T.E.A.M. Hiki No 18U turned in a strong performance at the Far Westerns in Reno, winning Flight 2 and finishing 19th overall in Open. It was a great experience for the team, giving us exposure to some of the top teams in the nation.
Day one had us playing #1 overall seed Vision, who came out playing tough. We were able to steal a set from them, but could not close it out in a tight final set. We were able to take down Columbia Juniors, but then lost to Club Vegas, forcing a three way playoff for second place in the pool. Ending up third overall in the pool, we moved on to a crossover match against hometown PVC. We started that match a bit slow, but were able to come back and finish the job.
This placed us in the upper brackets for day two, where we got to compete against mostly top ten teams. We were not able to pull off any victories that day, but showed glimpses of our higher potential in a few stretches of play. With day two done, we started our bracket play off with Empire, winning convincingly in two. Next up was Utah Juniors, with whom we’ve had a very tight match with on the final day in Colorado as well. We again started a bit slow, but hit our stride early in the first. Incredible net play and defense created opportunities for us on offense and we capitalized on that for a quick win. That win set up a match with Silver State for the flight championships. By that time of the tournament, the team was playing well together and we were able to string together moments of good play much more consistently, allowing us to win that match in two sets and conclude the tournament with an undefeated final day.
Overall we are very pleased with the outcome and saw tremendous growth from the girls during the three days. 18U have two full weeks off, and 16U will return to practice next week in preparation for the Willamette Valley Classic. It’s great to see how far we’ve come, and we’re not done yet. As always, Hiki No!