Boys 13U Venom – Outstanding with a silver in their first tournament, a 14U competition no less!
After a long and snowy drive to what seemed like the middle of nowhere (Casselman, Ontario) on Friday, including long stretches during which there was no cell service, thus no contact with the outside world, the team got down to business on Saturday morning. They came out strong with a win in their first set against the Phoenix Voltage 14U. They dropped the second set but went on to win their next four sets in a row, including very close ones against the Durham Attack 14U Spitfires (26-24, 26-24) and Kingston VC 14U (25-10, 25-19). This apparently came as a surprise to some of the Kingston fans, as they had reportedly been expecting the game to be a cake walk for their 14U team.
At the end of pool play, the 13U Venom were first in their pool due to the point differential in their 25-13, 22-25 split against the Voltage team. Venom played their quarter final match against the fourth-seeded hometown Ottawa Maverick Bandits and confidently won the first set 25-10 but dropped the second set 22-25. The Bandits carried their momentum from that win into the third set and seemed destined to win, having built up a 14-6 lead in the tiebreaker before the Venom squad regained control. After a series of long rallies and a brilliant string of ten consecutive serves by Tyson Schiele, Venom stunned the crowd with a comeback 16-14 win to move on to the semi-final.
For the second time that day, they faced the Attack Spitfires. The pool play games had been tight, so the team knew they had their work cut out for them. Led by some strong serving runs by Elijah Williams, Venom won the semi-final 25-16 and 25-23 to move on to the final.
Confronted by the Attack 14U Fierce who lived up to their name, Venom fought hard but ultimately took home the silver medal. The three Durham Attack teams acquitted themselves very well, taking the top three spots in the tournament, as Spitfires went on to win their bronze medal match.
It was an awesome performance by the chronologically-and-height-disadvantaged 13U Venom team in not only their very first tournament together, but a 14U competition.
It was an exciting weekend for the parents and families of Venom players, who got to see their kids having fun and bonding on and off the court. Let’s hope the boys carry their momentum into next weekend as we head back to Eastern Ontario for the 13U Provincial Cup tournament in Cornwall.
**The parents would like to extend their gratitude to the Mavericks 15U Chargers team for providing line judges and scorers throughout the tournament, and to Coaches Slean and Stanley for the leadership and vision they bring to the team.