February 8th saw the girls of 13U Durham Attack Black in Oshawa at the Club‑hosted McGregor Cup. There was a sense of great anticipation in the air as this tournament represented the girls’ first opportunity since November 30th to face nemesis club, the Scarborough Titans, whose Titanium side denied them gold at the Provincial Cup.
The first match of pool play found Chaos facing the now familiar Ottawa Fusion. While always spirited and positive, the Ottawa girls, who are still developing fundamental skills, had little with which to counter the Black attack. While the game was defined by the Fusion errors, Chaos acquitted themselves well in the 25-4, 25-7 victory.
Next on the girls’ dance card was the Scarborough Titan Infinity side. With a feeling of déjà vu, we watched Infinity come out strong in the first set as they had at the Provincial Cup. On their heels from the beginning, Chaos fought back, drawing even on three occasions only to fall 22-25 in a rally‑filled set. The second set, while also closely contested, saw our girls hold the lead throughout, winning 25-21 and forcing a third set. Demonstrating impressive composure and diligence the girls took an early lead and held it for a 15-10 victory leaving them first in their pool and primed for the afternoon playoffs.
After a prolonged break, Chaos returned to the court for their quarter-final match against Ottawa Fusion White. While a stronger side than their sister team, the White offered little to oppose the controlled game of Durham Attack. With well‑executed passes, eye‑popping digs and great hitting out of the middle, the girls quickly dispatched the Fusion team in 25-9, 25-6 sets.
The semi-final game against the Ottawa Maverick Rattlers saw Chaos get off to a slow start, falling behind 1-7 and struggling to contain the Rattler’s well-placed tips, before establishing their game and pulling off a 25-22 win. The second set, however, found our girls dominating from the first whistle, overwhelming the Rattlers in a 25-11 victory that sent them on to the finals against the Scarborough Titan side, Titanium.
In facing Titanium in the gold medal match, the Chaos girls got their awaited opportunity to test themselves against the only 13U team to defeat them this season. Having played somewhat less‑talented opponents in their run to the finals, the Black were initially shaken by the polished defense and strategic attack of the Scarborough girls as they fell behind quickly 1-12. Slowly regaining their composure, the girls fought back gamely only to drop the first set 16-25. In the second set, six determined Chaos girls took the court with something to prove. Showing tremendous heart and fortitude they held a small lead throughout the set while their fans bit their nails to the bone and started on their neighbours. When Titanium substituted fresh girls onto the court, so as to lay on the pressure, our girls in black held steadfast and showed their mettle in a 27-25 victory. While buoyed by the win, Chaos again found themselves in tumult in the final set. Down by a score of 1-6 they clawed their way back with some clever work at the net and almost drew even before sadly surrendering the gold to Titanium in a 13-15 loss.
As the nets came down at the McGregor Cup our Chaos girls proudly sported hard‑won silver medals. They had again come close to beating their nemesis only to conclude in a state of presque vu. The girls of Titanium should be aware, however, that a reckoning awaits them. While there is work to be done, our girls impressed all with their athletic prowess, tremendous skill and unwavering fighting spirit. Regardless of their place on the podium, to their families, fans and coach they were champions.
Article written by Dave Farrell