“Help!” yelled the volleyball-ready girls of 4G. Assistant volleyball instructor Joella Tolis was leading them in stretches before their third volleyball game. After every stretch, they would call out a term they were supposed to use in the game such as “help” and “mine.” After stretching, the girls split into their A and B-teams and ran through drills to practice serving, spiking and working as A-team.
On the A side of the gym, 5G started with the ball. On the first serve, 4G did not manage to touch the ball. The consequence: ten squats. 4G counselor Eva Hochstetler dove for the ball on the next serve, sparing her young teammates from the penalty of more squats.
Ellie was the first to serve for 4G. Several well-placed underhand serves and great plays by the other girls, including a spike by Hali, earned 4G six points before the ball was transferred back to 5G. 5G’s Samantha’s serving brought her dorm’s score to 13 before Savannah (4G) spiked the ball, ending 5G’s seven-serve reign. 4G won the first A game 21-13.
As the girls on the A-teams took a water break, I turned my attention towards the B game. They were still in the middle of their first game, so I decided to watch the A-team play their second game before heading to the other side of the gym. Before I refocused on the A side of things, however, I witnessed Willow make a serve the other team was unable to reach, thus scoring a point for 4G.
4G’s Kaylee was the first to serve in the A-team’s second game. The game went quickly as 4G made several great plays—touching the ball at least twice almost every time the ball was sent over the net. When 5G regained possession near the end of the game, the score was 4-19 in 4G’s favor. 4G gained the next point, reestablishing possession of the ball, but the ball was sent careening into the roof, meaning another chance for 5G to serve. 5G’s serve was greeted by a spike from Hali, winning the game 21-5.
Meanwhile, 4G’s B-team also had a victory in their first game with a score of 21-18. In between games, they took time to run through a couple more drills. “Get the ball over the net!” the girls yelled in response to assistant instructor Matthew Castillo’s count down.
Volleyball instructor Daryle Hochstetler joined 5G while Miss Tolis joined 4G for their final game in the A-team match. After a few serves by both teams had gone into the net, both Mr. Hochstetler and Miss Tolis admonished their teams to “Go for height!” When 4G’s Ellie stepped up to serve, the score was 13-15 in 5G’s favor. Her vertically favorable serves gained her dorm several points before 5G served again. When the ball was sent in the middle of 4G’s side of the court, both Hali and Miss Hochstetler dove for it, landing in a jumbled heap of limbs and consequently missing it. After a double-hit by 5G, 4G was awarded a point, tying the game 19-19. Though they did not win the match as a whole, 5G managed to redeem themselves by winning the last game with a score of 19-21.
When the A-team’s match was over, I sat on the field house stage to watch the B-team’s final competition. 4G had won the second game, but I failed to see the score before the board was wiped. Hannah B. was the first of 4G to serve. She sent many well-placed serves over the net, which landed untouched by the opposing team. Michal demonstrated her perseverance when she lunged for the ball as it fell over the net for four volleys in a row. Maggie and Cameryn kept up the trend of game-winning serves when they took their respective turns with the ball. When the score reached game point, Cameryn was still serving after a string of six successful serves. The pressure got to her at the last moment, however, and the ball fell a little short. When 5G hit the ball out of the court, 4G was allotted their final point. The game ended in 4G’s favor with a score of 21-10.
“Thanks for a great time,” 4G yelled. They directed the cheer at someone (or something), but all that came out of their mouths was a profusion of enthusiastic mumbling. Then the girls of both dorms gathered in a circle in the middle of the gym. As music was piped through the speakers, the girls sang along and danced. Maggie and Savannah were awarded tickets for their effort and good sportsmanship. After a final cheer of “Thanks for helping us stay clocked in 5G and volleyball staff! Whoop!” 4G cartwheeled out of the gym.
Well, some of them cartwheeled. Actually, Miss Hochstetler cartwheeled. A few others tried.