Our girls travelled to sunny San Jose California to participate in the NCVA 2016 President’s Day tournament. The days began with a very generous and hot breakfast prepared by our team food mom – Sarah, and once awakened and well fed, the girls were off for the morning adventure which included the beach, the outlet mall, and the area surrounding the hotel. The weather in San Jose was warm, sunny and beautiful – unlike Calgary, where a few of our parents had some travelling challenges as a result of the onset of heavy fog in the Calgary area on Friday.  Be that as it may, by the time things started on Friday afternoon, everyone was here and accounted for.

Our girls played three matches in the Friday afternoon wave, starting at 3pm and wrapping up around 9pm. The venue was large with around 120 teams from the Bay Area in attendance. We were the only Canadian team and a novelty from the start – most of all, our dear Dholi was an attraction – I heard so many people speculating  about her height – I think she was 6’5” by the end of the tourney!  Our girls stood out in the crowd with their sharp new jerseys, bright smiles, and Canadian flags on their arms.

Although our girls had some nerves in the first game;  we took our first competitors “Tropical Touch” to three sets; losing the first 27-25,  winning the second 25-12 and losing a close third 17-15. Our schedule was such that once our game was over, we worked the next game – so our girls were calling lines and keeping score for other teams within our pool. Our next match was against “Samba; who we also took to three sets, winning the first 25-20, then losing the second 25-19 and the third 15-11. Again very close matches and several excellent rallies. Our third and final game of the evening was against “Synergy Force”, whom we beat in three sets 25-17, 23-25 and 15-9.  It was great for the girls to end their first day on a high note. Cheerful and tired, they went back to “Me-Ma’s” (Sarah Ondrich) for some delicious Pizza My Heart before retiring for the evening.

The teams in our pool were very competitive, however we did not advance into the next round by the slimmist of margins. As a result, our Day 2 was two games; of three sets each.  We played “Mid Coast” first, winning three sets 25-16, 25-9, and 25-21. Our second match followed immediately after the first. We played “Xceleration Gold”. We also won three sets. Our record was 26-24, 25-23, and 25-12.

So once again our evening ended on a high note. The girls were working the match after that, but then ushered off to their rooms for a hot shower and an evening of Chinese Food and movies all from the Sarah’s beautiful hotel room which had sweeping views of the downtown city scape. The question remains as to how the girls agreed amongst the 12 of them, which movie they would watch on Netflix…

Our final games on Monday were scheduled later than expected, our wave starting at 2pm. These matches were for all the marbles, win to stay, lose you go home.  Our court was running a bit behind, putting the time pressure on us – we played “Fusion Steel” and beat them in two matches, 25-18 and 25-21. Sadly, as it turns out, our flight schedule being what it is, we were unable to continue with our advance and needed to forfeit in order to make it to the airport for the flight home on time.

All in all, some very good teamwork and volleyball matches, some beautiful sunshine and sea air and a road trip well worth taking. Next up AVA #1!