It was decided that we would take the junior girls volleyball team to compete in the Auckland Championships this year but not the boys. The girls just seemed more ready and the depth from both the Year 9 and Year 10 teams seemed good.
As always, the first round of games were grading games. According to the seedings, we were supposed to lose more than we won in this first round. As it turns out, this was exactly what happened. To be honest, we should have won a few games that seemed to slip away from us in the final sets. Mental toughness, or a lack there of seemed to be the difference between us winning and losing these close games.
Four winnable games where we were jostling for ascendancy, only to fall short at the line each time. Trying to pick ourselves up after each heart-breaking loss was also something we had to deal with all too regularly. The long days that normally started around 9am and finishing at 7pm really started to take its toll on our young team.
There were some positives that came out of the three days of volleyball;
• The girls gained some valuable experience playing in a tough competition that should hold them in good stead for the rest of their Rutherford volleyball careers.
• They really started to gel together as a team, both on and off the court.
• Getting up after a tough loss and gearing up for the next challenge will only help in their resiliency both as players and individuals.
All things considered, I would have to say that the girls in our team really enjoyed themselves and grew from this experience. I think we’ll be back next year; better, stronger and more resilient.