VBLI tournament at Iona College

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What a roller-coaster day. I was supposed to meet David in Long Island City at 7:30am this morning. I woke up at 7:28am and thought I could make it there by 7:40ish. Luckily, I made it by 7:50am and we still managed to make it to Iona College at 8:30am. It’s always good to leave some room for error.

David and I arrived first on the scene. The gym was empty and very dimly lit. Matt soon followed and the rest of the guys game in shortly after. I think this was my first time at Iona College. It is conveniently located in New Rochelle, New York, and has a very nice campus. It almost reminded me of Springfield a bit.

Shortly after my team was there, I started noticing a lot of other familiar faces. Pablo Olivera, Kert Fernandez, a lot of past JFK players, and even some NY Urban players. It was really nice competing against the greats. Kert was my Stellar (club team) volleyball coach. I learned a lot from him and felt great seeing him after all these years. Pablo needs no introduction as he was crowned as an AVCA Men’s Volleyball All-American Player in 2010 (one of the top 20 players in D3 Volleyball that year).

We didn’t play the first game, but instead had to ref it. The roller-coaster day continued as we were off to a good start by sweeping our first opponent. We won both sets by 10+ points. I felt really comfortable that we were going to do well in the tournament. I counted my chickens before they hatched on this one, because we lost both of our next 2 games. Luckily, we managed to squeeze into the semifinal round of the playoff bracket where we defeated Kert/Pablo’s team (#work_until_your_idols_become_your_rivals).

The roller-coaster ride continued as we lost the first set of the final round.

In the semifinal game Matt sprained his ankle pretty badly. I remember being off the court as it happened. I think he stepped on Mike’s foot or something. He was out for about 20 minutes as Alisa applied her nursing skills on him. She taped his ankle and he continued playing. Maybe we lost the first set of the final match because of him, but we definitely wouldn’t have won the second and third sets without him.

I feel we played really well together. This was the first time David played with this group. We probably missed more serves as a team than we should have, but we still managed to pull through and win the tournament. I’m glad I spent some good quality time with friends, got to see some old friends and won some gear! And no tournament would be complete without Alisa taking the winning team’s picture! I hope to play with you all again soon!