The 18-Blue team traveled to and competed in the annual Las Vegas Invitational tournament in the Open Division. Competing against some of the nation’s toughest teams, the team finished with a 5-3 record, winning the Flight 3A bracket.
“We recovered nicely from a tough first day and were able to come out on top of all our remaining matches. We were able to finish the tournament on a really strong note, beating a great Imi Ike team in 3 well played games.” Noted Coach Jason Donnelly.
Early on the first day, the team suffered a tough 3-set loss to Arizona 18-1 Legacy (18-25, 25-14, 17-15), and then lost to Seattle Jrs 18s and Mission Viejo 18s in 2 sets. Bouncing back on day two, the team pulled out two 3-setters against Williowbrook 18-White (23-25, 25-20, 15-11) and Epic 18-Pat (12-25, 27-25, 15-10), and finished the day with a two set win over Fusion 18-Black. Entering playoffs on day three, the team knocked off Dinamo 18-Aideen in 2 sets and battled to a win over Imi Ike (23-25, 25-19, 15-11) winning the Flight 3A bracket.
“Mariah Bell played phenomenally all weekend. She never stepped off the court, and was solid in all six rotations. Her offense was extremely consistent, and her ball control was the best it has been all year.” Coach Donnelly continued. “Andie O’Donnell really stepped her game on the second day. She was making great decisions, both in the 5-1 and the 6-0 and did a nice job of connecting with our middles. Our primary middle blockers, Kristen Berlo and Carly Yarnell, provided us with some great offensive and defensive play all weekend. Carly continues to work really hard in the middle, and was rewarded with some big transition swings. And, Kristen, for as good as she is as a middle blocker, also got some crucial kills from both the left and right sides. Bailey Roach shined in the libero position. Her confidence is rising and her ability to play defense at a really high level allows us to have multiple offensive opportunities. All in all we had a great weekend. We have much room for growth and are excited about getting the SCVA season underway.”