Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Kotzebue Round Two

Oh, the girls just about gave me a heart attack from such back and
forth action tonight.

First of all, the JV shook off all their jitters tonight and won in
three straight games. They were great.

Then the Varsity had me worried as they lost the first game. It was
not our night to serve the ball. Lots of missed serves. And the refs
were being very tight on double hits on a set or serve receive and on
carries. It's actually a good thing because the girls have to have it
called on them during a game situation to really understand what it
is that I tell them during practice. I could say, "Watch the carry"
until I'm blue in the face but they will only adjust after a referee
calls it on them.

The next two games we won, not anywhere near as decisively as I would
have liked. Kotzebue kept creeping back in points, made due to some
of our simple mistakes, like serves. I never yell at the girls for
flubs or anything. I understand those and tell them to "Shake it off"
and "Move on to the next play." The only one I tend to get a little
preachy about is the serving error. It is the one time when you are
in control of the ball, and missing gives the other team a point and
the serve.

Kotzebue won the fourth game. The crowd really got into it and led
their team to win in extra points. I think the final score was 29-27,
or close to that. I later talked to a guy named Bill Smith from
Quyana who comes to games all over and won Mixed 6 tournaments back
in 1981 and 1982 that he helped rally the crowd. He told me stories
about back then and some catch phrase he always used: "Nothing but
the bottom of the net!" He was quite a cool character to run into.

Nome came on strong in the fifth game and won 15-12. There were a few
spiking errors that made the score closer than it should have been.
However, I would much rather them smack that ball a few times into
the net because the other team thinks twice about returning balls
that go over the net when they see the power hits. Even though the
crowd was still into it, the girls pulled it out. What a great,
exhilarating game! That makes us 2 and 0 early in our season.
Kotzebue is one of three teams in our conference (the other being
Barrow), so this places us well into the Regionals in late November
already. Kotzebue will come to Nome and play us two games in late

What a great team! We are deeper and I honestly could put any of the
girls out there and field a great team. I am so proud of them all for
hustling the way they did.

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