In the first round of the Division I gold bracket, the USC club volleyball team suffered a tough three-game loss at the hands of UCLA.
The third game was knotted at 8 each when a crucial, momentum-killing play took the wind out of our sails. On a freeball, our middle drew the UCLA blocker and left our outside hitter with a one-on-one situation. As he jumped up to hit, I noticed in my peripheral vision a ball rolling onto our side of the court - nowhere near any of our guys - as we all charged in to cover the hit.
Our outside hitter, ripped the ball down off the arms of a bruin passer, who shanked it off his arms, over the dividing netting and out of bounds. Meanwhile, the down-ref, just after the ball hit the passer's arms, blew his whistle to stop the play because the ball on the court. He was calling for a replay.
After two days of the tournament, and a few tough calls, it was told to us that a ball not affecting the play would not be ruled a replay, however, after a conference with the down-ref, the up-ref overturned his previous call (giving us the point) and called for a replay. We lost the next point along with most of our momentum.
We hung tough after the replay call but lost 15-12 to our crosstown rival. The loss was difficult to take, but we had made it to the gold bracket - which most of the team viewed as a great accomplishment after last years winless performance.
Who knows what next year will bring. Who knows if I'll even be on the team next year. Who knows what kind of team we'll have - we do lose both starting outsides, our defensive specialists, our coach, and potentially our setter. It should be interesting.
Who knows. Maybe I'll figure a way around my schedule and come back. Wouldn't that be somthing.