It was balmy and windy on Halloween when we finished out our season with two wins. That ended our regular season at 20-5, which is our best finish in many years! Brian says he's never had a record like that, and this is his 6th year, so there you go. After possibly our worst practice all year on Friday night, we ate and loaded the bus to head for Hamilton. There was some pretty heavy NESCAC action that night that we were catching wind of on our way. Underdogs were winning, and seedings were starting to shake up. It was very fun to hear the scores, and start to think about the possible scenarios, but we also knew we needed to stay focused on our task ahead--winning our last two matches against both Colby and Bates.
Colby was our first match, and they didn't give us much trouble. Sarah and Mallory played for two games in place of Caroline, and it was as if nothing had changed in our offense or defense, which is a fantastic occurrence at this point in the season. Both players stepped in and did a great job, and we cruised past Colby in three straight. Julia also had a wonderful match with 12 kills, no errors, on 20 swings. She was untouchable!
Sarah's parents brought us lunch, which was great. No early morning trip to the grocery store, which is always a nice treat for me. The food was great, and always something different when new people bring the lunch. It was much enjoyed by all of us, and they had Halloween plates etc, which was a fun touch! THANK YOU! We had great parental support, too. We had Sarah's parents and grandparents; Elissa's parents continued their NE tour, along with Lauren's (and Caitlin's--sorry, younger sis) parents. We played on the side court at Hamilton, in their field house, and it's big, and somewhat dark, and kind of quiet, so it was really nice to have fans cheering positive things for us! Our parents are great role models, and very positive supporters of the team, and we really appreciate the positive enthusiasm!
So, after our lunch, we played Bates. We had a quick scare before the game as Lauren got nailed hard in the face with a ball late during warm-ups, and her face was red and puffy, and her eye stung when it was open, so that wasn't good. In typical Lauren style, however, she shrugged it off and was "fine." She sure seemed fine as we took control of the match early, although the game ended up pretty close. We then lost the second game, and the third was extremely close, but we've been in so many close games that I felt confident. However, even though we were up maybe 22-20, they went up 23-22. Then we traded points until we finally won the third 26-24. That was a key game, however, and we downed them easily in the 4th. We pretty much dominated the game from start to finish, but Lauren finished it in style with four straight service aces to close out the match and our regular season!
Then, to top it off, the Barretts provided us a buffet dinner to take on the bus! Seriously, a total buffet complete with courses, and even a container of fluff?! What a feast. We were certainly well fed that day, not to mention the various Halloween treats by the parents as well. All this in the driving rain (thank goodness we were on a big bus and not driving vans). By the time we reached home at 8pm, however, it was barely sprinkling, and the costumes were starting to come out. Reisa finished her "monkey suit" on the bus--actually sewed it by hand--very impressive. Jane came to collect a few "workman" items that I'd brought from home, and there was a general excitement about the team for the festive holiday! Brian and I were fairly excited to catch a glimpse of our kids in their outfits as well, so we all headed off in our own directions once home.
Now, we'll have the week to prepare for Amherst, who will be our first foe to face! This is the bonus season that not everyone gets, and we're very excited, and motivated to keep playing as long as possible. This team is a special team, and we all just want to keep playing and having fun together as long as possible. We'll keep working all week, and see how long we can play next weekend. Each match we win earns us the right to play one more! Fun times!