Because CCS had beat only one other team this year, they were seeded next-to-last in the rankings. Emily was out most of the beginning of the season due to a dislocated knee but still subbed in for serving. Irene rode the bench as a first-year, though she should shine in basketball starting next week.
Waiting in the stands, I chatted with fans who bore easy-to-read labels on their shirts like "Clara's Grandpa." In the first game, we were up against third-seeded Saint Cloud. Below, Emily serves three in a row, improving team morale.
The girls were so excited when they won this upset victory. The SC fans and players kept remarking on how surprised they were that we beat them. Our later game against the favorite and the host of the tournament did not go as well.
The girls had a full schedule of events: cheering on our soccer folks, pizza, secret-sister gift exchange, and trying to get to sleep in a busy hotel full of excited teen athletes. I used the time between games and chauffeur duties to read "Leviathan Wakes" -- an excellent noir buddy novel.
On day two, the girls rallied in an extremely scrappy match that went to game five. Everyone pulled together, and even shy Anna made some very aggressive spikes. Unfortunately, no one told the stands that the last game only went to 15 instead of the normal 25. I was planning to tape the ending but was shocked when the entire team went bananas and rushed onto the court jumping and screaming. After a disheartening season, they won third place in the league!
The medals on our setter and senior blocker are for players voted all-tournament by other coaches. Congrats CCS!
We shared decompression and dazed anecdotes over a Chinese buffet. Now we drive home and do laundry so we can hand back uniforms by Monday.