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If you ask me on any given day what my favorite sport is, the answer will likely be football. However, at this time of year, there is nothing more exciting to cover than a volleyball match.
It helps that volleyball is played indoors. Honestly, I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to cold weather. I enjoy the warmth of the gym compared to the bitter cold of the wind on an open football field.
More importantly, however, these games really start to matter. It seems like every game from the start of the conference tournaments on are just a bit more exciting than usual.
A good volleyball match will have everyone jumping out of their seats throughout. However, a great volleyball match, like the one between Elgin Public/Pope John and Ewing in O’Neill last Friday, will keep you on your feet.
Once it gets towards the end of the season like this, everyone is just a bit more intense and focused on the court. The seniors especially seem to step it up and get a bit more passionate about every point and every mistake. They know they are closing in on their last chance to compete like this with their volleyball family.
Often, the district tournaments are full of surprises. That is because at this point it is really just a game of emotion. Teams that have struggled throughout the season just seem to pull out a game or two that isn’t expected, playing spoiler on some poor team’s state tournament hopes. That is because those lower seeds are tired of being beat. They are tired of being overlooked. And they simply are not ready to call it a season.
This time of year, the games get longer. The spikes get harder. The defense is more focused. The coaches even seem to yell a bit louder.
Everyone knows what is on the line. I love it.