28 March, 2015
This two day tournament turned out to be anything but your regular, run of the mill two day event. There were a number of upsets throughout the tournament, making for some interesting and exciting matchups as the tournament went on. However, those upsets neither helped nor hindered Durham Attack’s progress. The boy’s played hard and focused ball for the better part of the tournament and came home in a much better position than when they started. Of the nine sets total they played Saturday – three pool games and one quarter-final game – they won seven.
Sunday’s first game, against LVC Heat, was an up and down affair as the Attack boys started strong, matching Heat’s play point for point for the first half of the first set. Unfortunately, as the Heat continued to build momentum, it appeared to be drawn from our guys who lost their concentration and focus, resulting in a resounding Heat win. The 2nd set picked up where the first one left off, with our boys struggling to get in sync again. Dropping behind early, they played catchup the rest of the set, managing to make a challenge only in the latter part of the set. Another case of ‘too little too late’, as the Heat took the game in two sets straight. This loss knocked Durham out of the medal round but did position them for a 5th place finish. To achieve this end, the team had to once again play the SVC Cobras, having faced them in the previous day’s pool play. On that occasion, while putting up a good fight, the Cobras lost in two sets. This time, Attack were truly fired up and overwhelmed the spotty defence put up by the Cobras, taking the 1st set 25-14. And while the Cobras certainly picked up their game in the 2nd set, challenging point for point through the first half of the set, Durham maintained their winning momentum and took the set 25-20.
Meeting the Ottawa Mavericks in the playoff for 5th, after the Mavericks had upset the 18u Pakmen’s bid for gold, looked to make for a very entertaining game in which to end the tournament, and it was. There was a cautious start to the 1st set as both teams felt out the other, but within minutes Durham attacked and the Mavericks were slow to respond. While their blocking was excellent, Durham’s relentless hitting got through the Mavericks defences and the pendulum swung in Durham’s favour. With fine, accurate sets, combined with strong, hard hits, Durham’s lead solidified. When the Mavericks started pressing, our defence of solid blocking, quick pancake digging and sneaky tipovers, maintained the Durham lead. Durham took the first set 25-21. Set 2 was another high caliber competition as the Mavericks surged to an early lead and Durham Attack had to dig down deep to find the strength and desire to come back. They dug, hit, aced and took advantage of a couple of favourable net calls to bring the score even at 18-18. On a roll, the boys focus on teamwork and determined play brought about the desired result; a 25-23 win and 5th place. With all the upsets in this tournament, rankings got a little shuffled and Durham Attack find themselves ranked 6th going into the provincials. If they continue to improve and play like they did this weekend, there is little doubt we can look forward to some very exciting Volleyball in April.