Back in October, we had hopes of finishing top 7, and making the playoffs. However 22 matches later this was not to be, we ended up finishing 9th out of 12 teams, a win-loss record of 7 - 15. There was a lot success against teams ranked lower than us (a combined 6-0 against the bottom 3 teams). But there was a very big struggle to compete with some of the better teams in the competition, where our record was 1-14 against the top 8 teams. Wins and losses aside, the end of January and February was great for a team. Together the team was playing great, and finding a great groove getting ready for the playouts. The 9th place finish secured us home court advantage in both rounds of the playouts. The structure of the playouts is a 9th vs 12th semi and 10th vs 11th semi, both are a best of 3 series. The winners would play each other for the 9/10 placing, while the losers would battle it out in a best of 5 series, where the loser gets relegated to the division below. Unfortunately I sprained my ankle in the 2nd last match of the regular season about 3 weeks ago, and have had to miss the few matches, including the first best of 3 series of the playouts. Insert our 16 year old second setter, who came in and did a great job, considering before I got injured he was not really given many opportunities.
The first playout series was against SSS, whom we beat both times in the regular season. But we had a really disappointing series against them. Both matches we lost 3-0. Credit to SSS definitely deserved to win, but it was just ashamed we never played good enough to compete with them in either match.
Now I head into unchartered territories, with a best of 5 relegation series against Zaanstad. During the season we beat them both times, however this series will be hard. Zaanstad is a difficult opponent, because they never stop fighting and they have a strong core who have been together for quite a few years. But I’m confident if we execute on our side of the net, we can finish on a high. Game 1 kicks off this Saturday 4th April. I’m doing everything to rehab, and I’m confident that I’ll be fit to play in the opening match. Although it’s been a month since I’ve played a proper match, I’ve still been in and around my time the whole time, so when I’m given the chance to start again, I know that the transition back will be easy. It’s been a while since I’ve written last, but not too much has been happening besides the volley. I did get a free weekend back in February, so I headed to Switzerland to visit perennial hair abomination Jordan Richards. Nothing like a quick weekend trip over to Switzerland. It was playoffs for him, so I got to see an intense 5 set match that his team came out on top. Also worth a quick mention, their opposition had a 180cm tall setter. It made me feel tall, it was great. Jordan took me for a day trip to Luzern (let’s assume I spelled that correctly), where I got to see some of the huge Swiss Alps which was beyond what I could conceive. The scenery was beautiful, and it was great to get a refreshing weekend off from volleyball, the photo below can’t sum up how beautiful the town was. The Australian takeover of Rotterdam is now official in a music capacity. Last Saturday night, our club had the annual ‘Sing for Spring’ karaoke night. Although we were the only ones singing in English, me, Sam, Max and our lead singer Victor (our assistant coach), as an awesome foursome of Australian talent cracked out a great rendition of Midnight Oil’s Beds are Burning. Victor was by far the best performer. And we officially won the night, were handed crowns and all the spoils that go to Karaoke Kings.
It’s been a long season, so every once in a while it’s awesome to be able to enjoy a night like this with your club, a great way to relax before we get started for the final stretch run. It’s crazy to think that in the next 2-3 weeks the season will be over, now the job is make sure we finish on a great note. Until the time is right, dooi dooi.