Sunday, October 28, 2012

MIDD Wins Last Two--Takes 2nd Seed for NESCAC's

What a weekend!  We had two of our toughest Conference opponents coming to our gym on the last weekend of the regular season, and thus a lot at stake in terms of Conference Seeding for the Tournament.  AND, we celebrated Senior Day on Saturday!

We played Bowdoin on Friday night, and to start us out on the right note, Piper's mom sang the National Anthem.  Now, I know she's a professional, and I don't know much about music, but when the first note came out of her mouth, (pun intended), I was in awe.  SHE ROCKED THE HOUSE!!  It was absolutely amazing, and set the tone for what was to come.  We jumped out to an early lead 14-2, and never looked back as we totally dominated the first set 25-13.

The second set Bowdoin took an early lead, but we'd tied it at 10-10.  Then they built another lead and got up by as much as 12-17.  We fought back to make it at least respectable, but lost 19-25.  The last two sets were both very close, as both teams were battling back and forth.  Early on it was back and forth with us holding a point or two lead off and on until we took a 5 point lead at 13-8.  Bowdoin then fought back to tie it up at 16, 17, and 18 all.  We then went on a run with Julia serving that put us up 21-18 and would go on to win that set 25-21.

The last set was tight the entire way with 14 tied scores throughout the set with both teams taking turns at going up by a point or two along the way.  They had their first set point of the evening when Maddie got a solo block to tie the score at 24-24.  Amy rotated to the back to serve, and immediately got an ace, and then the next point MJ got a kill to win the match!

We played well, and felt good about the match.  We were having our Senior/Parent's Weekend Dinner after the match, so it was a festive atmosphere, which was great.  And, the home crowd was awesome!  I usually don't even notice the crowd, but I couldn't help but notice it this time, and that was a great atmosphere, especially for the seniors on their last weekend at home!  In addition to a good student fan base, we had a ton of our parents here this weekend, most of whom are in this picture here, thanks to our Team Photographer, Craig Jarchow!  If you haven't checked out his photos, you should definitely do so because they are amazing!!  Click here for Craig's photos!  The parents once again put out a spread of food that was unbelievable.  We had pans of yummy pasta, salads, Halloween goody bags filled with all kinds of fun things.  We also had cupcakes galore, and we even had the special pecan pie from Texas!! It doesn't get much better than all that!  We couldn't really celebrate our win too much, however, because we had another big match the next day with Tufts coming for a 2pm match, but we did enjoy all being together.  Steve came with his whole family to the dinner, and with so many parents, it was very festive.  Even after beating Bowdoin, we still could have ranged anywhere from 1st to 6th seed for the Tournament, which was hard to imagine, but that's how close the NESCAC was this year.

Saturday was the day the seniors had decided they wanted to celebrate Senior Day.  Our Seniors also wanted to start a new tradition this year by honoring the Seniors of our Opponent, so before the match, our seniors gave the Tufts seniors little teddy bears with blue and brown ribbons around their necks.  It was a well-received token of appreciation, and I think a new tradition was born for Senior Day.  (The Amherst Dad who gave us the leis two years in a row is really the inspiration for this gesture, but our seniors mentioned wanting to "pay it forward.")  For the Senior Celebration, our juniors (and underclassmen) decorated the gym on Friday with posters and pictures of the seniors, which was really fun!

With it being our last home match, Julia and Amy got their a capella group, the Mischords to come and sing the National Anthem with them, which was very fun.  Julia is the music coordinator, and leads the group, and they got Nicki to hold the microphone for them (see bottom of picture.)  Another great way to set the tone for our match--nice job, Mischords!  The 1st set was tight the whole way, getting tied up at 18-18.  We took a 22-18 lead after a side out with an ace from Julia and two kills by MJ.  They'd close to 22-20 before we pulled away for the win, and finished the set out with an ace by Lizzie.  The second set saw us get out to an early lead of 6-1 and we never looked back.  We had leads of 14-5, and 19-10.  Julia finished the set with 2 aces to win 25-13.

The last set was again very close early with back and forth scores that were tied at 8-8.  We went up 15-10, and then pulled away to a 21-14 lead, but Tufts wouldn't go away.  They closed to within 4, but couldn't get any closer as we closed out the match 25-20.  With the win, we finished 8-2 in NESCAC, and Tufts fell to 6-4.  8-2 tied us for 1st place with Conn and Bowdoin, but since Conn had beaten both of us head to head, they got the #1 seed, and hosting privileges, while we took the #2 seed by having beaten Bowdoin the night before.  As it all shook out, we will play Trinity as the #7 seed down at Conn next Friday night at 5pm.  Click here for the link to NESCAC.

Now, with the Tropical Storm of the Ages looming, I thought it would be good to get outside and enjoy the nice weather while I could.  I enjoyed some good Fall Fun watching the kids raking the bid leaf pile, jumping in and practically getting buried under all the leaves! 

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