Thursday, December 12, 2013

Poster Presentations by Lizzy, Katie and Kathryn

It is great fun to see players on the team in their academic setting.  I love going on campus and taking part in anything else that the team is up to, whether it's watching them play another sport, performing in a singing concert, play, or musical concert, or listening to them present their thesis, or other academic presentation.  The other night I was invited to Bi-Hall to see what these three have been up to in one of their classes.

Lizzy, Kathryn, and Katie were all in a class that culminated in a Poster Presentation of their projects.  They had combined with another student on the projects, and so two different aspects of similar issues were presented in one poster, and combined to show a common thread, or focus moving forward.  It was fascinating, and all three did a fabulous job with the poster, and with their explanation about it.

Lizzy's dealt with gender roles and resource allocation in the Sudan.  Kathryn evaluated the environmental impacts of surfers, and Katie looked at deforestation and the affects on native peoples primarily in South America.   (I may not be doing them full justice, but I hope these are close summaries?)

They all did a great job with the visual presentation through the posters, and in the verbal explanation of their projects.  It was fun to see, hear, and to read about their projects.  And, those are HUGE posters to print, but very cool presentation.  I'd love to see the printers they use for projects of this size.  Nice job, guys!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Team Celebrates Season with Banquet at Swift House

Thanks to the generosity of some of our parents, we had a fabulous end-of-season banquet at the Swift House Inn.  It was such a lovely setting for our banquet, and the food was amazing.  What a very special environment in which to celebrate our season--THANK YOU!  It's always fun to get together one last time as a whole group because the off-season is often smaller groups, or most people, but not quite everyone.  Plus, Judd and Steve joined us as well, so we really had the whole team!

 All three Sophomores were Academic All-NESCAC, which is awesome!  Well done guys!  Then we took class pictures at the end, but Piper and Olivia had to leave early to take exams, so we didn't get a junior picture, but the other classes are below.

As usual for our group, the focus was on food, and togetherness, but we did have some nice gifts and recognitions to hand out.  We handed out Varsity letters to the freshmen, (yes, the old-fashioned block letter that can be sewn onto a blanket, or something), and several people were honored with a NESCAC certificate for various things including 1st and 2nd Team, All-Sportsmanship, and All-Academic, which is great.  The Team Awards, voted on by the players were the following:  Most Improved went to Gabi; MCVB Spirit went to Kathryn; On-court Contribution went to Lizzy; Off-court Contribution went to Meg.  Then, I always give the seniors a gift, and try to wrap up their careers by recognizing their amazing contributions, which is hard to do because they've given so much over the four years.  It's really a time to celebrate our group together, and to thank the seniors for all they've given all of us over the last four years.  We also recognize our Faculty Affiliate, Steve Oster, our team manager, Charlotte Wright, our trainer Judd Mackey, and Asst. Coach Brian Dunlop for all of their time, effort and dedication that makes the season happen.  Plus the team had some nice gifts to hand out to both the seniors and to the coaches/trainers/Steve, and it was just a fun evening. 

The last photo below was the seniors getting what could be their last FREE samples of cosmetic products from Brian!  You can see they were focused on looking through the goody basket one last time.  Thanks Brian!!

Now, we are starting finals, so everyone is busy studying and finishing up their work for the semester.  Piper took everything early so she could leave to have surgery, but most everyone else is still around this week taking finals and finishing papers and projects.

We wish all the players good luck on their finals, and we'll have more updates soon as lots of things are happening right now--it's a very busy time of the year.  We've had recruits accepted ED, poster presentations by players, and community service events, so stay tuned for more updates...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More Honors for Amy and MJ

The NEWVA (New England Women's Volleyball Association) has come out with their post-season awards as voted on by the coaches in the New England Region.  Both MJ and Amy were invited to participate in the Senior Classic, which is a skills/competition day/all-star game combined with the coaches annual meeting for NEWVA.  It honors the top 26 seniors in the Region.  In addition, both were named to the NEWVA All-Region Teams, MJ to the 1st Team and Amy to the 2nd Team.  Congratulations to both of these seniors as these are very nice honors to cap off wonderful careers.  Well done, guys!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Seniors All Honored by NESCAC, Amy by AVCA also!

All three seniors were honored this week when the NESCAC posted their awards.  MJ was honored as 1st Team All-NESCAC for the third straight year after being named the Rookie of the Year her freshman year.  Amy was honored for the second straight year as 2nd Team All-NESCAC, and Meg was honored by representing
Middlebury on the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team.  Congratulations Seniors!!!

In addition, the AVCA came out with their All-Region Awards, and Amy Hart was selected on the Honorable Mention All-Region for the New England Region by the coaches association, so congratulations Amy!! Well done!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Season Ends at NESCAC's

A return to the Championship match didn't seem to be our fate this year, and this would be the first time our senior class wasn't part of that match.  We came out strongly in the first set against Amherst, and asserted our dominance early on jumping out to an 8-2 lead, and leading for most of the first set.  Amherst made a run, however, and tied it up at 17-17, and took their first lead of the set right after, going up 17-19.  We took the lead for the final time at 21-20, and never let it go to finish 25-21.

The second set was a nail biter as both teams slugged it out to a 27-29 finish, but not in our favor.  There would be 16 tie scores in this set, with MIDD having the opportunity for set point 4 times, and Amherst only having set point once, but that was all it took for Amherst to steal the set from within our grasp.  We kept making good plays to go up set point, and often made errors to tie the game back up.  Finally, Amherst finished it off with an error by us, followed by a kill from their OH.

No problem, that tied the match at 1-1.  The third set was another tightly contested set as we took an early lead 8-4, but they fought back to tie it at 12-12, and at 14's.  They then got 4 points in a row, interrupted by a blocking error by Amherst trying to stop MJ.  After two errors by our hitters, we called a timeout, and scored three straight out of the timeout to close the score to 18-20.  At 20-22, we looked to be making a comeback until the error bug hit us, and we fizzled out the set on two attacking errors, and a receiving error to go down 1-2 in the match.  That was a tough blow.  After not pulling out the second set, and then not winning the 3rd, despite hitting our best % for the evening at .308, it seemed that we just were a little deflated, and didn't quite have the fight we'd hoped to have to force a 5th set.

The only tie score in the final set was at 2-2, but after that we were playing catch up the rest of the way.  We managed to get down 9-19, unfortunately, before we made a final push to fight back to 16-20, but couldn't overcome the deficit, and ended the set, match and season on an 18-25 score. 

Amherst played well.  We held their OH1 to 14 kills, but the OH2, who had previously not been a major factor came through in a big way, also scoring 14 kills on half as many sets as their OH1.  We seemed to try to ride our seniors into the semi-finals almost single-handedly.    In our previous win over Amherst, our MH's and Olivia combined for 21 kills compared to only 13 this time.

We fought valiantly, however, with both MJ and Amy coming in with match-high 24 kills apiece.  Hannah had a match-high 55 assists, and Lizzy had a match high 23 digs, but we couldn't quite put enough pieces together to fashion the win. 

Meg came in and aided our serve receive late in the match, and Olivia and Melanie each had 3 block assists in the effort.  We did register 10 more kills than Amherst, but also 15 more errors.  They out-blocked us by only 2, although it felt worse than that, and we only had one more receiving error, and one more serving error than they did.  I think a key moment came in the second set when we couldn't convert on any of the 4 set point opportunities.  At this point in the season, you have to get it done when it counts because you have very limited opportunities.   All in all, it was a very close match, and a very competitive one, so we can all feel good about that, well, at least now maybe, after a couple of days to let the dust settle?! 

We did, however, still manage to eat well on the ride home!  It turned out that none of the team, even the seniors had EVER played at Williams before.  Funny how our schedule works out sometimes.  So, we arrived early enough to actually eat a sit-down dinner in Williamstown before watching some of the early matches that night.  Then, Lisa Barrett turned up with another Goodie-Bag including the famous caramelitas and Paradise Cookies, and Katie's parents brought us a bag full of goodies, along with cookies from somewhere else--maybe Lizzy's dad?  We do like our food, and we never seem to be in short supply, which is fantastic!  I think we may have been eating our sadness out on the way home while we watched Love Actually for about the hundredth time, it seemed.

You know, it doesn't matter how long you do this, losing that last match is NEVER easy.  It's so sad to see it all end with a particular group, but the good news for those of us returning is that we have a lot to build on for next year!  And, we'll miss our seniors very much, but will carry on next year without them, knowing that they'll be watching us from near and far, along with our previous alums who still keep track of us.  We should hear about our ED recruits in another few weeks, and that will be exciting to start thinking about also.

It should be an eventful off-season with Piper's surgery coming up, Lizzy has a fun excursion planned for J-term, and Crew will be starting for Lizzy and Olivia before too long.  I'll start the Leadership Training with the sophomore class over J-term, and we'll meet to go over some of our other power-point presentations we need to cover still with the team.  Our strength coach will be starting our new off-season workouts with the team at some point this winter, and we'll hopefully get together to do some other fun out-of-season activities like skiing and snow-shoeing, etc.  We'll keep you posted here!

GREAT JOB, Team!! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

MIDD Sweeps Maine Teams in Pepin Finale!

It was a big weekend for MCVB, and our seniors playing in their final home games in Pepin.  We took on Bowdoin on Friday night, who was coming in with a 7-1 Conference Record, and we rocked the house, well, except for the first set.  We came out a little slow, and maybe a little tight expressed by a few overpasses, and we trailed the entire first set, and lost 17-25.  The second set was the reverse of the first, with us never trailing.  We were always up by at least 1, and often 3 or 4, and we closed out the set 25-18.

The third set was a battle!  It was back and forth and either tied, or one team up by 1 or 2 points until we took a 4 point lead 18-14, and even went up by 6, 21-15 before Bowdoin came charging back to tie it at 23-23.  A kill by each MJ and Amy ended that set in our favor, 25-23.  After that, I think we took the wind out of their sails as we pretty much dominated the fourth set.  It was tied early at 4-4, but after getting up 12-7, they would fight to within 1 at 13-12 on a 5-1 run, but would get no closer than that.  We pulled away with an 8-0 run to put the game out of reach at 21-12, and we closed out the upset 25-17 in the 4th.

It was a big win for us, and a great one to get at home.  We were in our slump during the meat of our Conference matches, so to beat two of the top 3 teams in the last two weeks of the regular season (Amherst at the HOF, and Bowdoin this weekend) was a boost for us.  We feel like we're playing well, and we just want to keep improving every day.

The next day, we celebrated Senior Day.  The first set was a run away, but after that, it was another battle.  In the second set we trailed from the first point until we finally tied it at 18-18, and 19-19 before we took our first lead at 20-19, and never looked back to pull away for the 25-21 win.  Bates came out in the 3rd set and traded points with us for most of the third set having 12 different ties before losing that set 23-25.  We would then close out the match after a competitive 4th set.  What was funny was that we got up 24-14 and it looked like we were trying to get one of the seniors to win the match, so we kept setting Amy, who was getting some good hits, but Bates just kept digging the ball (except for the one that looked like it HAD to have gone off of a Bates blocker, but they said it just hit the net and went out?!).  Anyway, they rattled off 5 straight points before hitting one out to give us the win!

The seniors' moms put together a great spread for us after the match for our senior celebration, which was really nice.  They set up a table with tons of cupcakes, pictures, balloons, flowers, sparkling cider and the whole thing was very festive!  Amy's dad gave a toast, and then we ate, which we love to do!  It was very simple, but very nice.  Thank you to the mom's (Margaret, Ann, and Angela) for putting it together!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Halloween!!

What a fun Holiday, which tends to bring out the kid in all of us!  Here is a picture of the team before practice today.  It was a rainy day, but a fun one nonetheless.  Gotta love the spirit!

The "Blue Man Group" was our Field Hockey Coaches, and they rocked it!  And, Melanie wore a beautiful dress that she actually made with help from her grandmother for a Renaissance Celebration at home.  Very impressive.  And, finally, my kids made the jack o' lanterns at home.  Happy Halloween!! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MIDD Goes 2-1 at Competitive Hall of Fame Tournament

After a disappointing Conference stretch, we were ready to take on some good non-Conference competition at the Hall of Fame Tournament.  The committee that schedules that tournament always waits until a week before to announce the match schedule to try to pair up appropriate non-conference match-ups that haven't occurred yet during the season.  In the past, we've gone up against some of the top non-NESCAC teams in New England, and this year was no different. We were matched up with MIT on Friday night, Amherst (sometimes it just works out that you have to play someone in your own Conference, and it just happened to be us this year), and Springfield, all of whom are ranked in the top 8 in New England. Plus, at the HOF tournament we always celebrate Meg's birthday, which is fun!

In our opening match on Friday night, we played MIT very tough in the first set, and even extended to extra points but couldn't quite come up with the win, and lost 26-28.  The good news was that it was a very competitive set.  The second set, we dominated despite it being close early on.  After being tied 4-4, we went up 15-11, and then went on a 7-0 run before they scored again, and then scored the next 3 to close out the second set 25-12.  The third set was closer, but late in the match we pulled ahead for a couple point lead and kept it to close it out 25-21.  The fourth set was a doozy.  We were down early by a few points, and then up in the middle of the match by as many as 5 at 16-11, only to see it tied again at 17-17.  We would then trade points, and eventually got down 20-24 with them serving for set point. Two kills by Amy, one by Melanie, and an ace by Katie and we closed the gap to 24-24.  MIT had an error, and then a kill by Olivia and the match was over!  That was quite a finish.  We had some great points and rallies in that span, but we just kept fighting, and were keeping balls in play, and we came up with some big plays at key moments. Defensively, there were many great plays to keep those rallies alive also, which was great to see.  It was a wonderful team win all the way around.

We headed to the hotel feeling good about both the win, and our level of play.  After eating a cooler dinner, which means that I brought groceries with us to make a dinner (aka. sandwiches and veggies), we figured out that we would need to meet for breakfast at 6:25 am the next day in order to get breakfast, stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and still get to the gym by 7:15 to get people in the training room in time to warm up at 8am.  9am match times are something from the past, but for whatever reason, that was the start time for this weekend if you drew the early match, which we did apparently.

No worries, Dunks in hand, we arrived at the gym first, and started getting settled for our first match.  Amherst is another team that notoriously arrives early, so we were the first two teams there for either court, and several kids from both teams were off doing homework or whatever before needing to get ready to warm up.  Even though we'd rather not play a NESCAC school at this tournament, we were all kind of excited to play Amherst again.  We just felt like we didn't give them our best when we'd played them at home two weeks before.

It was a great match, start to finish.  We won the first, third, and fifth sets for the match win!  It was very competitive both ways, and our loss 18-25 in the second set was the largest margin.  The other sets were 25-21 in the first, 30-28 in the third, 22-25 in the 4th, and 15-11 in the 5th.  Even though it doesn't count toward the Conference standings, we all felt good about getting that victory, especially after beating MIT the night before, both of whom are top-ranked teams in New England.

Another funny scheduling thing that happens at this tournament is that some teams have to actually switch sites in the middle of the tournament, and we were one of those teams.  After playing Amherst at 9am, we loaded on the bus with lunch provided by the Andersons--which was awesome!!  Thank you so much for that lovely spread!!  We ate en route to Smith, which took almost a half hour and arrived in time to see Trinity up 2-0 already on our court.  That meant that we'd likely stay close to schedule and start our last match close to 1pm, which we did.  We needed to digest lunch, and then get warmed up again, and loosened up after the long Amherst match, followed by sitting on a bus. 

Springfield proved to be a very tough team, and I don't want to make excuses at all, but we seemed to be having some "issues" before that game.  Some were tight with not quite as much time to get warmed up again, others weren't feeling well with upset stomachs.  It was interesting to say the least.  As the team was warming up before our "official" warm up, Melanie left not feeling well.  Without Piper, we are down to only two middles, so when we were finishing up our last couple minutes of our official warm-up, and meeting before the match started, I pulled Charlotte aside and started explaining how she might have to play middle if Melanie didn't show back up.  Lizzy had to leave after the 2nd set and couldn't return, so Lauren stepped in to play libero, but we got our subbing for the middles mixed up, and Lauren and Katie switched which middle they were serving for, which is, of course, illegal.  No one figured it out until late in the match, at which point, they just called us out of rotation for that one point, but it was a sign of what type of match it had been. 

Despite this type of disorganization, we were somehow miraculously still in the match for most of first and second sets falling 21-25, and 19-25.  The last set we were not quite as competitive, losing 15-25.  I give them credit as they have some very tough hitters, and spread out between an OH,  a couple of different RH's, and one very good MH, but I think we'd all love another chance to play them again when that's the only match of the day.

The Anderson's brought cupcakes for Meg's birthday, which was fun!  And, the senior moms put together goodie bags for all of the girls, and even gave Brian and I one too!  The girls all had fun discovering all the fun things included in the bags, which was a lot of fun, and so did my kids!  And, to top it all off, it was Homecoming at home, and the football team beat Trinity, who was previously unbeaten in the final minutes of the game, so it was an excited bus-ride home.

Now we have all week to prepare for our last two Conference matches.  Our destiny is in our own hands.  If we win one, we should be in the tournament for sure, and if we win two, we could be seeded anywhere from 6-8, depending on who else wins/loses.  If there are major upsets, then the whole scene could change, but that's what I think is most likely to be the case.

Monday, instead of going in the pool for an alternative, and light workout, we decided to have Kathryn lead the team in a Yoga class to get a good stretch, and recoup without getting in the cold pool and therefore, hopefully staying a little healthier in the process.  Now that the weather outside has turned toward winter with snow-capped peaks in the distance, it's even more important to be taking care of our health as we enter the last push of the regular season into the Conference Tournament.  GO MIDD!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

MIDD Drops Close NESCAC Road Matches

We traveled down to Conn College on Friday night to take on the Camels.  The first game started out fairly well as we edged out to a lead of as many as 8 points at 18-12, but would see that lead slip away half on our errors, and half on their good hits.  Tied at 18-18, we scored the next two points to again take a small lead, but Conn tied the score again at 21 all.  Tied 23-23, we ended that set on an attack error, and a receiving error.

The second set we came charging back, took control from the start, and never looked back to win 25-12.  We seemed to be back on track, however, that was somewhat short lived as we managed to lose both of the next two sets despite being very close right up to about 20 points.  It was a pretty ugly game altogether, actually, as neither team mustered a good hitting %, and both teams were plagued by unforced errors.  MJ and Amy were again our kill leaders, but Gabi came through with the highest hitting % at .571 with 4 kills, no errors on only 7 swings.  There were very few blocks in the game on either side, and both teams combined for 21 service errors, and 20 receiving errors, split almost evenly between the two sides.

As always happens, the day eventually ends, and a new one greets us the next morning, full of new hope and inspiration.  We set out for Tufts early, expecting a lot of traffic due to the Head of the Charles, and ended up arriving even earlier than we normally do.  No worries, we had a short team meeting to help make sure we have the big picture in mind, and to refocus our energies, and remind us why we play this game, and how much fun we all have together.  Anyway, it was a gorgeous Fall morning, and some of us watched the Tufts baseball team playing pickup, and part of a Quidditch match starting up, so it was nice to get some nice outside time before heading in for our match.

The energy on the court seemed alive today, and we were determined to find our fight!  And, fight we did.  We pulled out a very tight first set 26-24.  No one held a lead of more than 3 points the whole set, and it was great to see us fight right to the end.  The second set we got behind early, and while we fought to get back into it, they pulled away with a 5-0 run to end the set 25-15.  The third set was again very close to start out, and with us up 13-10, we traded points to 17-14 and then we rattled off 6 straight points to go up 23-14, and then finished the set on two attack errors by Tufts.

Now, up 2-1, the 4th set was a great battle.  Tufts got ahead by a few points early, and then we'd come back.  They did it again after being tied at 9-9 to go up 14-18 on us.  Again, we fought back into it to tie it up at 19.  We traded points, being down a set point here, and up a match point once that we couldn't quite convert, and they managed to pull out the tight win 25-27 to force a fifth set.  We got off on the wrong foot in the fifth with some errors and poor passing to go down 0-3, but managed to get it back and tie it at 4-4.  Unfortunately, that's where our scoring stalled as they went on a 10-0 run to take a gargantuan lead 14-4.  Two time-outs, a side change at 8-4, and we just couldn't manage to get the sideout.  We had some great swings that just went wide, a couple of good blocks that we just reached a bit for and got tooled etc.  We managed to get two points before a service error ended the match, and our hopes of the upset. We were plagued by errors of all kinds a bit in the last set as we had a few receiving errors, some blocking errors, hitting errors, and service errors.  That's a few too many errors to overcome, I'm afraid.

The good news was the fight was back in us, so we'll get back to work next week on the physical errors, and keep pushing ahead!  We did have several fans in the house, which was very fun.  We had our senior parents there--all 6 of them, actually, plus Meg's grandparent, which was fun.  The Jarchows, the Harts, and the Andersons have been great supporters of ours for so long now, and we thank them for traveling all the time to see us, and support us.  I think Katie's dad was there also, or at least at Conn when he brought us cupcakes!  I hope I didn't leave anyone out because I didn't get a chance to talk with everyone.

The Barretts were back in the stands, and recent grad Caitlin '12 came to sit on the bench and help cheer/support us, while sister Lauren '10 was in the stands with her parents Tim and  Lisa.  It was great to catch up with them, and we even had a bus delivery for old times sake!  Yes, sandwiches for all, AND carmelitas!!  Oh la la.    Katie Kenny Enslin '03 was also there with her husband, two adorable children and both of her parents (who are some of our biggest fans in the Boston area.)  Katie commented on how good the team looked, and how rewarding, but tiring being a parent of two small children can be!  Amen to that one.  Thank goodness mine are getting older!  :)

After the match, the juniors stayed behind to go cheer for our crew team at the Head of the Charles race this weekend, and Lauren and Meg stayed behind to go home/see friends in the area.  We are off of school on Monday and Tuesday, so at least they'll have some time to get caught up on work, and sleep, and hopefully have some extra free time to just enjoy doing whatever!!  We'll get back to work together on Monday and Tuesday before heading over to Plymouth State on Wednesday and then to the Hall of Fame next weekend.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Great Turnout for Fall Family Weekend!

How about this group?  What a gorgeous weekend we had for Fall Family Weekend this year.  I think everyone on the team had at least one parent here, and most had both, plus several siblings also, which was great fun!  All of Brian's family made it, most of mine, Steve and at least two of his girls were there, and the crowd on hand in general was pretty good, especially when we gave them something to cheer about!!  Unfortunately, the volleyball itself was not quite the celebration we'd hoped this year as we faced two very tough opponents in Amherst and Williams.

Amherst was our first opponent on Friday night, and they came out firing on all cylinders, it seemed, and we were just a bit slow out of the gates.  We had trouble getting our offense going, and were thus on the defensive all night, and without good opportunities to pressure them back.  By the third game, however, we seemed to be getting something going as we jumped out to an 8-0 lead.  They would fight back into it, and then we stayed within two points of each other, sometimes us up, sometimes them until we were tied at 20-20.  Amherst then finished out the set on 5 straight points.  I think we were a little amped up with it being Parents Weekend and all, or still trying to adjust to playing without Piper, and Olivia was still coming off the flu, but at any rate, we at least played again right away the next afternoon to get right back up on the horse, so to speak.

Saturday afternoon, we faced the only previously unbeaten team in NESCAC in Williams, and they proved to be a very tough opponent indeed.  The first set we were horribly shocked, I think as we only scored 12 points.  We hung in there for a while in the second set, but they had strings of multiple points in a row when we were only getting one or two, it seemed, to keep us constantly trailing and playing catch-up, and we just couldn't muster a counter attack to get back in it.  The final game was competitive as well, with some great rallies, long rallies, and scrappy play on both sides of the net, but again, we seemed to come out on the short end of the stick as the second purple team blanked us in as many days. 

Some highlights of the weekend, however, were of course, all the families there to cheer us on!  In addition to the families, we had a guest coach on our bench in Sarah Studwell '13, and Nicki '13.5 was in the stands to cheer us on, in addition to the Beans--minus Whit '10, who apparently was studying for Grad School finals.  Not only did she miss seeing us, but also missed her little brother who's staring on the men's soccer team this year as a freshman, and they had a great weekend winning two games, putting them in second place NESCAC right now.

MJ and Amy led the team in kills with 11, and 10 respectively on Friday night, however, our team hitting % was much lower than our goal of .200, so we're working on that!  Additionally, Lizzy made her debut at playing libero on Saturday, Olivia had a stellar hitting % against Williams hitting .400, Amy again led the team in kills with 12 on Saturday, and Gabi and Kathryn led the team with two blocks each on Saturday.  We actually held a slight advantage over Williams in the blocking category, which was great to see. 

The whole team (I think?!) went out to Flatbread for dinner on Saturday, which had to be a lot of fun.  I went home and just hung out with my family for a little down-time since we'll be on the road for the next two weekends.

I'm not sure what everyone had planned for Sunday, but I took my two youngest kids for a hike since it was so gorgeous!   Fall in VT is surely beautiful, and we were very happy for all the families that traveled here this weekend that Fall Family Weekend turned out so beautiful!

Now, we'll have all week to prepare for Conn and Tufts with no mid-week matches, which will be nice.  Then, the following week is Oct. Break, and then we're off to Hall of Fame before having our last NESCAC home stand of the season on Nov. 1-2.  Wow, how time flies, it seems!  We're hoping to regroup a bit this week to be ready to get back in a groove next weekend.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Catching Up on Last Week, and Heading into Fall Family Weekend

We had a busy weekend last week, and I've been slow to catch up.  We dropped our first match of the season, and first Conference match to a feisty Wesleyan team down there last Friday night.  We came out a little flat, and traded points with them for a good part of the first set, which we had done several games already this year, but instead of finishing strong, and pulling through, we just couldn't quite muster the offense we needed at the crucial times, in large part due to our lack of defense.  The second set we basically served them off the court, and completely dominated the set, but went back to our wayward ways for the next two sets.  We dug ourselves holes, and then tried to climb out, or built a small lead, only to see it evaporate away.  We've moved on...

The next day we took on Trinity, and controlled the tempo more how we wanted, and came away with a three set victory, and seemed to have bounced back to our stride.  We added another match to that Conference Weekend, so we played Keene State right after Trinity, and changing gears seemed a little difficult for us as we dropped the first set to them before coming back strongly to win the next three sets for a 2-0 day Saturday.

MJ was named Co-Player of the Week for NESCAC for her efforts over the week which included stats such as averaging 5 kills/set, 2.14 digs/set, and hitting .365 for the week.

Last night we took on Skidmore here in Pepin, and handled them quickly and efficiently for the first two sets.  We seemed to take a mental break, or we had a slight let-down in intensity, and as our defense faltered a bit, our offense seemed to leave, and we ended up dropping the third set to them.  We bounced back in the last set to dominate again, but not quite as emphatically as we had in the first two sets after Piper had to sit down with an injury.  Olivia was already out with the flu, but Hannah had stepped in nicely to play that role, and then Gabi stepped up to play in Piper's rotation.  We've talked since the first day of practice about our team depth, and how important that is, not just for competitive practices, but in case the need arises to use that depth.  We'll face that challenge now head on as we take on Amherst and Williams at home this weekend!

It's Fall Family Weekend, and I think every single player has at least one parent coming, and several have multiple family members coming, so it should be a very exciting weekend!  We're anxious to take on these two Conference rivals, and happy to be home to do so.  We should really see where we stand this weekend, and we're looking forward to the fun of the challenge!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Vermont Fall...

I just thought I'd share some recent photos from this Fall.  Fall is such a gorgeous time here, and it's been a spectacular one so far. 

These aren't artistic photographs, but are scenes from pre-season through now, and the real colors are yet to come!  Most are from near campus, but there are a couple from the top of Snake Mountain, a couple from the golf course, a couple from out by my house, some fly-fishermen in Otter Creek right downtown, and a couple of the last ones are from Fort Ticonderoga when they did a Revolutionary War Re-enactment a couple weekends ago.  Happy Fall!!