The 7th and 8th Grade Norfolk Catholic Lady Knights started their volleyball seasons this last Saturday competing in a tournament hosted by Hartington Cedar Catholic. There were six teams in the tournament. First the teams were divided into two pools of three teams each. After playing both teams in your pool, then the teams were ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd and played the team from the opposite pool with the same rank for 1st, 3rd and 5th place.The kids were excited for Cara's first junior high volleyball game. They made this sign for the game to hold up. Justin wanted the sign to say, "My big sister is #43! Go Cara!", but Cara put a stop to that sign. She said they could NOT make a sign with her name on it. Therefore, she agreed that this sign was okay. The sign was not really used at the games and I'm not sure if it will go to any other games, but they had fun making it.
The tournament was set up with the 7th Grade girls playing in the Holy Trinity gym and the 8th Grade girls playing in the Hartington CC gym. The grade school and the high school are connected by a hallway, so, we could go back and forth to watch each team play.
The girls started play in Pool 2 with teams from Crofton and Homer. First game, we played Crofton. It was obvious that the girls were nervous the first set and the score reflected that with a loss. They came back in the second set and won in a close set. Then they lost in the third set. But, they learned in that first game that they could win and gained some confidence by winning that one set.
Next, the girls played the team from Homer. They came away with a victory in two sets. They were so excited and pumped up with confidence.
Then with a record of 1-1 coming out of pool play, they played the team from Ponca for 3rd place in the tournament. They fought hard, but lost in two sets to claim 4th place in the tournament.
They had a good day and realize that they need to continue to practice hard to get ready for the next game. They don't play again until the 24th, so, there is time to work on some things. We were proud of how they played and they showed good sportsmanship.
The 7th grade only has 12 girls in the grade and 9 of those girls are out for volleyball. A few of those nine have never played volleyball before. One girl had never touched a volleyball until practice started two weeks ago. They have come a long ways, but there is room for improvement.
Cara, #43, starts for the 7th Grade as front middle hitter. She played every set the whole day, never leaving the floor. She was so tired Saturday night that she fell asleep on the couch at 6:30 pm and woke up at 9 pm to move to her bed and then slept through the night until about 9 am on Sunday.
Coach Freese has changed Cara's serve. Cara has a strong serve and the team relies on Cara to get them points off her serve. Cara's approach has been shortened and she doesn't take as many steps. Her serve improved with each game. You could tell she was tight and nervous the first set.
The 8th Grade Team from Norfolk Catholic came out of the tournament with a 1-2 record and a 4th place finish also. The 8th Grade girls are running a different offense than the 7th grade girls. Both teams tasted winning, but also defeat.
I spent the day going between the two gyms being the official bookkeeper for the two teams. The first game both teams played at the same time, so, I kept the book for the 7th Grade team so I could watch Cara play. But, the 8th grade gym got behind in the schedule, so, I could do book for both teams. The 8th Grade team really needed Ms. Freese to coach them through rotation and serve because they were struggling running a new offensive scheme. The 7th Grade girls are running a 4-2 offense and Miss Dugan coached them all day with Mrs. Claussen (Jadyn's Mom) helping out to watch the rotation. If you keep book, you are not allowed to coach. The bookkeeper is not even allowed to cheer for the teams. It is very hard to not cheer!
Cara, our #43, had a very good day! She had her family and both sets of grandparents cheering her on in her first game as a junior high player. We cannot wait to watch the next game.
Ashlin was the official family photographer for the day since I was busy keeping book. She took 296 photos throughout the day! I spent the whole trip home from Hartington deleting photos off the camera and came up with just these 12 photos for the day.
We are going to be living and breathing volleyball for about the next 6 weeks. All three girls are playing volleyball this fall. Cara is playing junior high ball, Erica is playing 5th & 6th Grade Club volleyball at school and traveling to tournaments on weekends, and Ashlin is participating in a volleyball clinic at the YMCA being led by the local Northeast Community College volleyball coach and players.