Last Tuesday night, the River Journal/Keokee co-ed volleyball team played our first matches of the Sandpoint City Rec season. After losing our first match (0-3) we realized our game problems were stemming from a complete lack of skill in, well, the fundamentals. That would be the bump, the set and the spike. Oh, and there were a few problems with serving, too.
I suspect the serving problems will iron out fairly quickly once we get used to having to hit the ball over the net on a full-length court. Our practice sessions on Sandpoint West's raquetball courts don't quite get you up to speed for sending a ball sailing over a net that's about 30 feet away from you.
And that net! About 8 feet high for co-ed, or a foot or a foot and a half higher than what we've practiced on. It doesn't seem that high until you're next to it, or until you see our teammate Carol Curtis (all 5 feet 1 inch of her) standing next to it. It intimidated the heck out of me. At least, that's my excuse for why I wasn't able to pop the ball over it when I was playing in the front row (much less jump up and slam the darn thing into the opponent's court).
We lost our second match, too, though we did win the final game. I had thought we had a chance in the first game until their power server took the court and aced us something like 14 straight times. Well, he didn't actually ace us, as we were connecting with the ball. We just weren't connecting with the ball correctly, as was evidenced by its wild path through the air and into the other courts out at the fairgrounds.
We practiced again last night, again at SWAC on the little court. I think I might have ticked everyone off a little bit when I insisted we work some passing drills. It just seemed to be that if we can't get control of the ball, then it's not gonna matter whether we can set or hit as we'll never get the chance to. Go ahead. Call me a volleyball nazi. I mean, I like to get out and play to have fun; don't get me wrong, it's not about winning. But I don't like losing! (I should mention, by the way, that if I had to rank my teammates in terms of their passing skills, I would have to place myself pretty near the bottom of the list. Like, right AT the bottom.)
I think we made some progress with the drills, and before our next game Tuesday night I'm hoping to have a little 'talk' about how to move your body from one part of the court to another, and where your feet and your shoulders should be pointing while you do it. I now appreciate the high school girls' drills on "shuffling." I'm kind of weak on that, too. I shuffle well enough from side to side, but when I have to go forward or back, I forget all about shuffling and try to run to the ball - which usually results in me tripping over my own feet.
We'll see whether they go for my 'pep talks' or whether they kick me off the team. I'll let ya know after the next game.