the team forward. They never looked back through two solid sets, finishing the day with 25-18 & 25-19 victories.