GJNC Recap From OJVA 16-1 Gold
By Jasmine Sells
(Picture at right - Alison Bucholz shows her All-Tournament award from GJNC)
This past club season, I spent my time training with and learning from some of the most competitive teammates I've ever played with. Through all our ups and downs, our desire to win has pushed us to continue improving throughout the season. Nationals was an overall successful tournament for our team. Not only did I enjoy playing in Detroit's Cobo Center, but I also loved spending time in the city and reconnecting with old friends and family. While we fell short of getting to the championship match, our journey to the Gold bracket consisted of many tough games. If there's one thing I've gleaned from this experience, it's that we can step up and support each other when one of us is struggling. I am very pleased with our season. This is by far the most consistent team I have been a part of, and it all culminated in an 8-1 record at nationals, and a national ranking of 60. I look forward to seeing many of my teammates throughout the high school season, and at club once again in the fall.
Day Before Nationals in Detroit
Coach Steve found us a place to practice on Saturday and the facility was very Nice but Really, Really Hot as it did not have any AC. Welcome to Detroit over the Summer. We passed and served and went over some rotations as 8 of our 10 players made the practice.
Played 3 Matches...... First match started slow vs Club Synergy But won in 3. Did not play well in the first set and lost, then came back strong and won the last 2 easily. Next match saw us play Rio Luciano from Ohio Valley region and started fast and won. Then fell asleep in the second and lost 20-25. Then came out and played well and won 15-4 to make us 2-0. The third match of the day we all thought would be our toughest match vs Idaho Crush as Coach Steve had watched them and said they were good. We played very well and won in 2 , 25-19, 25-22... So for the first day going 3-0 was a good start.
Playing at the crack of dawn and jet lag hitting home we squeezed out a 3 set victory over Vision of Northern Calif. Not pretty but a win!!!!! 4-0. On to Upward Stars out of Houston, A very athletic team that had a couple of Big jumpers...... But the scores really reflected how we played and getting better 25-14, 25-17. We are now 5-0!!!! We played Thr33 from Heart of America region and had a great battle with them. Scores showed how close the games were 23-25,26-24,15-11. For sure made the playoff for the upper division with this win. 6-0 and one more pool match to go.6-0
Schedule changed from AM wave to Pm wave and we were able to sleep in a little. This was a day that we were also able to watch other CEVA teams playing also. Our last pool match was against Elite VBC. They needed to win this match to make it into the Gold Playoffs so we knew they would be ready. They were bigger,, but our fast offense really paid off as they could not stop the middle attacks. We played spirited and well and won 25-22 and 26-24. In the second set we were down 22-24 and rattled off 4 points with a couple of blocks and some big swings from our OH. 7-0 and first in the pool! Our Gold Division cross over match was going to be against Club One from Arizona. Club One is a quality program and we had not seen them all tourney so we really knew nothing about them. And we were on the Highlited televised court to top it off. Match started about 1 hour late and we took care of business in 2 sets 25-15, 25-14..... 8-0 On the top 5.....
Early games after late night are tough. We played A2 from the Ohio Valley region. They were big, fast and transitioned very well. In the first set we battled very well and lost a close one 25-22. In the second match A2 jumped off to a lead and we battled point for point after their good start but they did not falter and beat us in the second set. Finishing 5th out of 64 teams at the Nationals was a great success. OJVA also placed 2 players on the USAV ALL Tourney team. Setter Alison Bucholz and OH Daley McClelland were voted on by opposing coaches. Congrats to the entire team as it was a great experience for all. Players, Coaches, Parents and Families that made the trip.