A comment I saw on Facebook just now sums up our match last night: it was a full team effort and we really played well for the first two games, but winning in five was unnecessary when we should have finished Willamette in three.
Yes, we are excited and relieved to have come away with a win but I think the manner in which we arrived at that victory should have been more in our control. Errors and lack of confidence plagued the third and fourth games, but on a positive note, we battled back in both after digging ourselves a tremendous hole in the first 10 points. We may have underestimated our opponent, but we never surrendered to their drive or momentum.
Two things stood out in the first two games: our dominance at the net (our freshmen front row shined in Salem: Gabby Hands, Alicia Callejo-Black and Kayla Ernewein, who accomplished her pregame goal of shutting down their outside hitters) and our serves (Elena Hoff finished the night with four aces). We kept Willamette out of system and reliant on their safe sets.
I am proud of our tenacity and unwillingness to submit to defeat. We pulled out a win in the fifth game, 15-13, by some clutch execution of the basics that our coaches are always stressing: calm serve-receive passing, a fast offense, and a confident attack high off the hands of the blocker opponents.
We are now 3-2 in conference and face UPS this Saturday for our homecoming match. There should be a large turnout, what with all the activities and promotions during the day, and I am ready and willing to beat UPS at HOME in front of a loud crowd. YES WE CAN!