Happy Labor Day to all. Was a good Labor Day Weekend for Phil and I. Played well all weekend long and took care of a big goal along the way. The only downside was some seriously horrible travel for me. Ah well, all in the life...
Left Thursday morning at 6am out of SB to Denver. Everything going smoothly until we had weight issues. I gate checked my Crocs Yellow and Black backpack as I got on the plane. They closed the door 5 minutes before 6am but then opened it up 2 minutes later to ask 4 people and their bags to get off the plane. Free voucher and all that jazz. Finally got everything squared away and we go to the runway. Still to heavy so we sit for 5 minutes to "burn fuel" with the engine roaring. Finally get off the ground 50 minutes late. Zip to Denver but I have a tight connection from Denver to Dayton. 25 minutes from the time we get off the plane. Should make it though right?
I am waiting to get my bag at the base of the plane. Doesn't come out with the other gate checked bags. I start yelling at the guy about my bag. I am yelling because he has earmuffs on and about 10 planes have their engines roaring. He goes and checks the bags and finds my bag. Meanwhile, time is ticking. He puts my bag under the wing and leaves it there! I am now ticked off because I got to go catch my flight and I am looking at a full fledged sprint from gate 51 to 81. I grab another guy and he asks for my green tag I got at plane side and I give it to him. He goes to my bag and then comes back without my bag. He tells me there is no green tag on my bag. He looks in the plane and nothing there either.
I am now officially screwed for my flight to Dayton. I remember back when I gate checked it on and realize that the guy who gave me the green stub never put the rest of the ticket on my bag. I clearly remember him giving me the stub and then throwing my bag on top of the other ones. I figured he had people behind and would throw it on when he got a second. Learned my lesson to not make that assumption ever again. Guy in Denver says he needs to get his supervisor and could I please take a seat in the terminal. I am super pissed now that he can't just hand me my bag. I show him that I have my driver's license with me and that my wallet is in the bag. Doesn't matter. He tells me if I so much as touch the bag they have to shut down the entire airport due to security reasons. I am flabbergasted and pissed to all hell about the ridiculous rules that are now in place after 9/11.
I go inside and there are about 50 people waiting to get on a plane. I chuck my book down on a chair and it bounces up to the roof and I catch it as I sit down. A United rep. comes up to me nervously and tells me I need to calm down. I laugh and tell him I am very calm just really pissed off. I was getting some pretty good looks from the people about to get on their plane. The rep. was actually very helpful and ended up making sure I got to Dayton via Chicago but it was all a huge pain in the rear. Thought my bag would never make it to Dayton but when I checked the baggage carousel out it comes. Phil and I were shocked it made it all the way their.
Volleyball wise it was all good. On Friday we received a first round bye and then played Wong/Fonoi. Tough draw for us as it was only a couple of years ago when they won Manhattan. Also riding on that game was the Crocs Cup so we had a little added pressure but a little more incentive too. We played well and won 14 and 14. This accomplished a major goal of ours to win the Crocs Cup.
In our second match we played Matt and Casey who over the last couple of weeks have started to gel again. They came out fired up and took it to us as we lost the first game 21-16. Both Phil and I were pretty lethargic and Matt/Casey were playing very well. As we got ready to receive the first ball of game two Phil leans over to me and tells me, "Hey, let's both pick it up here. We won the Crocs Cup, now lets win the tourney." Thus the maturation of Phil Dalhausser continues. We came out much stronger and won 21-18 and then 15-9 in the third.
On Saturday we played Keenan/Hyden in a rematch from NY. We played very well serving really tough. Phil was bombing it and I even got in on the action with an ace off my jump serve too. We won in straight sets.
In the crossover semis we again played Matt and Casey. They had grovelled through the losers bracket and came out really slow. We took it to them in the first game. The second game they were ready to go but we were able to pull it out by playing steady and Phil's big serve. This put us in the first night final of the season. Hopefully the AVP and the promoters will do more of them as I think they are a great idea.
In the finals we played Stein and Mike. So far this year we have a winning record against them but were o-2 in the finals. We got the beat down in Charleston and then lost a tight 3 game match in Seaside Heights. We came out and Phil was a blocking machine. They were not very aggressive either. I think the first game was 21-12. In the second game they came out much more aggressive from the service line and from an offensive perspective. Stein was hammering the angle and throwing in a good shot or two to keep us off balance. Phil and I were able to keep it close. I think at one point there were 22 sideouts in a row. The score was 11-11 and Stein and I sided out all the way to 22-22. At that point I turned to Phil and I asked him what he wants to block. He says that he will take the line and just get huge. Two blocks later we win 24-22. Nice way to finish off the regular season. Now on to the always super fun specialty events in Vegas and San Fran.