There were three teams in action this weekend at the Pacific Northwest Qualifier. Strong showings all around with 15-1 and 18-2 winning their bracket and 18-1 finishing 4th overall. Oregon schools are now on spring break (don’t forget to send in your pictures with Hiki No gear to add to our Where in the World page) leading up to week 2 of PNQ.
What a tournament. The theme for the last couple week have been to keep grinding and this weekend was no different. The team has been able to push through injuries and matches where we weren’t at our best. The girls keep pounding the rock and find ways to grind and push through the tough times. Day 1 started short a few players and had us playing two girls in the front row and four in the back row in three of our rotations. The goal of the day was to survive and the girls did just that battling to a 2-1 record losing a 3 set match to the eventual 2nd place finisher, City Beach. Day 2 brought Delaney back and after dropping a close 3 set match to the eventual 3rd place finisher, Shockwave, the team battled to win their last two matches working their way to the Gold bracket as the 10th, and last, seed of the bracket. Day 3 started against a solid Vision team who had already won a bid to Nationals two weeks earlier. The team came out firing and won setting up a match up with the #1 seed Boise VBC. The team played it’s most discipline game of the weekend and won, advancing to the final four. The semi final was a rematch with day 1 opponent City Beach and a chance to guarantee a bid to Nationals. Unfortunately the team came out flat in the first set and dropped a tough second set 23-25. That meant we would need to win the third place match to earn a bid. Another rematch was in order, this time against day 2 opponent Shockwave. The team battled hard but came up short. While it was disappointing to finish one spot out of a bid to Nationals, it was a pretty successful tournament. The fourth place finish was the highest in club history, and this was the first time a Hiki No team has played in a match to win a bid. It’s been fun to watch the growth throughout the season and look forward to seeing how the last month plays out.
The 18-2s set a goal for PNQ to focus on giving all out effort and to get better every time they took the court. We knew that our weekend success wasn’t going to come from wins alone, but from working hard and feeling like they did all they could when the match was complete and they did just that. Day one they battled some pretty tough teams, went 1-2, and ended up leaving the tournament that day believing there was more they could do. On day two, they improved even more and finished out 2-1, losing an extremely close match to CCE. However, that battle set them up for success on day three. We continued to focus on effort and improvement and these ladies ended up beating a defensively strong VIP team and an energetic Powersurge team to walk away as the champions of flight two. This tournament taught everyone that if we focus on the effort that we give in our specific role, our team plays to the best of our ability and the wins will take care of themselves.
15-1 had a great weekend. This was probably the best we have played all year. We had a very good team on the ropes on Friday and let that get away from us, however we regrouped and went on to be undefeated the rest of the tournament finihing 21st.