The Mud Monstars capped their quest for revenge by winning the 38th Annual Mississippi Mud Volleyball Tournament at Y Men's Club.
The Mud Monstars entered the 38th Annual Mississippi Mud Volleyball Tournament determined to shake off last summer's championship heartbreak.
A year ago, the Wallaby's topped the Mud Monstars in the finals for the second straight time, winning by two points to claim the tightly-contested best-of-three showdown.
On Sunday afternoon, the Mud Monstars capped their quest for revenge, downing the Wallaby's in the championship match to flip the script and secure bragging rights.
Congrats to the Mud Monstars for winning the 38th Annual Mississippi Mud Volleyball Tournament. pic.twitter.com/6GTdWXVBtP— Courier-Post (@HCP_Sports) July 3, 2017
“There's no better feeling,” said Mud Monstar Collin Anderson. “They've beat us the past couple years, so it's always going to be a grudge match when we go against them. To come out on top, it's pretty gratifying.”
The champions, featuring Anderson, Evan Beard, Raymond Chou, Jordan Fohey, Chelsea Reutenauer, Ashley Treaster and Brooklyn Watson, ran the table through the 56-team bracket with a 6-0 record.
Their toughest test came Sunday morning against the Wallaby's in the semifinals of the winner's bracket. Wallaby's won the first game, but the champs rallied to win the match in three sets.
“We had to bounce back,” Reutenauer said of recovering from the slow start. “That's when we really started jiving as a team, and that momentum carried into the afternoon.”
Fohey, the team captain, lauded the way his squad responded with its back against the wall.
“We just kept talking, passed the ball well and hit the open spots,” he said. “We kept each other up and never let anybody get down if they hit a bad shot. We don't ever give up, and neither do (the Wallaby's). They're good competitors, and hats off to them. It always a good match when it comes to them.”
The comeback victory Sunday morning earned the Mud Monstars a break before playing in the afternoon championship.
“That's a big advantage,” Anderson said of earning rest time. “That mud gets thicker and thicker as the weekend goes on.”
Meanwhile, Wallaby's moved into the loser's bracket where it defeated third-place Muck Dynasty to set up a rematch against the Mud Monstars in the finals.
Due to the double-elimination format of the tournament, Wallaby's needed to defeat the Mud Monstars in two straight matches to win the title.
“When you're going into the championship and they have to beat you twice, they just got done with a tough match right before that and you know they're tired,” Fohey said. “It just gave us the confidence to keep pushing.”
The Mud Monstars wasted no time getting started in the championship match, taking a 9-4 lead in Game 1. The Wallaby's fought back to within 12-10 before the Mud Monstars closed out a 15-11 victory.
Anderson served the first 11 points of Game 2 as the Mud Monstars opened up a monster 11-0 advantage. Anderson gave all credit for his serving spree to Fohey, who was front middle during the surge.
“We had Fohey in the middle and he was a beast,” Anderson said. “He played tough. That middle position, you get worked pretty hard, and he came to play.”
“That's probably the best we've ever played,” Fohey said of the dominant run.
The Mud Monstars held on to win the second game 15-3.
With it came the championship.
“We stuck it to (the Wallaby's) the best we could, and I'm sure they'll be using that as motivation for next year,” Reutenauer said. “We're friends, except for on the court. Every time we get together throughout the year, we're talking about mud volleyball. There's definitely some trash talking going on, but it's all fun and games. We love it and they love it and it's great.
“It's a great feeling for us. We have worked really hard for this. Honestly, this is something we work year-round for. The countdown starts tomorrow.”
Fohey mentioned the women on his squad were who took its success to the next level.
“We have some stud girls, for sure, man,” the captain said. “Honestly, there are tons of teams down here with really good guys, but it's the girls that separate the good teams from the great teams, and we've got three of the best. I wouldn't trade them for anything.”
The Mud Monstars squad was comprised of Hannibal area natives, though several have moved away in recent years. Being in America's Hometown for Fourth of July weekend, however, remains a top priority.
“It's a lot fun,” Anderson said. “You can't beat this weekend — especially when you win.”
Wallaby’s, second place: MJ Garkie, Sarah Getsee, John Moore, Tyler Mosley, Jay Mosley, Zach Nichols, Kallie St. Clair and Gabbie Wiley.
Muck Dynasty, third place: Jack Baumann, Sydney Bennett, Summer Golian, Anna Murphy, Dalton Powell, Dylan Powell, Jack Richards and Lauren Whelan.