Same players, same coaches, same intentions – different results.
The Dynasty Black 13u volleyball squad certainly labored to get off to the start it might have envisioned at the Triple Crown NIT, as the team dropped three pool play matches and didn’t display the consistency required to make a dent at a top-scale championship.
But the deep, determined nature of the Dynasty team (based in Kansas City, KS) and its ability to shake off any negativity from early struggles proved most relevant, as Dynasty rumbled through bracket play and claimed the 13 Elite title with a well-earned 25-10, 18-25, 16-14 victory over MadFrog Green on Monday at the MAVS complex. MadFrog had taken down Dynasty without much drama in pool play, but the rematch was a different tale as Dynasty got a handle on their game when it mattered most.
“Triple Crown was like two different tournaments for us. We played really well against Long Beach in pool play and really well against Kiva, Mavs, and Madfrogs in bracket play,” said Dynasty coach Bryon Larson. “We played poorly in the other four matches. We didn't serve and pass well for large stretches in pool play. We served really tough and passed with precision and purpose in the bracket matches. The girls came into bracket play with the hunger and grit that champions play with. We got great swings out of system and kept pressure on our opponents. It was fun to see the girls flip a switch and play dominant volleyball.”
In the championship match, Dynasty took what looked like to be a dominant lead at 12-7, only to see MadFrog score the next five points to tie it up.
“They are a great team that can impose their will on anyone at a given time. We gutted it out and put the last few points away -- the match was a dogfight the entire time,” Larson said.
Although Dynasty needed time to find its game at the start of the tournament, Larson felt the format of the event (where teams play top-flight competition right out of the gate) was ultimately a benefit.
“The format of the Power Pools transitioning into bracket play is the best thing going. We were able to play elite open level teams for seven of our eight matches,” he said. “We got battle tested and made some coaching and lineup adjustments. The team overcame adversity and played inspired for the bracket matches. Triple Crown gave us the feel of Day 3 and 4 at Nationals for three straight days."