The Dayton Juniors Presidents’ Day Cup is by far the largest volleyball tournament hosted by any club within the Ohio Valley Region (OVR), with over 388 teams representing 72 clubs across 7 states and Canada. Given the tournament’s February timeframe the weather can sometimes be a factor. I always wondered what would happen if a Level 3 Snow Emergency was declared. Under those conditions the OVR requires tournament hosts to cancel the tournament and refund all entry fees. That would essentially bankrupt the club since we would still incur many of the tournament expenses such as facility, court and gym rentals at multiple locations in Dayton and Columbus. Weather insurance is cost prohibitive so the Club must just take its chances.
Although bitterly cold this year, the snowfall held off till late afternoon on Sunday. So our reward for playing well and making it all the way to the Gold semis was a slow ride back to Dayton from Columbus, on roads make of snow and ice. I guess that is a small price to pay for the satisfaction gained from a good tournament performance. And much less painful than if we were one of the teams returning home to New York or Canada.
Enough about the weather – back to the tournament. In the 16 American Division there were 24 teams, divided initially into 8 pools of 3 teams each. The seeding committee did us no favors as they seeded us 21st and put us in with two extremely talented teams. In that first pool every match went 3 games and all three teams tied with a 1-1 match record and a 3-3 game record. If tied on match record and game record the third tiebreaker is total point differential of all your games. Kaepa Buckeye had a -8 point difference and Maverick and our team again tied with +4 points each. That forced it to the 4th tiebreaker, “head-to-head” results. Since we had beaten Maverick in our match with them, we took 1st place in the pool.
Based on the results of the initial pool all teams were repooled for a second round late on Saturday. This time we were able to win both matches in two straight games to once again place first in our pool. This set up a “challenge match” on Sunday morning at 8 am, with the winner going to Gold and the loser to Silver. Finishing our second pool on Saturday at 9:45 pm made for a late dinner and an early Sunday wakeup call.
I am happy to report we won our challenge match in two very competitive games, placing us in the 8 team Gold playoffs. Our first Gold match was against Kaepa Buckeye, who we had lost to in 3 games on Saturday, the players took care of business and in two great games we reversed the previous day result. Moving on to the semis we met a very good ball control team in Toledo Dynamic Volleyball. After losing the first game we overcame a 15-20 deficit to take the second game 26-24. A poor start in the third put us in a hole we could not climb out of and we lost the deciding game 10-15, placing us tied for 3rd out of 24 teams. Toledo went on to win the Gold.
All in all, it was a very good tournament for us. A sweet Valentine’s Day present. We overcame a lot of adversity and played extremely well at times. Of course, we took note of some weaknesses to work on in our upcoming practices. A special shout-out to Sue Robinson and Brenda Remmetter for orchestrating the weekend events and a great team meal late on Saturday. Also a big thank you to those who supported the team throughout the weekend.