The Vociferous Volleyball Game

Ava Johnson

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With the start of the season of autumn also comes the thrilling volleyball season, which consists of daily practices, several exciting games per week, and school spirit. Volleyball has been such an important facet of my life, giving me something to look forward to and be joyous about doing. Along with demanding workouts and shaking off mistakes, opponents can take a toll on the exhilarating aspect of volleyball, creating a challenging side to this sport, as well as many others. 

This season, the Colts Neck volleyball team was forced to deal with the boisterous spectators of an opponent. As soon as we walked into the gym, everyone noticed a huge group in the stands, being very loud, even before the game started. We just shook it off and continued as usual, beginning to warm-up. As the setter, my job is critical in order to have good offense. I “set” the ball in the air so the hitter can spike the ball over the net, hoping the team does not return it. We usually practice during warm-ups to get a feel for the ball. As usual, I do my job the best I can, but we all face distractions. As soon as I set the ball, the crowd made an “oh” sound for an extended period of time until the hitter hit the ball. We all noticed but ignored them, certain they would get bored and stop, however, that was not the case. They continued to do it for every person, until we stopped practicing. During the actual game, they cheered and screamed loudly and shouted chants after every point. I am ashamed to say our team let them get in our heads, despite the clarity that they were doing it deliberately. In addition, right before my teammate served the ball, one of them shouted, “Don’t mess up!” Although that was a trick to make her lose her serve, it gave my teammate strength to get the ball over even more powerfully. Some of the spectators had to move onto the other side of the bleachers due to the overwhelming amount of screaming. Halfway throughout the first game, their own coach had to tell them to leave. Everyone on my team was extremely relieved, and we even started to play better. Still shaken a bit by the chaos, my team unfortunately lost. We have never heard such disruption during a game, but this was an eye-opener to practice staying focused when playing.

Although this situation negatively impacted our game, we had fun and were proud of how we played, for we were a bunch of freshmen playing experienced sophomores and juniors. We do hope, however, something like this never happens again. We learned that some schools have spirit to a new extent and that it cannot be avoided. All we have to do is make the best of it and feed off of this energy, using it to improve ourselves instead of letting it distract us. Overall, volleyball is an exciting experience, and if each player learns to keep a positive mindset and really work hard, we will excel and enjoy the game to its full extent. If you really love a sport, I suggest you keep at it and do not let anyone get into your head. You know your abilities and what you are capable of. This lesson goes for anything in life.