By all accounts, I’d call Ellapalooza Season Two a success.
The beach volleyball tournament (held out at my favorite beach-that’s-not-in-California, Volleyball Beach) raised over $12,000 for the Waner Children’s Foundation. That’s an absolutely awesome figure – and it’s about 20% more than the first season.
Kudos to the team that put the tournament together and got everything organized – your OCD was noticed and appreciated. *grin*
The sheer number of people out there to cheer on Ella and donate to an excellent cause was overwhelming – at about 3:30 when Sam and I got there there was hardly room to stand, let alone move around. That’s how many people came out to help, play and watch. In all the years I’ve played out there I’m not sure I’ve seen that many people inside Volleyball Beach at one time. And huge kudos to the sponsors (click here to check out the list of them) who donated a bunch of stuff for the raffles and silent auctions.
The Twelve Angry Thumbs (don’t ask how we came up with that name – it’s a long and somewhat disturbing story) joined together for the first time as a team. After a little last-minute drama (we had a sub who injured her wrist two days before the tourney) we got the team built. There were four of us from our Thursday 6:15/7:15 team (Catherine, Craig, Captain Tess and myself) who were joined by Jason and Michelle to round out the six.
For whatever reason we started off in the recreational bracket. After the first two games it was apparent that’s not really where we belonged so we ended up switching with a team that was in the competitive bracket but was probably better suited for recreational. But the Misfits (the team we started playing) were a fun bunch to play – and having fun is what it’s all about.
The next games we played (against the team that won the best costume contest) we split – a fairly dominant win the first game followed by a close game the second. The next two games we took were a blast against the “Where’s Waldo” team – they also had great costumes and took second place in the contest. The third match we split one game apiece.
Then was the raffle. Despite last year’s tremendous success in the raffle there was none to be had for me or Sam this year. Oh well – Sammy’s luck at raffles was bound to run out at some point… *grin*
Then it was the tourney. We ended up a #3 seed (would have been #2 if we’d won the last game of pool play) and, oddly enough, ended up with a bye the first round since the team we were supposed to play didn’t show up. Not sure why; we speculated they may have been a team that drove in from a ways away to support Ella and ended up needing to head back home. Either way we ended up sitting and watching some of the other matches.
Our semifinal game proved to be our last. Despite a solid game plan and knowing what we were up against (we were watching them play their quarters match and good some good intelligence from the team they’d just beat (which was the team we split with in our final match of pool play) we gave them two runs of several points and that ended up being our downfall. We couldn’t put them away like we should have – and they took advantage of it and beat us.
It was a disappointing end to the tournament for us, but it was still a good time. We’re looking forward to a return next year to avenge our loss.
But win, lose or draw it was an absolutely great time and we had a blast playing in it. I was encouraged to see such a turnout – as of Wednesday there were a few open spots and between then and Friday six more teams had joined the party. Next year I’m hoping we see a completely filled tournament…and Twelve Angry Thumbs in the finals.by