This post-tournament write up was written by Intensity player, Taylor Butcher.
Saturday, December 13
16U Challenge Cup, Championship East Division
This past weekend,16U Intensity played in its second 16U OVA tournament of the season hosted by our very own 16U Durham Attack Black team at Maxwell Heights Secondary School in Oshawa. It was a day filled with positive attitude, amazing sportsmanship, incredible spirit and pure determination. As a team of ten talented girls, Intensity only had 8 players to participate in the tournament. Missing one of our M/RS players Brianna Partridge to a shoulder injury and another M/RS player Julia Harvey as she is on a lovely vacation in Hawaii for 2 and a half weeks.
Starting their day off with a match against Reach Fusion, the girls came out on fire and were dominating every point. Taking the first set 25-14, the girls took the momentum into the second set. Battling for every point, Reach Fusion took the second set 13-25, pushing the girls to a third set. Regardless of the score, Intensity kept swinging hard and stopping runs. Reach forced the girls to move their feet and earn each and every point but that didn’t faze them. The girls fought back and took the third set 15-13, coming out with their first win of the day.
The girls were warmed up and ready to play their second game against DRVC 16U. Having seen the DRVC team the previous weekend in the gold medal match in an OVA 17U tournament, the girls were ready to put up a tough fight. Pure determination was shown in this game by all 8 players. Amazing job done by Lana Della Rocca with her huge middle blocks and incredible sets. Bianca Cirone with her amazing serves and incredible sets to all hitters allowing the girls to place the ball, forcing DRVC to fight for their points. Alyssa Lajoie came out on fire, acing so many serves and finishing any ball she got. Alyssa helped us take the lead. Unfortunately, the girls couldn’t stop the runs DRVC went on, causing DRVC to take the first set 18-25. The girls knew they would fight back strong and they did. Paige Evans was killing it in the back court and front court throughout the set gaining many points for the team, assisting the girls to take the lead. Julia Verbanc and Lauren Kaminski stepped up and came out on fire throughout the second set, also assisting us to the win of the second set 25-19. The girls took their determination and outstanding energy into the third set. DRVC was hitting hard but nothing our amazing libero Ashley Forgie couldn’t dig up. Ashley passing 90% of the balls, 3 passes throughout all sets giving the setters options to run every play, the girls didn’t come out victorious. Intensity put up an incredible fight but DRVC took the third set 9-15. Finishing with a strong second place in pool play the girls would play Phoenix Flare in quarters.
Knowing nothing about the Phoenix Flare team, the girls started the game off with a positive attitude and ready to put themselves up the challenge. Establishing our right side and middle players the most, success was shown. Although, the girls didn’t take the win in the first set, it was very close and very intense set to watch (22-25). The girls fought back with hope to take the game to three sets as they wanted to continue onto the semi final round against their very own sister team Durham 16U Black. The outcome was not what they wanted but they were proud of the way they played as it was a very close game and they fought hard. Losing the second set 24-26, the girls then were playing for 5th or 7th place against the Reach Fusion team that they had defeated earlier in the day.
Ready to come out with one last win, the girls showed no signs of being tired and pushed through the first set with incredible energy and determination leading us to take the first win of the game against Reach Fusion 25-21. Along the team went into second set with high energy and momentum, the girls received many hard serves as you could see the Reach team wasn’t willing to give the girls any free points. Coach Rob, Mike and Jeff told them to swing hard as they had the first set in their hands. Swinging hard, intensity didn’t take the second set with a score of 19-25 and was forced to a third set with a loss of 13-15. Playing their third 3rd set of the day, the girls were tired and were unable to take 5th place. Coming out with a 7th place title, the girls had a tiring day but still managed to play with passion and dedication. Good job ladies, we’ll get it next time!
Editor’s Note: Great job in the tournament too, Taylor. Your serves gained many points for the team and your defense was awesome!