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Volleyblog - May 24, 2010
May 24, 2010 - Brian Ferry
Once again, the Buffalo Niagara Court Center proved itself to be a fine location for volleyball. And, once again, I felt old.
On my team I was the oldest by 10 years. There were a couple guys in the tournament (15 teams or so) that were my elders. Not many. It seemed like the whole place was full of kids fresh out of high school. Every one of them tall and having jumping abilities. I guess I participate in the wrong activity if I want to be around people like me.
The competition was pretty good. Those young, jumpy, tall people generally had some skills, too. My team (aside from me) was young, tall, could jump, and had skills, so we fit in pretty well. We beat a team of collegiate players in the first round of the playoffs. Several of them were college teammates of one of my teammates for the day. It was nice knocking them out. Both teams got involved in some trash talking. Though I don't typically get involved in that kind of thing, it does get the juices flowing, so I enjoyed it. Our best match of the day.
We fizzled after that. Our second playoff opponent had one primary offensive threat. I heard he played at Penn State. I didn't think he was THAT much of an offensive threat, but he was very good. We used up some of our reserves getting through the first round and this guy just tore us up. He got the ball a lot. Their setter didn't bother to make it seem like his other teammates might like a chance to play too. Many teams ignore their women in the 4-2 format (one reason I don't especially like the format), not so many ignore two of their men. Even fewer do so successfully. But, their guy had enough.
One of my highlights of the day was when the referee called me for a double hit after I reached out and struck the ball in an upward direction with a closed fist - essentially punching the ball. (My highlights usually don't involve me hitting the ball straight down (something I never did with any frequency) or digging the other team's best hitter (I'm not known for my defense). I have to go with things that are fun in odd ways rather than in spectacularly athletic ways.)
We grabbed a bite on the way home as a team. That's always a good thing. Playing ball is good. Talking about playing ball (and exaggerating our exploits accordingly) while eating is also good.
The "Yeah?" in the headline is a reference to the "Word of the day." After I delivered some sarcastic and questionable driving advice on the way to the tournament, the driver, responding to the deadpan, said, "Yeah?" and started to make the turn I had indicated. I quickly responded, after grabbing the overhead handgrip, with "NO." We survived.
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