The moment we had worked the entire season for was finally here. Earlier in the season in the qualifying tournament for nationals, we battled as hard as we could and luckily the game went our way. It's hard to think of a moment that was filled with more happiness and accomplishment. Now, it was finally time for us to show how far we had come over the last 7 months. On our first day playing, I think I can speak for everyone on my team when I say that our first set showed how nervous we were to be in such an intimidating tournament. Unfortunately the first day didn't go as well as we had hoped but tomorrow we were determined to come back and battle. Unfortunately the second day was much like the first. Many people were starting to get frustrated. Before we played on the third day we got together as a team and talked about how there's noting we could do to change the past, our focus needed to be on playing hard for the last two days of the tournament and our season. On the third day, we won and it was a burst of confidence which carried onto the last day where we finished first in our division. Even though the start of our last tournament of the year wasn't what we had hoped, we overcame a number of battles that made nationals one to remember.
This was my first experience attending nationals. I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis and face many competitive and deserving teams from across the country. Of our ten matches, there was one in particular I'd like to replay. But that's volleyball! Unfortunately we can't all play our best 100% of the time. It is the ability to turn a game around and make a positive change that distinguishes a good team from a great one. I am grateful, however, that we were able to finish out our season with a few strong wins. 7 and 3, in my opinion, is a good tournament record, and I am proud of our team for how we performed. Every one of my teammates is a deserving volleyball player, and more importantly, they are all humble, kind individuals. I am thankful for the season we spent together. Jasmine Sells OJVA 14 Gold, Middle
Webfoot 15-1 began this season with a goal to receive a bid for GJNC. Once our team was toldwe got the opportunity to play volleyball at nationals nothing could bring down our excitement, for each of us were grinning ear to ear. We were heartbroken when we found that one of our outsides would not be able to make the tournament but excited to play with a new teammate.After weeks of dedication and practice our setter sprained her ankle; which, put a dent in ourteam's original plan, for we ran a 5-1 at the time. Our coach then created a new strategy to run a6-2 with our secondary setter and middle [whom had wicked hands]. Our setter was thankfullycleared to play a few days before our team left for Minneapolis.Once everyone from our team arrived at "The Hilton" and got settled into our rooms, we walkeda couple blocks to the YMCA to have a final practice before nationals. We then ate take out from "Hell's Kitchen", which was delectable!The following morning began the 15s division of GJNC. Girls junior national championshipshowcases the best volleyball teams in America, and therefore it was an absolute honor to attendthe tournament. After the first day of nationals was completed, the team walked back to the hotel to clean up in order to go to The Mall of America.The Mall of America is colossal! Who would have thought that a mall could fit a roller coasterpark inside it? After an hour inside the park we walked four floors up to eat dinner at RainforestCafé.The next evening Webfoot rode bicycles around Lake Harriet and sat on the dock, then we droveto Red Wagon. Because our group was larger than a normal dining size we ordered 7 pizzas and boy were they delicious!The third afternoon in Minneapolis was considered to be family time for the players. In the evening, the team met up at Panera Bread for dinner.The final day of the 15s division at nationals unfortunately began with a loss for Webfoot.Although we finished GJNC seeded 55/64 our team considers the experience nothing less than a triumph.