At the beginning of March, nine of our U14 team members traveled to Lancaster, PA to compete at the National Indoor Tournament (NIT). It was the first time this team had competed at the NIT before, and for some, it was their first time flying on a plane. The girls had been training for the indoor season since early December, but it wasn’t until more recently that coach Lauren Cornthwaite realized they needed to step up their game significantly in order to be competitors at the National event. Cornthwaite shares: “After seeing our U14s compete at a tournament we attended in Milwaukee, it hit me that we needed to alter our training habits and patterns – significantly. I have taken at least one age level to Nationals for eight years now, and I know the level of play we can expect to see there. We were nowhere near this level in late January. I always want our athletes to be prepared for the next level, and after analyzing their performance in Milwaukee, I realized that I wasn’t doing my job of preparing them. I raised my expectations, spoke to the girls directly about changes they would see in our practices, and our training immediately took a turn for the better. All of the girls responded beautifully to the higher demands and started coming together more as a team”. At Nationals, the girls played five games. Prior to the final game, Aim sat in third place (out of 6 teams in its pool). Aim defeated the team that was in second place in this final game 4-1. This win, along with an unexpected tie from the team that was in first place, moved the Aim U14 team to first place in the pool! The girls earned a gold medal, an incredible experience, and a closer bond to their teammates! Congratulations to Lily Baylis, Meg Baylis, Molly Christopher, Anna Farrar, Molly Farrar, Mia Fields, Abby Hodges, Mackenzie Hull, and Cat McGlynn!
This was the first time an Aim team has ever won a gold medal at the NIT!