“That was a fun match. I just like good games,” said Cassy Moon, head coach for the San Juan High volleyball team, after her Broncos prevailed in a tight five set victory over the Monticello Buckaroos last week.
The outcome was in doubt until the fifth and deciding set, when the five time defending 2A state champion Broncos jumped out to a quick lead to end the match 15-7. However, it was a night of riveting play on both sides.
You gotta love volleyball. Not once did any three of my spectator pet peeves pop up; there was no skipping by players after they made great plays. I detest football and basketball players skipping. Come on, I learned to skip in kindergarten. What’s so impressive about skipping?
And, the only head nodding I saw were fans when asked if they enjoyed the match. Third, no one tapped her heart, kissed her fingers and pointed to heaven. In fact, other than great individual plays such as a commanding kill or a dominating dig, nothing about the match called attention to individuals.
It was all team. Teams celebrated great individual plays as one, typically with some unique little dance of merriment. Even when mistakes ensued, which did often in a bang-bang game such as volleyball, the teams immediately jump to some other little slogan/chant/kick thing to effectively take the focus off the individual involved, pump up the team, and direct the focus back to the present.
“The team must be more important than the individual,” asserts Moon. “It has to be in volleyball. We try to keep it that way. I have had girls who have struggled with the team, but have always put themselves aside and played with the team/for the team.
“Volleyball is 80% mental. You can have a great team, but if mentality breaks, there goes the match.”
Coming up for both the Broncos and Buckaroos are region tournaments next week followed by the state tournaments on October 31 and November 1.
Now if we can just get the football teams to find a dance of merriment!