First Tourney In The Books

It’s not even May yet and the first charity volleyball tournament out at Volleyball Beach is in the books.  The We Dig Sherwood tourney (to benefit the Sherwood Center) was Saturday, and despite the thunderstorms early in the morning it was a success.

Twenty-one teams – 11 competitive and 10 rec – were there to kick-off the tournament season and help bring awareness to the great programs the Sherwood Center has to help kids and adults with autism.  Even if I didn’t miss tournaments out at Volleyball Beach and even if a friend of mine didn’t used to run the tournament I’d still be here – I have a 14 year-old who has Asperger’s (a form of autism) so I’m pretty hip to everything they do.

My team consisted of Jason, Alissa, Darren, Jenny and Cynthia.  And me, even though I think the doc from my motorcycle wreck would have considered a volleyball tournament to be “strenuous activity” (which I’m not supposed to be doing) even though I don’t (and as my friend Jess pointed out, given how much I play it really probably isn’t).  I was wrapped it up tight to give it support and stepped out on to the sand with the rest of the Sandy Six Nines to enjoy what promised to be an absolutely gorgeous day.

We were in Pool 1 of the competitive league with four other teams.   With the top four of each of the two pools advancing to the tourney itself that meant we’d need to win at least two games, most likely, and probably more.

We started off strong, pulling off two wins after an hour of pre-drinking (30 minutes before the tourney started followed by a first-round bye).  We followed that match sweep up with another one giving us a 4-0 record halfway through pool play.  It was a good start, to be sure, and it was much easier to keep the booze flowing with wins than if we were lamenting losses.

Unfortunately the beer and vodka might have messed with our mojo a little and we dropped the next game to, honestly, a team we had no business losing to.  So I gave my pep talk to the team – if we don’t win the next one and split the 2-game match with them I’m going to wear my ladies small Fireball tank top until we do win.

That might have been a mistake…on a number of fronts.  First, nobody should ever have to see me in a tank top that small in the first place.  I’m not just pale (“ghostly” is a good way to describe me) but I’m not exactly holding a six pack.  At least not with my abs; there might be a six pack around my sides to be sure.  So while something that accentuates every curve is good when it’s the Fireball Girls wearing them it’s equally as not good when a pushing-40 pale guy manages to squeeze himself into it.

But so be it – I wore it (and hope nobody got pictures).

The next – and final – pool play match was against what was the best team in our pool.  They were solid all around, and while we certainly had the talent on our team to beat them we lacked the sobriety and ended up losing both of those games, dropping our record from a perfect 4-0 halfway through to an average 4-4 going into the tournament.

There was a bright side to that, however.  Because we found ourselves in the middle of the pack we got to play The Katies – Katies B, H and P, along with Blake, Turtle and another guy who’s name escapes me.  Although we were hoping to meet up with them in the finals and not the first round of the tournament it was still meeting them.

The first game was excellent – we were up 18-16 going into the end before we fell apart and dropped 21-19.  The second game wasn’t even close; I don’t think we even hit double digits.  Everything went wrong for us and we didn’t prove to be much of a challenge, unfortunately.  But regardless it was fun, EVEN IF BLAKE DIDN’T WEAR HIS SHIRT (btw, my friend – I wore a women’s small, you have no excuse…).

All-in-all it was a great time.  Afterwards we sat around for a while and socialized, then it was time for some Chinese food and a nice walk to stretch my hip (which had started to tighten up after sitting around).  Surprisingly today I don’t feel bad at all – I actually feel really good (but sore; probably because, I don’t know, I landed squarely on the bruised hip on the last volley of our last pool play game).

I can’t wait for the rest of this tournament volleyball season; if it’s anything like the way Saturday’s tournament went it’s going to ROCK…like it always does out at The Beach!

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