The final tournament for 2014 for the 15U Girls Mighty Ninjas was the 16U Challenge Cup on December 13/14, where the Ninjas found themselves in 16U Premier division because of their Silver medal at the Championship East tournament a few weeks before! Perhaps a bit daunted by being in 16U Premier, it was a bit of a rough start, losing the first set of the day to Defensa 9-25. The Ninjas woke up a bit and played much better in the second set, but still conceded the win 19-25. The second game was against Storm Vortex, to whom they lost the Gold Medal at the previous 16U tournament. The Mighty Ninjas started out great, shaking off any nerves and taking the early lead, but Vortex was not going to let it go, pulling ahead to win the first set 25-16, and despite Ninjas great serving, digging and blocks, Vortex took the 2nd 25-21, relegating the Ninjas to the Consolation round. There, the Ninjas managed to pull out a win vs. Niagara Rapids Black in a tight 3 sets, keeping them in the tournament. The final game vs. Defensa started out looking promising – in the first set, the Mighty Ninjas fought with such heart and amazing play to the very end – could have gone either way – but ended up in favour of Defensa 25-23. Ninjas had given it all, and Defensa took the second set 25-9. 7th place was not the result the team had hoped for, but it was a great first experience in 16U Premier to build on! We’ll be back, 16U Premier!!