By Jill Smida-Wood, MMFS 11th Grade Student
When the girls volleyball team first met in August, we expected that this would be a typical MMFS sports season: a few more losses than wins but overall good spirit. Little did we know that we would become the first MMFS upper school team to be undefeated champions!
We trained tirelessly, going through endless bumping and spiking drills while blasting rap music over the radio. All this work transformed us from a team that was so-so to one that worked together like pros. Even though most of us have only been on this team for two years, we’ve grown to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses like experts. Clara, Renee, Sally, Emelia, Olivia, Lauren, Caitlin, Natalie, Serena, and myself evolved into a volleyball-playing machine. After the summer practices ended and the games began, we really started to shine. We went from win to win, keeping humble as can be while giving it our all. Each player brought a unique set of skills to the court which ultimately helped us win the games. Our strategy was to “play like we’re losing,” which means you never take a break, never stop playing your hardest, until the game is over.
Finally, we came to our last regular season game against Brooklyn Friends, the game that determined whether or not we went to the semi-finals. We were extremely nervous. We went through our regular pre-game drills and a rousing pre-game speech from our coaches Amin and Holliday, then the game began. After shaking off the jitters, we played harder than we ever had before. With digs, bumps, saves, sets, aces, and a few dinks we won the game in a short two matches and earned the first ever MMFS regular season champs banner!
However, that’s not the only thing the banner will say since we also went on to win the championship. Boy was that a game! With 50 MMFS screaming fans shouting their heads off in a tiny gym on the Upper East Side, we could barely talk to each other let alone think. After we lost the first game, 26-24, we were incredibly determined to win the next two, and that we did. After we got the final point of the last game, the whole team ran on the court and celebrated with tight hugs and huge smiley faces. We were the first high school team at MMFS ever, not only to win a championship, but win it undefeated. It was amazing.