Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Trip to Coast Guard Academy Finishes 2-1

We knew going into our weekend that US Coast Guard Academy would be a tough match.  We didn't know that much about the other two teams there, but we've had consistently tough, and very close matches with Coast Guard the past few years, and this year proved to be no different.  On the way down, we'd watched Armageddon, or most of it.  We pulled into the parking lot at a crucial time in the movie, so I let them watch just a little bit longer.  We had to get just to where the two groups reunite on the asteroid (after previously thinking the one was gone), so that hopefully we'd all be feeling good, and not tense with emotion heading into the gym!  We got to watch some of the first match between the two teams we'd play on Saturday, which was good, and then we started to warm up for our game.  We came out very strong in the first game, and once again had a back and forth, extremely tight game that we ended victoriously 25-22.  We had a very tight game in the second also, but unfortunately, we didn't emerge with a two set lead, but rather a 1-1 tie.  Here we go....

Well, it went downhill from there, and the Coast Guard took the next two sets as well, and neither set saw us reach 20 points.  It just wasn't our best show.  Our receive struggled at times, and our karma seemed off a bit, or something.  We just couldn't seem to get any momentum, and we seemed to make things hard for ourselves at every turn.  At any rate, we just didn't put it all together, and thus didn't really put up the fight we wanted.  Take nothing away from Coast Guard, who played a very smart game, and were a very consistent, aggressive, and worthy opponent. 

That night was one of the few times that we actually ate at the hotel.  It was nice because they gave us our own room (although it was right next to the Karoke Bar, and let me tell you, I could have been a singer in that crowd!)  We had a late dinner there, and then got to bed for an early rise the next morning.  They'd fortunately changed the schedule, however, and instead of playing at 9am, which would have meant a pre-7am breakfast, they'd moved our match to 10am, so we didn't have to rush out quite as early.  After a continental breakfast, again in our own private room (nice!), we headed back over to Coast Guard for another day of volleyball, and hopefully a better show of our talents!

We started off with DeSales University.  We'd learned at dinner the night before from Pete, our bus driver that they had traveled here on an "executive charter" or something like that, which meant that they had leather seats, a kitchenette, and small tables with seats facing each other in parts.  In other words, it was like business class on an airplane!  Pete had taken pictures on the inside of this bus and shared that with us.  Anyway, we decided to switch around our lineup again, as we've been doing back and forth so far this year, and it had a slight roller coaster effect.  We had a late surge in game one to pull ahead from a mid-game tie to a 25-16 finish.  However, we never really showed up in game two, trailing the entire time, and only coming away with 13 points.  The 3rd set proved to be a crucial one, with both teams trading points at times, and then both going on runs to pull away, or catch back up.  Fortunately, we put together the last run and pulled out the victory 26-24.  With a 2-1 lead now, we seemed to regain our confidence and pulled out the match win 25-17 in the 4th set.

We then had a very nice lunch just outside the facility overlooking the river.  Angela (and others probably helped as well?) brought us some yummy lunch items to eat between matches, which was great.  THANK YOU!!!  We had Katie's dog, and Caitlin's dogs all there, and we'd seen Nicki's dog on the previous weekend, so we're getting some good dog lovin' in this season so far.  You could actually smell the ocean, which was nice, and it was a gorgeous Fall day with warm sun, and very pleasant temperatures outside.  After enjoying being outside in the gorgeous sunshine, we headed back inside to watch a little, and then prepare to warm up again for our last match of the weekend.

Lasell proved to not be all that strong, and it was a perfect way for us to end the weekend.  Everyone got to play, and everyone played well!   Nicki went in game two to serve for Piper and almost served out the game with a string of probably 7 serves?  Katie played back row for Amy in that game, and did a fabulous job, coming away with an assist, two digs, and an attack attempt.  The last game saw mostly our future out there, except that Stud and Maddie were keeping an eye on the young ones.  Kathryn set a 5-1, and Lauren played libero, while Stud and Lizzy played OH, and Olivia played RH, and Nicki served and played back row for Piper.  With Charlotte out for a while now, both Maddie and Piper have to play all the time, until we pull out our secret weapon of a MH....

We're back at home ALL week, which will be great.  We host Williams on Wednesday night, followed by Colby and Bates on Friday and Saturday.  It will be a big Conference weekend for us with 3 matches in 4 days, so we're looking to put it all together this weekend, and keep having FUN!!

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