16 Black Lightning Strikes Its Second Gold (29 Apr 06)
16 Black Lightning capitalized on their #1 seed in the tournament at Phillips Hall to strike Gold for the second time this season. Coaches Sydney Antonio and Jeanna Staun managed to get the girls awake enough to defeat Lineshot Grey 25-16 and 25-11 for the first victory of the day.
The second match against Pioneer Region X-FACTOR from Kentucky managed to wake up the Lightning team and realize that nobody really cared about their #11 ranking in the OVR standings. Black Lightning fell in the first game 19-25. Lightning, quarterbacked by Bridget Mears running the 5-1 with speed and precision, was determined not to lose in pool play. Carrie Cramer, Morgan Bonney and Heidi Schlichter turned digs into good passes as Bridget set Lexi Thornton, Jackie O'Meara, Lauren Hutten and Angela "Stu" Steuer for kill after kill. Haley Hoffman's middle blocks and key serves set the tone for games 2 and 3. Lightning put the determined X-FACTOR on ice with 25-20 and 15-13 victories against the very competitively coached X-FACTOR.
After the "too-close-for-comfort" 3 game match, 16 Lightning was finally awake, warmed up, and ready to play some serious volleyball. Their third match of pool play pitted them against the Middletown Purple Crush. Black Lightning overcame several unforced errors to defeat the Crush with identical scores of 25-19.
Unlike their first Gold of the season, when Lightning battled their way from the depths of the last seed in the Gold bracket, 16 Black sat proudly in the #1 seed of the Gold bracket. Polaris North Star was the first team to challenge the winning ways of 16 Black. After a first game defeat of 25-18, Polaris rebounded to even the match with a 20-25 victory against the Borderline girls. 16 Black got off to a quick start in the tiebreaker and then traded points with Polaris in a 15-9 victory to advance to the semifinal match.
Lightning girls now faced a good Cap City team that had sent Lightning home prematurely from a tournament earlier in the season. 16 Black looked to even the score! Lightning struck early and often as Carrie and Morgan's passes fed Bridget's sets that Lexi, Jackie, Stu, and Lauren turned into offensive domination from the outside. Haley blocked and killed from the middle taking Cap City's offense completely out of their game. Despite utilizing all of their time outs, the Cap City coach was unable to take the charge out of the Lightning team. Cap City went home early as a result of Lightning striking twice 25-15 and 25-17.
X-FACTOR survived the lower bracket to seek revenge and hopefully neutralize the Lightning attack. The first game went X-FACTOR's way and they prevailed 23-25. They thought the Gold was there for the taking. 16 Black Lightning had other plans! Lightning battled for every single point in game 2 and managed to win by the slim margin of 25-22. The quest for Gold now rested with which team could sprint quickest to 15. 16 Black came out of the gate strong and built a 9-4 lead. X-FACTOR was at a total loss to try and slow Lightning's momentum as Lightning put the lid on X-FACTOR's Gold aspirations with a 15-8 victory.
Congratulations Black Lightning on your second Gold of 2006 and your #6 ranking in the OVR. Good luck at Regionals!
For additional information, contact Tom Steuer