Bump, Set, Spike!

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"Mine!"
The shout echoes through the drafty gym, and is quickly followed by the grunt and slap of a well-played pass. A streak of white soars through the air; as it descends, it brushes the setter's fingertips and gracefully flies into the air again.
Shoes squeak and crouching bodies tense, shouting energetically, eyes trained on the ball.
A body soars, its arm extended, reaching for the smudge of white in front of her. The moment of awed silence is broken by the solid thunk of a spike, and shortly after, the squeal of shoes slamming the polished floor.
There are screams from the sidelines, where half of the team sits, cheering. There is no jealousy or bitterness in their expression, only hope and happiness. Jealousy was a memory, something that happened in the beginning when we were not bound together as a team.
The girls on the court whirl in a blur of colors, rotating as easily as though they have done this all their life. They crouch again, legs burning, shouting encouragement to the rest of the players.
The referee blows his whistle, and the girls fidget restlessly, waiting for the moments of grace and ecstasy when the ball is on their side of the court.
"Service!"
The ball streaks through the air, and all eyes follow it. Footsteps beat on the floor, but they are not quick enough, and the ball falls to the ground.
The red numbers of the scoreboard twitch until they read 25, and suddenly the entire team is on the floor, screaming and jumping.
It is not a victory for the fourteen individual girls and one coach.
It is a victory for the team.





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