It was another great season of Blenders, thank you to all those who took part! And thank you to our fabulous coaches this season!
The 7th/8th Grade Division was won once again by the Dominating Dates (4-peat), and the Tropical Fuzz Fighters took the Silver Division title. In the 5th/6th Grade Division, the Cranberry Crushers won again (3 out of 4 this season) to end their season on a high note.
Here are some recaps, highlights, and comments as told by the coaches themselves:
7th/8th Grade Division
Coach Madigan Sanders of the Tropical Fuzz Fighters said, “What a way to end! The girls worked the hardest and played some of the best volleyball I have seen from them all season and ended up placing first in the silver bracket in our last tournament. So many kudos to these girls for the hard work and learning how to run a 5-1 rotation effectively in only the last couple of weeks of the season. Watching this team grow together and as individuals has been my favorite part of this year, and I couldn't be more proud of how they played. I'll definitely miss coaching this team, but I know they'll continue to rock and love the sport wherever they end up playing after Blenders.”
Coach Cozette Hawryliak of the Mocha Diggers said, “The girls played with so much composure and confidence throughout the day it was so exciting to watch! In their last match of pool play they came back from being behind ten points and won that game. Katie Prudden, Ella Molyneux, and Teagan Haley were very strong and consistent servers throughout the day.”
Coach Dwayne Hauschild of the Pomegranate Pounders said, “The girls played really well to finish out the season and I am happy to say there were some really positive improvements from everyone! We started a little slow in pool play, especially from the service line, but got great service performances from Erica Short and Rya Cummings to get us focused and finished out pool play undefeated. Allie Fryklund seemed to save her best for last as she was a dominant force from the service line and at the net. While we were shorthanded all day, and finished with only 6 players, we got great consistency from Amara Muth and Maddie Braniff and managed to make it to the finals. The heat and the lack of players ultimately led to our fizzling out in the finals but all and all a great season for the Pomegranate Pounders!”
Coach Steven Crossland of the Dominating Dates said, “Our team finished off the Blenders season in winning fashion. I was really happy with effort this weekend and all season long. I really focused the team on getting them all ready for high school volleyball and that translated to wins on the court. This final tournament was truly a team effort. Our free ball passing and transitioning off the net allowed us to run our offense and control the pace of the games. It’s been a great year and I look forward to watching my Dominating Dates dominate in High School next year!”
Coach Lexi Rottman of the Strawberry Spikers said, “I had the best time coaching this team! Even though we didn’t finish the way we wanted to in our last tournament it was amazing to see how much every girl improved over the season! This is an amazing group of girls and I can’t wait to see them grow even more as volleyball players as they continue playing.”
Coach Sarah McGough (filling in for Coach Hillary Bean) of the Jumping Berries Plus said, “Overall, the tournament went very well. The girls made it into the gold division for the first time so that was a great way to end their season. Kaylee Curtis did any amazing job from a serving and hitting standpoint. It was fun to see her become more aggressive as the tournament went on. The entire team played very well and it was fun to borrow a player from other teams throughout the day and watch the girls adapt to different dynamics on the court!”
5th/6th Grade Division
Coach Amy Buffham of the Blueberry Aces said, “We played really consistent all day (until the last game) and I was super proud of their defense and the way they worked together to get 3 touches. They were super aggressive and took a lot of swings too which was awesome. We ended on a good note for sure!”
Coach Madigan Sanders (filling in for Coach Hillary Bean) of the Banana Bombers said, “These girls have some of the best attitudes about the game and about each other that I've seen as a coach so far. I absolutely loved watching them work hard on the court, and I loved how they picked each other up even in tough situations. They communicated so well and had such high volleyball IQ for their level and I couldn't have been happier to fill in for their coach this last tournament. Thank you for letting me coach you guys and thank you for being awesome!”
Coaches Abby Corpuz and Julia Fay of the Blue Apple Blockers said, “We would like to commend our whole team for their unwavering determination and sportsmanship! We would especially like to mention Lia Papador for her outstanding serving skills and Emma Coombes for her team spirit.”
Coach Lauren Johnson of the Red Orange Rowdies said, “Our tournament Sunday was a fun day! We did really well serving, and had a lot of communication. Mia Miller did a great job of keeping energy levels high. Vera Mazzetta had some great serving streaks and Raeanna Stephens had amazing digs. Overall, we had a pretty good day for our last time being together!”
Coaches Danica Minnich and Autumn Rexford of the Guava Girls said, “The team had some good positive energy, which was a huge contribution to the win we had! Furthermore, Cailyn Hooper's serving and Skyler Mees' passing really helped the team in their game play. Sofia Kramer also played really well all around at the tournament.”
Coach Dave McBride of the Wicked Wheatgrass said, "Our team finished the season strong with a run that lead them to the semifinals! The day was defined by consistent serving and long, exciting rallies. Kaitlyn Rohde led the team on serving, showing a high level of consistency from the back line for the whole day. The combo of Mia Marcillac and Sienna Spence was a dangerous pair, setting each other well to record several kills. Margherita Scussat and Jade Silva passed consistently to lead the effort on serve receive. Anna Bazylewicz ran down several balls on defense and had some key hits. Greer Biddlecome displayed a strong command of many skills. Greer had a highlight kill in which she hit a ball straight down the line leaving the opposing defense stunned! Camille Pomerantz and Molly Wenal both had many tricky plays to record kills, hitting the ball over the heads of the opposing team to drop just inside the back line."
Coach Sarah McGough of the Cranberry Crushers said, “We won the entire tournament, so that was a highlight for the end of the season! Our consistency from the service line was what allowed us to keep building momentum throughout the tournament. From an offensive standpoint Shae Delany, Nora Collins-Burgard, and Ollie Gaggero were very aggressive hitters. Gracie Meinzer and Haley Shields were both very consistent from the service line and were able to serve a lot of balls in a row, which helped contribute to our success. Overall, it was fun to see how much the team had improved from the first tournament to this last tournament. They were able to stay much more relaxed when the score was close which was something that we struggled with earlier in the season. Our passing and communication was also great in the tournament. Each player contributed a great amount to the success of the team and it was extremely rewarding to watch the girls have so much fun in the last tournament of the season.”
Dominating Dates win the 7th/8th Grade Division!
Tropical Fuzz Fighters win the Silver Division!
Cranberry Crushers win the 5th/6th Grade Division!