Sorry I did not post after the Santa Barbara event. Things got very busy and my blog was pushed to the back burner. But I am back to give you full details of the last two events. They were good ones filled with excitement and upsets.
Santa Barbara was really nice. The weather was great. We stayed right across the street from the site, which was fantastically convenient. It was a two day tournament with a 16 team draw size. Only the teams that finished 9th or better would move on to San Francisco.
We won our first match against Romias/Rutledge. We played great at times, but were a little streaky in this match. We had big leads in both games but gave up several points in a row making the match tighter than it should have been.
Next we played Davis/Jordan and lost a heart-breaker. We won the first set 34-32. It was very exciting all around. There were several long, dramatic rallies. The second set, we trailed from the beginning. We lost 17-21. We were neck and neck throughout the third set until the last few points. Davis/Jordan jumped ahead when it counted and got the victory. It was frustrating, but we fought so hard and knew we had to bounce back quickly.
We then played Ivy/Lowe in the contenders bracket. The first set was really close. We led the whole match, but could not break away. We won 24-22. The next set, we made some adjustments and were able to score some points and get a little cushion. We won 21-17.
Our next match was against Mason/Kropp in the stadium. The entire beach is pretty hard-packed, but the stadium was just like playing indoors again. I felt so good during this match. I was jumping and seeing the court really well. We took care of all our opportunities and won 21-13, 21-15. It was a great match for us.
We were finished for the day, sitting in 5th place. We had to come back the next morning and play Boss/Ross to get to the semi-finals.
We finished on the later side so I went back to my hotel to shower quickly before heading to dinner. I was exhausted from the day so I climbed in bed early and fell right to sleep.
The next morning I felt great physically. I was ready to go. We started off pretty well against Boss/Ross, but then they got some confidence in their jump serves and started bombing them. They went after me because I got into some passing trouble. If I passed the ball I would side out, but I was getting eaten alive by their serves. I got aced more than a few times. It was not pretty. We lost 26-28, 18-21. That was the end of our tournament. We finished in 5th place.
I felt better after seeing how well Davis/Jordan and Boss/Ross played against all their opponents. Both teams are playing exceptionally well right now. I was really excited for Davis/Jordan to win the whole tournament. They are wonderful girls and amazing volleyball players.
Next stop, San Francisco -
I left on Tuesday for San Francisco for Cuervo appearances. The Wednesday visits were cancelled so I had a full day in the city with my husband. We used to live there, 7 years ago, so it is really fun for us to go back and visit friends and some of our favorite stomping grounds. It was really cold in the city and I did not pack anything warm so it was a good excuse to go shopping.
Holly arrived on Thursday, so we trained at 5PM. It was incredibly windy. At least the sun was out because when the cloud cover came in, the temperature dropped drastically. We had a short practice and then made our way to dinner.
The next morning, we played at 11:30 against Ivy/Lowe. It was cloudy and very cold. We played in long pants and long sleeve tops. The cold did not get to us. We came out very strong and won 21-14, 21-16.
Next, we played Davis/Jordan again. (For about the 9th time this season!) We played very streaky throughout the weekend. We were either really good or really bad. The first set of this match, we could not buy a side out. Davis/Jordan made one exceptional play after another. It was super frustrating for us. We lost the first set 10-21. We played better in the next set, but not good enough. We lost 18-21. People always ask what is the most embarrassing thing to happen while playing. Well, my most embarrassing moment happened in this match. I jumped up to hit a ball on two just as a gust of wind came up. I swung as hard as I could and completely missed the ball! To add insult to injury, the ball then hit me in the face! I could not believe that it happened. I just wanted to laugh at myself, but no one was laughing! So I just walked back to my spot feeling really stupid and embarrassed. Oh well... Win or lose, that match was the last we would play on Friday. We had to come back Saturday and fight our way back.
We were sitting in 9th place on Friday and needed to win our next match in order to automatically qualify for Manhattan. We faced Roca/Fendrick at 8:30AM Saturday morning.
We arrived at the site around 7:15AM freezing our butts off. We had another battle with this team. We played just okay in this match, but were able to get the victory in 3 tight sets, 23-21, 17-21, 15-12. We survived the "death match" and won our place in the top 8 for Manhattan Beach.
Now with the pressure off, we played the winner of Turner/Wacholder versus Dodd/Minello. Dodd/Minello came out on top after a gruelling three set match. We had some time before the match. We were scheduled at 12:30, but in actuality, we played around 2PM. The sun had come out, but it was still quite chilly.
We started out very strong against Dodd/Minello. We jumped to an early lead and maintained it until the end when we gave up a few points in a row. We won the first set 21-17. The next set was much closer, but we did a good job of staying calm and coming up with big plays when we needed them. We won 23-21. It was a great victory for us. That win put us into 5th place.
We would then have to face Boss/Ross again. We started this match at 5:30PM. The long spacing between matches was difficult on me. The cold weather did not help. We were at the site from 7:15 in the morning and were still playing at 5:30PM. My shoulder was bothering me and I had a hard time warming up. The wind was swirling at this time and was a little unpredictable. We had some serious ball control problems. I was having a hard time giving Holly a good, consistent set that she could put away. We ended up getting smashed by this team. It was frustrating, embarrassing, and disappointing. We lost 11-21, 14-21. Not even close. UGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!
We are back home now preparing for Manhattan Beach. It is warm and sunny and we have finally thawed out from San Francisco! I am so excited for this tournament. It is a huge tournament with the winners taking home $100,000! This is what we have trained for! It all comes down to this weekend! Wish us luck!