New Haven started off the tournament with pool play, playing teams such as Poplar Bluff, Advance, and Bell City. The Shamrocks won against Poplar Bluff, 25-17, 25-19. Against Advance, the Shamrocks had another victory, winning 25-20, 25-18.
The next morning, the Shamrocks played their last pool play game against the Bell City Cubs. The game ended in a two-set win for the Shamrocks, consequently earning them a spot in the highest bracket possible, the Gold Bracket. Here the Shamrocks had their first match against Cape Notre Dame, the reigning champions of the 2013 Dig for Life tournament and also the home team in the tournament. In this match, New Haven lost in two sets to the Lady Bulldogs, 13-25, 21-25.
Although the Shamrocks lost their first game of bracket play, they had an opportunity to still win Gold Consolation. Consequently, New Haven played Clearwater, who had lost to Jefferson in their previous game. New Haven beat Clearwater in just two sets, advancing to play in the Gold Consolation semi-final game against Eminence. During their run against Eminence, the Shamrocks were thrown some curveballs. Outside hitter Kayla Borcherding and middle blocker Lauren Bergner both battled ankle injuries; not to mention, outside hitter Katie Peirick went out with a knee injury earlier in the tournament, and right side hitter Beth Schenck missed the tournament with a concussion. All in all, the Shamrocks persevered, beating Eminence in three sets.
The final match for New Haven was against Bernie. In the match, the first set went to Bernie, 17-25. The Shamrocks did not give up, though. The Shamrocks took control, winning the second set, 25-20. With a split game, the Shamrocks had to go into a third set. When asked about her thoughts going into the third set, setter Erin Scheer stated, “I knew if we all came together as a team, we could definitely get the job done. We had beat them one set already, and I never doubted our abilities. I also really wanted to win for Katie and Beth. We worked hard all weekend, and we really wanted it.”
Coach Jaime Hoener stated, “I thought we had a very good weekend at SEMO; the girls played hard and didn’t give up even in the close three set matches.”
In the end, the Shamrocks came out on top, winning the Gold Consolation title, 25-22. Overall, The Shamrocks ended the weekend with a record of 11-4-1. -by Lauren Bergner