Mind you, the competition was not nearly as intense this time, but the bigger point is that they finally realized what it means to be a team. They were loud, they encouraged each other, and every last one of them was "on." It was incredible to watch them execute the offense, dig ridiculously hard hits, make smart blocking decisions and generally do what I always felt they could. What a change from just a week before.
We ended up placing second in gold. I think we probably should have won that one, but the format of the tournament worked against us. We had the last match in pool play, then had to play right through the bracket without stopping. That's four straight matches without a break... four hours. I was fried and I wasn't even playing. They were trying to fight back the pain, but you could see it in their faces that their spirits couldn't compensate.
Still... my confidence is restored. That shot at qualifying for nationals doesn't seem so far fetched.