In their debut, Smash teams did not disappoint. Smash entered three teams into the 18’s tournament (one being their 17’s team) and secured all three with positions in the gold bracket. Smash 18’s came out victorious and took home the gold medals. Smash put down big hits, but blocking and consistency was what put them over the top. Smash was the most fundamentally sound team in the gym on Saturday, and if they can keep that up, they will have many more medals to bring home.
Watch out, North! Nor’East came into game play with one line-up of majority Lawrence players. This team showed that they can handle the pressure and play well together. A little sloppy play and miscommunications gave them a little trouble, but these are all things that can be fixed. Nor’East was able to have one team make it in the championship bracket, while the other was in the consolation, however, neither team made it much farther after that.
With a loaded line-up, PV took a different way than anyone expected. Instead of having a number one team and number two team, they split it up to have to equal teams. This shocking change led them to being in the consolation bracket. After going 1-5 in pool play, the PV Black team stepped it up to win the consolation bracket. It will be interesting to see if this is how PV keeps their teams. If they had 1 team, they would give Smash a run for their money (which one of the split teams did on Saturday).
A rocky start to the day saw the entirely new line-up for Beantown get a pair of losses. As the day went on, they started to get it more together as they entered the consolation bracket. After making it to the championship, they fell just shy to Pioneer Valley. They have some bugs to work out, but they can be a very solid team by the end of club season.
Despite the talent level of the only other western club team, Western Mass was able to form 2 very solid teams. Western Mass did not make a deep run and go one to win anything, but they showed how they could hang with anyone there. I did not see Western Mass get blown out by anyone. Nor did they give up in any game. Western Mass looked to me as the team with the most drive and that is what club season is all about. They will be a team to watch come March.
It was a tough day for the rebuilding Rippers. After planning to not run a team, Milford got running and set up a team of younger players, most of which have never seen a varsity court. If their first day of play, they showed some skills in the sense of fundamentals, but they have a lot of work to do. With a powerful front line, if they can secure their backrow, they will be looking at a much better showing next time.