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Today is a tremendous day for our Manhattan High Indian Volleyball team. They are in the state championship game against Washburn Rural. Tonight we only have one match. That means who ever wins two out of the three games wins the match. Each game goes to twenty-five points. Except if there is a third game, and then it only goes to fifteen points. Also in volleyball you have to win by two points.
See Manhattan is the last six a school left, before you get to Colorado. By Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City all have more than one six a school in their town. A six a school is the largest rank of school you can have. When Lawrence is talks about their competition, they talk about Kansas City, and Topeka first, and then they say, oh yeah and I forgot Manhattan High Indians. So when we are facing any of those teams it is a major deal. We play our hearts out and try to beat them whenever we get a chance.
It’s an hour before the championship game, our most valued game of the year. We are getting ready, sliding on our navy blue tops and our cherry red bottoms. I’m forming my hair into a perfect ponytail. At the same time, the fans are yelling, screaming, cheering for their team. Humongous, butterflies are swarming through my belly. Before every game I eat snickers, and envision what is going to happen and how I’m going to play.
Washburn Rural is one of our primary rivals, not just in volleyball, in every sport. From the past, Washburn Rural has blown us away, like a piece of paper in a tornado. They have always been one of our best competitors. All their players are tall and very athletic. Their whole team plays volleyball all year around, not just in during school volleyball season. They know if you’re going to be the best, you need to play the finest teams. They go all over the United States to places like Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Georgia, and anywhere they can find a challenging match.
It’s almost game time now. The whole team is jogging around the court, doing high knees and butt kicks. Everyone heads into a circle and is starting to stretch. After getting our muscles shaped into big rubber bands, we start to get our arms swinging. We all partner up and open with peppering. Peppering is a basic, bump, set, spike (roll) over-and-over again. Next we get into our hitting lines, getting use to our approach and setter. Finally we serve for 2 minutes, situate our toss and our steps before we start serving in the game. Tonight is going to be excellent. When it comes to slamming the ball down and blocking our opponent’s hits, this is my specialty. I’m getting everyone ready to play our game. Out whole team is getting the crowd into the game. It’s always helps me having the crowd pumped up and into the game. It gets my heart racing and my blood flowing at ninety miles an hour.
Its five pm. GAME TIME! The serves up and off we go. Block, Transition, Hit!!!! The crowd goes wild. As the next few minutes pass, it’s twelve to eight, Indians. Washburn Rural calls a timeout. As we gather in our huddle, our arms crossed watching our coach talk, using hand gestures. As she explains how we need to be consistent, then she pauses and everyone nods in agreement. Then we go again. Time is flying outrageously fast. Everyone is playing on instinct; feeling like it’s all a blur. Momentum is controlling most of my body. The rush is exciting and before you know it, the first game is over. We won twenty-five to twenty.
As we get into the huddle between games, my arms and legs feel warm, lose, and energized. I feel a tingle, a shiver, and a thrill going through my body. I am feeling excited, fired up, and ready to go. Then looking at my opponent’s faces, their middle hitter is so jittery and anxious. She is nervously jumping up and down, not stopping one second to relax and take a breath. Her face all droopy and her lips shaped into a frown. As I turned away before our next game, I take a swallow of that chilled cool blue Gatorade, going all the way down my throat. One second later the whistle blew.
The shiny, silver, whistle blows like a horn. The next second the serve’s over. Bump, set, and quick spike to the middle. BAMMMMMMMM!!!! Point to Manhattan High Indians. The next couple of moments fly by, and we are up by one. We are, twenty-three; Washburn Rural is, twenty-two. Manhattan has the ball, a marvelous pass by our back row, a set by our setter, and a strike by our outside hitter. The Manhattan High Indians have a beautiful play. Our outside hitter has a great hit. It’s twenty-four to twenty-two. The crowd is screaming their lungs out. We are all pumped up and ready to keep on going! Right, left, right, left. The serve is over and short. INDIANS WIN!!!! WHOOH!!!! The crowd goes nuts, over the amazing ace. Big blue wins the game point.
I walked delighted over to Kaitlyn (outside hitter). We just looked at each other with big smiled on both of our faces. I think we were magnificent. There were times I thought we were going down in the hole, but we came out of it.
“I agree with you on that. I think our key things to winning tonight were passing, serving, and our front row blocking,” said Kaitlyn.
“We’re state champions Kaitlyn,” I shouted.
Both of us started singing along with the crowd, we are the champions my friends. We’ll keep on fighting till the end. In the end, I think we worked hard for what we wanted. We did it. YEAH!!!!