Court 2 was SO FUN today. Before we get to the barrage of spectacular games, a few noteworthy things happened on Court 1.
Court 1 had some of its drama in the second match of the day. Jeremy Casebeer and John Hyden looked like they’d take the first set off of Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne until the Hawaiians came back and tied the game 21-21. That’s when it all went down.
- A ball was tight to the net.
- Trevor approached the ball with his knuckles.
- Jeremy was poised to block or joust depending on where the set ended up.
- Right as Trevor was about to poke the ball, Jeremy set his block.
- Trevor transitioned from a poke to an open-handed tip and tipped it over Jeremy’s block.
- The ref awarded Trevor and Tri the point; they went up 22-21.
- Jeremy and John EXPLODED with anger.
- The ref claims it was legal while all four athletes argued with each other and the ref.
- Up in the DJ booth, we watched the Amazon replay.
- Everyone in the DJ booth said “Ughhhh” in symphony because it was 100% an illegal open-handed tip. Remember, the ref does not have access to replays, so their call was based on watching the play live.
- Jeremy was indignant after hearing our chorus of disgust as he walked to their players’ box for a timeout.
After that call, Trevor and Tri secured the momentum. They won that set 24-22 and the next 21-12. It was an unfortunate call and situation, especially as Jeremy and John have been battling through the contender’s bracket throughout the Series. But it also made for an exciting morning match full of contention, stare-downs, and villainy (I won’t say from which athlete).
And Court 1 also hosted the third #CrabbBoil of the Champions Cup Series. Trevor Crabb came out on top for the first time in 2020 alongside partner Tri Bourne. Some of the best plays and choice trash talk happened in this match (including Trevor telling Taylor his hit had too much heat to dig). Trevor and Tri played some of their best volleyball in the Series; this match was fun from start to finish. Trevor channeled his competitiveness into an impressive performance – 15 kills, 6 digs, 3 terminal blocks, and 1 controlled block. Tri wasn’t too far behind in the stats – he had 13 kills, 6 digs, 2 terminal blocks, and 3 controlled blocks.
And now for Court 2’s string of comebacks, runs, and tight games.
We started strong with a 3-set thriller – Chaim Schalk and Chase Budinger recovered from a devastating first set loss against Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner. Chaim and Chase were up 13-8 and ended up losing 19-21. Patterson and Brunner played lights out that first set – they had 15 kills with no errors as a team. Patterson had 8 digs while Brunner had 3 terminal blocks and 5 controlled blocks. Patterson and Brunner then blew their match point at 20-19 in the second and allowed Chaim and Chase to win 22-20. The third was back and forth and there were 22 points in the freeze. In the end, Chase and Chaim’s 50 kills won it for them. Brunner came in strong at the net yet again, though – he had 7 terminal blocks and 7 controlled blocks.
Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes prevailed in their match of runs against Emily Day and Lauren Fendrick. Sarah and Kelly had a cushy lead in the first and reached match point at 20-13. But Emily and Lauren answered back with a 7-0 run to tie it 20-20. But Sarah and Kelly maintained their cool and won the set 24-22. They then carried their momentum into the second and controlled the rest of the match, winning 21-8. In set 2, Sarah and Kelly had 0 errors across the board – hitting, serving, and miscellaneous. Over the whole match, they had 26 kills and 15 digs as a team. They also had 7 aces, 5 from Sarah.
Kelly Kolinske and Emily Stockman beat Sara Hughes and Brandie Wilkerson, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. They had a comfortable lead in the first until Sara and Brandie inched their way back to get within one towards the end. Kelley and Emily closed it out 21-18 and took their momentum into the second set. Sara and Brandie called a timeout when they got down 6-13. They then went on a 5 point run to get 11-13, but Emily and Kelley forged ahead and only let them score 2 more points. Emily had 22 kills with only 2 errors, 2 aces, and a whopping 20 digs.
And then Court 2 did it again! This time, Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner closed out a thriller against Ricardo Santos and Miles Evans. Each set of this match had a different story:
Set 1: Ricardo and Miles led basically the whole time. Ricardo had 3 stuff blocks and the team had 4 aces.
Set 2: This was a better set all around, for both teams. Casey and Theo had a lead in the middle, but Ricardo and Miles closed the gap, eventually passing their opponents and freezing the score 20-19. But Casey and Theo played with ice water for blood – after 15 sets in the freeze, they won 22-20. Casey had a solid second set with 12 kills, 9 digs, and an ace.
Set 3: Theo and Casey rode the wave of Set 2 and got an 11-7 lead. But Ricardo and Miles didn’t back down; they got within 1 point at 10-11. After Casey and Theo sided out, however, Casey got a trickle ace and Theo got two stuff blocks, one on each opponent, to finish the match 15-10.
Q6 Sheila Shaw and Kenzie Ponnet became our second qualifying team to make it to Championship Sunday with their win over Emily Day and Lauren Fendrick (the first being Stafford Slick and Billy Allen). Kenzie and Sheila both had 2 aces, including one to finish the match. Defender Kenzie had 16 digs and 14 kills while blocker Sheila had 22 kills and 4 controlled blocks. The stats don’t really tell the full story, though. Sheila and Kenzie just played like they had nothing to lose. They were thrilled to be in the Main Draw, and while they knew they had winning potential, they played loose and free, laughing throughout. And of course, the magic of court 3 propelled them into tomorrow.
And to finish the day, Court 2 had another 3-set barnburner packed with lead changes, runs, and high drama. I’m not surprised, are you? Brandie Wilkerson and Sara Hughes beat Crissy Jones and Traci Callahan after an up and down match that they almost let go. Brandie saved a match point against a Crissy Jones swing with a stuff block. From that moment on, Brandie and Sara were in the driver’s seat. Brandie had 16 kills, 8 digs, 7 terminal blocks, 2 controlled blocks, and a timely ace – she finished the match with that ace on the first serve in the freeze. Sara had 20 digs and 3 kills. Crissy still had an impressive showing at the net with 6 terminal blocks and 2 controlled blocks.