The day began bright (only because the lights were on inside, the sun was still in hiding) and early at 7am. Malin drove Jo, Sofie, and I to Sunnerbohallen. The team loaded up the bus and we were off. We had been informed that we weren’t allowed to sleep past 9:30, and despite my initial intention to do so just to stick it to the man, I was unable to. I slept for about an hour and a half before I joined the waking world to watch Despicable Me. This is one of Jo’s favorite movies (and mine as well). We had to make two stops on the drive, the second at a mall where we spent a little over an hour to eat and hang out. Finally, after me becoming quite the PITA, we had arrived at the gym. We went on a brisk pre-match walk before heading into the locker room. The gym wasn’t anything special, and had really high ceilings with lights from the side angled to the court—perfect for blinding a hitter. I did manage to find a secret treasure in the locker room: a pretty pretty ring!! “Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers!!!” Hey ohh!!!
The match was going to be tough, as are most of our travel matches. Despite beating them 3-0 at home, this was going to be a battle. We knew that they had a new professional player (their setter) in addition to a solid right side and American outside, so we would have to jump on them early in order to win. The match started out ugly with us losing the first set 20-25. Fortunately we were able to work through this tillsammans (“together” in Swedish). As the match progressed, we were moving better and better, but I think the biggest change was our mental game. We were able to maintain a steady focus and calmness throughout the last 3 sets, which is not usually the case. As Daniel said on our team website, “this gain was incredibly nice because we showed we can win even without playing at our peak”. We won the match 3 sets to 1: 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-17. Jo led the team with points (20) thus earning the Best Player award of Sex and the City perfume and lotion box set. Malin and Jassi were the next two highest scorers with 13 and 12 points, respectively. It was a great match where we were able to secure another 3 points for our overall ranking in the Elite Serien.