Eastern volleyball player journals about most recent tournament

September 15, 2006 (1:00 p.m.):

The road trip to our tournament this week wouldn’t be quite as bad as the last one. Instead of flying for an entire day to California, we were only going about an hour away to Lebanon Valley College.

We loaded our 15-passenger Eastern van with seven players, two coaches and all the equipment and clothes needed for the weekend. Luckily for us, two girls drove themselves, making it a tad more bearable.

(5:00 p.m.) Our first match was against one of our PAC rivals, Neumann College. They were eager, like everyone else in the PAC, to take a whack at us. After our winless weekend in California, everyone thought that they had a chance to beat us. Not today.

We had spent the day before at practice going back to the basics of volleyball, deciding to focus more on that than on running a faster offense. With our focus back, we were able to defeat Neumann in four games and restate who we are.

(9:30 p.m.) After watching a close game between LVC and Haverford, it was finally time for our second match against F&M. I’m still not sure why they scheduled a game so late in the day, but it didn’t seem to affect us. Maybe it helped. We played some of the best volleyball of the season, sweeping a talented F&M team in three games. After making a quick Sheetz stop, we were finally able to return to our hotel rooms at around midnight.

September 16 (11:00 a.m.):

Day two and a match against University of Pitt-Johnstown. With a win, we would advance to the championship game. Last year, Eastern won the tournament, and we all wanted to make it a repeat.

We came out firing in games one and two, beating Pitt-Johnstown with scores of 30-22 and 30-20.

However, we let it slip a bit in game three, dropping it 28-30. Not wanting to waste any more energy before the championship game, we took game four 30-18.

(4:00 p.m.) It was the championship game and we got our rematch with Haverford. Only three days before, we had lost a very sloppy home match to Haverford and were ready for our revenge. One of our coaches overheard a player saying that Eastern wasn’t that good, so we decided it was time to beat Haverford.

The match was close throughout, with both teams diving and sprawling all over the court.

Despite an early, comfortable lead, we gave up the first game 22-30. We went into the second game determined, even when Haverford had game point. From that point on, the game went back and forth, until we cracked, giving Haverford the intense 38-40 win.

We rallied in the third game and won 34-32. With our momentum, we also took the fourth, 30-20. Both teams were tired, but this match was now up for grabs, with the final, 15-point game remaining. Slightly leading for most of the game, we were able to reach eight first and continued to put the pressure on.

We reached a dead even 13 points each, two away from a victory and tournament crown. Unfortunately, Haverford ended up on top with the 15-13 win, despite our hard effort and focused drive.

Even though we were unable to defeat Haverford, there was some reward in knowing that we had given them a much better match and gained some of our respect back.

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