Sunday, November 11, 2012

MIDD Wins NESCAC Championship!!

Conn College hosted the NESCAC Championships this year for the first time ever, and they did a very nice job.  On Friday night we played Trinity in the #2 vs. #7 seed match.  Trinity gave us quite a battle in the first set!  We started out a little off, and they were ready to go.  We managed to pull out that first set 26-24, and battled again in the 2nd, but pulled away to win that one 25-22, and finished off the straight set victory with a 25-18 final set to start off our weekend well.  We also had a guest assistant coach on the bench that night in Lauren Barrett.  She was our only Assistant Coach last year at NESCACs when Brian was at his brothers wedding in California, but this year she was just our guest for the one night, but we got started out well, just like last year with a 3-0 victory.  Parents brought us a homemade dinner that we could eat right there at the gym after the match.  This allowed us to watch some of the match after us since we'd play the winner on Saturday.  This was the Bowdoin-Tufts match which Bowdoin won 3-0.

Our parents have as much fun together as we do, I think.  Most of them were staying at our hotel with us, and had their own party that night as the rest of us went to bed to prepare for the next day.

We knew Bowdoin would be very tough, especially after having lost to us the weekend before up at MIDD.  Well, it did prove to be quite a match.  We took the first set 25-21, but they came right back and won the next two, both  by scores of 25-19.  They were in system a lot of those two games, and we were just a bit slow, both with our block and our defense.  We rallied very well, however, and were not going to go down easily, and we fought back to take the crucial 4th set 25-23.  We trailed by a couple points for the first half of that set, but managed to tie it at 14-14.  We had several tied scores there in the middle of the set, neither team taking a lead of more than a point or two.  We took a two point lead at 23-21 only to give up the next two points to see it tied again at 23-23.  We finished off the set with a kill from MJ, and an attack error from their right side, and that bought us the 5th and deciding set.

We've played in several 5 set matches this year, but unfortunately had come out on the short end of most of them.  However, being there was not new to us.  This time, we completely dominated the 5th set.  We jumped out to a 6-1 lead, and were up 8-1 when we switched sides.  They scored three straight to go from 9-1 to 9-4, but we finished out the match with 5 straight points to win the match, and earn our way into the Championship match for the 3rd straight year!

That night we were fortunate to be able to enjoy going to Katie's house to hang out and have pizza and salads, and just relax.  We didn't stay all that long, however, because everyone was pooped, and wanted to get to bed to prepare for the Sunday Finals!  Thank goodness it was Daylight Savings on Saturday night which meant an extra hour of SLEEP!!  The next day we slept in, had breakfast at the hotel, and hung out and did work for a while before we headed out.  I had gone out in the morning with some parents to the grocery store to pick up some lunch items for the team.  We had time to kill, so we set out with our lunch and headed into Mystic.  We had a brief walk around the cute little town, and then ate our lunch outside on the side of the river.  We then had to make our ritualistic stop at Dunkin' Donuts for our iced coffees, which are now turning into more and more hot coffees due to the cold weather, and then headed for the gym again.

Conn beat Williams in the other semi-final match to set up our Championship match with the home team on Sunday.  Conn had a great crowd there all weekend, and the gym was loud and rockin'.  It was a great atmosphere!  We traded points to start out the first set, until we found ourselves in a 3 point deficit mid way through that set at 13-16.  We came back to tie it at 17-17, and then finished out strongly taking the first set 25-20.  The second set was all MIDD.  We got out to an early lead 7-3, and never looked back.  We held leads of 10-5, and 19-11 before closing out the set for a 25-17 win.

The 3rd set was back and forth the whole way.  We jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and had a 7-4 advantage, but after that it was tied at 11-11, and 13-13 until we found ourselves down 13-16 after a 3 point run by Conn.  We came back to tie it again at 16-16, and then traded points again.  MIDD took a brief 2 point lead at 22-20, but Conn came back to tie it at 22-22, and 23-23.  In fitting style Julia and MJ had back to back kills to win the match!  At first sight, it looked like MJ's attack had gone out, but the line judge on our end had his hand on top of the flag signaling a touch, and that was that--match over--NESCAC Championship to MIDD!!! 

We had great parent support all weekend, which was fantastic.  The Conn fans may have been louder on Sunday, but only because they outnumbered our fans!  The parents bought us a cake to celebrate after the Sunday match, and then sent us on the bus with homemade pasta salad and goodies for the ride home.  Thank you parents!!  We appreciate all of the great support!!

On to the NCAA's!!  We'd find out on Monday where we'd be playing and who...

No comments: