Wednesday, November 4, 2015

MIDD Splits Final Weekend--Takes 4th Seed for NESCAC's

Halloween Weekend, final home matches, and the end of the regular season.  We were already in the NESCAC tournament, but seeding was undecided.  Most of the other matches across the league were going to be lopsided, most likely, but our gym ended up having the deciding action.   Before practice on Thursday, however, we had to celebrate a bit of Halloween!  We had quite a mix of costumes, which was fun, as always.

Conn proved to be a tough challenge to start out our weekend.  Isabel had been sick all week, and awaiting test results, but other than that, we were pretty healthy and feeling good, I thought.  We came out somewhat flat, and had some tough times connecting with each other, and just looked a little out of sync.  The match itself was very close, but we seemed to be playing catch up all night.  They'd go up by a couple points, and then we'd come back, but for the most part, we were behind except for a couple of times we went up by one point.  The first (25-27) and third (26-28) games both went to extra points, but we came out on the short end both times.  The middle game they led the entire way and ended up winning by 5 points, 20-25.

We tried switching up our personnel, but nothing seemed to be enough to overcome our funk.  Balls were dropping between people, and we had miscommunications, and things were just a struggle.  Let's give credit to Conn for coming out strong, but we didn't give them a good fight, I didn't think, and thus the three set match despite the closeness of the two sets.  Neither team hit well, as both teams were below our averages:  Conn hit .171, and we hit an abysmal .074--it's tough to win hitting like that.

Saturday was a new day, and we came out ready to play.  Despite dropping the first set, we were playing better than we had the night before, so that was a good sign.  We were being aggressive, and making shots.  The first set we hit well below our average again, almost like we had the night before, but it had a different feel to it than before.  Tufts is a better blocking team than Conn, and we got blocked a little, but we were more in sync with each other, and were playing together, so I felt like we had good fight in us, even from the start.

We got behind early and trailed by a few points most of the first set, but we came back to tie it at 20-20, and 21-21, but three straight kills by them put them at set point.  A kill by Becca was all we would get as the set closed out on an aggressive net error by us.  We were fighting, though...The second set started out all us as we raced out to a 5-0 lead on Hannah's serve.  They tied it at 11, and we traded points for a bit before we went up 20-17.  They got to within one and stayed there right up to 23-24 before Isabel ended the game with a kill for the set win to tie the match at one game apiece.

The third set was back and forth again until we took a 14-11 lead, and led 20-15 before Tufts fought back to tie it at 20-20 on three kills bookended by two attack errors by us.  Becca broke the tie and put us up one again at 21-20, and a kill by Eliana and some errors on their side gave the game to us and the lead 2-1 in sets.  The fourth set was again back and forth up to an 11-11 tie before we scored four unanswered points on Hannah's serve again to go up 15-11.  Up 21-16, a couple of kills by Melanie and one by Isabel, and sprinkled with errors by Tufts, and we had 6 match points at 24-18.  One more kill was all they would get before making another attack error and the match was over.

We had great support by parents, both current parents and alum parents.  I think I saw Emily's, Isabel's, Becca's and Jen's parents, in addition to Sarah's dad maybe?!  I may be missing people, too, so I apologize if I'm missing anyone.  Meg's parents were both here with fellow alum parents Melanie and Charlie Underbrink and Angela Jarchow for Friday's match, and took this picture to the left at a favorite spot in town--the Wine Bar!  MJ joined us on the bench as a guest assistant coach on Friday, and both Barretts were here all weekend, too.  Whitney Bean's parents were in town for their youngest son's (MIDD '17) soccer match on Saturday, but they came to watch us as they always do when they're in town--THANK YOU ALL for your support!!   All that good karma and you'd have thought that we might pull out two wins, but at least we got one!

For our efforts, we earned the 4th seed, playing Tufts again on Friday night up at Bowdoin in the 8pm match.  It's a very exciting time of year, and we're all ready for the challenge of trying to win another NESCAC Championship!  LETS GO MIDD!!

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