PSVBA 17-Bri entered the Spokane qualifier under adverse conditions. Our roster of 9 was depleted, dealing with both injury and illness, including a pulled quad, multiple shoulder injuries, a injured foot, and a setter with severe flu symptoms. We limped through day one, finishing second in our pool but winning our cross-over match. While the win kept us in contention for an open bid to Nationals, the day had taken its toll; adding an aggravated back to the list of our walking wounded team. The day ended with us wondering less about our chances of qualifying for nationals and more about our chances of finishing the tournament.
We began the second day armed with icy hot, KT tape and a fierce determination to succeed. We gutted out the day – Once again, finishing second in our pool, and our chances of qualifying still intact. We implemented a mandatory ice, rest and sleep regimen on Saturday night in an attempt to give our players a chance to heal.
Slightly rejuvenated, our team entered Sunday two victories away from a qualifying bid to Nationals. Our stamina and resolve were tested early and often, but we fought through, winning the first match of the day in three sets: 25-20, 24-26, 15-9. We used the time between the first and second match to apply, icy-hot, ice packs and rest. The second match proved just as tough as the first, a three set thriller, which we won 23-25, 25-23, 16-14. With the win, we accomplished what had appeared to be a stretch at the beginning of the tournament – we qualified for the JNC in the “Open” Division!
Two hours later, their bodies tired, muscles tight and running on fumes, the team entered the championship game against another very good team. Our ladies dug deep and played like they had had days of rest and all of their aches and pains were forgotten. It was an amazing effort that resulted in a win in their third 3-set game of the day.
This tournament was a time of true growth for our team. We are proud of what our players accomplished during the tournament, however, we are more proud of their development as a team. They fought through adversity, showed an iron resolve and supported each other. Their actions revealed a side of this team we knew existed but had not seen fully realized until this tournament. We are looking forward to the rest of this season, their further development as athletes and teammates and a successful showing at Nationals in Minnesota.