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Volleyblog - March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010 - Brian Ferry

Volleyblog

Cleveland East Side Turners (CEST) is not my favorite venue for volleyball. It's nice enough, court surface is good, the lighting is good enough. But it's a single-court site. I'd much rather play somewhere that has at least two courts (ideally with at least two pools of teams in my division to shake things up a bit for the playoffs. Still, the team needed some more playing time and there was a tournament at CEST on Saturday. So, we got in. Apparently, one of the few Michigan teams that plays in the Ohio Valley Region also needed another tournament. I even recognized one guy from a Michigan Wild team I played against (once) no less than eight years ago. We played them first. They beat us. We didn't play well and one of their strongside hitters took advantage of us, a lot. We dropped those two games. In our second match, we took both games from an A team we'd seen a couple times before, but with some modifications. They were missing their setter and I think two other guys. In the four-team pool, we had to play again immediately after that match. We played a BB team with a style different from what we're used to seeing. They tipped a lot. Most of the teams we play live and die on power. These guys used their brains. I hate that. And we didn't respond well at all. They took two games from us. The good news about playing at Turners this time is that everyone made the playoffs. We finished in last place, but still got to move on. We faced the BB team in the semis (they finished pool play in first place in an A tournament), but we'd had some time to get ready for their style of attack. We handled them pretty easily and moved into the finals. The other semi went against the guys from Michigan and they got an early start to their long trip home. The team that beat them (the only one we beat in pool play) was really working well at this point. The new guys had blended with the usual suspects very neatly and we expected a tough challenge in the finals. We came out very strong (our defense was improved due to the habits we worked on in the semis) and have a big lead late in the first game. The Eastside (not related to East Side Turners) team made a good run at the end, but we won. We got more than we expected in the second game and they evened the line to send it to a deciding third game. They jumped out to an early lead and we never clawed back. It was satisfying to come back after coming in last in the pool, but second was not our goal. I thought the team played well, with some of us (me included) playing at a level we hadn't played at all year.

 
 

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