We placed third in our tournament last Sunday. As inconsistent as my kids are, they sure are consistent. Do well in pool play, choke in the bracket.
The day started with kind of a bad omen. The tournament was at Youngstown State, which is a total dump. They had floor boards taped down with duct tape, and there were actual wood screws sticking out of the floor just off the court. There's not enough room at the ends to serve without stepping in. And to make matters worse, I lost my setter in that room back in 2002 when she sprained her ankle in grand fashion.
Despite all that, my kids came roaring out in the first match and executed better than I've ever seen. Better than any team I've ever had, actually. It was the swing offense finally realized. It was beautiful to see, and we beat a very good team out of the Western New York region.
The second match didn't go so well. We couldn't seem to get a break on the most simple little things. We won, but the games had to go 26-24 and 27-25. The third match they just choked. Regardless, it was good enough to be in the gold bracket.
And again, that's where things got worse. No one was having fun at all. Serious Jeckyl-and-Hyde action. Then in the second game, the official decided it was ok for the other team to start jump serving with both feet in the court, quite the opposite of what was discussed in the coaches meeting about taking one step in. I made a stink about him changing the rules until he threatened to throw me out. My kids couldn't stop the bleeding, and that had me fired up. I hate that I interjected additional negativity into the whole mess.
In any case, we had a good practice yesterday. The kids decided they were at their most serious when they were having fun. I totally agree there. This weekend we're going to the Northeast Qualifier in Baltimore. We're registered for the 17 club division, 88 teams for two bids. I'm not even a little hung up on the idea of winning a bid, just doing well in general.
Because of the ridiculous and illogical seeding in the Ohio Valley Region, we're now in danger of not even being able to play in our own region's bid tournament. They're only taking the top 24 teams, but because of the way it's setup, you get bonus points for playing in big out-of-region or other events. That means one team that placed 19 out of 23 in one tournament actually gets ranked higher than us for getting 3rd out of 8 in three tournaments. That doesn't make any sense. The Baltimore tournament could boost us up, and hopefully several of the teams will get bids at qualifiers, but if we don't get in, I'll be super pissed. It's not even about winning a bid, it's just about the chance to earn one in our region.