23 Memories You Have If You Played On A Club Volleyball Team

23 Memories You Have If You Played On A Club Volleyball Team

Once an athlete, always an athlete.
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1. Depending on what region you played in, you would either call it J.O (Junior Olympics) or Club.

2. If your coach accidentally set you up in the wrong rotation, the entire first set would be 25 points of awkwardly trying to play your position while not starting in the right spot.

3. Getting scheduled to play the first 8 a.m game in a tournament two hours away.

And therefore, having to slip your freezing contacts into your light-sensitive eyes at 6 a.m.

4. Having to eat pizza and walking tacos from the concession stand at gyms that didn’t allow outside food.

And then having your coach wonder why you had zero energy.

5. Planning ahead, and having your awesome volleyball moms bring you Subway during your break.

6. Winning every game in three sets.

And getting so tired during the championship that you wondered why you couldn’t have just won them all in two.

7. Having to ref other teams.

And dealing with all the obnoxious parents who would start getting sassy with you.

8. Those special handshakes you had with your teammates.

Depending on who stood next to you and what rotation you were in.

9. Making fun of the names when you played a team who wore their names on their jerseys.

10. That one tournament where one of your teammates got injured.

You had to play the rest of the tournament without them. And it sucked.

11. Being in the same bracket as one of your younger teams and getting exceedingly competitive.

You knew all their moves and they knew all of yours. You knew exactly when they were going to tip, and exactly how each one of them served. Too bad they could predict you almost just as well.

12. Playing on rolled ankles and sprained wrists, because tape fixes everything.

13. It’s all fun and games until a teammate says, “Hey, remember that one time you got hit in the face?”

14. When there was a huge hole in the block and you were a back-row player, you accepted that the world was on your shoulders for the next 1.6 seconds.

Dig or die.

15. Playing teams so awful that they made you awful.

16. Playing teams so amazing they made you feel like you were in the Olympics.

17. The superstitious rituals that came before every game.

What was yours? Listening to a certain song? Rolling your jersey sleeves to a certain spot on your arms? Making sure the “A” on your Active Ankles was upside down? We all had them.

18. Soaking your sore muscles in the hotel hot tub after the first day of a tournament.

And being joined by girls from a rival team staying at the same hotel as you. Awkward.

19. When you finally nailed that special trick play after 3,918 failed attempts.

And immediately losing your voice because you cheered so loud.

20. Telling your teammates not to get “iced” on their serve after the opposing coach called timeout during a serving streak.

You never missed the serve after an opponent’s time out. You never let them have the mini victories.

21. “Leaving it all out on the court” meant two things.

One, 110 percent of your effort, and two,the top skin layer of your knees and elbows. The skin-on-floor dives would sometimes sound like the shrieks of a thousand souls.

22. Having to sit in a car on the ride home with the soaked knee-pads and game socks fermenting in your bag.

And knowing that when you opened the trunk, you’d be hit with an odor that could be compared to hot ogre breath.

23. Realizing at your last tournament that if you didn’t go on to play college, it very well could be your last time lining up with your team to hear the National Anthem.

You vowed then and there to go out with a bang.

Cover Image Credit: Twin Cities Pioneer Press

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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