Five Starz 14-1 struggled in the morning with a difficult pool. For the second tournament in a row, they almost knocked off the top seed, yet they went 0-3, finishing last in their pool. Disappointed by their performance, but not to be disheartened, the team stayed steadfast. They rallied to beat four teams in a row and win the copper bracket! Andraya Tam kept the team energized with her enthusiasm. Great hitting and serving by Kate Thompson and relentless defense from Ipek Midillioglu also helped Five Starz achieve their winning streak.
written by Danny Coonan
Five Starz 17’s take Silver at Las Vegas Classic
The 17’s team went 9-2 over President’s Day Weekend to finish second in the Las Vegas Classic. The tournament field was comprised of many teams that the team is likely to face in Junior National Qualifiers later in the season. Five Starz went undefeated on day 1, but then dropped a match in pool play on day 2. Fortunately, the team was able to defeat the Cleveland Volleyball Club In the crossover match to once again secure the 4th seed going into gold bracket play.
In the first round of Monday’s 16-team single elimination gold bracket, Five Starz defeated CVA Colorado 17 Navy and then went on to defeat a talented Arizona Shock 17 team 2-1. The highlight of the weekend was the semi-final against Coast 17 Mizuno, a team that Five Starz had split matches with last season. After winning the first set, Five Starz dropped a very tough second set 29-27, necessitating a deciding 3rd set to determine which team would advance to the finals against Texas Advantage. Jumping out to an early lead, Five Starz was able to hold on and win the third set 15-9.
The final against Texas Advantage was a bit anticlimactic as Five Starz dropped the match in two straight sets with a very uninspired effort. It was hard to know if the team was simply fatigued coming off the prior three hard-fought matches or whether TAV was that much better. It is likely that the two teams will have the opportunity to meet in future qualifiers.
The Las Vegas Classic was especially important as it allowed the team to see some of the top competition from other regions and get a reading on how hard they are going to need to work in order to attain their season goals. On a positive note, the team used various line-ups to effectively match up against opponents, making good use of the depth of talent on the roster. Congratulations to all the players for a very satisfactory weekend effort and a second place tournament finish.
written by Debby Colberg
Five Starz 13-1 had their three-day President's Day tournament in Santa Clara this weekend. The team had a really strong start on Saturday by defeating MVVC Red, Solano Explosion, and Empire Black in 6 straight sets. On Sunday the team fell in a close first match to City Beach. Five starz won the first set 25-19, lost a close second set 26-24, and then lost the third set. The rest of the day the team went 2-0 by defeating Gold Cal Juniors Black and an undefeated team Destiny, putting them in the gold division going into bracket play. On Monday Five Starz started off strong again with 2 set sweeps over both Vision Blue and another undefeated team Eclipse. In the quarterfinals the team lost to NNJ Kuna in a tough 3 set match.
written by Bethany Gordon
Five Starz 15-1 team showed great maturity and growth while competing in the 16’s division at the President’s Day Weekend Tournament. To open up the first day of tournament play, the 15’s went 3-0 with the help of aggressive serving by Kelsey Grover and Liliana Light to take first in their pool. On Day two, the 15’s cruised to another day of being unbeaten with persistent swings from Libby Christensen, Karlie Kijanka and Ryann Thomison. The third and final day of competition the 15’s would see much tougher competition; however, the 15’s rose to the occasion by beating Sunset 16-1 and Main Beach 16-1.
With great passing and relentless defense from Michelle Taynton, Lexi Matsumura, and Sam Moore, they were able to pull out the 3 set match over Main Beach. The 15’s then faced a very talented Excel NW 16-1 team and although fatigued, the 15-1s competed hard and didn’t go down without a fight. Alexis Light and Paloma Bowman executed crucial defensive efforts with key blocks and digs while Claire Schutz made aggressive swings that sparked energy and confidence in this 15’s team. Even though they lost their last match, they finished 5th overall and competed hard and had impressive offensive and defensive efforts. Each and every player on the team is learning and growing at an impressive rate and they continue to be a fun team to coach and watch compete. The coaching staff is very proud about their showing this weekend and can’t wait to get back in the gym to continue to improve!
written by Caroline Mercado
Five Starz 12 Red had their second JSA League tournament this past Saturday, finishing 12th overall! The team had a tough pool to start the day, finishing 3rd, and sending them to the Sliver bracket. Determined to win the Silver bracket, the girls battled back and played great against some tough competition. With excellent serving and team play, the girls won their next 4 matches, crushing the competition to win the Silver bracket! The team is looking forward to next tournament where they hope to make it back to Gold!
written by Jamie Garbisch
Five Starz 12 Black showed great improvements this past weekend in the second JSA League tournament. They started off the day serving very tough against Team Sierra in pool play. Both SPVC Silver and LPVC tested the team’s mental focus and concentration. 12 Black fought hard and triumphed in both matches sending them to the Gold Bracket! The Gold bracket proved to be stacked with tough competition. 12 Black faced SPVC Blue and lost in 0-2. Although they lost, they fought hard to make a comeback in the second set but unfortunately this time it wasn’t enough. The taste of the gold bracket will certainly be driving 12 Black to work on mental focus, ball control, and consistency this week in practice!
written by Kendall LaVine
Five Starz 15-1 had another successful weekend! The girls went undefeated this past weekend at the Power-League Qualifier in Sacramento. They came out strong on the first day representing the number two seed in the tournament. They showed consistent chemistry throughout day one as they kept Empire Black 15-2, Club Kalani 15-1, and Club Solano 15-1 under eleven points in every set. Both Kelsey Grover and Liliana Light showed their ability to run a well-balanced offense that made it tough for any team to defend. They finished the day off with a win against Turlock Crush 15-1.
With four wins already under their belt, the girls entered day two and kept Marin Juniors 15-1, Carmel Beach 15-1, and Encore Red 15-2 under 13 points in each set. Samantha Moore and Michelle Taynton showed a lot of courage from the service line. The team went on to beat Beach Vibes 15-1 in the next match (25-18, 25-17). Next up, Encore 15-1. After losing the first set (13-25), the energy from Lexi Matsumura and Ryann Thomison was so contagious that it got everyone on the court (including the coaches) fired up and ready to take Encore to three! The middle department was on fire during game two and almost every ball Karlie Kjanka hit was a kill, which led the team to a close win in set two (26-24). Alexis Light, Claire Schutz and Paloma Bowman were unstoppable from both sides of the pin during game three. After a tough serve from Samantha Moore, causing an overpass from Encore, Libby Christensen crushed the game winning kill on the ten foot line!
The girls held the number two seed in the tournament. They showed that they can adjust to any line-up they are given and play consistent throughout. It was great to watch the team bounce back so quickly and win a three set match. We have found that we are a very tough and strategic serving team. As we enter the next tournament, we would love to get our middles even more involved in the offense and of course, improve defensively. Congratulations on the big win girls!
written by Devon Damelio
Five Starz 17-1 went undefeated in Power League Qualifier! The 17’s swept the opposition without dropping a set in what turned out to be a very wet Power League Qualifier held at Cal Expo. Entering the tournament as the #1 seed, the team cruised through the competition until meeting a good Synergy-Force team in the final match.
Synergy-Force was the only team to beat Five Starz 17’s in the California Kickoff two weeks ago so there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that the final match would be a good one. Getting off to a shaky start, Five Starz quickly went down 1-7, before recovering their composure and eliminating unforced errors. Five Starz went on to win the match in two sets. Most importantly, the final win over Synergy-Force, allowed the team to retain its #1 seed which will place them in the gold division of Power League 1. Power League 1 will consist of eight-18’s teams and four-17’s teams.
The tournament showcased the depth of the Five Starz 17’s as the team employed the talents of all 12 players. Additionally, it was heartening to observe the improvement in the players from the Kickoff tourney to the Power League Qualifier. They are not only executing better, but also developing a comfort level playing with new teammates and a number of different line-ups. Congratulations to all the players on a successful weekend and a big thank-you to the parents for managing food and drinks for everyone under some very challenging conditions.
written by Debby Colberg
Five Starz 13-1 had their Powerleague Qualifier tournament this weekend in San Mateo. We started the tournament as the 27th seed. The team started the weekend off strong with a win over PAEVBC but lost a close second match to Club Solano. In round 2 we defeated seed 17 and then had an impressive 3 set win over Tremors 13-2 who was the 7th seed. This match was the best we've seen our team play so far this season.
On day two we defeated seed 23 and then we played Club Solano for the 4th time in 2 weeks and finally defeated them in two sets. In round two we had a close loss to the 15th seed which put us at 15 going into bracket play. We played Tremors again in the first round of bracket play and lost, but played very well throughout the match. We finished the tournament tied for 3rd. Our team improves more and more every tournament and every practice. We saw some really great things from them this weekend and it was so fun to watch them compete and come together as a team for some great wins over very tough teams. We are excited to get back to practice and get ready for our 3 day Presidents' Day tournament in 2 weeks! Go Five Starz!
written by Bethany Gordon
Five Starz 16-1 had a great showing at their season opening qualifier in San Jose this past weekend. On day one, with some strong serving, great passing and solid attacking the team finished first in both their pools and maintained their opening 9th seed. On day two, the 16s took first in their 3-team pool and in their cross over match they displayed peak performance by defeating Red Rock 16-2s (25-10, 25-10) handedly. In their final match of the day, they fought a great fight against Main Beach (19-25, 22-25), but just had too many unforced errors to pull out the win. Overall, the team maintained their opening 9 seed and finished the tournament in the Gold Division.
written by Dana Anglin