After eating breakfast at Panera, we headed to the gym to play our first match of the day against Bob Jones. Both of our teams were 2-0 in pool play. Bob Jones came out strong in the game and didn't let up. We played hard, but couldn't match them, and lost in 3 sets. This meant that we got 2nd in our pool, and would be playing in the semifinal against Maranatha. After the game we talked about playing outside the scoreboard; playing confident & our hardest no matter what the score was. This is what we needed to do in order to win our semifinal game against Maranatha, who went 3-0 in their pool.
We then took a break and ate lunch. We spent some down time driving around downtown and visiting Falls Park on the Reedy. It was nice to spend time with the team, and get to relax before our biggest game yet. When we arrived back at the gym, we watched the first semifinal - Bob Jones vs. Geneva. The game was extremely close, with Bob Jones coming out with a 3-2 win.
Now it was game time against Maranatha. After losing our game to them in the regional championship, we really had a strong desire to win. We knew it was going to be a tough game, and would take our best effort. We came up with a victory in the first set, and were ready to continue to battle our way to the championship game. Maranatha came out stronger in the next set, taking it away. The next two sets were so close, both with Maranatha winning by only 2 points. And just like that- my senior year came to a close.
Many tears were shed in the locker room, as Coach talked to us and encouraged us for the last time as a team. I've made many amazing memories with my team, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have played my last volleyball game at the National Tournament. I'm going to miss it a lot. Volleyball has taught me so many life lessons, and has brought me lifelong friends. Thank you to everyone who has supported us through our season! It means more than you know.
What an important day. Today is the day that decides the fate of our team.
We woke up this morning and headed to Panera Bread for a delicious breakfast. We all headed back to Bob Jones to watch the matches before our last game of pool play. Our first opponent of the day was (the now National Champions), Bob Jones.
Bob Jones and their very skilled team ended coming out on top with the scores of 18-25, 16-25, 16-25.
With a few hours before the semi-final game, we took some time to explore downtown Greenville and spend time with the team and some family. We went to Falls Park and got to look at a beautiful waterfall and rocky hills. Although the free time was short, everyone had a blast exploring a beautiful downtown district.
The team headed back to the gym to watch the first semi-final match of the night: Bob Jones University vs. Geneva College. This match was close until the very end of the fifth set, setting the tone for our game afterwards.
This was the match up we had been waiting for. Our chance to redeem ourselves after a poor performance in the regional finals. The match begins, with determination on the faces of all of our players. Despite a few bad calls during the first set, we ended on top with a score of 25-23. Maranatha responded well, and took the second set 25-18. With the match tied 1-1, it could have gone either way. Maranatha came out on top the next two sets, 28-26 and 27-25. Despite the loss, I had never seen a team so unified, a team so determined, and players playing for more than themselves.
I want to personally thank all of the fans, friends, and family that have supported us throughout the years. These past four years have been some of the hardest, yet most fun that I have ever had in my life. My freshman self never thought the team would be where it is today. I also want to thank Coach Pitman for sticking it out all four years with Savvy, Hannah, and me. Us four have a special bond and friendship that will never be broken.
Thanks again, everyone. It has been a great ride!
We woke up from a long night's rest after a tough match vs. Randall. We picked up Panera on the way to the gym and enjoyed some bagels from Verah's brother.
After watching a tight match between the #2 and #3 we were determined to bring our best against #1 Bob Jones University. Sadly, that was not the case in the match, as we were swept by the very talented and hardworking Bruins. This took a toll on our confidence for the semifinals. Some of us couldn't help but wonder if we even deserved to be in the position we were in. Coach quickly squashed that feeling by reminding us of what makes us strong - our unity and reliance on each other.
After a team lunch we headed to Falls Park on the Reedy to enjoy some team bonding and a spectacular view. As we headed back to the gym to get ready for the semifinal match, I said a quick prayer asking God to give us the strength to continue to honor Him the rest of the tournament. In the locker room just minutes before the match, Alli gave an inspirational devotion about David and Goliath. Most of us took it as we were David, and Maranatha was Goliath. But as I reflected on the season I realized the truth: we are David, the odds stacked against us were Goliath, and by God's strength we were able to defy those odds.
Despite the outcome of the semifinal match, it was one of the most enjoyable matches I have played in my career. The stat sheet alone tells you how hard we worked. Afterwards there were some tears, some hugs, some meaningful words, and some very hard goodbyes. Regardless of stats, records, awards, and banners - I couldn't have imagined ending my collegiate volleyball career with a better group of girls.
Thanks to everyone who supported and believed in us through this season!