One of my friends from International Law is a very talented and dedicated volleyball player. She trains 5 nights a week and plays matches on Saturday nights. I had been dying to go watch one of her games, so last Saturday, which was one of the first times she was playing a home match when I was actually on the mainland, I decided to go watch her.
Sara’s parents picked me up with Chiara, and we drove to the stadium where we met up with Caterina (two other girls from class). Before the game started we held a minute’s silence for the disaster in Sardinia – this has been happening all over the country since the hurricane struck.
Caterina, me and Chiara in the stands
I have to admit I didn’t know how good Sara was. But she’s actually in the B-league (or its equivalent) and the play was amazing. In fact I should say it was exactly the level of play I enjoy watching the most. I mean you know what it’s like with Olympic men’s volleyball: one guy does this enormous jump serve that flashes so fast over the net you can’t even see the ball, and then the other side sets the ball up, the entire front row runs up to spike, the entire front row on the other side runs up to block, and you get one massive guy jumping about three metres into the air and pounding the ball with all his might over the net. It thunders into the block and either goes down to the ground on the attacking side (successful block) or on the defending side (unsuccessful block). Each rally lasts an average of 3-4 seconds, and let’s be honest, huge volleyball fan though I am, it’s not really my cup of tea.
But this match was different. It was terribly exciting! The players were all really good, the rallies lasted longer, and they played fast but you could actually follow the ball. Sara was especially good at the fast spikes, you know the ones where the ball is set up just over the net and then smashed over before the other side has time to form the block. Less height = less power, but the element of surprise can be very effective! And she’s also amazing at blocking, apparently her nickname is “Muro” (wall). If you check out the video, she’s in both those blocks that won them the point.
They lost the first set (best of 5) and I was distraught! But then I got my cheering into gear and yelled with all my might. “FORZA SARA FORZA SARA GOOOO SARA!!!!” (I couldn’t remember the name of the team so I couldn’t cheer for them unfortunately.) I actually thought Sara couldn’t hear me, because she never reacted, but she told me afterwards that she did, so I’m glad I made the effort… :-) Anyway they dominated the rest of the match and came away victorious.
The happy winner :)
Well done on an awesome match Sara! Complimenti!