Redwood's Magical Season Ends
And then there were three:
Carondelet of Concord comes to Redwood. They are good. Redwood is better.
From the bleachers: Redwood needed all 5 games to beat a very tough Carondelet team. Tested to their limits, the Giants faced a very strong squad from Concord that had the defensive skills of Terra Linda plus the fire power of Drake.
From Coach Katie: “Lizzie had 7 service points, 3 aces, 10 kills and 4 blocks. Ursula had 9 digs and 20 kills and Lucia had 10 kills and some great sets as well. Also, Kelsey made some great blocks at the net while Hannah and Alyssa contributed a couple of kills each. Sierra made some nice blocks and Lindsey’s back court serves were awesome. It was a tough game but the girls hung in there”.
From the bleachers:
The night started with 3 early kills by Liz including a nice cross-court shot while fellow junior Kelsey stuffed a couple of would-be points at the net. Ursula was strong at the net as she too thwarted a big hit by the Carondelettes. Lucia was ‘on’ with some strong kills and Sierra played her usual solid game with some nice sets to the hitters.
Game 2. Lucia and Liz started of the game with a tag team block and then each contributed strong kills. Both L & L each notched up a nice tip at the net and scored kills with solid angles that Carondelet could not handle. Ursula once again rolled out her now famous ‘dinkasaurus shots’ as she approached as if she would send a lightning bolt over the net only to use a surgeon’s touch and tip the ball to no woman’s land in the front corner of the Carondelette’s side. Ouch for them. Yay for us.
Throwing in firepower of her own, Alyssa nailed a couple of nice kills and Lucia tossed in her own signature ‘dinks’. Both Sierra and Lindsey hit some beautiful serves that caused trouble for the Concord squad. Rumor has it that the San Francisco Giants are going to offer Lindsey a multi-year deal as a closer as her serves are tough to hit.
Also of note this night was an amazing underhand kill by Sarah. Team statisticians confirmed that this was the ONLY underhanded kill Sarah has made in her varsity career but we suspect that it won’t be the last of her career. That play showed Sarah’s great hustle and never-say-die attitude as she made what looked to be a sure point by Carondelet into a point that thrilled her team and the appreciative fans.
Another highlight was the ‘battle of the kills’ at the front net a Lucia refused to buckle under from the high powered attempted kills by the Carondelettes. This reporter noted that on at least 4 occasions during the night Lucia blocked would be kills and turned them into Redwood points.
Let’s not forget the nice ‘ups’ by Alyssa and Hannah who each turned ‘sure points’ for the visitors into saves for Redwood that then became points when teammates delivered the goods.
Phew, after 5 tough games, our Giants were victorious. Way to go girls!
Redwood travels to Bishop O’Dowd, fighting a storm that had Moses looking for sturdier lumber only to meet one heck of a good squad.
The Redwood-O’Dowd match was not for the faint of heart. Goodness gracious that was some incredible volleyball. A passerby not knowing what level of student-athletes would surely have proclaimed that she was watching some excellent college volleyball. Well I’ve got news for you Ms. Passerby, those were high school girls and one of those teams was OURS. So there.
Redwood came out smoking in game one. They were fired up. They were dry from having ridden a bus. And their hair was braided for victory. And win they did.
As you read this you’ll remember the outcome. But read this carefully as it says so, so much about Katie. From the Coach. “I want to cry but I don’t want the girls to think I am mad at them. I am just so proud of them! They played great. They have come so far. O’Dowd is a very strong team but they (Redwood) played awesome. They came back from being down 10-5 in game 5 to tie it at 14! I am so proud of them!”
OK, so now that I have painfully reminded you that our girls lost in 5, let’s remember this: They played like the Champs they are. They played their hearts out. Sure it’s a cliché, but they left nothing on the court.
O’Dowd is an excellent sports school. Year in, year out. They have quite a population they draw from. They recruit. Kids go there because it’s a small Catholic school with a deep tradition of high level athletic competition. This year’s team lived up to that billing.
Fueled by 3 certain D1-bound seniors and the daughter of a former NY Yankee, Bishop O’Dowd was loaded with talent. BUT, our girls defeated them in game one and sent a message that this was a battle.
Sure, games 2 and 3 went to O’Dowd as their hitters found their stride, but in game 4 our Giants looked like a brand new team. They out hustled, out served, out hit, out passed, and out blocked those mighty O’Dowdians on their own court.
With the Redwood rally flags in abundance and cheers from the energetic and wet Redwood fans, this night was something to remember.
Every Giant on the court contributed:
· Lucia had great services and some powerful kills
· Ursula nailed some kills and used her great cross court ‘dinkasaurus’ to score much needed points
· Lizzie’s serves and kills were tremendous and she made some great ‘ups’
· Alyssa played tough as always and had some nice ‘ups’
· Kelsey was big again at the net.
· Sierra’s sets were spot on
· LBL’s ‘ups’ were incredible as she continued to dive to floor with abandon
· Sophie stepped up big time with some key digs and hits
· Sarah contributed some terrific digs and her usual strong serves
The summary of the game - and perhaps the season - was game 5. O'Dowd came out strong and quickly got to a 10-5 lead. As we all know by now, a lead like that in the 5th game is really difficult to overcome. instead of rolling over, our girls played exceptionally well. They surged back with great kills and inspirational defense. The next thing we all knew, it was 10-10, 11-11 and suddently it was 14-14.
In the bat of an eye, O'Dowd got point 15 and then point 16. The O'Dowd girls were ecstatic and rightfully so. The mighty Giants were ...well, no one likes to lose, particularly a game like that.
After the game Katie told me that she was ready to cry but didn't want the girls to see her because she didn't want them to think that hers were tears of disappointment. That was just the opposite. Coach Katie's tears carried every moment of pride, joy, and reward she felt for the girls to battle as they did. Coach Katie was so proud of the girls and how they did what so many thought could not be done with this season. And they did it their way with gritty play and that wonderful hard to describe "never say die" attitude. In the end, Coach Katie was talking about the respect she had for her players and that is the ulimate compliment from a coach.
As the girls emerged from their post game meeting with Coach Katie, we gave them a warm ovation that said so much in those moments. We always love our children and cheer for them no matter what activity they enjoy. With this season, we also had the privilege of feeling repsect for our daughters for how they played.
In retrospect, that 5th game perhaps was one of the 'signature' moments of the 2010 season. It showed every reason why Redwood deserved their MCAL championship. As the minutes continued and the smiles returned to the girls, thoughts shifted to the next game.
The trip to Rocklin was long. Every team has a really off game and unfortunately, this was it.
Credit goes to Rocklin for having the best server the Giants faced all season. The velocity, spin, and placement of this young woman were too much to handle for our girls. Adjustments were made, player rotations shifted, and still our girls could not capture any momentum.
These things happen, don't they? Redwood did have its moments though and from the bleachers it looked like they were the superior team. Visions of state championship playoffs were more attractive than visions of holiday treats. Alas, it wasn't to be.
Following the team meeting the girls emerged with smiles and tears. It's a good thing that we didn't have a 'Most Likely to Enter the World of Mascara" as on this night there were no winners of the 'dry' look. Tears of sadness? Sure. Tears of finality for our seniors? You bet. Tears of frustration that we-were-just-so-close? Of course.
Before the girls left the Rocklin gym their spirits were once again high as they broke out in one of their very entertaining games of "Big Booty". Mind you, I know nothing about this game nor have any details been shared but as several of us stood back and watched our daughters giggle, dance, and laugh with joy, whatever the heck that "Big Booty" game is all about was music to our ears and salve to our heart. If we thought that our girls would be in a nasty funk about their season ending this way, we were very wrong and happy to be so wrong!
I do not know who won or if there are winners in "Big Booty" but if I was an alien and needed to judge the human population by the conduct of teenage girls in spandex, I would be pretty convinced that things were all right here on our planet.