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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wow, That was Amazing.

Yesterday afternoon we were flipping through the channels and came across the Nebraska Cornhusker volleyball game. We are nothing if not Huskers. So, we watched. Rapt, unable to look away, fascinated. Women’s volleyball is a sport of power, grace, beauty, and athletes. I am now a big fan. Next time I am in Lincoln I am stocking up on Cornhusker Volleyball shirts.

Last time we were in Lincoln we were staying at a motel on the outskirts of town. We went down to have breakfast, and ran across a gentleman dressed in Cornhusker gear. He had been to the women’s basketball game the night before, and was telling us about the game. We were going to the men’s game that afternoon, and he said his neighbor was going, they split tickets, somehow. He told us it was harder to get tickets to volleyball games than it was football games, and that sellout streak has been going on since 1962. After watching yesterday I can understand why it is such a hot ticket, though.

These young ladies play like a well oiled machine. I don’t know much about volleyball, but I can’t imagine anybody playing it better. In four hard fought sets they were unstoppable. A stoic coach watching from his seat, his steely gaze reflecting the iron will of his players. 

It was an amazing act of precision, power and grace under pressure. In one memorable exchange, a camera positioned behind the Nebraska back line. The ball came in fast, and the player in the middle threw herself recklessly on the floor, and got her hands under the (“digging” it from low, and fast) ball bouncing it with amazing accuracy towards a player right in front of the net. This player sat herself precisely where the ball was going to be and bounced it high in the air straight down the net towards the left side. At the extreme ends, both ends, of the net players stalked, (it could have been “set” to either end) predatorily toward the net, leaping high in the air and the one on the left knocked the living hell out of the little ball.

It was an amazing display of athleticism. She not only jumped high in the air she somehow managed to wind up, twisting her whole body into a spring of potential energy and used a terrible force to drive her hand like a whip, smacking the ball with a speed, power and accuracy that was frightening. When they showed the replay from a camera at the net that could easily cover both courts you saw how terrifying the hit was. I would have run to get out of the way of that missile. It is only one point, and that ball could cause internal bleeding. But, I cheered, from my chair and drank a toast to the team. 

It was refreshing how after such an awesome display of athletic prowess the celebration was an excited huddle of the whole team. All smiles, congratulations and slaps on the back. No panning for the camera, no superman motions to the crowd, no primal screams, just an excited giggle and a warm embrace. I guess women don’t understand trash talk.

I posted, on the Nebraska Volleyball Facebook page; “I had no idea volleyball could be so exciting.” Somebody replied “Where the hell have you been?” I’m not sure, but I am here now, and I will be sticking around for a while. 

Go Big Red. Go Volleyball Team, save a seat at the party for me. I am here now.