Our 403 Selects 13U attended 14U Nationals in Calgary this year, hoping to gain experience for next season, learn about the Nationals format, and of course compete. It doesn’t happen often that 13U teams attend , but when it does it’s certainly interesting to watch how they match up. The girls enjoyed a terrific international match, Canada vs Puerto Rico, on Wednesday evening. Special thanks to the Sinik family, it was a rare opportunity the team won’t forget. The team will, however, likely forget the thunder-stick drum show put on by Polina and Meghan. A civilized early afternoon starting time on Thursday allowed the girls to get their heads around the task ahead, matching up against older, bigger, more experienced 14U opposition. Strong serving and defense gave Selects pool wins on day 1 versus EKVC Avalanche (BC), Jags Black (AB) and Shappagan (NB). Day 2 opened with a 3 set loss to Fury Green (MB), but to their credit the girls fought hard to win the rest of the pool matches against Junior Bisons Brown (MB) in 3, and Vision White (MB) with a 29-27 second set finale. It was also a great day for supporting local teams as the girls found themselves backing frequent scrimmage partner, TSA Elite 13U. Young’uns stick together! First place in the Repool meant a berth in Tier 1 and a spot in top 8 of Division 3. On the final day, 403 was pushed to the wire in each round against WinMan Power (MB) and FOG Hawks 2 (AB) before arriving in the gold medal match against L’Impact du CDSL Bleu (QC). If games were decided in warmup, then 403 Selects 13U should have packed it in right then and there. The Quebecers were athletic and imposing, yet the young girls took to their strength in defense to win set 1. Leads in set 2 and 3 were just not enough on this day as the impressive L’impact team found ways to battle back and take the banner in 3 sets. Big congratulations and a tip of the hat to the Champs, they deserved it. With a Division 3, Tier 1 silver medal at 14U Nationals 403 Selects 13U looks back on a wonderful season with great experiences and a little fire started for next year.