SBVC’s 18-Smack team wins pool in Anaheim

16-Blue's Andie Dewerd reaches for a dig (Jourdi Dewerd photo)

16-Blue's Kelsey Fimlaid attempts for a block

Competing in Division I, Santa Barbara Volley Club’s 18-Smack team won its pool to go on and compete in the first two playoff rounds this weekend in Anaheim. The 18-Blue team,?16-Smack and?16-Blue team also competed in the tournament.

The 18-Smack team beat Surf City 18-Craig, Rancho Valley 18-Premier,and Bakersfield Jamba 18-Tom to win the pool.The team also took down Sports Shack 18-Asics (25-11, 25-17) and Long Beach 18-Rockstar (26-24) in the first two playoff rounds before a one set final losing to Coast 18-Ozhan, 21-25.

Coach Jason Donnelly had many things to say about his teams performance.

?Overall it was our best day of the season as we responded to a long layoff by playing our best volleyball to date.?The main highlight was a near perfect match against Sports Shack in the first round of the playoffs.? We played flawless volleyball, winning 25-11, 25-17.? It was great to see us compete at such a high level.?

?We hit .280 on the day, led by left-handed opposite Taylor Racich.? She had 37 kills on the day.?

?Amanda Moriarty was very consistent throughout the tournament, attacking at a high percentage and passing over a 2.0?

?Katie Spieler was back at full strength and is proving herself to be one of the top liberos in our region.?

Jacky Yao’s 18-Blue team lost its opening match of pool play in Division 6 to LAVA-West, but rebounded to beat SVVC 18-Christy and Cross Point 18-RO. Due to a 3-way tie, the team placed 3rd for the day and remains in Division 6.

?The girls started slow, but came back to beat the #1 seed and finished in a 3-way tie for first,” Yao said. “Mia Cattaneo had a very good day on the defensive side of the ball. ?Grace Halleck also provided the team with consistent passing and attacking on the left-side. ?Sammie Rhine stepped up time and time again with big kills and key blocks. All in all, it was a solid day!?

The 16-Smack team placed second in its Division 2 pool, beating?So-Cal Juniors 16-Elite and San Gabriel 16-Elite in two sets, before dropping a tight three-set match to Mavericks 900 16-Black. The team then won the next playoff round beating Laguna Beach 16-Hava (25-18, 25-20) to move up to Division 1. Subsequently, the team lost the next playoff round.

?Melissa Scott played incredible out of the middle. She was a strong offensive and defensive player at the net.? Said Coach Jake Hong. ?The girls have been working hard to make changes during practice and were able to make them during the games today, leading to their success.?

After moving up to Division 3 from the last tournament, Dillan Bennett?s 16-Blue team dropped its three pool matches and lost its first round of playoffs to move back to Division 4 for the next tournament.