On December 7th the girls of Durham Attack Black boarded ship to navigate the stormy waters of the 14U Challenge Cup. Though tempest tossed by times they returned to port intact, more seaworthy than when they departed.
The morning began on dry land with the arrival of provisions. Most welcome were the long awaited warm up suits which raised the girl’s prow in the water somewhat before meeting their first obstacle, the unfortunately named Mayhem. Although their opponents were in fact the quite good natured girls of the 14U Durham Attack Red, when you name your team after a term meaning to willfully and violently mutilate your foes, your intention is to intimidate. This intention went unfulfilled, however, as Chaos gave them a game first set, felled only by the thunderous serves of a single Mayhem maiden. The second set belonged to our girls in black who through skillful team play and clever serving held the lead throughout the game only to lose in heartbreaking fashion 24-26. Although unsuccessful the girls certainly earned the respect of the highly ranked Reds.
The second game found Chaos in peril on their watery course, tumbling in the Breakers. These Breakers, from Cobourg, came out surging, leaving us in the 13-25 first set caught in their undertow. Fortunately breakers and Breakers not only surge, but also collapse. In the second set our surfer girls caught their wave and through excellent passing and serving carved their way to a 25-10 win forcing a third set. That deciding set saw more clutch serving and found our girls crying COWABUNGA in a 15-6 win.
After a well-deserved break and light lunch our lady Chaotics tested their sea legs against the Lakers. As Kobe Bryant wasn’t due to return until Sunday I thought our girls stood a good chance in this one. It turned out, however, that these Lakers hailed from North Bay and were quite intent on dragging us out to deep water. A bit over their heads at times, the girls thrashed for their lives producing some good rallies, only to fall 19-25 and 14-25. It wasn’t quite “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and the match was valuable only to expose a few leaks in the hull that need patching. When next they meet the Lakers will no doubt be singing a different tune.
The final match of the day saw Chaos return to the shallows, finding themselves again caught in the Breakers. As before, the girls came out to The Safaris’ “Wipeout” only to leave to “Shoot the Curl” by The Honeys. A cold Chaos dropped the first set 12-25 due to the digging and serving of the strong Cobourg side, but emerged from their wake in the second. With strong, timely passing, hitting, serving and digging the girls won a nail-biter 25-23, again forcing a third and deciding set. In that set, with standing and pride on the line, Chaos fought back from a 3-7 deficit and as with God’s own hand on the service line calmed the waters with a 15-12 victory.
At the end of the voyage the 14U Challenge Cup proved a valuable experience for the Black Attack. Entering ranked eighth and leaving with a fifth place finish was an amazing accomplishment. The good ship Chaos sails forth into 2014 ready to get ship shape for the weather to come.
Article written by David Farrell