15U Upangas Claim 2nd Place at 16U McGregor Cup
February 23, 2020
It was a full slate of OVA volleyball on Saturday for our 15U Upangas and 16U Aquila teams, as they participated in separate OVA McGregor Cup events in Oakville, ON.
For the Upangas, it was their first taste of competition at 16U this season. Entering the Trillium White tournament as the ninth and final seed, the Upangas took to the courts at Loyola CHS for their first match of the day against Guelph Jr. Gryphons Fury. An uneven and frustrating performance resulted in a three set loss to kick off the event. There was no time to rest for the Upangas as they had to shake off the tough loss immediately to play their second pool-play match vs. E381 Mike, and shake off the loss they did. It was a dominating performance by the Upangas, despite the efforts of the E381 coaches and parents trying to influence the game with some questionable behaviour towards the officials and the players themselves. In the end, the better team prevailed and moved on to the playoff round in a healthy position.
The afternoon's action kicked off with a quarter-final match vs. Scarborough Synergy Overdrive. Another up and down match for the Upangas saw them ease through the first set 25-14, implode in the second set 21-25 and then finish off their opponent 15-10 in the third, securing a spot in the semi-finals. Facing the host team 16U Redline Rebels, the Upangas showed up with purpose and played some of their best volleyball of the day. Though the match was close on the scoreboard, the Upangas took care of business in straight sets, 25-22 and 25-23, landing them in the finals vs. Niagara Rapids Synergy.
In a spot that no one would have predicted for the day, the Upangas came out strong and determined in the first set of the final, imposing themselves on their opponents at times and playing with confidence in all facets of the game. Their hard work paid off as they battled to edge out the Rapids 26-24 in the first set. It's too bad that the first set wasn't the only set, as the wheels started to shimmy from that point on. The second set brought out some demons as the Rapids quickly morphed into a hurricane and carried the Upangas to no-mans land with a crushing result of 25-14 to force a third and deciding set. Things did not get any better for the Upangas as the competitive tank was empty and the ECG with nary a blip, resulting in a 15-7 defeat and a second place finish.
Overall, the Upangas had a great day. With a number of tournaments ahead prior to Provincials, including an important OVA Championship tournament at 15U next weekend, this tournament will hopefully resonate with team and carry them forward in search of a positive result on Feb 29th at Garth Webb in Oakville. Great job ladies!