www.whyville.net Mar 15, 2009 Weekly Issue

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Quick Temper and Denial

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It was my second volleyball game of the new season. I was on the starting line-up with five of my friends.

The first game we played on Tuesday was a complete success. We dominated the opposing team and drove home with all the pride in the world. When we got to school on Wednesday, we gushed on and on about how we crushed the enemies. I exchanged numerous high fives with friends because they all knew I was the M.V.P of the game -- I served amazingly, bumped with tensity, and spiked with all my heart. We easily took down the other team in two matches. But what did the second game have to hold?

There I was on the sidelines sitting on the bench thirty minutes before my game started. I sat there wondering, picking at my nails, and hitting the ball all by myself. I wondered if I was too early for the game, but then I saw my friend, Gloria, who is also on the starting line-up. We exchanged a hug and encouraging smile.

Soon, we were bumping the ball. It bounced on the court and flew over the net. It soared threw the sky as it ran from my spike. The ball came down and put Gloria to the floor. I was flushed with victory. She picked the ball up and spiked it over the net to me, but I felt no offense. I slipped up my knee pads in a matter of seconds and dove across the wooden floor bumping the ball perfectly to her. Unfortunately, she missed the ball and nailed herself to the ground. I stumbled across the net, still watching the ball, and saw that when it hit the floor it was still in. Once again, I was flushed with victory.

The gym was getting full. Six of my eleven teammates were at the gym. We bumped and set in groups, passing the ball with fluid movements, being careful to not fall or bend too far. We were missing five of our teammates including our coach. Where were they? Our team was not going to survive two matches under the instruction of my mom and what if someone got hurt? If someone did then would we forfeit? The other team had all their teammates and they passed the ball like angels.

It was only five minutes till the game started and still no sign of Coach or my five missing teammates. Gloria quickly took over the team's warm-up drills and my mom was negotiating with the referee. I shivered from the bench until I saw my FOUR teammates running past the blue tarp that separated the courts.

"Where's Michelle?" Gloria quickly asked Daniella.

"She is sick, she isn't going be able to come," Gia responded answering Gloria's question.

"Well, where is your mom, Mailene?" I asked. Mailene was the coach's daughter and I was nervous she would not show up.

"She's still at my house trying to open her car door. For some odd reason it won't open," Mailene responded.

We continued bumping for the remainder of time and spent two minutes serving the ball to the other team, and them serving the ball back to us. The referee blew the whistle and soon enough, Coach was running past the blue tarp almost tripping in her high-heel shoes. Our team broke out in screams of excitement. Coach quickly rushed to my side and instructed me on my position as well as everyone else.

I was in my usual position in the middle of the court, ready to return the serve when it came hurtling through the air at me. I bent my knees and stretched my arms in front of me. The referee blew the whistle and bent her arm across her chest to her other shoulder. Jessica, our best server, launched the ball with great power over the net. The other team got under the ball right away and it came flying at Mailene, who was not our best player. She made no effort to touch the ball. She simply moved her hands out in front of her and missed the ball. I looked at her incredulously.

The other team and my team were neck and neck with each other. How could they be playing so well when they were the team we demolished on Monday? Was it our team? Was it our sneakers? Our bad vision? What could it be? I could see my coach pacing back and forth on the sidelines yanking kids from the bench and constantly calling a time-out. A jolt ran through my body every time she yelled for someone to get out thinking it would be me.

I was not on my best game today.

It was my job to carry the team.

But why were we loosing to a team that was horrible just yesterday?

The conclusion was simple.

I was the reason we were loosing.

Every time the ball came near me I got nervous. I was not afraid of the ball, not at all! I easily got the ball in the correct position on my arm, but the ball went flying to the sidelines every time hitting the blue tarp on each side of the court. I could hear my coach stomping her foot on the sidelines and this made me even more in fear of loosing my position, getting taken out of the game, and no longer being on the starting line-up. The ball ran out of the lines several more times.

The final buzzer rang when the opposing team got to twenty-five. I threw the ball down on the ground with all my might. The pressure was building in side of me and I could not stand to loose. I was never really competitive, but I didn't want to loose my position. I did not want to be a second string player. The coach gave us a pep-talk from the sidelines and we walked in a straight line under the net to the other side of the court. I kept my head down in shame and followed as the caboose.

Luckily my coach did not pull me out, but she would sooner or later. I took my position, doing as I was told. I switched positions when I needed, taking my rightful spot. I rotated when we got a point from the clumsy serving of the other team. I went on playing like I usually did, but what was with me? Right in the middle of my thoughts I saw the white volleyball flying through the air right towards me. I positioned myself and bent my knees, but once again it went rolling across the lines not even making it over the net. How embarrassing.

Just then the whistle blew and I saw Gia waiting on the sidelines with her palm open to me. I marched over with my head hanging down. I slapped Gia's palm and went to sit at the end of the bench. Instead of sitting on the bench, I slumped down on the floor and began to cry. I hid my face in my palms and I never looked up. I cried to the end of the time I sat out. How I hated being taken out of the game. I slipped myself a look at my friend, Kelly, who was now in my position. The ball came flying at her and she hit it with poise. It flew over the net and the other team dodged it. I hid my face in my palms and was ashamed as everyone slapped Kelly high fives, like they did to me on Tuesday.

I sat there for another five minutes looking incredulously at the game. My team was down by four, and Kelly was doing such a "good job" at MY position.

Last year on the volleyball team, I was starting server. I had one horrible game where every ball I hit went out of bounds. Kelly served after me and her ball went over the net with brilliant power. The next game I was moved third in the line up behind Kelly and the coach's daughter. I prayed that I would not be put after Kelly again.

Just then the whistle blew and I was pulled from the ground. I slapped Rehanna's waiting palm and Gloria handed me the smooth white ball.

Time to serve.

The pressure built up in my chest and the whistle blew from the referee's breath once again. I lined up the ball in front of me, low to the ground. I practiced hitting two times cautious not to make contact with the smooth surface. The ball flew over the net and the opposing team dodged it. The slipped the ball under the net and as I picked it up I slapped high fives.

The ball went over eight more times after that and I pulled my team into the lead. The ninth time the ball surprisingly came back over the net and Mailene, once again, was caught off-guard. She didn't attempt to make contact with the ball. Everyone, including her mom, looked at her with disbelief. She shrugged and let it go.

We rotated once again and I was back in my middle position. The girl served the ball over the net over hand and I dove for the ball that fell short into Gloria's position. We both glided for it, knocking each other over. I fell under Gloria, landing on my shoulder. I heard a crack and I gasped. I shook it off when I felt the tears coming and ignored Coach when she asked if I was doing fine. We rotated in a circle once again when the opposing team did a clumsy serve.

I stood behind Kelly . . . I waited for the ball. It went soaring right to me and I was determined to get it over this time. I ran for the ball yelling, "GOT IT".

I slammed right into Kelly who said nothing.

The ball flew over our heads as I flew into her stomach. I told her to yell if she had it, but it was my ball. I turned and rolled my eyes. The pressuring was building again. The bulging pain from my shoulder continued to the next serve when I once again collided into Kelly. I was taken out of the game and that was the last time I played for that game.

I cried until the end of the game. My shoulder pain decreased but I continued to rub it. I deceived several people telling them the pain was the cause of my tears, but Kelly and Gloria weren't fooled. We ended up loosing the game after playing three matches. I shook hands with the other team silently, listened to the coach's encouraging words, then darted for the side door. I ran through the emergency exit and slammed my head against the minivan door. I slapped the car door with my hand and waited for my mom to click the door open. I heard the beeping sound and climbed inside.

Tomorrow is Thursday, and we have another game. What will happen when I play? That is, IF I play.

This is dalygirl, going to go take off her jersey.

-dalygirl, #51 on the JV Girl's Volleyball Team.


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