Battleline: National Tournament Excitement - The Missourian: Sports

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Battleline: National Tournament Excitement

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Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:00 am | Updated: 2:13 pm, Wed Jul 11, 2012.

Four days.

That’s how long it takes to cap a club volleyball season.

It seems rather trivial to concentrate something as substantial as the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships in Columbus, Ohio, down to one simple phrase.

I had the fortune last week to attend the USA Volleyball national tournament with Show Me Volleyball Academy’s 15 Elite team.

And in the four days that our team played in the 15 National Division, one could see every emotion in the ups and downs of the different teams. Emotions ran high as each team tried to end the season with a victory and end up playing on the main courts.

Just looking around and observing was better than reality television. And, for many of the good folks of Columbus who were without electricity and other comforts of home, it would have made great entertainment and a way to get out of the heat.

Not everyone got to play on the stadium-like Court 1 and its towering stands, booming PA system, announcers and everything else to make it a memorable event. Nor did most get the chance to play on Court 2 and its fantastic court located in the shadow of the Court 1.

Our team had the fortune to be able to play within a long shanked pass from Court 2, but we ended up in the far distant corner of Court 48, where our national championship hopes came to an end on Independence Day.

Losing three matches that day sealed our fate to playing in Flight 1 on the final day of the tournament. Our girls finished strong by bringing home the Flight 1 championship (21st place) and the plaque which went with it. It was a great way to end a season which had started back in November.

I was proud for our players, Paige Perego (Parkway West), Claire Harman (Lafayette), Amy Kindt (Marquette), Jordan Kriete (Borgia), Molly Fox (Marquette), Grace Haselhorst (John Burroughs), Amanda Noel (Lafayette), Hannah Cherry (St. Joseph’s Academy) and Bethany Besancenez (St. Joseph’s Academy). It was amazing to see them conclude the season with one final reward.

The whole season was a great one for everyone involved with many memorable moments.

Over the four days of the tournament, SMVA 15 Elite played both semifinal losers, Northern Lights 15-2 and Club One 15 Black as well as fifth-place team Arizona Storm 15 Thunder (Club One and Arizona Storm were two of the losses on Independence Day), 11th-place finisher Black Swamp 15 Oberst and 19th-place Excel NW 15 Team Rox.

Our team put itself into something of a hole on the first day, going 1-2, but came back to win twice on the second day to remain alive for the championship.

Our team’s head coach, Union High School graduate Shane Allen, knows what it takes to win a title as he did two seasons ago. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the year for him to lead another group of eager athletes onto the medal podium again.

All we had to do was win one match on the third day, July 4, to be able to continue in the Gold Bracket.

We didn’t.

Losing three times put the hopes to play on one of the main courts on hold. Nope, it would be something on the back wall for our matches on the final day.

Give the athletes and coaches credit. They bounced back to knock off SWVBC of Milwaukee and A5 Mizuno 15-2 Earl to win the Flight 1 title and leave the Greater Columbus Convention Center with something other than a souvenir T-shirt and the small trinkets exchanged between teams at the start of every match.

I don’t think it was a major surprise that Iowa Rockets 15R won the National Division title. Our team provided officials for a few of their matches and had played them before. They looked unbeatable and they were able to sustain that momentum over the full four days of the tournament, beating Sunshine 15 South Bay for the title.

I know there were a number of other area athletes at the event in the different age groups as I ran into several area residents at the event. If that’s any indication, volleyball indeed is alive and well in this area.

If there was one thing I would like to see, it would be shortening the season though. Most clubs hold tryouts in middle or late November and start playing around the new year. So, that meant that most of the teams at the nationals had been together for over seven months and had been playing for over six.

But the break between the regional and national tournaments seems to be the real problem. The Gateway Region USA Volleyball event was played in early May. That meant that there was a little under two months between that event and the national tournament.

Hitting the middle or end of May usually means reaching a desolate time without many events. There was the Battle for the Arch Tournament which took place in early June (after most schools let out). But there just seems to be some form of disconnect between the end of regionals and the start of nationals.

I know that practice schedules tend to change around somewhat with school reaching its end and the start of summer. It almost seems there’s a loss of the same school-practice structure that was in place during the club season. Something is different.

Teams tend to lose focus. And those teams usually are the first to depart from the championship pools at the national tournament. You’ve got to stay mentally focused and physically sharp from the first whistle at the national event to have a chance.

I believe that if the season was shortened, even if by a few weeks, there would be a better sense of getting the teams at their peak. I know USA Volleyball has to work around potential school conflicts, but there’s got to be a way to get this done in a more efficient manner.

All things considered, it was a great experience to be able to go to the national tournament and one I would be happy to have again.

/

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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