Thursday, October 13, 2005

Volleyball Regular Season Final Matches

Today was the final matches of the regular season for both my teams.

My eighth grade team struggled throughout their match. They just never seemed to really get moving or playing. It was like they never really started.

They were serving well, but passing was horrible. They were making some progress this last week or two. Today the progress they had made disappeared.

This was one of the first teams we faced that really tried to play multiple hit volleyball. They were passing and spiking pretty well. But once my team started catching up, they paniced and dropped back to one hit volleyball again.

The 8th grade team lost the first game 19-25.

In the second game we started out much better. We got out to a 14 to 6 lead early and then just went stone cold. Our opponents served and scored 10 straight points in a row. 8 of those points were aces. It was painful to watch.

They lost the second game 20-25.

We played a third practice game. It was pretty ugly on both sides of the net. Both teams got sloppy and lazy with their serving. My team eventually won 16-14.

This final loss dropped my 8th grade team to a 3-8 record for the season.

The seventh grade team played immediately after my eighth graders.

They were a little off today also. They also were off today. Fortunately for them our opponents were the youngest most inexperienced team in the league. My player's serving was a little off. But thier serve receivig was better than normal. They made several ball handling errors while trying bump set spike combinations. I don't mind those errors much. They are learning opportunities.

My 7th grade team won the first game 25-17 and the second one 25-14. Unfortunately we didn't have time for a third game.

For the season my seventh grade team went 11-0 and only lost two games all season. Now I have one day, and one hour and a half practice to get them ready for the post season tournament on Saturday. Several of my 7th grade players have been getting overconfident. I need to get them convinced that every game they play on Saturday is a crucial one. Most of my team are truly warm hearted loving girls. They don't want to hurt anyones feelings or make anyone feel bad. So they have a hard time really slamming the hammer down on a team and burying them when they get the chance. If they are winning easy they tend to slack up. If they find a player who can't return a serve they will only serve at the person once or twice. They just don't like to "pick on" someone by repeatedly taking advantage of them.

I absolutely love that about this whole team. But....

It is our school philosphy to teach the girls how to play well and how to be good athletes and sportsment. We haven't really focused on winning. The girls think about it. But we don't emphasize it. But as athletes in a team sporting event they have to learn to play to win also. During the regular season we don't worry about wins because they don't count for anything. But now we are facing a one day, single elimination, winner take all tournament. So I have one practice to get them ready and try and teach them how to concentrate on playing good volleyball and at the same time play to win. Mostly I have to tell them that during the game they may have to occassionally pick on a weaker player. That is part of the game. You serve where it is least likely to be returned.

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