By: Robyn L. '21
On Saturday November 20 I spent my time at the School volunteering to help scorekeeping the Volleyball Zones Tournament that our SV Girls were competing in. After running on about five hours of sleep and waking up early to watch some rugby games I was a little tired to say the least. However, there was one game that was so nail-biting that everyone was on the edge of their seats. I was so excited and nervous that I was watching the game through my hands.
Now for those of you who don’t know much about volleyball, the format of the games that weekend were best of three “sets”. The first two sets went up to 25 points and the team who reached 25 points first would have to win by two so 23-25 points in a set would be considered a win. Typically teams who would be in the lead by seven or more points would win the set, but for our SV Girls that was not the case. After playing six games straight with the first two going into the third set, our girls were tired. But you could see on each of our players faces, they were determined to win. No matter how hard they pushed themselves you could see their determination.
Fast forward to the end (or so what many people thought) of the first set. The score was 14-24 for the opposing team from Saint Joseph’s. Then Alia N. '21 stepped up and went back to serve. I know Alia and she is an excellent volleyball player and is a strong athlete. I could never imagine the amount of pressure she was under while serving. One mistake in her serving could lead to the other team winning the set and the Spartans losing. When the serve went over, the whole side of the Sports Hall was quiet. You could hear a pin drop it was that quiet. However, when comparing the setting of the gym to when the Spartans won that point, it was astronomical. Even people on the opposite side of the gym were cheering.
I’m sure that even Alia herself was surprised, she kept on going back again and again to serve. After the serve that made the score 24-24, both teams were determined to “take the dub” in the set. After the ten straight game saving serves made by Alia, the Spartans were uplifted and any thoughts about being tired or nervous went away. It was now a race between Saint Joseph’s and the Spartans for who would get ahead by two points first. Many times the Spartans would be at a one-point deficit and on edge to make sure the next point was theirs. The leader of points in this set would go back and forth for a while until the score was 31-30 for the Spartans.
You could see the desire to win was so great on the girl’s faces as well as the people on the bench. They knew they were tired but the comeback that they had was so immense that winning this set was in reach. The serve went over and the ball got battered around between the two sides. Then the ball was smashed just out of bounds by one of the Saint Joseph’s girls. This meant that the Spartans won the set 32-30. The amount of sheer joy and excitement on the players and the coaches faces was priceless. This seemingly impossible win from a 10-point deficit propelled our girls to win the next set and by default, the game.
I had the opportunity to speak with Alia and the two coaches Ms. Weber and Ms. Bartoshyk after the game. When I asked Alia how she felt when she initially went back to serve, all she could say was “the pressure was intense.” Ms Weber also agreed. “Resilience, Persistence, [and a] “never give up” attitude. That attitude is what made the difference in the game. We were also down two players who were often on the court for us so I’m surprised at the result.”
Myself and Wyatt N. '22 who I was scorekeeping with both agreed with her. After seeing what happened in the first set with the energy that they had, we were both amazed with the effort put forward by the SV Girls. The other Coach Ms. Bartoshyk had something to say as well. “In my 12 years of coaching volleyball, I have never seen as big and as successful of a comeback as we did today.” You would think that since year one there would be an increasing chance that something like this would happen, but no. For Ms. Weber the closest game that was similar to this one was a 18-24 deficit to win the game 26-24.
The SV Girls were united and promised each other that they would win this game for one another and they did. The rest of the day they remained undefeated but ultimately lost 13-15 in the third set of the gold medal match. The effort made by each and every one on this team was unmatched to everyone else that entered in the tournament.
When things may seem impossible and when you might be feeling down, just remember there is still hope that you will come out victorious. Even if the challenge that your facing outranks you in power remember, nothing can beat sheer determination and grit. Put your trust in your teammates and you will all lift each other up to victory.