SBVC 14-Smack finish 2nd in Division 1 tournament

Call them the turnaround kids.

The Santa Barbara Volleyball Club’s 14-Smack team rebounded from an early morning three-game loss, fought back from a first-game setback to win its final pool-play match and advanced to the championship game at the Southern California Volleyball Association Division 1 tournament last Saturday.

The 14-Smack fell in the one-game final, 25-13, against San Gabriel 14-Roshambo.

“I’m very pleased with how the team played,” coach K.C. Collins said. “They stayed focused and competed for every point, upping their level of play with each opponent … they really played solidly as a team.”

The team started pool play with lackluster play and a loss to San Gabriel 13-Roshambo 19-25, 25-19, 11-15, but regained its energy and confidence after handily beating Long Beach 14-Runbird 25-11, 25-12. The team finished pool play with a tough battle against a very strong Club Troy 14s, winning in three games 15-25, 25-9, 15-10.

“The match against Troy was a real turning point for us,” explained Collins. “We lost the first game but the girls focused on a game plan and were spot-on, and we won the next two games for the match.”

The team then entered into playoffs against Long Beach 14-Rockstar, and won a nail-biting match 22-25, 25-22, 16-14.

“Emily Allen came up big with some strong and steady all-around play against Club Troy and it carried over even bigger into this match as well. Jacqueline Starnes was also a key point maker in this match, connecting with her setter and hitting very effectively and blocking well,” said Collins.

The team beat Jamba 14-Jodi, 25-23, in the semifinals before falling in the final.

The 14-Blue team, competing in Division 3, had some very close games, but just couldn’t catch a break. The team lost to Club West 13-National 25-16, 25-12, Coast 14-2 27-29, 23-25 and Arsenal 14-Rudy 23-25, 21-25.

“The girls played some very good matches and we were close, we just couldn’t pull it out at the end,” commented Coach Kim Buktenica. “Both of our middles Hannah Seabury and Paige Mathison played some really great defense for us, and they both hit a couple quick attacks out of the middle. Avery Jones also had a great day setting for us making some really smart plays and staying very consistent and in control all day.”

The team placed fourth in pool play and entered into the proverbial “death match,” losing to So-Cal 14-Elite 25-10, 26-28. The team will move to Division 4 for the next tournament.

The 13-Smack won its first match in Division 7 against T-Street 14-Scott in two games.

Coach Ed Gover gave accolades to Phoebe Madsen and Allie Sundara for great setting along with the hitting by Chloe Allen and Kristina Garcia.

The second match was a three-game thriller against Sunshine 13-Elite with the team losing by a slim 17-19 in the third game.

“We had a great serving run at the end by Gabi Peoples to win set two,” Gover said. “Emily Lafitte played well all day as the defensive specialist.”

The 13-Smack lost to Coast 13-Peter in its last match and place third for the day to remain in Division 7.
The 13-Blue team finished second in its pool in Division 13.

Its only loss was to Bakersfield 13-Sarah in a tight match 24-26, 20-25. The team then went on to beat Mavericks 14-Ming 16-25, 25-18, 15-10, and SDVBC 14-Lauren 26-24, 25-23 in two very close and exciting matches.

“Our entire team played incredibly well all weekend, with Ally Hodosy shining in the middle blocker position and Amara Parris leading the team with her setting,” said coach Malinda Reese.

On Sunday in San Diego in their second Mandatory tournament, the 16-Smack went the distance in Division 3 with the majority of its matches going to three games.

“Three of our four matches went to three games, making it a very long and intense day of competition,” said coach Greg Novak.

The team opened up with a win over TCA 16-Black 23-25, 25-16, 15-11 but then fell to Solana Beach 16-Emily 25-15, 17-25, 11-15. The team finished with a win over Excel 16-1 in two games to enter into a 3 way tie for pool play. Based on a point ratio tie breaker, the team finished second out of pool.

“Steady serving by Colleen O’Conner helped throw our opponents off their offense. The passing of Mia Cattaneo, Emma Craine and Emily Lunt really gave us the opportunity to set up plays and allow setter, Emma Mascari, to have plenty of setting options,” commented Novak.

The team entered the first round of playoffs against Surf City 16-Gus, and after another 3-game marathon, the team lost 26-24, 19-25, 15-9. The team remains in Division 3 for its next tournament.
The 16-Blue had a long, tough day of competition in Division 5. The team lost to Coast 16-3 in 3 tight games 25-27, 25-18, 15-17, Channel Islands 16-Synergy 24-26, 17-25, and then lost another 3 tight games to Coast 16-3 17-25, 25-16, 14-16.

“We had a lot of close games, with the girls playing well. We unfortunately did not finish with the W,” remarked Lauren Rinderknecht. “Of note was the offensive play from both Marina Boulanger on the outside and Tala Hishmeh in the middle.”

In Anaheim for their third Mandatory tournament, the 15-Smack finished third in its pool in Division 2. The team beat Pacific Jrs 15-Jeff 25-15, 25-18, and lost to The Bridge 15-Red 21-25, 16-25 and T-Street 15-Bryce 25-18, 26-28. In playoffs, the team won the “death match” in two games against Protégé 15-Elite to stay in Division 2. It then steamrolled through the rest of the one-game playoff matches beating Golden West 15-Black 25-20 and South Bay 15s 25-15.
The 15-Blue went to three games in all matches in Division 3 with every opponent. The team placed third in its pool by beating Excel 15s 25-22, 12-25, 15-12, and losing two very close battles to Rancho Valley 15-Premiere 25-16, 23-25, 11-15 and Club West 15-Elite 25-23, 13-25, 9-15.

In the “death match” round of playoffs, the team once again engaged in another three-game battle against Wave 15-Trevor and subsequently lost 23-25, 25-23, 13-15. The team will move to Division 4 for its next tournament.