Sunday, January 29, 2006

Results of my big match

Just to get it out of the way, we lost five sets to nil. No, no. Don't feel too bad for us.

Sets one and two were really good. We were matching them point for point and we only lost 18-25 in the second set. Trust me, our opposition are good. One girl from the opposing team played volleyball for her university in Canada (nothing to sniff at) and another girl is just as good. So for us amateurs on my team, that scoreline was well done.

However, things went rapidly downhill in the third and fourth sets. Poor passing and low morale were to blame. See, that's how you know these girls are inexperienced. They cannot pull themselves together to get out of a low point. They just wallow in it and there's nothing that the captain or the coach can say that will motivate them. It's actually more tiring to play with them like this and I eventually shut down as well.

I didn't play the fifth set, which was fine with me. The lack of engagement with the other players had me down. I was also a bit angry at our coach. I thought his choices of players were all over the place. We had 12 available players for the game. You only can have six on the court. Instead of staying a bit longer with the stronger players, he continually rotated so everyone would play. I don't think that was such a good strategy for such a big game. Also, he asked this girl to come along and play with us who had never once played with our team. She had no idea of our team's particular set ups and seemed as if she learned how to play volleyball last week. Needless to say, it all went a bit pear-shaped in the fifth set and we lost 3-15.

Sorry I've rattled on about this. I have always loved volleyball since I was in high school. I was rubbish then through a combination of not taking it seriously and not listening to my (excellent) coach. I guess I'm going through a bit of a renaissance and sadly trying to recapture my youth. I was talking to the really good Canadian I played against after the game. She was lamenting getting older, as she was noticing that she is able to do less of what she could do when she was younger. I am strangely opposite. I guess I'm savouring this chance to play again competitively, so I can show myself that I can really do. Anyway, I recognise all of you are not volleyballers. If you're not up on your volleyball, click here to learn more.


I get a bit of schtick because of my American volleyball and competitive sport lingo. Most of my teammates think its pretty hilarious the things I say. Here, we don't "bump" a ball, we "dig" it. A cry of "Break serve" and "Side out" don't mean a thing to them. When someone makes a mistake, I would usually say, "Shake it off." (One of my teammates told me that when I say that, it reminds her of the Blues Brothers' song "Shake Your Tailfeather.") I have been told that an appropriate response to that situation is "Hard lines." Eh?

The Boy says that when he watches us play, he can tell my influence on the team, as they whoop a lot more than normal British people would. "Whoo!", so you know, apparently is not a very British think to say. I have some girls I play with don't say a single thing when they play on court, let alone shout. It's disconcerting! I think it has more to do with their lack of experience and trust in themselves than with any sort of Britishness. However, the reserved British nature does no favours.


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