I have so much going on right now this is going to be straight to the point. San Diego was a single elimination tournament. There is definite pressure in that format. There is no room for a bad match because you will be eliminated. Holly and I had a great tournament, but I do admit I was disappointed.
Our first match on Friday, we played against a young San Diego team and won in two sets. We were the 6th seed of the tournament, so we played pretty late in the afternoon. I just stopped taping my ankle from my injury in Hermosa and was a little nervous to play without it wrapped. I did not have my calf wrapped either. Many people commented on how they did not recognize me because I did not have my "mummy" costume on! It was bizarre! After many many weeks of all that tape I did feel a bit naked. Regardless, I made it through. In a single elimination tournament, that first win automatically puts you in a 9th place position. We won that match and were finished playing for Friday.
Saturday we faced Lewis/Lima to get into the 5th place position. We played patiently and aggressively to beat them. I have talked about this team before, but they are a great team and have the ability to pull off upsets. They beat Davis/Jordan several times over the past two seasons. I am really curious as to how they do it, because I have had no luck beating Davis/Jordan! We won in two sets advancing to the next round.
Our next match was against Fontana/DeNecochea. We beat them the first time we played them in Atlanta, then lost to them in a heart-breaker in Boulder. We were determined not to lose to them again. This was the match of the tournament. We got killed in the first set 14-21. We were inconsistent and did not take care of our opportunities. We made a few adjustments and bounced back to win the second set. The third set was incredible. There was one spectacular play after another. We were neck and neck the whole way. The intensity was incredible. Not one of us four athletes was going to give in. We all fought with everything we had. Holly and I dug deep and found a determination that we had been looking for all season. We served 9 or 10 times for the match before we actually won it! We stayed patient and aggressive and found a way. It was exhilarating to fight so hard and come out with the victory. I was so happy! The win got us to the semi-finals!
That night, I was exhausted. We only played two matches, but the emotional intensity of that second match really wore me out. I slept well.
Sunday we played Davis/Jordan to get to the Finals. The first set, Nettie served five aces. Four of the five were tricklers over the net. There is absolutely nothing you can do to defend against it. It is a lucky play that you rarely see. Four times in one game is unheard of. We lost the first set 16-21. Give us back those aces and I think it's a different story. We fought back to win the second set 21-19. Unfortunately, we fell behind in the third and could not stop them. Jenny was on fire. I did not do enough at the net to affect her and she just bombed away. We lost 11-15.
I am disappointed that we did not make the Final. This was a tournament that I truly believed we would/could win. Although we played great, I wanted more. I am not satisfied.
Now we have three weekends off before Cincinnati. I have a huge trip planned which I am so excited about. I leave tomorrow for Italy, Germany, and Kosovo. I am traveling with Jeff Nygaard, Brooke Hanson, and Ty Loomis. We are going to visit US Army bases and give exhibitions, clinics, and hang out with our Troops. I have been working on this trip all year with our production company, AKA Productions. Now it is finally here and I could not be more excited!
So many people have been wonderfully generous by giving us all sorts of give-aways for the Troops. Crocs, Bud Light, FUBAR, Cuervo, Oakley, The AVP, Martha Gibbings, Steve Owen, and Matt Gage gave me wonderful gifts to leave at the bases. I know the Troops will be excited and very appreciative.
I will be blogging from the road, so be sure to check back often. We are scheduled to visit around 8-10 different bases across Germany, Italy, and Kosovo for the next 2 weeks. It will be an incredible trip!
Now I have to get back to packing, so the next you will hear from me will be from the road!