Sameet invited me to the 25th annual Pottstown Rumble tournament. This was our first time playing grass together. I was really excited to play doubles and spend the weekend away with Tania.
2016 25th Annual Pottstown Rumble Volleyball Tournament
Our tournament began with us working the first game, and immediately playing afterwards. I registered us for the A division which I thought was fair based on our skill level.
Overall the tournament was a lot of fun, but unlike the more athletically demanding indoor version of the game, grass was more dependent on a player’s strategic toolset. I can admit I was subpar. Defense was my weak point. I blocked when I didn’t need to, was uncomfortable overhand passing, and stood in the wrong place when the other team was attacking. The worst is repeatedly making the same errors. Sameet would correct me on many occasions and I still made the same mistakes a few points later. I mentally took myself out of the game.
Another aspect I needed to improve was my serve. It was good but definitely not to the level I feel I am capable of with proper practice. Therefore, I will work on it during indoor NY Urban games. The only way to improve my defensive errors is playing more outdoors. After playing indoors for such a long time I’ve developed many habits which are hard to break.
Sameet and I never made it out of pool play, and finished the day 4-4. The 1st team out of our pool made it all the way to the final playoff round. We finished 3rd and were one set shy of making it out if our bracket. Here are the clips from Saturday:
June 25 2016 (Sameet Men’s Doubles – A)
Team 1 (Darrell Burris / OB Besognngem)
Team 2 (Quinn Bailey / Christian Phung)
Team 3 (Keith Lapinas / Josh Knowles)
Team 4 (Andrew Stephan / Jim Speese)
Heading to the hotel
Sunday was A coed doubles with Ali Jackson. This was also our first time playing together, and it just so happened that both Sameet and Ali were setters. We had practiced a few weeks prior to playing in Pottstown. We started out splitting to our first team and then taking all four of our next games. This put us 5-1 with one team left to play. I don’t know what happened, but I completely shut down on our last game. My decisions were terrible, and I played a terrible game all together. A lot of the mistakes from Saturday seemed to be carried over into Sunday; I began blocking when I didn’t really need to, I wouldn’t chase balls which Ali passed, and I played defense incredibly poorly to the point where I confused Ali as to what I was doing in the front row.
June 26 2016 (Ali coed Doubles – A)
Team 1 (Kaitlyn Kushman / Matthew LaSance)
Team 2 (Emma Dickson / Sean Frazee)
Team 3 (Courtney Vidovish / Ryan Dry)
Team 4 (Lorena Cerniglia / Jared Brower)
What matters is that I did have fun this weekend. I got to see a lot of great volleyball competition, friends and spend some quality time with my wife. I’ll use this as a motivation for future games.
Tania and I watched one of the Men’s open games after we were eliminated from pool play: