This past weekend the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club girls 18s and 16s played in their second qualifying round of the SCVA. The teams will play in the final qualifying round next weekend to earn their starting divisions and rankings for the regular season.
Qualifying Round #2
On Sunday, January 20th, the 16s teams to hit the courts. The 16-Blue, competing among the top 32 teams of the Gold bracket, came away with a 2-1 record for the day. The team opened up with a 3-set battle against Wave 16-Jon winning 23-25, 25-14, 15-9, and then beat San Diego 16s 28-26, 25-18. The team finished the day with a close loss to Rancho Valley 16-Premier 22-25, 25-27. Jake Hong said, “All of our games were battles and the girls fought for every point. Dane Miller was amazing in the back row making key digs and covering balls to give us second chance swings. Emma Harrah was ferocious at the net, especially when running threes and made many smart plays leading to runs and leads in each set.”
The 16-White, competing in the silver bracket working to get themselves back to the gold bracket for the next round, finished 3-0 for the day. “We bounced back from a frustrating first weekend to win all 3 matches and get 1st place in our pool to secure a spot in the gold bracket for the next qualifying round!” coach Kat Niksto exclaimed. The team won its first two matches in 2-sets each beating Westlake 16s and Vintage Beach 16-MD. The team entered into see-saw 3-setter and upset the first seed in its pool Elite 16s 20-25, 25-19, 15-8. “The whole team really worked hard and played as a cohesive unit; Delanie Jellison took a ton of big swings on the outside and was a rock all around on offense and defense. Both middles Hannah Seabury and Gillian Fry worked extremely hard all day on offense which really helped us spread our attack and cause other teams lots of headaches,” continued Niksto.
The 16-Red team also had a winning day placing first and moving itself up into the Silver bracket for the next round. “The entire team united together and we were unstoppable! Jackie McIntyre led the charge with 9 kills and 9 aces for the day, her tenacious serving and front row attacking caused a lot of problems for our opponents. Setter Julia Frohling provided excellent support for the team as she ran our offense aggressively while maintaining her wonderfully contagious smile. Every single player contributed something at the tournament and I could not be any happier with how they played,” remarked Coach Megan Phillips. The team started the day with a barn-burner beating Paradigm 16-Nike 25-17, 20-25, 16-14, then cruised its way through 2-sets against Saddleback Valley 16-Katie 25-15, 25-22 and HIT 16-Black 25-11, 25-13.
On Saturday, January 19th, Jason Donnelly’s 18-Blue team competed in the top 32 of the Gold bracket. While keeping itself in each of the matches, the team was unable to pull out a win for the day and finished 0-3. “We had a great weekend in terms of learning, and gaining some much needed experience at the highest of levels. We were in every game, now the next step is finding ways to win the close ones.” Said Donnelly. The team lost three close matches to Long Beach 17-Rockstar 20-25, 22-25 and LAVA 17-Beau 21-25, 21-25 and Saddleback Valley 18-Kelli 20-25, 25-19, 10-15. “Andie O’Donnell stepped in and provided some solid setting. Also, Maddie Klusendorf played well throughout the day, and gave us a great spark emotionally as she is one of our better communicators on the court.”