Sunday, September 30, 2012

MIDD Sweeps NESCAC Weekend at Home

Our first of two home weekends went very well, which was fun!  We had some exciting things going on with both the team, and also with some external factors.  Middlebury College Alexander Twilight Artist in Residence was on hand both Friday night and again Saturday afternoon to grace us all with his singing of the National Anthem.  What a treat!!  He's had both Lizzy and Nicki in class, and really wanted to come out and support them (and us!).  Despite being sick this week, he came out both days, which was a real treat for all of us. 

Our match with Colby on Friday night was a very typical Conference Match.  We outplayed them in the first set by very strong play both defensively and offensively.  Despite having three service errors to only one ace, we came up with only ONE hitting error in the first set, and that led us to a 25-14 first set victory.

The next set proved to be quite a battle!  We got down early by scores of 1-6, 7-13, and 14-20.  It wasn't looking good for us, and they were playing well, and we were not coming up with the blocks or the digs to stop them, and we weren't having the offensive success that we'd had in the first set either.  We closed to scores of 18-22, and 20-23 before tying the game for the first time at 23 after a badly needed three point string.  We continued the string one more point to give us our first game point at 24-23, but they would tie it up three consecutive times as each time we had game point but couldn't convert.  Then two kills, one by MJ, and the next by Olivia put us up 2 games to 1 on a real nail-biter of a second game!

Colby had a lot of fight left in them, and didn't seem daunted at all by the fact that we just almost stole that last game from after they'd led almost the entire game by as much as 6 points for quite a bit.  The 3rd game was within two points for most of the time.  The largest margin was 4 when Colby led 15-11, and the rest of the game was back and forth the entire way.  It was a great battle with both teams coming up with big digs, and several long rallies.  We felt like our offense was more powerful, but it seemed that every time we got our offense running, and seemingly crush the ball, they would come up with big defensive plays and just keep the ball in play!  The score was tied at every point from 19-19 to 24-24 before Colby finally took two points in a row on a block, and then an unforced hitting error by us to win that set 26-24.

The last game was more like the first in that we got our offense really clicking again, aided by very solid defensive performances and good serve receiving.  In this game we once again had only one hitting error, and only one receiving error.  We closed out the win with a stuff block by Olivia and Maddie.  Everyone played at least one game as 3 different people went in to serve for Piper, and all were great contributors to the win.  Both Meg and Stud played very solid defense on the night in the back row, so it was very much a total team effort!  It was a match that saw us have two games with only one hitting error each, 10 service errors on the night, 16 total blocks, and a team hitting % of .239, and a reception rating of 2.38.  Those have been two of our goals (to be above .200 hitting, and above 2.0 on reception), and we surpassed both, which was great, despite the up and down nature of the match overall.

Saturday afternoon we played Bates College, and we had another fun surprise in that the PEP Band showed up to play.  They played a bit during the lineups, and during timeouts and between games, and it made for a fun atmosphere.  Once again, Francois graced us with his singing, and he even felt much better, which was very good to see!!  Also, both Nicki and Charlotte showed up back on our bench, which made our team complete again!  Nicki has been very sick of late, and Charlotte is hopefully on the mend after her illness, but will still be out of action for a while, but it was great to get her back on the bench!  Hopefully Nicki will be back in practice this week!!  Today, however, it was Bates that came out strong, and took the first game 25-23.  On paper, it may have looked like we were the better team, but then that's why you actually PLAY the games!  It was very close most of that first game.  We took a lead of 14-9 early on, but they held the leads later in the game going up 20-16, and 22-18.  We battled back to 23-24, but couldn't come up with the tie and they took the first set on a hitting error on our side.

The next set was more of the same, unfortunately.  We traded points almost literally the whole game until they took a slim lead 19-17 and carried that up to 24-21 lead before we battled back and took the next 5 points in a row to win 26-24.  We showed extreme poise during that run, and I think they may have gotten a little tight and were trying to finesse some shots while we just stayed aggressive and with our game plan, but it was a huge turn of events for us to win that game after being down 3 game points, any of which would have put us down 0-2 in the match.

We then really started to click, and put our full game together, and saw our offense come alive, and our defense wasn't allowing any of the off-speed, or back row attacks to drop!  Our ball control was very good and allowed our offense to get rolling.  We closed out the match by taking the next two games 25-16, and 25-14 to seal the weekend sweep of NESCAC foes!  Our hitting % soared to .319 against Bates with three hitters with double digit kills in Amy, MJ and Maddie with 17, 12, and 10 respectively.  Julia Gibbs once again had a superb night with 7 kills and only 1 error (.462), 33 assists, and 20 digs.  Along with Julia, Caitlin and Amy and Stud anchored our defense with 17, and 15 and 9 digs.  Kathryn came in to set the 6-2 again and tallied 24 assists and 12 digs.  Piper carried us defensively at the net with half of our team blocks to her credit.

Friday, September 28, 2012

MIDD downs Williams in 4!

It was a fun night for sure in Pepin.  Everyone likes to see a "Purple" school go down.  We came out ready to go, and looked great to start the game.  Our receive looked great, and our passing was on, and we just seemed to be putting things together.  They are a very good team, and it was very close the whole way, but we stayed on task and won the first set 25-22.  The second set was pretty much them, but we did help them out a little by having a few more unforced errors than we'd had in the first set, and despite it being pretty close in score, they were controlling the tempo in the 2nd set, which saw us serve out 6 times in that set alone.  The third set was very much a back and forth game, and we actually were down heading into the 20's in that game, and we just held our composure, and chipped away, and managed to pull out a very tight, come from behind 3rd game.  I think that proved to be crucial in the long run as we seemed more confident than they did mid-way through the 4th set.  It was a very tight match for sure, with both teams playing great defense, and being very scrappy all over the court, but we prevailed by taking the 4th set 25-20 for the win! 

By all accounts, it was a very fun match to watch.  Neither team lit it on fire offensively, with them hitting under .100, and us hitting just .132, but we did have a very balanced attack with MJ leading the way with 15 kills, followed by Amy with 8, Olivia with 7, Piper with 6, and Maddie and Julia with 4 kills respectively.  Julia and Caitlin defensively led the team with 21 digs apiece, while Piper and Julia both had 4 blocks, and Maddie had 3.  Julia also led the team in assists with 29, and service aces with 2 for a very balanced game overall.  Kathryn did a great job coming in to set from the back, and we had very solid contributions from both Stud and Meg playing back row as an OH.

It was what we like to call a very good TEAM win.  We were working well together, communicating well, and chasing down all errant balls, and getting a lot of them up and back over.  We are right back in action tonight as we face Colby College here at home, and Bates tomorrow at 2pm.  Both games will be webcast, in you're interested.  It's a big Conference Week for us, and one of only two home weekends this year, which are always so much fun!

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!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pool Workout Day

We don't often have a week of practice with no mid-week matches, so it's nice to take advantage of that time to get some extra rest, and also a fun, non-impact workout to change things up a bit.  Today was that day.  The training room knows all, so when I went to tell our trainer that we weren't going to practice today, but we were going in the pool instead, she commented that some of the upperclassmen had been talking about it last week.  That made me laugh.  I guess I'm getting somewhat predictable?!  Well, to change things up at least a little, I asked them to come with sweatshirts to add some resistance to the workout.  (That was a new twist!)

We did a fun, shorter workout in the pool, sweatshirts and all, and then celebrated Piper's 20th birthday with a cake that someone made (I think?!)  We sang "Happy Birthday" in the hallway outside my office after our workout, with everyone basically still dripping wet. Happy Birthday, Piper!!  And last week, we celebrated Lauren's birthday with cookies from the team, and cake from her parents.  A lot of Fall birthdays on the team, it seems.
video

Oh, and a little tradition we have on pool workout days is to do the "Whirlpool!"  I video taped it this year, and I was told by Maddie that some of the recent alums would probably really get a kick out of seeing it from this perspective.  (Maddie was a little under the weather today, so she stayed out of the pool, and had never seen the "whirlpool" from the pool deck.)  :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MIDD Splits 1st Conference Weekend

This was our first road trip with our full team, since we had to leave the freshmen behind our first weekend, so that was fun for us all.  The trip started off on a good note when we met Ernesto (one of our favorite bus drivers!) in the parking lot!  Ernesto was with us for NESCAC's last year, and he's so much fun.  On the way, we stopped at Panera to get a pre-game dinner for the ride down, and we had hoped to arrive early enough to walk around a little before having to get ready for the game, but some traffic slowed us up a bit, but we didn't have to rush, which was good.  It's always nice to stretch your legs and get some fresh air if time allows on road trips. 

We started our first NESCAC weekend with a tough serving team in Wesleyan, and each game was decided by 2 points, two of which went to extra points!  We displayed some mental toughness not only in overcoming deficits and pulling out very tight games, but in not letting the crowd get to us either.  They had a good fan base, and they were yelling all kinds of things when we went back to serve, but everyone showed a lot of poise to not letting it get to them.  A loud gym is a great venue in which to play, however, so despite some of the things being yelled, it was a good atmosphere for a match. We had quite a following of our own as our parent group was quite large!  Thanks parents!

We showed some early season grit by managing to pull out all three games.  We built leads and blew them, and also overcame quite a deficit to rally ahead for the win.   The first game was very tight early on, but we went on a run of 6-7 points, and looked like we might win decisively before they went on their own run to tie it up.  We traded a few points then before we finally scored the last two points on an ace by Julia and a kill by Meg to win 27-25.  We raced ahead 20-13 in game 2 only to see them pull to within 1 pt at 24-23 before we scored again to win that game by two points. Down 17-11 in the 3rd game, we inched back to tie it at 23-23.  We then traded points several times before pulling ahead for the win with the final two points by Amy with a kill followed by an ace for the 29-27 win.  That was a great way to start our weekend.  We weren't in tip top form, but Meg Anderson and Amy Hart led our offense with 10 kills apiece, while Piper led with 4 blocks, and Caitlin had 14 digs.  Both Amy and Julia served very well for us, getting 4, and 6 aces respectively.  Sarah Studwell played great defense and was very solid on serve receive as well.  That, combined with Maddie's solid hitting and blocking, and I'd say our four seniors had a very good opening Conference Match!

We had a very nice, although somewhat noisy stay at the Courtyard Marriott, where unfortunately there were TWO weddings staying there with us.  There was a Price-Rite across the street, however, so we enjoyed a "grocery store breakfast" the next morning after getting to sleep in, which was a nice luxury.  We then traveled on to Connecticut College to face the Camels who had lost the previous night to Williams 1-3.  The gym was loud, and dusty as it usually is, but what a match we had in there.

We once again had a very tight first game, which we pulled out in extra points, and it seemed as though every NESCAC game we played this year was destined to be decided by 2 points.  In the second game we looked like we'd found our groove by pulling out to a 19-11 lead before seeing that lead slip away, and this time, we ended up losing by two points behind a string of hitting and receiving errors.  Not to take anything away from Conn, who I think played very well.  They served very tough, and had a very balanced offensive attack, which was quite a switch after losing their go-to hitter to graduation last year. 

The third and fourth games were more decisive with Conn winning the 3rd by 7 points, and us winning the 4th by 6 points to force a 5th set.  There was no lead more than 2 points in that final game, as both teams just traded points and neither could get a run going.  Our receive struggled again, despite rearranging our lineup a few times, and match point was won on a service ace by them.  It's very tough to lose that way, but as long as we make sure to learn from this, and move forward, we hopefully won't have this loss haunt us.  I think the parity in Conference this year will be even tighter than it has been the last few years.  Everyone is good enough that they'll force you into some mistakes, so you have to try to minimize your own mistakes, and capitalize on those of your opponents, which is what we'll work on moving forward. 

Amy and MJ had big hitting nights for us with 18 and 17 kills, but we had very solid contributions from many others as well.  Piper, Meg and Olivia each had around 7 kills, and Piper and Maddie had 5 and 4 blocks.  We didn't get as many aces as we have been getting with our serves, and I think that was mostly due to their new libero, who we seemed to be serving to quite a bit.  Julia had over 50 assists and Caitlin had over 30 digs for very strong games.  Lauren Alper made her debut in action coming in to serve for Piper, and she did a nice job with that role, so that was good to see.

We have all week to rejuvenate and prepare before heading back down to CT to the US Coast Guard Academy next weekend to face a very good USCGA team and two other teams in a tournament.  We'll look forward to some good practice time leading into that, but it'll be nice to get back on the court in uniform as well and see what progress we can make as a team every time we step onto the court.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

MIDD Wins Home Opener

It's always fun to play at home.  Mid-week, we didn't draw a huge crowd, but some of the "faithful" fans were certainly in the house!  We weren't really clicking on all cylinders, but we kept progressing as the night went on, it seemed.  After dropping the first set, which had been tight the whole way, we then went on to win the next three sets.  Meg Anderson came in and got fired up and that helped give us a spark both emotionally and physically.

Amy Hart was again our offensive leader with 13 kills, with both Maddie and Piper having very solid games in the middle for us, both offensively and defensively.  Piper hit .500 for the night with 7 kills and no errors on 14 swings.  Our blocking struggled early on, but we ended up out-blocking Union 15-7, which was huge.  Once again, Caitlin and Julia led the team in digs with 15, and 19 respectively.

The second and fourth games were very decisive victories for us, and the 3rd game was more of a tight battle, back and forth until we built a lead at 16-12.  We then let them back in with four straight points by them to tie it at 16.  Then we traded points again until we build a two point lead at 22-20, and never gave up that small cushion.

The last set we were in control again, even though we never felt like we totally got our offense really clicking.  We played a couple of different lineups again, and got very solid contributions from a lot of people, we just need to put it all together and it could get really fun.

We're back on the road again this weekend when we travel to Wesleyan on Friday night, and then on to Conn on Saturday afternoon.  It's opening weekend for Conference play, which is always exciting!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Season Opens 3-1 at Endicott Invitational

It was a successful weekend for MCVB down at the Ocean-side campus of Endicott College.  After we wound our big bus through the small, residential streets of Beverly, MA, we finally made it to the campus in plenty of time to prepare.  I think we were the first team to arrive, including Endicott themselves, however, I think we may have been the only team playing that weekend that hadn't already started classes!

We came out of the gates ready to go and really gave U Mass Boston quite a run for their money in the first two games.  Unfortunately, we gave up early leads (and large ones) in both of the first two games before falling badly in the 3rd and losing our first real match of the season 0-3.  The good news was that we had a balanced attack, and had contributions from a lot of people.  Our juniors led the scoring attack with 9 kills, 7 kills, and 5 kills respectively from MJ, Amy, and Meg.  Meg also hit a team high .309, and added 2 service aces, while Caitlin led the team with 22 digs, and Julia dished out 25 assists and 12 digs.  We jumped out to a 12-5 lead early in the first, but they ended up tying it up at 15's before we traded points for a while.  We were still up 22-20, and 23-22, but they closed out the first set with three straight unanswered points. 

The second set was exactly the same as we again jumped out to an 8-2 lead before getting tied up at 14-14.  We led at 19-15, and tied it up at 20 before getting down 20-23 and then staging a comeback of our own.  We tied it at 23, had a game point, but didn't convert, and then lost two quick points to lose that game.   We are hoping to take what we learned in that game forward with us so that hopefully it won't happen like that again!  We lost the 3rd set as U Mass got their fast offense connecting more, and we'd lost some of our umph, I'm afraid, which you just can't do against a team like UMass.

In the next match against Endicott, we struggled to get much offense going in the first two sets, and after being up game points, and down game points, we ended up losing the first set 24-26.  The second was very tight back and forth again, but we could't pull that out either, and got down 0-2.  We had a long 5 game match last year also, so we were hoping for the long evening once we'd gotten behind by two sets.  We fought back and moved people around and came up with a nice comeback win to take the match in the 5th set.  You never want to go down 0-2, but it's also nice to have the experience of getting down, and coming all the way back to win a match like that, so that was fun.  Olivia saw action for the first time, and had the game winning point with a solo stuff block that sent the ball straight back into the ground for a decisive match point with style, so that was fun!  Amy lit the house on fire with 18 kills, while Maddie had 11 kills, and 5 blocks!  Our steady eddy senior duo of Julia and Caitlin again led the team with 57 assists, and 27 digs respectively.  Well done, guys.

The next day saw more lineup switching as we swapped Meg and Stud front row and back row, and both played their roles very well!  We have depth on our team this year like we haven't had maybe ever in the OH position especially, which should give us quite a bit of flexibility with lineup options.  We beat Plymouth handily in the first two games, then lost a close one as we may have gotten a tad complacent (?), but we came back in the 4th to win decisively again.  We were serving very well, and their receive struggled with that.  Amy again paced the team with 16 kills, 5 assists, and 5 aces, while MJ had 10 kills.  Julia had 19 digs and 41 assists, Piper came up with 7 blocks, and Caitlin had 13 digs.  We'll see them again later in Oct. on our home court in Pepin. 

The Tournament ended with us playing an out of Region team in Susquehanna University.  We'd watched them play Williams, and we felt that we had a good game plan going into the match.  Williams had been successful tipping against their defense, so we tried to get our hitters to do that, somewhat reluctantly.  On the sideline, we could all plainly see that even if you didn't tip all that well, you could still get balls to go down in the middle of the court, but we kept trying to pound our way through their block anyway.  We pulled out a close one in the first, 26-24, and then held leads most of the way in the next two to win 25-18, and 25-20 to close out our first weekend at 3-1.  Amy was honored for her efforts on the weekend by being named to the All-Tournament Team, so congrats to Amy and the whole team for a great season opening weekend.

We missed our freshmen, who stayed at home to register for classes and finish up with Freshmen Orientation, so we're looking forward to having them back with us for good now that classes start tomorrow!  We're back in action on Tuesday night at home in Pepin for our Home Opener!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pre-season 2012!!


I'm a little late in updating this, but preseason has gone, and is going well!  We started our year with a BBQ at my house on the 29th of August, and tomorrow (Sept. 6th) is the last day of official preseason practice.   Many parents were able to join us for our BBQ, which was fun, and it's always a fun night having all the players meet, or re-meet since the only time they would have met would have been on a recruiting visit.  We had a lot of food with chicken and pork on the grill, pasta salad, fruit salad, and grilled veggies from Greg's Meat Market, and a wonderful farmer's market salad from the Andersons.  The team did a short interview process with each other as a means of getting to know one another better.  Brian and Sylvie brought their girls, who get along very well with my kids, but don't get to spend much time together because of living in different school districts, and Rob was a very willing grill master, which was great.  Only Max was left out, and with so many "girls" around, he was hiding out on the computer, or in the playroom with Brian's wife Sylvie showing her all of his LEGOs.

With days of double practices looming ahead of us, after we ate, we separated so the players could continue moving into their rooms, and get a good night's sleep before our Fitness Test.  All went well the next day, and I was impressed with our overall Testing results, which was great.

In the middle of our double session days that weekend, I gave them an afternoon off and the Captains took the team on a gorgeous local hike!  We may have led all the underclassmen to believe that we were doing an outdoor fitness run....but it was a great day to take advantage of the late summer weather, and everyone was thrilled to find out it was really just for FUN!  Two days later, we'd picked the final roster, and had a scrimmage with St. Mikes, right here in Pepin Gym!  It was a very relaxed feel with the bleachers still shoved in, and virtually no one on campus (although the Freshmen were all arriving that day!).  We did have on uniforms, and had officials, and warm-up music, so it was official enough to give us the feel we were looking for, but scrimmages are great to try out all kinds of combinations, and make changes (and mistakes, like putting the wrong person on the lineup sheet, and not having to waste a sub to change it!) and just roll with it.

It was a successful night on all accounts, I think.  We were a bit unorganized with our warm-up, since we'd only practiced it once earlier that day, but that's part of the reason you have preseason scrimmages.  The freshmen arrived a tad late due to Orientation responsibilities, and they had to leave early, but we played them all for the 2nd game, and they did a great job, winning against St. Mikes younger players, so that was a good start for them, I'd say!  They all ran off right after that set to get to their respective Hall Meetings on time.


We played 4 games, and did not count it as a match, but we won all four individual games, which was good to see.  They were all relatively close, and we showed some good early-season grit by not dropping any of those sets.  Now, we're preparing to play our first tournament down at Endicott this weekend, and none of our freshmen are allowed to come with us.  They'll be knee deep in Orientation Activities, and actually will be registering for classes on Saturday while we're playing Susquehanna.  We'll miss them terribly, but after all, an education IS why they came to MIDD!  :)

Tonight the team cooked their own dinner after going to the local farmer's market before practice today.  I've not yet heard how it all came out, but they looked pretty happy about it!  A good, local feast of fresh farmer's market goods is hard to beat, especially when you've prepared it all yourselves.  Plus, the house still looks very clean!

Keep checking in as the game write-ups will start very soon...