Game Time


Lainey Dent

The girls are up early for a long day of volleyball. This is it. This is their last chance to show their skill, last chance for most of them to play together.

It’s 6 am. They’re patiently waiting to play. They take the court to warm up. 5 minutes til game time. 3 minutes. 1 minute.

Game time.

The gym fills with noise as the matches begin. All around are parents cheering, coaches yelling, and players playing. They lose the ball.

“Come girls, let’s get it back.” they cheer.

Smack. The ball floats over the net. Up it goes, then back down when number 1 hits it at the libero. The libero makes a lovely pass to the setter who then sets the ball to the hitter. Number 56 then goes up and SMACK, the ball goes back over the net.

No return. The Panthers have the ball again.

“Atta girl, nice hit.”

She throws the ball up, takes a step, then hits it. Into the net it goes.

“Nice try, we’ll get it back.”

“Down and ready ladies.”

The smell of popcorn and pretzels fill the air.

The score is 24-24. Next point wins. The pressure is on, the gym goes silent. The server serves. Net. The other team wins.

Now the girls go to play for third and fourth.

“Baldwin. We’re playing Baldwin. We can do this” The girls say.

The girls are refreshed after a nice break.

The starting 6 run past the other two players and the coach. High fives are given to the other team. They murmur “good luck”.

They go back and forth, some really nice volleys. The score is 23-24. If Baldwin gets the serve, they win.
The gym is crazy. Yelling everywhere, everyone is on the edge of their seat. Baldwin serves the ball.

Within just 5 seconds, Paola loses.

The color on the girls’ faces drain. Tears start flowing. The coach starts hugging all of his players. Not only did they put in a lot of work into this season, but so did he.

Medals are given to the other team. The girls clap for them and then get in one last huddle.

“Panthers on 3. 1. 2. 3, Panthers,” they all shout.

“Let’s go to Dairy Queen,” a player shouts.