The Theater – June 9-11

fdfb8e_93ede8e7118d3e46097fa5b78d56e146Well, first a wedding and now the theater. One of our players, Sara Beste, has been practicing since April for a summer performance at the Cedarville Opera House. The presentation is taking place June 9th, 10th and 11th. My wife and I attended the Thursday evening opening and it was awesome. The presentation was “BROADWAY TONIGHT musical revue” featuring an extremely wide variety of music from at least twenty different musicals. Kylie Beste, Sara’s sister who joined us for several of our practices this season (and who will be playing volleyball for Cedarville University this fall), also performed and had several solos. Her younger sister Rachel made her acting debut too.

fdfb8e_bcf2487c526b42cf93f9c43ea5f00941~mv1Not to be outdone, Jeff Beste is on the Board of the Opera House and was a leader of the production and played in the orchestra. A true family affair. If you think you need to visit the big city to see a wonderful production you are missing out. It was a tremendous event and left you wondering how so many people could come together and perform so seamlessly. As a side note, Deborah Michalski, from our 18 Blue team and who will play at Grace College this fall, also played a big part in the production. Her rendition of Anything You Can Do (Annie Get Your Gun) was fantastic. Great to see these volleyball athletes perform on a different stage! A couple pictures from the event are provided below.

 

A scene from "Wicked". Sara in the center of the pic.

A scene from “Wicked”. Sara in the center of the pic. Deb Michalski behind her. Kylie, is the witch in black clothing in the very back.

"My Fair Lady" Kylie (L) and Sara (R)

“My Fair Lady” Kylie (L) and Sara sitting (R)

Rachel (center) in "Lion King".

Rachel (center) in “Lion King”.

Rachel, Sara, and Kylie

Post Production – Rachel, Sara, and Kylie

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A Wedding! – June 4, 2016

wedding imageAfter a fantastic volleyball season what do you do for an encore? How about get married! On June 4th Kimberly Anne Seitter, our effervescent assistant coach, exchanged wedding vows with Mark Christopher Cridge at Christ United Methodist Church in Kettering, Ohio. It was a wonderful wedding ceremony. Given the large part volleyball has played in their lives and their courtship, the pastor, as evidenced in the pictures below, uniquely tied volleyball into the service. Using an actual ball as a prop, the pastor noted how attributes found in volleyball like persistence, hard work, and teamwork are the same ones needed for a solid marriage. Following the exchange of rings and the ceremonial first kiss, a beautiful reception followed at the Presidential Banquet Center. The pictures below hopefully capture some of the magic of the event. Some live action video was taken on the dance floor but that will remain unpublished to protect the guilty.

Pastor comparing volleyball and marriage.

Pastor comparing volleyball and marriage.

Just like in volleyball, marriage can involve gold hardware!

Just like in volleyball, marriage can involve gold hardware!

Sealed with a kiss.

Sealed with a kiss.

Blue Crew Personnel

Blue Crew Personnel

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Cake delivered. Can now breathe and get ready for the wedding.

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Side sheet cake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Kim and Linda asked Vicki to make the cake Linda looked at a folder her mom had from Linda's wedding. Unbeknownst to anyone Vicki had made Linda's cake 31 years earlier. We did not know Linda at the time and first met when I coached Kim.

A few months ago when Kim and Linda asked Vicki to make the cake Linda looked at a folder her mom had kept from Linda’s wedding. Unbeknownst to anyone, Vicki had made Linda’s cake 31 years earlier. We did not know Linda at the time and first met years later when I coached Kim.

Linda and Jeff's wedding cake (circa 1985).

Linda and Jeff’s wedding cake (circa 1985). Also made by Vicki.

Guests had their choice of red velvet, carrot, or white cake.

Guests had their choice of red velvet, carrot, or white cake.

The happy couple at the head table.

The happy couple at the head table.

Kim looking radiant in her gorgeous wedding dress ... and me.

Kim looking radiant in her gorgeous wedding dress …. and me.

Jeff and LInda take a break from mingling with the guests.

Jeff and Linda take a break from mingling with the guests.

Confetti explodes from the ceiling as the couple embrace.

Confetti explodes from the ceiling as the couple embrace.

Another wedding tradition, getting ready to throw the garter belt.

Another wedding tradition, getting ready to throw the garter belt.

What would my blog post be without at least one goofy picture.

What would my blog post be without at least one goofy picture.

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Season Ending Party – May 22, 2016

partyWith 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.

Player colorful parting 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.

Can’t have a party without a cake.

Official player autographed cake.

Official player autographed cake.

The Blue Crew and their cake.

The Blue Crew and their cake.

Guests of honor (the players) get to go first.

Guests of honor (the players) get to go first.

Players' Bridal Shower gifts for Coach Kim start with the letters in VOLLEYBALL.

Players’ Bridal Shower gifts for Coach Kim start with the letters in VOLLEYBALL.

Coach Kim, the upcoming bride, opens a gift.

Coach Kim, the upcoming bride, opens her first gift — the letter V.

V is for Victoria Secret.

V is for Victoria Secret.

Players surrounding the bride to be.

Players surrounding the bride-to-be.

Coaches reflecting on the season.

Coaches reflecting on the season.

Individual player awards, with a candy bar/candy theme.

Individual player awards, with a candy bar/candy theme.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Some season stats.

Interesting factoids.

Interesting factoids.

Tournament Results

Tournament Results

Viewing the slideshow!

Viewing the slideshow!

Amanda poses with Avery.

Amanda poses with Avery.

Wall of Honor

Player Profiles, Pictures and Team Stats from the Season

Wall of Honor

Player Profiles, Pictures and Team Stats from the Season

The Blue Crew with their awards.

The Blue Crew with their awards.

Photo bombed by Coach Kim and Coach Megan

Photo bombed by Coach Kim and Coach Megan

 

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OVR Championships – May 15, 2016

A celebratory moment!

A celebratory moment!

The Ohio Valley Region (OVR) Championships are usually very competitive since they group together teams with similar rankings. In our case there was a bit of unknown since we played ‘up’ in the 17 American Division. The OVR chose to seed us into the Bronze/Copper Bracket. We knew we would be challenged since the jump from 16s to the 17s age group is where you typically see the most change in terms of physical play and court awareness.

We were seeded 3rd in our initial four-team pool. Starting off with Kidron VBC, we won our first game 25-21, despite 5 service errors. Things tightened up in the second game but we took it 25-23 to win the match in two games. Oiler VBC, out of Findlay, was our next opponent. Down 10-17 in the first game we fought back only to lose 24-26. We came out strong in the second game and stayed that way to win 25-11. Going to the deciding game we fell behind 9-12 but made a fabulous 6-point run to win the match 15-12.

Our two victories set up a final match for first place in our pool against Cincinnati Volleyball Academy. Playing two good games we won 25-21 and 25-19. The win put us in the Bronze Quarterfinals. Our opponent, Hot Shots VBC, proved to be a tenacious opponent. After splitting our first two games, we went back and forth before falling 16-18 and ending our tournament and our season. Although it doesn’t make the loss less bitter, it was a good experience playing 17 American.

The hallways of the Columbus Convention Center aren’t an appropriate place to say a season worth of goodbyes. So the Blue Crew players and parents will assemble next Sunday for a celebration of the season and a team party. Quoting a famous country song, “Don’t know where the time went, but it sure went fast.”

Thought for the Tournament

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

Thumbs down, arms straight, eyes on ball, platform to target. Looks like Sara is doing things right.

Thumbs down, arms extended, eyes on ball, back straight, platform to target. Looks like Sara is doing things right.

Taylor pounds away as Gwen sets, turns, and covers.

Taylor pounds away as Gwen sets, turns, and covers.

I am required by my contract to include one of these pics every tournament.

I am required by my contract to include one of these pics every tournament.

Danielle was virtually unstoppable hitting these "2" balls in the middle.

Danielle was virtually unstoppable hitting these “2” balls in the middle.

Ashley's quick middle attack eludes the defender.

Ashley’s quick middle attack eludes the defender.

Gwen "Silky Hands" Hosher delivers the back set to Taylor.

Gwen “Silky Hands” Hosher delivers the back set to Taylor.

Quick and low, Audrey gets under the attempted dink.

Quick and low, Audrey gets under the attempted dink.

With perfect posture Faith receives serve.

With perfect posture Faith receives serve.

Mel sweeps up what Coach Megan obviously feels was a throw by the opponent.

Mel sweeps up what Coach Megan obviously feels was a lift by the opponent.

Grace disappoints yet another attacker.

Grace disappoints yet another attacker.

Is Amanda going down the line?

Is Amanda going down the line?

Why yes she is!

Why yes she is!

Taylor with the King Kong Kill off Kidron.

Taylor with the King Kong Kill off Kidron.

Effort + Energy = Dig (By Sara)

Effort + Energy = Dig   (By Sara)

Love to watch these left side attacks by Danielle.

Love to watch these left side attacks by Danielle.

Audrey goes high, relatively speaking, to make the overhand pass.

Audrey goes high, relatively speaking, to make the overhand pass.

Well give them some credit, Audrey and Mel at least went for it.

Well give them some credit, Audrey and Mel at least went for it.

Back slide attack by Grace.

Back slide attack by Grace.

Perhaps these players are best left nameless.

Perhaps these players are best left nameless.

This "31" attack by Ashley goes untouched.

This “31” attack by Ashley goes untouched.

Four eyes on the ball helps as Faith provides the dig.

Four eyes on the ball helps as Faith provides the dig.

Gwen applies the appropriate amount of english with her tongue.

Gwen applies the appropriate amount of english with her tongue.

Amanda prepares to stuff.

Amanda prepares to stuff.

Completes the stuff.

Amanda executes the stuff.

Amanda enjoys the stuff.

Amanda enjoys the stuff.

To quote Coach Megan "Well now, that can't be good."

To quote Coach Megan “Well now, that can’t be good.”

Ashley and Taylor's well formed block forces the attacker to roll the ball over.

Grace and Amanda form a wall.

Part of some ritualistic warmup routine.

Part of some ritualistic warmup routine.

Evidently our play puts Avery to sleep.

Evidently our play puts Avery to sleep.

Ashley and Taylor's well formed block forces the attacker to roll the ball over harmlessly.

Ashley and Taylor’s well formed block forces the attacker to roll the ball over harmlessly.

Parents handle the stress of tournaments in many ways. Here #1's father brings his pillow pal, Olaf, to the match to help sooth his nerves.

Parents handle the stress of tournaments in many ways. Here, #1’s father brings his pillow pal, Olaf, to the match to help sooth his nerves.

End of Season Photo

End of Season Photo, Snif, Snif

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Last Practice of Season – May 11, 2016

ShirtsI guess the players enjoyed being creative on Tuesday so much that they decided to try it again on Wednesday, our last practice. This time, as best we could determine, the goal seemed to be that every player come dressed in their own unique color t-shirt. With no two girls alike we scrimmaged the 17 Blue team in preparation for our final tournament on Sunday. A fitting way to end our time together on the practice court.

Last Practice Portrait

Last Practice Portrait

Of course they could not end on a serious note.

Of course they could not end on a serious note.

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Last Tuesday Practice – May 10, 2016

Tuesday was Wacky Dress Practice Night

Wacky Dress Practice

Dayton Juniors issues two sets of black spandex and practice t-shirts so the players look professional at practices – the thought being to take practice seriously and look the part of a dedicated team. Unbeknownst to the coaches, the players orchestrated a “dress wacky” practice for our last Tuesday together. Ironic since we had invited the Champaign County Sharks over for a scrimmage. Fortunately the players did not play as dressed and we had a good scrimmage session. Was nice to see some different faces across the net. Below are a couple of pictures from the session.

16 Blue Crew

16 Blue Crew

16 Blue Crazies

16 Blue Crazies

 

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Shower for Avery – May 7, 2016

imagesThe players and parents wanted to have a Baby Shower for Coach Megan and Avery. Our last Saturday practice of the season seemed to be the ideal time so we proceeded to plan the shower and tried to make it a surprise for Megan. Several parents arrived during practice and proceeded to discreetly set up the decorations in the lobby. With about 15 minutes to go the players left the gym for a quick water break. When they never re-entered the gym Megan went to the lobby to check on the players and the party began. Zach brought Avery to our facility so they could all join in. The pictures below hopefully capture some of the moments.

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Looks like it was a surprise!

Looks like it was a surprise!

The guests of honor. Megan and Avery

The guests of honor. Megan and Avery

The party spread.

The party spread.

A diaper cake.

A diaper cake.

A real cake.

A real cake.

Some Gifts!

Some Gifts!

Oohs and Aahs

Oohs and Aahs

Megan demos the hand puppet for Avery.

Megan demos the hand puppet for Avery.

Already in possession of a volleyball, Avery now has kneepads for those early morning workouts.

Already in possession of a volleyball, Avery now has kneepads for those grueling early morning workouts.

Team Pic with Avery!

Team Pic with Avery!

Time for some food.

Time for some food.

Partially finished cake!

Partially finished cake!

Avery and Grace

Avery and Grace

Amanda, Sara and Grace with Avery

Amanda, Sara and Grace with Avery

Gwen holds Avery as Sara makes her smile.

Gwen holds Avery as Sara entertains.

Audrey, Faith and Taylor snuggle up to Avery.

Audrey, Faith and Taylor snuggle up to Avery.

Ashley enjoying Avery's company.

Ashley enjoying Avery’s company.

Avery (L) and Taylor (R)

Avery (L) and Taylor (R)

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Fleur de Lis Fest – April 30 – May 1

Hotel Lobby Sand Sculpture

Hotel Lobby Sand Sculpture

My dad retired a long time ago after 42 years of being a high school principal, schoolteacher and coach. He was an extremely quiet man. My dad would never ever think of picking up the phone and calling someone just to “talk.” Phones were something used to convey messages. But late in his life I could expect a call from him on Sunday evenings if I had coached at a tournament that weekend. He always wanted to know how the team did that weekend. I still often think of one of his sayings — “If you aren’t losing you aren’t learning.” If he was still around to make that call tonight I would have told him we learned a lot this weekend. That is probably an oversimplification. We did our fair share of winning but we did suffer some tough losses too.

This tournament was a little unique in that it consisted of 8 teams, including teams from various age groups, 15s thru 17s. Many of the teams were from two very strong clubs and half of them played at the Open level at large tournaments this year. So we knew going in that we would be challenged. Saturday we played the morning wave in an initial pool of 4 teams. The first two matches were against outstanding Open Level teams. After an off and on first game we competed better in the second game, only to lose 24-26. The second match, against a tough Union 16-1 team, we were unable to mount much of a challenge and lost 10-25 and 13-25. The final match of the day, against Lexington United 16s, we played well and won in two straight. Having placed third in our pool we were paired against the other pool’s second place team, Unity VBC 16-1, in the Sunday morning playoffs. After losing the first game, we battled back the next two games to win and that put us into the semifinals against Union 16-1 again. We fared no better this time around, losing in two quick games.

Pre -Match Huddle

Pre -Match Huddle

On the positive side the tournament provided excellent competition and we tied for 3rd out of 8 teams. Three of the teams that made the semis came out of our initial pool so we played some nice teams. On the negative side we would have like to put up better resistance against the top two teams from our initial pool, both of which made the finals. Those two teams gave us all three of our losses.

Playing the early wave of Saturday provided plenty of leisure time later in the day and we took advantage of it with a very nice team dinner at Aspen Creek Grill. Thanks to Brenda Remmetter for planning and herding. Thanks also to Vicki Ferguson who took the majority of photos you see below. The season end is rapidly approaching. Five practices left, with OVR Regionals being our final tournament on May 15th. After that we will celebrate our season together with a Blue Crew party on May 22nd.

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Amanda with the bewildering bold bitterly blanketing block.

Amanda with the bewildering bold bitterly blanketing block.

Sara displays her team handball skills.

Sara displays her team handball skills.

Gwen feeds Grace in the middle.

Gwen feeds Grace in the middle.

 

Dani denies the dink.

Dani denies the dink.

Audrey adds the appropriate english with her mouth.

Audrey adds the appropriate english with her mouth.

Taylor with the "Scorpion" attack.

Taylor with the “Scorpion” attack.

Ashley pounds it by the double block.

Ashley pounds it by the double block.

Mel steps in and sets the errant pass.

Mel steps in and sets the errant pass.

Faith didn't get enough for breakfast so she goes after another pancake here.

Faith didn’t get enough for breakfast so she goes after another pancake here.

Interesting setting technique Gwen.

Interesting setting technique Gwen.

A pic of me taking a pic of Gwen, Dani, Faith, and Amanda on the 3rd floor balcony.

A pic of me taking a pic of Gwen, Dani, Faith, and Amanda on the 3rd floor balcony.

Amanda going sharp cross court inside the block.

Amanda going sharp cross court inside the block.

a Grace-ful MH attack.

A Grace-ful MH attack.

Sara with the pleasantly pleasingly perfect picturesque posture.

Sara with the pleasantly pleasingly perfect picturesque posture.

Late blocker's eyes are looking up at Dani's attack.

Late blocker’s eyes are looking up at Dani’s attack.

As the blockers turn to see where the short dink went Audrey sweeps it up.

As the blockers turn to see where the super short dink went Audrey sweeps it up.

Taylor unloads from the left side.

Taylor unloads from the left side.

Mel passes as Audrey provides the sound effects.

Mel passes as Audrey provides the sound effects.

Ashley reaches high to hit high.

Ashley reaches high to hit high.

Faith and a prayer.

Faith and a prayer.

Gwen on the move with a diving save.

Gwen on the move with a diving save.

Ash (eyes open) and Amanda (eyes shut) with the formidable block.

Ash (eyes open) and Amanda (eyes shut) with the formidable block.

Amanda, somewhere in the rafters, unleashes her attack.

Amanda, somewhere in the rafters, unleashes her attack.

Grace on the outside with the King Kong cross court kill.

Grace on the outside with the King Kong cross court kill.

I guess as long as one of the them gets it.

I guess as long as one of the them gets it.

Audrey with the preferred two arm pass, Gwen with the emergency one arm version.

Audrey with the preferred two arm pass, Gwen with the emergency one arm version.

One blocker is not enough to stop Danielle.

One blocker is not enough to stop Danielle.

Taylor demos the coaches' mantra - "Don't let the ball hit the floor."

Taylor demos the coaches’ mantra – “Don’t let the ball hit the floor.”

Ash avoids the formidable block.

Ash avoids the big block.

Faith "Coach told me that setter dinks a lot!"

Faith “Coach told me that setter dinks a lot!”

Gwen deals with the tight pass.

Gwen deals with the tight pass.

Four people can't be wrong. It has to be up there somewhere.

Four people can’t be wrong. It has to be up there somewhere.

Blue Crew Parents go out on the town.

Blue Crew Parents go out on the town.

Partial Pic of the team at dinner.

Partial Pic of the team at dinner.

Rest of the Blue Crew plus their waiter!

Rest of the Blue Crew plus their waiter!

Cleaned up and dressed up.

Cleaned up and dressed up.

Coach Megan unsure if she really liked that play.

Coach Megan unsure if she really liked that play.

 

 

 

 

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Another Birthday Celebration – April 26, 2016

Birthday CandlesTuesday found us celebrating yet another player birthday, our last “in-season” birthday. Taylor’s 16th birthday was actually Sunday, April 24th, so we had to wait for our Tuesday practice to express our good wishes and consume some cupcakes. I would note that one of our players, who will remain nameless (but wears #1), made sure to remind me Saturday of Taylor’s upcoming birthday. She even went so far as to mention that she “thought” Taylor would like chocolate cupcakes. Taylor — it is nice to know that you have such caring teammates! The players seemed to work particularly hard on Tuesday and the drills were challenging so I am sure they enjoyed the few minutes of celebration and food at the end of practice. Yet another player has reached that 16th birthday milestone and soon, another driver out on the road. Happy Birthday Taylor and careful driving! A few pictures capture the event.

Cupcakes lit, the Blue Crew pose.

Cupcakes lit, the Blue Crew pose.

Not sure, but it seemed like they were trying to sing.

Not sure, but it seemed like they were trying to sing.

I guess Cedarville's Sara didn't want to be seen celebrating a league competitor's (Taylor from Northeastern) birthday.

I guess Cedarville’s Sara didn’t want to be recognized celebrating a league competitor’s (Taylor from Northeastern) birthday.

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Indy Juniors Classic (For Real) – April 16-17

The Indiana Fairgrounds, hosting the 2016 Indy Jrs Classic.

The Indiana Fairgrounds, hosting the 2016 Indy Jrs Classic.

In the interest of full disclosure I must tell you that I didn’t actually participate in the subject tournament. However, should that really color your opinion of what you are about to read and see? TV and print reporters do this every day, write or talk about things they didn’t actually see or do. In many cases they are getting their info second or third hand and jumping to conclusions since they want to get the scoop. Just think about WHIO’s tagline: “First, Fast, and Accurate.” That shows you what their priorities are — First, then Fast, and Accurate comes in third.

I can assure you that I am not the first or the fastest, but I am accurate. So you can rest easy and believe the content of this post. This information came straight from first hand reports via texts, detailed reviews of the AES volleyball scheduling system, and a highly experienced on-site photographer. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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Gold team congratulates Blue on their victory.

The Indy Juniors Classic featured seven age groups playing at six different playing sites. Our team was one of 32 teams in the 16s Division and played their initial four team pool Saturday at a large local high school. The Blue Crew, playing great volleyball, took all three matches in two sets each to win their initial pool. That set up a challenge match Sunday morning at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, with the winner going to Gold and the loser going to Silver. As with most big tournaments, as you move up the ladder the competition gets tougher. The Sunday morning challenge match was no exception as the Blue Crew lost the initial set in overtime, 28-30. Not letting this tough set deter them, they came back to win the next two sets to take the match in three. The victory put them into the 8-team Gold playoff bracket. In the Gold quarterfinals the Crew stayed in the groove and beat a solid NIVA Crossfire team in two close sets. Their semifinal opponent was Circle City Black, a perennially tough team. The Crew won a back and forth first set in overtime, 28-26, but could not sustain the momentum and lost the next two.

Megan instructing players to read the attacker's shoulder.

Megan instructing players to read the attacker’s shoulder.

So the bottom line is the team placed 3rd out of 32 teams, losing to the eventual tournament champions in the Gold semifinals in three sets — another solid tournament performance. Although I wasn’t there to witness the live play it was nice to get some updates, follow the progress on AES, and have the below action photos to view. A special thanks goes to Linda Seitter for providing the pictures and to Brenda Remmetter for setting up all the team arrangements for the weekend.

Thoughts for the Tournament

 “Losers quit when they’re tired. Winners quit when they’ve won.”

 What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

The Block Party

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Ashley & Taylor

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Ashley & Amanda

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Danielle & Grace

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Amanda & Grace

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Amanda & Ashley

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Grace & Danielle

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Amanda

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Danielle & Ashley

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Taylor & Grace

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Taylor

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Gwen & Grace

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Ashley & Amanda

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Gwen & Grace

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Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Authoritative Attack

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Grace

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Ashley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Danielle

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Taylor

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Amanda

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Amanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pleasing Pass

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Danielle

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Sara

 

 

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Mel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara

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Audrey

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Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fun Stuff

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Sara, What are you doing?

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Sara explaining her move.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two pics of Sara and Mel demoing their fine communication.

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Audrey's imposing presence as a left front attacker.

Audrey’s imposing presence as a left front attacker.

Megan hoping her correct athletic posture will rub off on the players.

Megan hoping her correct athletic posture will rub off on the players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mel and Grace combine for the synchronized pass.

Mel and Grace combine for the synchronized pass.

I think Gwen approves.

I think Gwen approves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice to have the coaches happy!

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Avery has the right priorities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, it must have been funny!

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The crowd between cheers.

Some more spectators.

Some more spectators.

I couldn't be there in person but Sunday I wore my Indy Jrs shirt in the Keys.

I couldn’t be there in person but I wore my Indy Jrs shirt on Sunday in support.

When players get aced in practice this is what they do!

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Love those match points!

 

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