On Sunday, 17 Orange won gold, qualifying to compete in USAV’s National division, the top bid awarded at the KRVA tournament held in York, Pa. The 18 Orange and 16 Orange teams won silver, securing bids in the American division. On Saturday, 13 Orange also won gold and secured a National bid, and last week 15 Orange won a coveted Open division bid at the North East Qualifier in Baltimore. Synergy’s Lehigh and Navy teams also posted standout performances in gold medal playoffs on Sunday.
In the 17s gold playoffs, 17 Navy lost in the quarterfinals, but 17 Orange and 17 Lehigh both made it to the semifinals, raising hopes for an all-Synergy final. But Lehigh had to play the match without setter Taylor Krause, who suffered leg cramps, and ended up losing to a tough CAVA team. Lehigh later won 3rd in a playoff match. The 17 Orange won its semi-final against Pittsburgh Renaissance and met CAVA in the finals, which proved to be one of the most exciting matches of the day.
The 17 Orange, playing in the final without outside hitter Morgan Lowe, still won the first set 25-18. But in the second set, the team found itself trailing 23-16 and a tie breaker seemed inevitable. But then outside hitter Nicole Lott closed the gap with several big serves. Liama Goodrich, filling in on the outside for Lowe, came through with a powerful block. Kills from Taylor Leath on the right side, big serves from Abby Zeller and “on the money” passing from Casey Griffith, put the team back on track for a stunning 26-24 comeback.
“It was unbelievable,” said Coach Richard Johnson. “Everybody was contributing and before you know it, everything started snowballing. They could not stop us. Our bench players really contributed to help us win today.”
In the 18s playoffs, there was also a chance for an all-Synergy final but 18 Lehigh lost in a tie break to Norlanco. A bruised and battered 18 Orange lost two key players for the tournament, middle Alexa Swann and right side Sharay Barnes. But with the help of 17 Navy outside hitter Sarah Sweetland, the 18s rallied past PVA in the semis. In the finals, 18 Orange took Norlanco all the way to a third set but lost the match, settling for silver and an American bid.
The 16 Orange won its semi-final match against Yorktowne, but lost to PVA 16s in the finals, winning the silver and a chance to play at nationals in the American division. “Every player contributed at some point and with a valiant team effort,” said coach George Trabosh.
Synergy teams also posted two wins in the silver bracket. In 18s playoffs, 18 Navy won the silver bracket. And 16 Navy, missing injured libero Meghan Cavanaugh, dropped two tough matches early in the day, including one to eventual winner PVA. But the girls rallied in the silver playoffs, fighting for every point and taking each playoff team to three sets. They beat Triad in the silver quarterfinals, Valley Forge in the semis and Keystone Juniors in a three-set final to win the bracket. As one parent said, “All the girls pulled together, played with high energy, lots of passion, and synergy!”
Coach Johnson congratulated all the Orange, Navy and Lehigh teams for their standout performances this weekend. Coach Johnson said that all anyone had to do was look around the York Expo center during gold medal playoffs to see a Synergy team on the court. “There was a sea of orange,” said Coach Johnson. “No one from KRVA has sent as many teams as we’ve sent every year to nationals. As a club, we are getting better every year.”