We have now passed the halfway mark in the fall season and have experienced our first loss. Which serves me right for getting cocky about our winning streak in the last post. We are still doing well overall, having won 4 of our 5 games. I’ll be giving a breakdown of the fourth and fifth games in this entry.
I’ll start with game 4 (October 25): You Can’t Sit with Us vs Wear Pink on Wednesday. We might as well just right in with the aforementioned taste of crushing defeat. For this game, we were missing 3 teammates, so we recruited a spare again. All the teams seemed to be struggling to find enough players too, so we agreed to play 5v5 in order to give players on both sides a break every once in a while. The other team also had a spare (who was amazing, and I think contributed to our loss…but the other team was probably just generally playing better than us). It might have been a bit too early for my team to being playing our best as this was our first 6:30pm game and first game at East Elmwood Community Center. All of our previous games have been at Sinclair Park Community Center and mostly in the 9pm slot. And we’ll be playing there for all but one of our games before playoffs so I hope we and keep the SPCC winning streak going…but I said something very similar last time and had to eat my words…
Anyway, we started the pregame warmup time with some strong trash talking by our team captain to her friends on the other team. And then we immediately regretted that when we started to lose as soon as we got on the court. We continued to play poorly for the whole first half, barely scoring a point. At halftime, we had a bit of a pep talk and came out playing a little stronger in the second half. Not enough to turn the tables on the other team but the game ended with a score of 4-7. We ended up winning the final point in sudden death thanks to me catching a ball (that thankfully did not smack me in the face first this time). But instead of helping us win, that last point only served to close the gap a little and make our defeat slightly less soul crushing.
I felt like I was otherwise a little more useless than usual last week. I ended up getting hit a lot in the right guard position. Either I was too focused on the other team’s left guard, trying to distract them (which is what I should be doing) and I would get hit by the attackers on the other team. Or I would switch to paying attention to the attackers and get nailed by the other team’s left guard. I just couldn’t seem to find a good balance and it was a little frustrating. I guess I just need to work on being less obvious with where my attention is focused on the court so that I’m not making myself such an easy target.
This past week it was game 5 (November 1): You Can’t Sit with Us vs You Go Glen Coco! We got another SPCC win this time with a very close game ending with a score of 6-5. I think I had the most fun at a game so far this time. The points for each round were going back and forth every time with neither team taking more than a 1-point lead. The other team scored a point at the last second at the end of the second half, just before sudden death was called which tied the game 5-5. We had to use the strategies we had come up with earlier in the game and give it our all to get the point in sudden death and win the game. The main strategy that we had in play was to prioritize getting a certain player on the other side out first. She was destroying me in right guard and the other 2 more experienced players who tried taking guard didn’t fare well either (which made me feel a little better about her getting me out very quickly a few times in a row). This was a good excuse for me to get out of my comfort zone I had been in with that position and do more real throwing instead of just faking it…which I have been improving at since the first game. (See the gif for an example of a real throw with active bitch face fully engaged.) That change of pace may have contributed to the game being more fun for me too. Although I was switching back in and out of guarding once our strategy of getting the strongest player on the other team out first was working.
Overall, it felt like a fairly even match with both teams having to really work for each point. I think neither team having an early lead made everyone more engaged in the game and we just had more fun than the games where it was apparent from the beginning which team would win and which would lose regardless of whether we would be the winning or losing team. I’m taking this as a very encouraging sign for the game play in the rest of this season. We’ll all have to be bringing our A-game every week to keep up with the other teams that seem to be improving as much as or more than we are.
After 5 games, we still have a great ratio of wins and losses and everyone on the team seems to be enjoying themselves regardless of the outcome of each game which is arguably more important. With just a couple games left before playoffs, hopefully we’ll remain in good standing and continue to have enjoyable games. Here’s to continuing the SPCC winning streak!
Cat’s journey will continue in her next article.