Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rough Weekend for MCVB

The New England Challenge Tournament proved to be quite a challenge for MCVB.  Our first stop on our trip was at Panera, where we scored some extra baguettes, which was a fun start!  We were headed to play Babson that night before going to MIT on Saturday to face both Springfield and MIT.  The regional rankings going into the weekend had Tufts at #2, MIT #4, Springfield #5, MIDD #6, Williams #10, and Babson #13. 

Having faced Babson earlier in the season, we felt like we knew what they wanted to do offensively, and although they are a very good team, we thought we matched up well, and felt prepared for the battle.  The match was being played in honor of one of the Babson players who's currently battling cancer and is taking some time away from school, but was there to support the team.  I know this player well, and want her to know that MCVB is supporting her fight as well.  She looked great, and is doing well right now, so keep up the fight, Olivia!

Unfortunately, we didn't bring our A-game, and had trouble finding consistency.  We had wild swings within the sets, jumping out to an 8-2 lead in set 1, only to see it get cut right back to 8-7.  Then, after being tied 17-17, we edged a lead out to 21-17 before they went on a 6-1 spurt to put us down 22-23 and calling our final timeout.  We would only score one more point as they went on to take the first set 25-23. In the second set we traded points until about 8-8 before they surged ahead 17-12.  We made a little headway, but lost that set 25-20.  The 3rd set we were down again, and facing elimination down 16-23, we fought our way back with a 5 point run to get to 21-24, and then staved off three match points to go on another 5 point run to take the 3rd set 26-24!  I thought we were coming out of our funk, but alas, it was not true and after being tied 7-7, we lost the 4th set 25-14.

It was a torrential downpour outside, with flash flood warnings popping up on our phones like crazy.  We made slow going back to the hotel, but ordered food to be delivered, and finally got to eat around 11pm.  The next morning was a pretty quick turn around as we headed back into Boston at 8am to prepare for our 10:30 bout with Springfield.  That match was pretty ugly, honestly, from our perspective.  They have a powerful offense with a 6'2" All American middle hitter, so if you can keep them out of system, you can win, but we couldn't get in system ourselves long enough to force them out of system, and some key serving errors at bad times just made it that much worse, and we ended up losing in straight sets without really competing for the match at all.

MIT was our last match of the weekend, and I actually felt good going in.  I thought we matched up well, and if we could get our defensive/receive game back, I liked our chances.  Fortunately, we did start to block again, which was nice to see, but we didn't find our consistency on any front, and ended up losing in straight sets.  The 2nd set was very competitive, and we fought for the other two, but came up short.

It was a challenging weekend of non-conference, top regional opponents, so it was a great test for us.  Although we didn't perform as well as we wanted to by any means, I think we learned a lot, and will come back hungry for practice this week heading into our final two Conference matches before the NESCAC Tournament.  It's all about getting better every day as a team, so I'm confident that we'll continue to do just that.   We like to stress with the players that it's not what happens that matters most, but it's how you react to what happens.  Things don't always go your way, and bouncing back and showing resiliency is a very important life skill, and we're testing that out right now!

No comments: