Kalamaria is a team who's gym is only 5 minutes from ours by car and is a team whom we've played a friendly match earlier in the preseason. They are not considered one of the strongest teams in the league but their first match they took Panathinaikos, who is tied for 1st place as of now, to 5 sets. We had to be focused for this match or it could had gone either way.
The first set both team exchanged leads back and forth until we took a 18-15 lead and we really never looked back. The set shouldn't have been that close at all but I have to admit I did not do a very good job at siding out personally. I think I was 2 for 8 in the first set :/ But I found my groove at the end of the set and let it carry on through the match. It was our first match where our fans were aloud inside the gym and I think I let my nerves get the best of me as I wanted to show our fans why Iraklis bought me for the season.
In the second set we came out a lot stronger and built a good lead by putting more pressure on them from the service line and playing some good defense. We def won the service/reception battle throughout the match. Which is the key to winning most matches.
In the third set Coach Brooks decided to give me a little rest and start our back up opposite whom is only 15 years old but 6'8" and very coordinated for his age. He has been great for us during training and deserves every chance he gets to play. Such a good talent. But after Kalamaria took a 16-13 lead, Freddy put me back in and our side responded with 4 or 5 straight points. We ended up taking the set pretty easy after that.
So for now we are still tied for 3rd place and we won't play again till next Sat vs Patras. They have a pretty solid team this year and it is going to be a good test for us. Only the top 4 teams make playoffs this year so every game is critical.
Here is a pic from last nights match of Rodrigo Quiroga hammering a ball. He played great last night!
Before the match Zenia was given his trophy for being the MVP of the Olympiacos match
Coach Freddy Brooks
On a side note, Brett and I are excited for her mom and Bill to get in tonight. They are going to spend 5 days or so with us. Its gonna be really nice having some family here!