By Natalia Gonzalez, Assistant Volleyball Coach at Campbell Hall
The 2012 Las Vegas Easter Invitational proved to be quite a challenge for Campbell Hall, who finished 2nd in the Bronze Division and 14th overall in the tournament with a 6-5 record on Tuesday night.
During Monday morning’s opening play, the Vikings 14-0 winning streak was snapped in their first match after a loss to CIF-SS Division I Crespi High School from Encino, CA. Campbell Hall started off ...a bit slow with several service errors that cost them the first set, 25-27. They battled throughout the second, displaying great composure and continued to play aggressively.
Unfortunately, the tournament rules stated that first and second games of a match had score caps at 27, so when Crespi reached 27 first, Campbell Hall took the loss with 26 points of their own. Had the rule not been in place, things may have turned out differently for the Vikings.
The loss proved fatal to the team’s moral as they struggled to find their rhythm and consistency through the rest of pool play on day one. They finished the morning third in their pool (1-2) before playing later that evening and bouncing back with two wins over El Dorado and Olympian in the qualifier rounds; which allowed the Vikings to stay on path for the Gold Bracket and gave them a 3-2 record on the day.
Hopes were high and confidence was restored when Campbell Hall took the court on Tuesday morning despite their fourth place seed in the pool. The match up against second seed Nevada Union was one of the most exciting Campbell Hall has played all year.
The Vikings came out strong taking set one 25-21, but Nevada Union stormed back, winning 25-20, to push the match to a third set that went over the standard 15 point mark. Regrettably, the 24-22 final score was in Nevada Union’s favor.
The roller coaster continued when Campbell Hall dropped its second match of the day to first seed Hamilton High before pulling off a thrilling comeback in three sets against San Marcos. After losing game one 17-25, the Vikings were down more then 10 points in the second set and were in danger of losing the match. A few San Marcos errors allowed Campbell Hall to regroup and steal the win, 26-24, before stunning their opponent in the third game, 15-9. They finished pool play in third place for the second day in a row and secured a place in the Bronze Division Finals Bracket.
Campbell Hall beat Las Vegas High School handily in the quarter final round, then bested Centennial High School (10-25, 25-23, 15-13), whom they had lost to on Monday morning during pool play. The Vikings went on to the Bronze finals, but finished just short against Jordan High School, losing in two (20-25, 19-25). During the awards ceremony, Campbell Hall’s Griffin McKinzie was named to the All-Tournament team.
Although the Vikings saw their undefeated streak come to an end, their 14th place finish was the highest in Campbell Hall program history. While in Las Vegas, they competed against several Division I and II caliber teams in matches that had a playoff like feel. They will return home prepared for the CIF-SS playoff season that awaits them in May and hungry to begin a new winning streak.
Campbell Hall is now 20-5 overall and 2-0 in league. They will continue league play this Tuesday in an away match at Brentwood at 5 P.M. and on Thursday at Crossroads, also at 5 P.M.