“Staying on top of simple fundamentals makes you a bit faster, a bit more creative and a little bit more efficient.” – Steph Curry

January 30, 2016 was a balmy winter day, and the Rally Pointe 15U Tournament. The 15U 403 Selects arrived bright and early for an 8:30 am start.  A brisk 10 minute game of short court commenced as we awaited Ace of Clubs.  When they did arrive, the girls flawlessly changed gears into our pre-game warmup.

Looking good in our new long sleeves, but a little tentative to start, the girls fell behind 20-14.  A time out was called to refocus the crew to finish strong.  With tough serving and passing, the 403 Selects fought back to take the first set 28-26!  This set the tone for the day, we had not just shown up, but shown up in the right mindset and physical well-being to compete at our best.  A different story was to be told in the second set where 403 maintained control of the match from the start to the end, cruising to a 25-14 set and match victory.  With our focus on developing skill covered in practice, it was a great start to what turned out to be an amazing day.

The second match was against the Cochrane Jaguars.  We continued to focus our attention of developing our game system, serving tough and passing well.  This match ended 2-0, with sets of 25-15 and 25-17 ending our round robin morning play finishing first in our pool.  Off for some team building, food and hydration to prepare for the afternoon.

With the pools shuffled, the next to matches were against Canmore Rockies and LVC.  The girls were steadily improving their game and the results were reflective of this taking both matches 2-0 and again finishing first in our pool with only the top teams in each of the four pools earning a berth in a semi-final at 5:00 pm.  Off again for a well-earned break and more team building.

The semifinals had 403 Selects playing Canada West Blue, and SAVC playing Ace of Clubs.  403 jumped to an early lead and never looked back, with set victories of 25-8, and 25-14.  This set the stage for a final and another match with Ace of Clubs.  The match started strong, and Ace of Clubs responded.  At 12 points it was point for point until 403 pulled away at 20 to take the first set 25-22.  The girls found another gear in the second set once again taking the final set 25-14 and a gold medal for the tournament.  A great outcome for our girls and their focus on the journey, their hard work, and their development.

The girls played amazing this weekend. It was a long 12 hour day for the girls. In 6 matches, they played a total of 12 sets. They never lost a set. While there were times that they were down points, they never lost heart. The will to play and stay positive was strong. This allowed the girls to come back and find success each and every time.

What was wonderful to see as parents, was that the girls remained a team throughout. Always supporting and one another, they both celebrated success and gave confidence boosts to each other when points were missed. This was consistent all day. In addition, winning is great but not if you do not win with grace. Our girls were always respectful of the opposing teams. They demonstrated respect for their opponents, the game and themselves. Success and respect come from the top. Thank you coaches for creating a team atmosphere that not only lets the girls grow into this sport but into fine young women.  Girls… your parents are all proud of you!

Congratulations for a well-earned GOLD!