Last week was another successful week of volleyball. It was a challenging week of volleyball as well; but how we fight through those challenging moments, is the greatest determinant of our long-term success. And we pushed through our trials, all the way to the championship match.
It was a hot day, and the tournament was a double-elimination format, so there was no time to waste. We drew a solid team for our first match, and despite our attempts to pick up our level, we weren’t quite able to find our rhythm on the court. Game one – win. Game two – loss. Game three – loss. It wasn’t an ideal way to start our day, but we knew that it was pointless to dwell on it, because we had a long day ahead. A loss out the gates, meant that we were bumped to the losers bracket.
The losers bracket is full of fast games, unpredictability, no time to rest, overexposure to the sun, 17 foot blisters, and infinite trials. We had to play in back to back games from 11am until we were out. And we didn’t plan on getting beat out, so we knew we would be competing until 8:30pm in the championship match.
It is in those trying moments that I love having a solid teammate by my side. There were numerous long plays I recall being slumped over gasping for air. When I would finally be able to lift my hands off my knees, I’d raise my head and see my partner, also trying to regain equilibrium. Together we would pull each other back into position and muster up enough energy to prepare for the next serve headed our way. We may not have had our momentum, but we did have more fight in us than the other teams, and we pushed through, one point at a time.
Finally around 6pm, our efforts paid off, and they announced that our semi finals match would begin on center court. Our feet were burning through our sand socks, and our bodies were exhausted from battling through the previous 8 GAMES we just played, but we weren’t stopping there.
We finally started to find our flow on the court. But our bodies were so beaten up that it was a struggle to push through (did I mention 17 foot blisters?). One more match to go, and it would be a tough one.
The finals match was against two of Seattle’s greatest players. They have more experience than us on the sand, and a lot more inches, so we knew we would have to come out strong.
Finals match – loss. Close, but no cigar.
Jes and Jen are a great team, fantastic people, and we plan to catch them next time.
At the end of it all, we were proud of all that we accomplished and that we never gave up. To celebrate, we opted for a fun team photo. Chest bump…. 1. 2. 3!
What a day we had, and to make sure that we truly were pushing our bodies to the limits, we decided to play on Sunday as well.
In our attempt to hang out with fantastic people, and grow the game of sand volleyball in Idaho, we recruited two of Boise’s finest to attend the tournament with us as well.
These two studs competed in their first ever beach volleyball tournament, and went on to win the silver bracket of the men’s division! whoop whoop!
And then to make things even better, we all played co-ed together on sunday. Bre and Collin beat Jack and I out in the semis and took home the championship title!
Overall, best weekend ever. There is nothing I love more than doing things I love, with people I love; and this crew topped the charts.
Big thanks to Alki Volleyball, Susan and Phillip, Juan, Anne and Juli, the Hartman family, and lululemon Meridian. To keep up to date with our competitions, check out GO TEAM IDAHO. Coming soon, to a beach near you.