We played pretty well overall at the Amherst Classic, going 2-1 for the weekend. We outmatched Westfield State on Friday night, and that proved to be the easiest of our three matches. After a very interesting, fun, and varied dinner at the Whole Foods hot-bar, we returned to our hotel to have an early night, which was a nice treat for us. (I had never been to Whole Foods, and the choices were tremendous! Thanks to Jane's mom, who provided food galore for us the next day, we could splurge a little at Whole Foods, which was a nice luxury too! And, she bought us a bunch of cookies for dessert too--thank you!!)
On Saturday morning we faced Amherst for the second time so far this year (one more to go!). We were much more poised this time playing them, and despite losing the first two games by narrow margins, we came out still fighting to win every point in the 3rd game. Our serve receive at times was the best it's been in a long time, which was GREAT to see. Behind that great serve receive, and very solid defense, our offense was allowed to shine a bit, and we took the 3rd game from them, somewhat handily. We just had our game clicking, and kept the pressure on them, and caught them out of sorts, and just overpowered them in that game. Unfortunately, that didn't last long, and they stormed back and caught us almost off-guard, it seemed, to take the game winner by a substantial margin.
Brian commented after that match, however, that at points, he thought our serve receive looked better than it has in any of the 6 seasons he's worked at Middlebury. I think we all felt good about that, and we look forward to keeping and building on that success!
Our final match of the weekend was against Brandeis, and we knew it would be another tough match-up. After losing the first game by a narrow margin, we rebounded very well, and were able to win the next two games somewhat handily. We had a tough fight on our hands in the 4th game as they were not going to just roll over. We prevailed behind both a mammoth performance from an individual, and some great balance with the rest of the team, including some excellent bench play.
Jane had a huge game posting 24 kills in the 4-game victory. This, we've now found out, ties her for 5th in the all-time history of MIDD Volleyball for kills in a single match. That was exciting, and her mom was here from Chicago to see it, which was even nicer. We had strong bench play, and our defense continues to empower our offense, which is always nice to see.
I wouldn't be telling the whole story of visiting Amherst if I didn't mention what we had to eat on the way home. Not only did we have all of Jane's mom's food that was leftover (bars, snacks, gatorade, fruit, etc.), but we also had homemade goodies from Lauren's mom, and Ellen's mom!! Needless to say, we had dessert taken care of! We all pretty much love the options in Amherst, and we have some different favorites. Several people headed off the the Black Sheep for some amazing deli sandwiches, while a couple went for Burritos. Reisa and I were looking for some pad thai, and Josie was looking for some curry, but the good Thai place didn't open for another 15 minutes, and we really wanted to get on the road--next time! I went for the Noodles Shop Pad Thai, which is good, but not as good as the other place, and Josie ended up with Mexican. We all were very satisfied, and enjoyed just laughing and watching movies on the way home.
Our lone match this week coming up is against Skidmore, and then we have our one weekend off, which will be a nice break for all, especially since it's Fall Family Weekend!