3 weeks of more-advanced techniques and fitness training had the U18 Men’s team in great shape for 2013 AVA 2 held in Calgary over the March 8 & 9 weekend.

An 8am opener on Saturday morning included the surprise debut of Coaches Andrea & Shauna who led through an efficient straight sets win over the Vikings of Camrose. Joel led the way with some booming right-side hits – including one that went over the backstop curtain! Nico was spot-on with his sets and Kris, Terrence and Keaton were ever so quick in the middle – as was DJ at libero. Josh and Taylor pounded down some big hits.

A quick road trip to our 10:30 game saw the new coaching tandem continue but with a slightly less desirable outcome as we faced off against the mighty Eight.  Ethan and Kris showed strong in a first set that went to 28-26.  Keaton, Kris and Joel were a blocking force while Steven and Taylor each had a couple of left-side beat-downs.

Coach Ryan led us in the third match of our pool play which saw a repeat of last tournament’s medal game against NAVC.  Returning to our efficient form, the Bears were dispatched in straight sets.  Kris had his best match of the tournament, and his right-side partner Joel had several big hits and blocks. Mark dug up many good passes for Nico to set Terrence and Taylor while Josh finished off the 1st set with a resounding thump. Terrence finished the 2nd set with a 28-26 straight-down block.

In the cross-over game, our OVC opponents were a little overwhelmed by our team speed and verticality. Mark and Terrence in the middle, Allen and Ethan at Left-Side, Keaton at right-side with passes from DJ or Taylor at libero and Nico or DJ at setter romped to victory.

403 Selects MU18 AVA2 Silver Medal

Early morning Sunday games are always intriguing and our VIBE opponents were pesky throughout our straight sets win that was highlighted by very strong showings for Mark and Kris in the middle, Allen and Josh at Left-Side and DJ at setter.

The mid-day semi-final was our 3rd contest against the Vikings already this young year and as in previous outings, we went back and forth throughout the 3-set match.  Terrence tossed down blocked balls by the handful, Steven seemed a magnet for first passes and Nico set Taylor and Joel for most of the kills.

Our Final saw the yellow-shirted Eight across the net and the see-saw match featured lengthy rallies with edge-of-your-seat and hold-your-breath excitement. Keaton, Terrence, Taylor and Josh all figured prominently while huge cheers were a lasting memory for many of the parents, friends and other fans.

Tournament positives that were cited by both players and fans about our Silver Medal showing would include our ready-to-go-first-thing-in-the-morning play, the higher success percentage of serves and better passing. Players also said what a great feeling it was to “experience in game play all the tips and techniques that coach Ryan and Andrea have been working on with us”.   AVA 3 will see our Tier 1 debut where our continued improvement will be on display for all to see.