Inside The Locker Room
Last week, I was scheduled to cover the Varsity Prosper Volleyball season openers. I played a little rec volleyball in my day in the 80’s and 90’s. And was the best server on the team, for the record, so I pretty much knew what to expect. Fast-forward a few years (give or take), and I am now a “boy mom” times three so you can imagine my excitement to sit in a gym full of girls and watch them bobble a ball around for a few hours.
I arrived about 15 minutes early to get my place situated and get my camera gear all set up. The game, excuse me, match before ours was going into a tie-breaker. I glanced up a few times when I heard the crowd cheer or someone hit the floor, which happens substantially more often than I anticipated. Match over. Let’s do this, Prosper.
Out comes the team for warmups. My first impression: Every one of them looks like they stepped off the red carpet, but could still take you in a dark alley. Think Angelina Jolie in Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
The first set of the first match starts and I find my spot behind the Prosper bench. I think I took 40 photos in the first minute of play just trying to keep track of the ball.
Because a player cannot touch the ball twice in a row, the team must work together. Kayla to Madi, Madi to Hope, Taryn or Haley, like a choreographed ballet that quickly turns into a mosh pit with girls hurling themselves onto a wooden floor or leaping into the air to jam the ball in the other team’s face. I would sure hate to be on the other side of that net. These girls have some power.
Ok, I could watch this, but I am not staying for the entire second match, I said.
Prosper easily overpowered Waxahachie, so I figured I’d stay for the first set against Frisco Wakeland just to get a few more photos.
Prosper lost the first set 20-25 and I knew I couldn’t leave with them behind, so I decided to stay for the second set. They killed it, winning 25-17.
I know enough about superstitions to know that since they won, I can’t leave now so I had to stay for the third set, at least. Prosper won that one by an even larger margin, 25-14. Obviously, it’s because I stayed. Now if Prosper can just hold out on the fourth set, it’ll be lights out for Wakeland. But Frisco wouldn’t go down without a fight and won the fourth.
By this time, I am an emotional wreck. I have chewed my finger nails and pulled my hair out of the ponytail. I’m truly invested in this match. We would be going to the tie-breaker.
The last set was a true challenge. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to “Facebook Live” what I hoped would be an exciting Prosper win, or if I should just focus on taking photos. But I also actually wanted to watch. Ah, the conundrum.
In the end, Prosper prevailed in a 15-6 victory in the fifth set. I packed up my camera, walked to my car and thought to myself, This ‘ain’t your mother’s volleyball.
Renee Marler | Renee@CedarbrookMedia.com