OUT! No, IN! No, OUT! OUT!! Oops…

Imagine this…

You are in serve receive…

The serve comes over the net deep on your court…

You move your feet while surveying the play…

You make a decision and call the ball…

"OUT OUT OUT!!!"

You watch the volleyball all the way…

Until it lands…

In or out?

IN BOUNDS….

Hagrid

Hagrid

The ole "it happens to everyone" phrase may be true something like this, however, as comforting as it may sound, it sure doesn't help make Coach feel any better.

You never even have to glance Coach's way to know he was mad. You were on the receiving end of the dreaded, cringe-worthy LOOK.

Meaning = he was not happy. He never was when this happened. Not in the slightest bit. Not even if we were winning 24-1. Not even if we were scrimmaging "tall players" vs. "short players." Not even if we magically transformed into the Men's National Team.

Except that one time…

It was my first college match at a preseason tournament. As a freshman DS, I was on service receive with our Senior Libero working against a tough float server. She had a low trajectory serve with a lot of movement. Combine that with a stellar blocking front row and we were in a pickle trying to get out of serve receive.

Fast forward through a few missed plays and a stern timeout-talking-to, we were still on serve receive. You could feel the tension and frustration in the air.

The next one comes rocketing over the net, but it isn't dropping, I'm convinced it is going to go out. "OUT!" We are following it to the line. I realize it is going to be close. I second-guess myself, "IN!" Then I changed my mind again (indecisive much, freshman?) but it is too late. Senior Libero was in the path of the ball when I called "OUT" so she did what anyone else would do…play it, right?

Nope. She caught it. Senior Libero caught the volleyball serve. OUT. OF. BOUNDS.

I was shocked and looked at her. She looked at me, embarrassed and equally as shocked. I sneak a peek at coach, expecting him to fly into a rage and tell us to get "on the line" for suicide runs in the middle of the match. (Don't doubt me here…it's happened…I've witnessed it).

Instead, he is laughing. Honest-to-goodness, laughing. The up ref joined in, along with the rest of our teammates, and what seemed like the entire court. Our team dodged a bullet…a run-suicides-until-your-legs-fall-off bullet, but a dodged one nonetheless.

I can't tell you want happened after that or even how we finished in that tournament. It is all a memory blur, except for this one play. All I know is the look on her face and that I was one who caused it.

I shouldn't of said that. I should NOT have said that. Well said, Hagrid. Volley on.