This past Saturday the girls of Durham Attack Black awoke to snow on the ground and in the air. Undeterred, they hooked their huskies to their sleds and buckled in for an Iditarod worthy mushing to the 14U McGregor Cup in Stouffville. Once inside the venue they found their small “c” counterpart reigning owing to a cancellation and a permit peculiarity. As tournament organizers labored to establish order, Chaos prepared for their opponent.
The first match of the day saw the girls face the Unionville Stingers. Although clearly the better team, Chaos got off to a slow start as they trailed early in the first set. Unbeknownst to their coaches and adoring fans, the girls had decided to engage on this day in an extraordinary act of multitasking unprecedented in the history of sport. To the amazement of all who watched, the girls managed to play outstanding volleyball while simultaneously starring in a long awaited revival of beloved Broadway musical, the Foot Fault Follies. Their struggle to play winning volleyball while staying true to their performance somewhat troubled the dispatching of the Stingers, but with strong first passes and well placed hits to the corners, the girls stepped their way to a 25-16 first set. The second set found the show in intermission as Chaos unleashed some dominant serving upon the Stingers and with textbook play execution overwhelmed the Unionville defense for a 25-13 victory.
After a brief rest backstage our lady Chaotics returned to the court to play the first of three Durham Attack teams they would face on this day: The 13U Heat. The first set opened with an impressive display of Chaos serving prowess that soon found the Reds trailing 18-1. While falling 25-9 in that first set the girls of Heat fought hard and produced some good rallies in the second before giving way to the organized attack of Black who through clever ball placement forced defensive errors on Red bringing about a 25-14 conclusion.
Ad one Red team departed, another arrived as Chaos met Mayhem in the third and final match of pool play. In a rematch from the Challenge Cup our girls stood bravely before the thunderous barrage of Mayhem servers. While the first set saw good back and forth action, it was Red’s ball control that made the difference in a 20-25 loss. In the second set serve reception proved our Achilles’ heel as Mayhem servers battered their way to a 10-25 victory.
With pool play completed the girls now waited for the playoff round to commence. After a lengthy lunch break the curtain opened on the second act of the Follies as Chaos met another Durham Attack team, this time the 14U Wolves. In the first set, happy feet at the line again troubled us as the girls on White rode a lead from beginning to end for a 17-25 Chaos loss. The second set, however, saw the trend reversed as Chaos through clever tips and strong hits never trailed as they cruised to a 25-14 win, thus forcing a third set. That final bout saw a replay of the second set resurrection as after trailing initially the girls settled into playing their game and trapped the Wolves 15-6 to advance to the tournament semi-finals.
The semi-final game found Chaos facing top seed DRVC. Though staring through the net at girls of Amazonian stature our Chaotics were not intimidated as they took to the floor for the first set. In play that saw them trade the lead each team forced the other to push for each point and though the score indicated a 23-25 DRVC win they knew they had been in a fight. Shaken by the resolve of Chaos, DRVC sent their best to the court for the second set to launch rockets at our girls in Black. On their heels from the start, Chaos soon found themselves trailing 18-2, befuddled defensively by the strong serves and strategic tips of the Durham girls. While they fought back valiantly, the DRVC momentum was overwhelming as the girls fell to a 10-25 loss.
Although gold was now off the table with the loss to DRVC, there was still a bronze medal to contend for against the confusingly named Premier Volleyball Canada Interclub Patriots (Downtown). I haven’t heard such a long handle since Charles married Diana back in 1981. In a game marked by a Jekyll and Hyde performance from our girls, Chaos would rise to dominate Interclub at the net only to surrender points at the net later in the game. They passed brilliantly only to struggle later with the first pass as they did earlier against 14U Red. In the end a hot Patriot’s server and a blurred back line conspired for a devastating 11 point run that brought the McGregor Cup to a close for the 13U Black.
As they packed their bags and looked back upon their nearly twelve hour day in Stouffville the girls of Chaos could be proud of their accomplishments. Having come in ranked fifth, a fourth place finish was impressive. Knowing that a medal was within their grasps will build resolve in them to address what prevented its attainment. Many things were learned before they ventured out into the Night. They learned that Saturday’s sub of the day is the Cold Cut Combo. They learned that John Lennon bears a striking resemblance to Harry Potter (sacrilege); and finally they learned that sometimes in life there are lines, and one mustn’t cross those lines. With this knowledge the girls of Chaos will now prepare themselves for their next challenge on February 8th at the 13U McGregor Cup in Oshawa.
Article written by David Farrell