Opening Night '06
Last night was opening night of sand volleyball, 2006, and I was in rare midseason form. Sure, we dropped the first game 15-0, but I didn't even get to serve. It would have been closer if I had.
The second game, I scored or assisted on 9 of our 15 points either through serves, spikes or sets. I also had the most embarrassing moment of my six years of playing. Well, I don't get embarrassed, so maybe it was the funniest thing that has ever happened to me in six years of playing. That's a better term.
The area behind the backline of the court slopes pretty precipitously, the result of poor sand raking technique on the part of the complex management. And it only does it on one side, leaving one team with a distinct advantage and the other with a pronounced disadvantage. Of course, you have to stand behind the backline when you serve, so you're in effect standing on the up-side of a cliff as you serve. The slope is large enough that it really seems (in your mind) like you have to hit the ball a good three-five inches higher than normal to make it over the net. The slope may actually only be a three-inch gradual drop over a three-foot area, but believe me, you notice it, and it affects your game.
Well, I was serving in the middle of the second game, having made five points in a row already and giving us a 7-2 lead. As my sixth serve is in the air, heading over the net to the other team, I ran back onto the court to be ready for the return, and because of the slope, I tripped over the backline rope and fell flat on my face. Hilarious. Then the ball hit me in the back and we lost the point. Not hilarious.
I was laughing pretty hysterically, though, and fairly uncontrollably too. I mean, what are the chances of me tripping over the rope and falling during play? Never happened before so the odds are pretty remote, that much I know.
But it happened, it was hilarious, and its a good story. We won the game, or else it wouldn't be so funny. And we won the next game too, helped by a huge dive and dig play in which I dove cross-court, hit the ball mere inches above the ground, and got it over the net for a point.
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