What a FUN weekend here at MIDD. Not only was it Homecoming Weekend, but it was also our Senior Night! We had appearances from alums like Karen Engler Bartlett ('95), Lexie Fisher ('07.5), Kate Heath, Olivia Minkhorst, and Josie Keller (all '09). Not quite enough for an alumnae game, but it was great to see them, and it helped boost the atmosphere in the gym knowing they were back in the house! We also had an appearance from our former "1 Fan" Susie Patterson! :)
After we recognized our four seniors on Friday night, our battle with Tufts began. The fans were packed in, the gym was loud, and we even had face-painting going on!! It was a terrific atmosphere! The first game went to 26-28, and even though that one didn't come out in our favor, it was a sign of what type of match it was going to be. Every game was decided by either two or three points, and two went past 25 to be decided. We were playing tough, and overall, we passed better, so we got to run our offense more, and that seemed to be the edge. We also blocked about as well as we have all season, which was great to see, and gave us that extra boost that we needed. Good timing there! Tufts was undefeated in Conference coming into the weekend, so we all felt like that was a great win for us!
Saturday brought on more challenges as we faced Bowdoin. They played Williams in the early match, so we got to watch part of that before we played them. They took a commanding lead in the first game of that match before losing in 4 to the Ephs. When we were due to play Bowdoin in the next match, Williams was to play Tufts on the other court. (They were the #1, and #2 teams coming into the weekend.) We happened to be playing Williams in Football that day, and suddenly, we hear a loud band playing in the gym only to look over and see part of the Williams pep band playing for their team right in the gym! It was hilarious, and we all enjoyed a little "football game day band action!" The band left, and the games began!
Bowdoin edged us out in the first game by two points, but we seemed to bounce right back and take charge in the 2nd game. They came right back in typical NESCAC fashion in the 3rd, but we were able to edge them out by two points this time, and then we finished strong to post a commanding win in the fourth game at 25-18.
Our final match of the day was against a struggling Hamilton team, and I think they were already done for the day. We were doing a great job staying focused, and we'd seen Hamilton hang tough with Wesleyan last weekend, and we saw them almost take a game from Bowdoin on Friday night, so I think we did a great job coming out strong and being focused on our task at hand--playing our game, and staying sharp. All the seniors got to play in that match, and it was fun to see them on our Home court for the last time in uniform, especially with some alums in the house and a lot of parents there. We had a great crowd again on Saturday, which was really fun for us all.
Needless to say, everyone had a very good weekend. I think Lauren did a wonderful job running our offense and leading the team. Jane and Caroline had excellent hitting percentages, especially considering the caliber of teams we were playing. Elissa had a very good blocking weekend to go with some powerful hitting. I think maybe Whit may have had her best weekend of the year, however. She was hitting and blocking and just was on top of her game! How fun! Nat and Reisa both captained the defense very well, along with Caitlin Barrett, and Mallory passed bullets off the bench in the last match which was really fun to see! She was right on the money with every pass it seemed! Julia has been consistently providing that extra double-digit kill leader for us, and frustrating opponents serve receive with her weapon of a serve, and this was no exception. I think she put a little extra muster on the ball this weekend as well, and she stepped up her blocking which was great. Molly came in against Hamilton, and what she added on the court is similar to what she gives us all season long--consist effort, and smart play. She may not show up in the stats that much, but Molly was setting her block exactly where we wanted it, and doing all the little things that help us to be successful, even if they don't show up in the stats. Great job, Molly. Sarah Studwell was the other one to play, and I think she hit .800 for the match. They couldn't touch her. Sarah is a very explosive hitter, and it's really fun to see her come off the bench and waste no time putting the hurt on the ball! All in all, it was a great Team Weekend, and a lot of fun for us all. Now we have to get back to work and keep the ball rolling!
Next week is a non-Conference week for us with a Regionally ranked Plymouth State team mid-week, and then the Hall of Fame Tournament next weekend before we play our last three Conference matches of the season the last week of the regular season.
I'd also like to thank all the parents for EVERYTHING! The wonderful dinner in Lawson Lounge after the Tufts win. Even though I missed most of it, it sounded like it was fantastic, and that is really special for the team to share that with you all. AND, thank you for all the flowers for Brian and I, and for everything you do for us. We appreciate all that you do, and the support you give your daughters, and the team. THANK YOU!!! I will post some pictures when I get some.