Thursday August 21, 2014

Blitz teams struggle at 15U Sask. Cup


A member of the Yorkton Blitz Fusion 15U volleyball team attempts to tip the ball over the outstretched blocking attempt of a Lanigan Blue player in Subway Sask. Cup action on Sunday. The Blitz Fusion wound up winning the set, and the game, to win gold in Tier Four.

The City of Yorkton played host to the 15U Women’s Subway Sask. Cup One volleyball tournament this past weekend.

Twenty-one teams, including Yorkton Blazing Blitz and Yorkton Blitz Fusion, took part with each team participating in round-robin play on Saturday before being re-pooled for Sunday’s action.

The Regina Volleyball Club took home Tier One gold, while the Prince Albert Optimist Toppers Esprit won gold in Tier Two and the Esterhazy Storm won gold in Tier Three.

The Yorkton Blitz Fusion won Tier Four gold by beating Lanigan Blue in three sets, losing the first set 25-15 before rebounding to take the second set 25-17 and the third set 15-12.

Blitz Fusion

The Yorkton Blitz Fusion started off slowly on Friday, losing their first game of round robin play 25-17, 24-26, 15-12 to Regina RVC Black.

The Blitz Fusion then fell to the Esterhazy Storm 23-25, 25-14, 15-5 despite taking the first set.

The final game of the round robin saw the tournament co-host Blitz Fusion fall in straight sets to Regina QCVC Royal 25-19, 25-21, to give them an 0-3 (2-6) record and fourth in their group.

The girls on Blitz Fusion showed they still had some fight left in them on Sunday, however, as, after the re-pool they began to dominate.

The Blitz Fusion battled back from down one set to beat Lanigan Blue 18-25, 25-23, 15-8, to open play on Sunday before downing tournament co-host Blazing Blitz 25-21, 25-22.

They then handed the Lampman Purple Cobras a loss in straight sets 25-18, 25-11, before rounding out their re-pool play with a hard fought three set victory over Regina QCVC Purple 12-25, 25-20, 15-9.

The re-pool record of 4-0 (8-2) saw the Blitz Fusion qualify for the Tier Four final where they once again took on Lanigan Blue.

Just like the first game, Lanigan stormed out to an early one set lead, taking the first set 25-15.

The Blitz Fusion battled back to take the second set 25-17 before edging a tough Lanigan club 15-12 in the third set to take home the Tier Four gold medals.

The day two dominance, some may say, was due to the lower level of competition.  Blitz Fusion head coach Lisa Johnson, however, feels that it was due to the girls finally playing at a level to which they are accustomed, something they were unable to do on day one. “They were really nervous and not prepared for the level of skill they were seeing on the other side of the court and it flustered them on day one,” said Johnson following her teams’ Tier Four final game. “But they brought it back down and started communicating and really showing the fans what we could do as a team on Day Two and played how they are used to playing.”

Johnson also believes that winning the Tier Four gold medal will give the Blitz Fusion some momentum going in to the next Sask. Cup event, where they hope to finish much higher than 17th overall. “We’re hoping for a top 10 finish in our next Sask. Cup tournament and winning five games today will definitely get our confidence up for the next one.”

Blazing Blitz

Just like the Blitz Fusion, the Yorkton Blazing Blitz also struggled to find success on the first day of competition.

The Blazing Blitz won their first set of the day 25-21 over Regina QCVC Black before dropping sets two and three 25-21 and 15-11.

They then lost to Regina RVC Gold in straight sets 25-15, 25-14 before falling to Oxbow BKVC 25-18, 25-19 to finish round robin play with an 0-3 (1-6) record.

Sunday saw a new Blazing Blitz team. After a tough opening day on Saturday the Blazing Blitz rebounded with an impressive victory over Regina QCVC Purple to open re-pool play25-16, 25-19.

A straight sets loss to the Blitz Fusion (25-16, 25-19) meant that the Blazing Blitz had to win their next couple of games if they wanted to avoid last place and win they did.

The Blazing Blitz came from behind to beat Lampman 14-25, 26-24, 15-11 before faltering just a little bit, losing to Lanigan 25-16, 25-18.

The loss to Lanigan sent the Blazing Blitz to the Tier Four third place game where they came out slowly, losing set one to Regina RCVC Purple 25-12 before battling back to take the second set 25-20 and third set 15-9 to finish the tournament in 19th place.

Third place in Tier Four is not generally a great place to finish. But according to Blazing Blitz head coach Lloyd Seymour, the 19th overall finish is something his girls should be proud of, simply due to the fact it was their first tournament as a team. “You know what? They did awesome,” said a smiling Seymour. “This was the first tournament for the girls and I couldn’t be more proud of them.  They did great. They’ve been improving the whole way through.

“They’re definitely going to keep getting better and better as we keep going throughout the season. If they keep playing like they have been they will keep improving.”

Next action

The next action for the Yorkton Blitz Fusion will be Friday, February 28 when they travel to Moose Jaw to take part in a weekend tournament.

The Blazing Blitz, meanwhile, are off until March 13 and 14 when they go to Saskatoon for a tournament.



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