Remember the first match of the season, we beat that team three games to zero. Well they are a much different now. Tonight they were out for blood and they were coming for redemption. It was a whole new ball game tonight.
This time we were away and on their home turf. The entire season we have been doing well, and so have they. SF Aligse have been doing exceptionally well. They have been ranked next to us the entire season neck and neck.
I have these weird feelings sometimes when I know something isn’t right. Tonight I could smell fear in the air. I will never point fingers but I could tell a few guys on our team were not mentally prepared to walk into the SF Aligse gym tonight. It was an atmosphere that you would see out of a movie. the crowed was pumped and defiantly their 7th man on the court tonight thus making a huge influence on the outcome of the match. It was a battle till the end. I think overall we played not to loose instead of playing to win. We played in fear of making mistakes and in fear of loosing our winning streak, in fear of anything and everything.
The first set the beat us by three 22:25 a slap in the face that woke us up to pull off a win in game two 25:11. Split even to a new game 1-1 a tight back and forth rally or big hits and ridiculous blocks followed by simple errors we won the third set 25:23 to go up 2 games to one.
It was go time, With their backs up against the ropes, the crowd cheered louder, and louder we could no longer hear our own coach in a huddle, the fans were relentlessness, chanting, beating drums and drunken fans going nuts. Looking back it was insanity. The set was intense, rally’s were going for minutes on end, there defense was impeccable They were fast, quick and sharp. we had four chances to win the match (match points) to seal the deal, but they came back and beat us finally taking the fourth set from our hands 30:32.
Anyone who knows volleyball knows that anything can happen in the fifth set, anything. Here we have a team that we beat up on in the season opener now on their home court they are a force to recon with. a battle that went on for so long because one side wasn’t as focused and mentally prepared. In the end I don’t think they were or are a better team than us on paper, but that doesn’t matter, they played better that us when it counted, that was tonight. We just didn’t believe we could do it. Fear was in the air and the sharks were out to get us. We lost the last set by the least you can lose by 13:15. In the end we tortured ourselves to the bitter end.
For them I know the feeling, it’s a beautiful feeling, their crowd went nuts, storming onto the court and raising up their players. However at that moment in time I’ll never forget that empty feeling, seeing that happen, feeling our victorious undefeated season come crashing to a halt. I was holding on too tight to the season…What was next for us?