Friday, October 5, 2007

Back-to-back Champions!

Yep, you read that right. My little ole middle school volleyball team is the first ever back-to-back championships in school history! I'm so proud--tickled pink to be exact! They did so awesome! I just have to share details.

Our first match was against St. Jude, who was the regular season champs, and they were our only loss of the season. So, here we are playing them a second time and we got creamed the first game. The second game was better, but we still lost. That sent us to the Loser's bracket where we faced Lookout Valley. We beat them easily, and faced the daunting task of beating the unbeaten St. Jude team not once but twice!! (It's a double elimination tourn.)
The first match my girls were doubting, but we kept the score close. Towards the end of the match, we got on a roll--several served aces and huge hits for kills--and ended up winning the game. We apparently took the wind out of St. Jude's sails, because we rolled over them in the second game. However, we weren't finished. We'd beaten them in one match, tarnished their undefeated season, BUT we had to do it again.

The third match against St. Jude was my girls' fourth match to play in a row. They were exhausted to say the least, but they had heart!!! It wasn't easy, but we won game one, then I could just "feel it" in game two. My girls did too. They played with such passion, such emotion, I could tell they wanted it badly. It was as if St. Jude folded, because they had a lot of unforced errors. We ended with a 7th grader (one of the youngest on the team) serving for game/match/championship point. It was an ace, and we all stormed the court! Who knew middle school sports could be so fun!!!!

Of course we took pictures, and handed out All-Tournament honors. (I can't post the pics, until I have permission from all the girls' parents.) My only regret is that I couldn't give ALL my girls All-Tournament honors. I had starters that worked their tail off and busted it all over the court. I had big girls (middle hitters) block, hit, and tip over and over and over again. I know they were exhausted! I also had great backrow players who had some amazing digs, and sprawled all over the court make some crazy saves (one in particular was a pass that a girl made sitting on her butt, her back to the net, and it still made it over the net! They weren't going to go down easily, I tell you!). My subs were huge too. Not only were they an encouragement to the others on the court, but when someone needed a rest they jumped right in there and did their job just as I asked them too. We even had one sub have such a HUGE block that it almost went out-of-bounds on the opposite side!! They all deserved awards for their accomplishments!

Anyway, we had a blast last night, and not just because we won. At one point I looked down my bench (we were all tied then) and I said aloud, "Man, this is fun! I don't even care if we lose. You guys are playing your heart out! This is SO fun!" They all agreed.

I think that that's why I'm so passionate about volleyball. It's not my first love as far as sports go, but it's so emotional. Things can happen in the blink of an eye. Momentum can shift so quickly. I had one parent comment that last year's middle school tourn. and win was the best and most exciting sports competition he'd watched all year! (And his girls are involved with just about every sport.) With middle schoolers, it's usually some of their first experiences on a "real" team not a rec league. They end up learning about first string, second string, etc. but they also learn to "gel" as a team. Honestly, I don't think my team "gelled" until last night. Good timing, huh?

I'm so proud! Words can give justice to how much I love these girls, loved coaching them, and will miss them next year.

1 comment:

Michelle Lanning said...

Congrats - that's awesome ----I LOVE your header - beautiful!