Friday, July 25, 2008

Youth Team Match #5 & #6 vs. Chesapeake and Oklahoma Recap

WHAT'S THE 4-1-1?

Intermountain Youth go 1-1 for the day but make the top 4 and the Semi-Finals

Defeated Chesapeake 3-2 (23-25, 20-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-10)
Lost to Oklahoma 2-3 (22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 19-25, 12-15)

Statistical Leaders (vs. Chesapeake)
Digs - Jenna (19)
Blocks - Tasi (8)
Aces - Rae (4)
Passing - Jenna (2.41)
Kill % - Kaitlyn (.461)
Kills - Maline (13)

Statistcal Leaders (vs. Oklahoma)
Digs - Jenna (12)
Blocks - Bailey (8)
Aces - Rae (3)
Passing - Nikki (2.1)
Kill % - Bailey (.454)
Kills - Maline (13)

Thoughts from Scooter:
I am so sorry for the delay everyone. We have spent the entire day in the gym, got back to the hotel, ate dinner, had a team meeting and I have been doing stats the rest of the time in preparation for our battle tomorrow in the semi finals of the tournament. As you can see above we won 1 match and lost 1 match today. Both matches were very hard fought.

I will start with our first match which was against Chesapeake (Maryland). We came out a little slow in the match and fought ourselves more than anything in trying to get our fire back. We had a game plan in place for the team we were playing but could not execute that game plan until we were all working together as one unit. We lost the first two games without much of a fight. Between games 2 and 3 we talked about learning from our opponents and we talked about Puget Sound and our match with them on day 1 where we went up 2-0 on them and they came back to take us to 5. We talked about what they did in order to do that. They came out with no fear, lots of intensity and lots of teamwork. So, that is what the girls did along with following the game plan that the coaches laid out for them and we were able to push it to a fifth game winning games 3 and 4 both pretty easily. Game 5 was more of the same as we controlled the entire game from start to finish. The match lasted about 2 hours and 15 minutes and we were very excited at the accomplishment that we had just made. Unfortunately the other team's players were very disrespectful to ours after the match...half of them not even shaking hands with our players but our girls won with pride and won with class and I was proud of them.

We had about 2 hours to kill before our next match. Typically we have been coming back to the hotel, relaxing, eating lunch and then going back but the girls wanted to stay at the gym today and watch the boys volleyball matches. They are amazing players (I think the girls just wanted to flirt) but they really do play incredible volleyball and we saw a couple of very good matches between our USA team and Puerto Rico.

We started our match with Oklahoma at 5:45 and this time we had the help of Josh and Lindsay (coaches of the Select team). It was great to have more sets of eyes on the bench helping Martha and I pick apart the other team. We started the match play just a little bit better than average but the other team was about 5 notches higher than us and we lost game 1. Our girls held their composure and fought hard to take the next two games fairly easily. Game 4 saw the momentum swing back to Oklahoma and they took us to game 5. Game 5 was a see saw battle as no team made more than a 2 point run any point throughout the match except for the very end. Unfortunately we were not able to pull the game 5 out and we lost 12-15. Our downfall was a few things. 1) Serving errors (15 in the match) 2) Our blockers really struggled with finding their hitters and lining up with them correctly and 3)our passing struggled at key points during the match. The nice part is that we took 2nd in our pool and have made it to the top 4 of the event and will play Iowa (who is undefeated) tomorrow at 3:30 in the semi-finals. The winner of that match will play on Sunday at 10:00am in the finals and the loser will play at the same time for 3rd. The MOST important thing that I was proud of these girls, is that even though they lost, they ALL showed a lot of respect to the other team and sincerely congratulated them on a well played and hard fought match (as opposed to how the Chesapeake region reacted after we beat them). We have a group of very classy and mature young women and that makes me prouder than any victory we have on the court.

I am so very proud of all these girls and their performances. They have grown and learned so much in the past few days. I only wish I could have them for more time than that. They are so much fun as well as all the family members who are here supporting not only their own daughter but everyone!!!! The energy that creates is wonderful to be a part of. In our team meeting tonight we re-enforced the fact that our goal (even though we have a good shot of winning the tournament) is NOT winning...our goal is solely our performance level and working together as a team. I am very excited to see what tomorrow brings.

Thoughts from Jenna and Kaitlyn:
Hey ya’ll!! It’s us again! Today we got to sleep in a little later than usual, which was nice. We then ate breakfast and drove over to the convention center. Our car ride over definitely got us pumped up! Our first game we played Chesapeake, it started off slow but we picked it up in the third game. We beat them in five games, and the last three games we brought the Tucson heat! We had a long break before our next game. During our break we ate lunch and watched the men’s volleyball, which was amazing! We also picked up on some guys while we were waiting to play! Can I just say that men volleyball players are just FINE! But uh….VOLLEYBALL…. our next game we played Oklahoma . We took them to five games, and with a fight, we only lost by three. It was a tough game, but close. We still get to go to the semi-finals and fight for the championship! On our ride home, we stopped at target…it was a race to get back to the van. We had exactly ten minutes to get back or else they’d leave. We’re still not sure exactly why we went… but we scored some candy, magazines, and headphones! That is pretty much the day for ya and we’ll talk to ya tomorrow! Nighty-night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite. By the way, there are some pretty scary and weird bugs in Arizona!!

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