Monday, September 12, 2005

Middle School Volleyball Match 1

Today, was the first day of competition in the middle school volleyball girls volleyball season. The 7th grade league has eight regular teams participating this year - One from Trona, One from Immanual Christian, One from Saint Ann School (my team), three from Murray Middle School and two from Monroe Middle School.

The 8th grade league has eight different teams participating this year - One from Trona, One from Saint Ann School (my team), three from Murray Middle School and three from Monroe Middle School.

In addition to these regular teams and games several individual schools have set up home and/or away games with schools from Edwards AFB, Tehachapi and Death Valley.

I would like to report all the results of the matches here. But that is not going to happen. Keeping up with both my teams is going to keep me hopping and I just am not going to have the time to keep an eye on all the other games. So from this point on I will mostly only report on the Saint Ann games and the teams that they play. It would be nice to be able to report on all the teams and all the games. But I can't ingnore my players just for the sake of reporting on other volleyball matches that they are not playing in.

This afternoon started with my 7th grade team playing Against Murray A team at 4:15 PM. This was the first game in competition for all six of my sixth grade players. They were understandably nervious and suffering just a little bit of stage fright. Murray A started serving both games. They had a pretty good overhand server in the starting position. She ran off 4 quick points off service aces. My team rotated through a couple difficult serves eventually allowing their opponents to get a 6 point lead. Then my veteran seventh graders stepped up and took over. The three of them finally rotated into a position where all three were on the court at the same time. They got the younger players settled down and the whole team started playing like I knew they could. In the end my girls won the game 25-18.

We changed sides the next game was almost a duplicate of the first game right up to the slow start and the strong finish. We won that game 25-17.

This was a great start for a fairly young team. We need to work on starting faster and we had a couple players struggle with thier serving. They had some difficulty with serve receive errors. But most of those were misplayed balls and not service aces.

The 8th grade team was playing the Murray A eighth grade team. The last few years Murray A has been one of if not the toughest teams in the league. Since Murray usually has three teams thier coach has a large student body to build teams from. This year looks to be similar to the last couple years. The Murray A team is all pretty tall and fast. They are playing a simple center set offense as opposed to the more complicated 6-2 offense that I have our girls playing.

The start of today's match was depressing. This is the third year for my eighth grade team to be playing in this league. I was hoping that they would be over the stage fright stage of playing. But I was wrong. I don't know what was going on this afternoon. But my 8th grade team showed up, warmed up, and played like they had never been on a volleyball court before.

I've had trouble in the past with these girls playing in a very lethargic state. They just stand around and watch the game from court. But it was bad today. Additionally the 6-2 offense that we have been playing during practice for 3 weeks seemed to confuse them. Several players spent most of the game confused and not sure of where they belonged on the court.

I saw a lot of things today that I really didn't like. I had players accusing others of missing plays, players hitting serves that only traveled 5 feet, players hitting spikes that only traveled three feet. I had players so busy talking about things other than volleyball that they missed rotations, missed serves, missed most of the game.

The 8th grade match ended with Murray A beating us 14-25 in the first game and 26-28 in the second game. We had several opportunities to win the second game. Each time those opportunities were wasted by sloppy plays.

I think tomorrows practice will have to be a back to basics lesson for the 8th grade team. If they had played with half the concentration and determination of the 7th grade team they would have easily won thier match.

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