With the tournament season complete we kicked back and relaxed with a team party. It was one final time to gather as a team and reflect on the season, celebrate the successes, and say some goodbyes. Other than Ashley, who was on a cruise with her family, everyone was able to participate. The team parent, Brenda, was responsible for the weather and she delivered big time — sunny and 72 degrees! We catered in some pork and chicken from City Barbeque and the parents brought a wide variety of delicious side dishes, and of course there was a cake. There were lots of dishes to choose from and I am sure no one went home hungry, except maybe for Amanda. But then again, she is always hungry.
After the meal there was a special presentation by the players. Our assistant coach, Kim, is getting married in two weeks and the players surprised her with a bridal shower. Cleverly, they used the word Volleyball, and each of the players took a letter and gave Coach Kim a gift which started with that letter. A unique idea and it resulted in some creative shower gifts.
Colorful parting gifts for the players.
Following the impromptu bridal shower, the coaches said a few words about the season and proceeded to pass out some individual awards. The coaches gave each player an award based on either some characteristic of the player’s personality, or a tendency we observed over the course of the season, or an individual play that stood out. To spice things up we named each award after a candy bar/candy. Pictures of the players with their individual award are shown below. Afterwards, players presented the coaches with thank you cards and some gift cards tailored to each coach’s weakness — mine being gift cards to Hot Head Burritos and Doubledays. Greatly appreciated!
After all the presentations we went inside and watched a slideshow of our season set to music. As with many goodbyes there was a tinge of sadness, but there was also great joy reflecting on our time together. It is a wonderful group of young women and they had a great season together. Some party pictures are provided below. The tournament posts have all included a thought for the tournament so I will end this post with a thought for the season.
Thought for the Season
“The Journey is the Reward” — Tao te Ching
Can’t have a party without a cake.
Official player autographed cake.
The Blue Crew and their cake.
Guests of honor (the players) get to go first.
Players’ Bridal Shower gifts for Coach Kim start with the letters in VOLLEYBALL.
Coach Kim, the upcoming bride, opens her first gift — the letter V.
V is for Victoria Secret.
Players surrounding the bride-to-be.
Coaches reflecting on the season.
Individual player awards, with a candy bar/candy theme.
Amanda: We relied heavily on Amanda to be a terminator on the left side and she did just that. She has a tendency though to creep in slowly and then jump and attack, so we worked with her to wait or delay her approach and then explode to the ball. Ironically, she seemed to be able to get a kill by leaving either “now or later”, so for that Amanda is given the Now and Later award.
Grace: As the season played out, Grace’s serve got better and better and was just too tough to handle. They were like massive bombs that no one could receive. Her serves just exploded or “popped” off of players’ arms. For this Grace receives the Pop Rocks award.
Sara: When Sara is around you typically see teammates “laughing” and giggling, which is a good thing as it keeps folks loose. But with her consistent play she was also like a glue that helped the team “stick together” in hard times. So for that she is awarded the Laffy Taffy award.
Danielle: As you saw at Regionals, in certain rotations we had Gwen set Dani a lot of “2” balls in the middle because opponents couldn’t stop them. Throughout the season Danielle would get on these “hot streaks” so hot no one could dig her hits, scoring a ton of points. So we are awarding Danielle the Hot Tamales award.
Audrey: Audrey is unbelievably quick and covers a lot of ground. She flits around the court like a water strider, always darting in and out, constantly getting to balls you think she could not touch. She was a “joy” to watch play defense so Audrey receives the Almond Joy award.
Taylor: The right side attacker position is tough to play. You are usually charged with blocking the opponent’s strongest attacker and almost every team sets the majority of sets to their left front attacker. If your team cannot block on the right side you will have trouble winning. Fortunately for us, Taylor did the job on right side. She was very “good” and blocked or touched “plenty” of attacks. For this Taylor wins the Good and Plenty award.
Mel: As you probably noticed, when Mel plays she has no regard for her body. She continually sacrifices various body parts going for the ball. She worked hard on the correct technique for going to the floor. So for perfecting her dive and “roll”, Mel is awarded the Tootsie Roll award.
Ashley: Ashley progressed tremendously over the course of the season. Middle hitters have to block no matter where the opponent sets the ball and then they must transition off the net and participate in the offense on every play – either faking the attack or attacking. Ashley made “mounds” of improvement so she wins the Mounds award.
Faith: Because of the many player injuries and various schedule conflicts we needed Faith to play many different positions. She played all three back row positions, libero, and the left and right front attacker positions. Without her flexibility and willingness to provide support where the team needed we would have been “sunk”, so Faith receives the Lifesaver award.
Gwen: Setting a 5-1 offense, Gwen shouldered a very heavy load all season. Basically handling the ball on most volleys. Think of that, almost a third of our offensive touches were by Gwen. Her “worth” to the team cannot be understated so for that Gwen gets the 100 Grand award.
A great team parent like Brenda is worth a “mint” to the success of the season. So Brenda is given the York Peppermint Patty award.
Some season stats.
Viewing the slideshow!
Amanda poses with Avery.
Player Profiles, Pictures and Team Stats from the Season
Player Profiles, Pictures and Team Stats from the Season
The Blue Crew with their awards.
Photo bombed by Coach Kim and Coach Megan