November 27th, 2013
No, wait! There was no worst! It was all fabulous, it was all the best of times. What a tournament up at the MAC Championships, culminating in this moment:
With that, we bid a fond farewell to the Spire Institute, with its walls of draped plastic, with its helpful crew (almost always), farewell to Geneva with its gray skies, its Best Friend’s Restaurant (under new management), with Ted the OU graduate and his 40-room house full of collectibles. Will we ever go back? The Spire arrangement has yielded to a much more reasonable (it seems to us) decision to host the Championships at the site of the team that wins the regular season. So as much as we’ll miss the Spire, they’ll have to make do without us next year, as we’ll be rockin’ in the Convo.
Slow in the making, here, finally, is the video of the final match. That’s all I could handle before Thanksgiving—and it may be 2014 before I present a video from the two previous matches. But I will: too much glory in the 200 clips I have not to distill them and put them up on YouTube.
November 26th, 2013
The Selection Show is Sunday night at 9:30 ET. Watch and see if your team is in! 1st and 2nd rounds are Dec. 5-7: http://ow.ly/rd0L3 — with Jacque Robertson and 4 others.
November 18th, 2013
The team was cooking Thursday and Saturday nights—and Molly ready to tear into a little Steve Miller riff. Aaron was gallant about yielding his seat—but then, the band had already helped propel the team to two satisfying victories.
As you have surely heard, winning the MAC regular season title outright has assured us that OU will be hosting next year’s Championship. Psyched doesn’t cover it.
The first Ballet of Volleyball video was so much fun that I had to make a second, with music from Chopin and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. We’re flying, as you’ll see.
November 13th, 2013
Here’s a tiny piece of Lexie Hartnett’s Au Pairing blog from Paris. This entry is actually about a trip she made to Holland to visit Katie Post (and another Kate, who appears in the photo on the left):
“That night the “K’s” had a home volleyball match. Their team, Eurosped won the game in 5 sets!! It was so fun to watch (my second professional match of the year) and the fans were great. They chanted, beat loudly on drums, and were very into the match! Katie played really well too, it was so fun to watch!”
Okay, my drift is surely clear. Cricket and I have always wanted to get the fans in the Convo to chant and beat on drums. Well, the drums might not be allowed. I got shut down when I took four Swiss cowbells to the Convo and tried to ring them during an NCAA match a few years ago. But chanting is allowed. Don’t you think we should? We’re going to be on TV tonight after all! Kent State at 7, and we will want revenge.
November 4th, 2013
What a delight to see Meryl Bender in the Convo on Saturday night at the Buffalo match. She is just as sparkly and engaging as she ever was. And (no surprise), she was quick to get to the point when I asked her how it felt to come back and watch the team play. “Incredibly sad,” she said (smiling all the time). “Anyone who comes back and says the opposite is lying.” Naturally, she wanted to be out on the court. When she came into the Convo with her boyfriend, wearing high heels and a stylish look, she immediately grabbed hold of a volleyball, just to have it in her hands. She wanted to play, to be part of the team.
Well, she is and will be, as long as we don’t forget her—which is a complete impossibility.
(Hey Meryl, I forgot to ask about your dad. Say hello to him, please.)
And now to the business of video. Actually, it’s a long way this week from a report or a sum-up. This week it’s all ballet, including music from Leo Delibes’ Coppelia and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Sugar Plum Dance from the Nutcracker. What fun!
October 30th, 2013
Ohio vs Western Michigan.
You drive to Kalamazoo to watch the team play. You see the coaches, the trainer, the stats guys and managers and the videographers from WOUB. You talk to Ryan Theis and Mark LaFrance, and to the parents and grandparents and visiting friends of the players. You’re stunned that Kelly Lamberti is back on the court as if nothing happened to her ankle last week. You watch the warm-ups. The first game starts and you cheer for half of it, then pick up your camera and head up into the stands.
The team wins the first set but drops the next two. Let this not be a miserable loss. Can we win this? And Ohio roars back in the fourth set, 25-17. Then, at 8-6 in the fifth, you see that Karin Bull has hurt her hand. She’s cradling it, protecting it, her thumb or perhaps a finger is hurt. The coaches must see it but leave her in. A kill by Mallory Salis and it’s 9-6. Karin is still protecting her hand. She lines up at the net with her hand held behind her—and Abby Gilleland bends down and kisses it, to make it better.
It’s the tenderest thing I’ve ever seen on the court. And only seconds later Abby The Fierce sets Karin The Cruel, and she crushes the ball! Two points later they do it again, it’s 11-7 and we’re on our way to a brilliant victory. What a sport, what a team.
October 29th, 2013
Hard on the heels of the Ball State video comes this one from Kalamazoo, of the Western Michigan match. And a glorious win it was.