That's what matters about this past weekend. No team in the Southland Conference got off to as strong a start as our Ladyjacks who arrive back in Nacogdoches tonight with four wins, no losses, two all-tournament nods, a trophy... and oh yeah.. a boatload of confidence.
I'm sure the coaches will find things to work on Monday and Tuesday and break down things that could have been done better, but hey.. from the fans perspective (and that's what you get here at sfavolleyblog.net) - could this have gone any better?
You pack up veterans who suffered through the worst season in program history, throw in nine newcomers who haven't played a lick of NCAA DI Volleyball in their life, and you come home 4-0 with a tournament championship. Are you kidding me? In the words of Ozzy Osbourne.. we're "Flying High Again".... yep, you're reading the Diary of a Madman right now. I'm pretty stoked.
Aren't you pumped? How can you not be? Oh, sure there will be bumps and bruises, but can't you just see Humphreys and crew when they get back to the hotel after winning the tourney? Or can't you just imagine the club boarding the bus to drive away from the venue with all that hardware on board?
C'mon. Imagine that moment when the guard was let down and the feeling of "Dang, we just waltzed in here and beat a 2010 tournament team on their own floor and then picked up three more wins" really set in.
Yeah, this is going to be different.
Ok, the nay-sayers (I have been known to be one at times) will say "it is just one weekend" or "the competition wasn't THAT great" or "teams have had good starts before and it ain't meant nothing" . Pfffft. Forget that. Confidence dudes and dudettes, confidence. We needed to FEEL what it was like to win.
We could go over all the stats - that's what I usually like. We could break everything down and analyze and dissect. Nah, forget that. The important thing - the ONLY important things is that... well, the only important thing is that we WON. And that breeds confidence.
Young teams need that. Let's not lose our innocence just yet. Let's let these young players think they can do that 30 times this year. Hey, why not? The freshman haven't even stepped in a classroom yet and they've got four wins, the feeling of "college ain't bad at all", and "we are here to kick butt and take names".
Keep it coming. The more this feeling persists the more 2010 gets buried in our current wake. That way, when the first struggle inevitably hits, we won't be looking backward remembering failure. We'll be resting on the fact that we started well and can get back on track.
Ok, for the sake of SOME analysis.. let's throw out some props:
Bottles shook off a mediocre first game against Georgia Southern to basically return to her dominating self the rest of the tournament including a ludicrous 16-1-26 (.577) attacking performance in Game 2 against Jacksonville.
Sabrina Burns. Dominating. Six attack errors in 70 swings? Somebody ate their Wheaties. Burns goes out - serves 6 foot-3-in-your-face notice and hits .414 for the tournament. A worthy all-tourney selection.
Katsy rhymes with (first) rate-zy Randall gets her mug plastered all up on the SFA Volleyball website for oh, I don't know.. AVERAGING A DOUBLE DOUBLE in the tournament with 40 kills and 41 digs in 4 matches.
And dare I forget Turn the Paige on 2010 Holland? 55 assists - in four sets mind you - against Montana State.
Leslie Jackson: In 3 of the 4 matches she only had 1 attack error. THREE MATCHES OUT OF FOUR with only one attack error. Daaaaaaaaang.
And what about all-tournament Maddie Hanlan (9 aces, if you please) or the back row contributions of Monica Pannone and front row contributions of Jill Ivy?
John Critzer's reply text to me after I sent him congrats on Saturday: "Yeah, it was quite a show".
Indeed. And I want a ticket to the next one (well, actually, I get in free, but.. ). Wasn't planning on it originally, but hey.. the fan in me just ain't gonna be kept down. Road trippin' to Monroe, baby. We win Wednesday and we are one win shy of being half way to last years' total. Now that's stupid.
Confidence. Let it Build.
"Flying High Again.. C'mon and Join Me.."
On Wednesday, make sure at match time you point your browser right here and I'll be LIVE court side for the match at ULM. We'll have a chat window up that is super easy to use and you can chat and ask questions as I describe the action as it happens. You don't need to do anything or download anything. Just bookmark this page - you probably have already because you recognize the awesomeness of this site - and then just show up here before the match starts.
It all kicks off at 5:45 PM on Wednesday for pre-game comments. I hope you can join me Wednesday night as the chat is usually faster than StatTracker (yes, I have a scoreboard, too) and you'll feel much more plugged in by being in the chat room with me and other fans! Make plans to be here if you can't make it in person to Monroe.
I'll see you all in Nacogdoches on September 9 when we kick off the Ladyjack Invitational!