Our good friend Jaimie Rose Winder posted this video from the final point of our match with Paok the other night. Right after the play was over you can see the fans throwing water bottles, beer cans and an explosive. Didn't have time to shake the other teams hand or anything. Anyhow, to see some more pictures you can check out Jonathan and Jaimie Rose's blog www.ourwinderfullife.blogspot.com
Last night we played with Epikouros for the second time this season but this time at home. We played without our starting libero due to the flu but had full confidence in his replacement. We knew that we needed all three points from this match to have a chance to take over the 1st position in the League. We needed a win and Panathanikos needed to lose 2 sets to Paok.
In the first set we were neck and neck till Iraklis took a 17-14 lead. Behind some strong serving and errors from our side they regained the lead and beat us 21-25. It was pretty frustrating knowing that we needed to win this match 3-0 or 3-1 and just lost a key set.
In the second set we bounced back and built up a strong lead with a balanced attack and less errors. The 3rd and 4th sets were much of the same and we closed out the match with scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-20.
Here is some video highlights from last nights match.
Like I said earlier, we needed to take 3 points and we needed Panathanikos to lose at least 2 sets to Paok. Paok, Jonathan Winders team ended up winning 3-0 which gives a 2 point lead in the Championship again. As of today the standings look like this:
Snowboarding at its finest. Back when I was in the 3rd grade I was fortunate enough to have Johan's family take me with them on their winter ski trips. The first year (3rd grade) we all went to Lake Tahoe and skied. The following year snowboarding was introduced to us in Mammoth Mountain. During those days not all runs were open up to snowboarding though. Anyhow, Johan and I were hooked. We used to build jumps outside the cabin where we were staying and rent snowboarding DVD's. I have to say Johan caught on a little faster than I did but we always had Eva (Johan's mom) doing the runs along side of us on her ski's to tow us out when we got stuck in powder. I still love snowboarding although it is not so good for my knee's and a risk to my job if I get injured. Not to mention I train all winter. But here is a video that shows why the trend never stopped. My two cousins up in Oregon are two young snowboarding studs as well. Hope to catch them in the Winter Olympics sometime in the near future!
I've learned that there are a lot of haters out there but you have to admit that his work is pretty special. I don't care if he photo shops the sh*t out of his shots or not. I think he is a master behind the camera and really enjoy looking at his shots...even if his girlfriend took them (Ele Dreaming).
Last night we played the Semi finals of cup vs Jonathan Winder's team Paok. They gym is only 5 minutes from ours but much bigger. They don't have heat in the gym and needles to say it was COLD. The morning training was really bad. Everyone had on their sweats, gloves, and even beanies (winter caps). But everyone was in good spirits. They have a really high ceiling so guys were all trying to see if they/we could kick the ball to the top...apparently its never been done. It was fun to try non the less as well as serving a few skyballs!
The gym wasn't much warmer pre game. Guys again wore gloves and full sweats...But the real story of the night was the Paok fans. I've NEVER been a part of something so wild. I've seen fans curse and scream at players. I've seen fans throw water bottles, coins and paper at players but I've never seen fans throw explosives at players. Right before we were about to start the set the fans continuously threw paper rolls and cut up paper squares on the court. This delayed the start an extra 20 minutes. As we were waiting for them to clean it up and trying to stay warm I noticed a item thrown 3 feet from some of our players. It looked like a grenade with smoke coming out of the top. At first I just thought it was a smoke bomb and noticed my friend Stelios walking towards it to kick it away off the court. He was probably 2 feet from it when it exploded. Some of the plastic shrapnel hit him in the shin as well as my other friend/teammate Zenia. They cleared us out of the gym at this point.
When we came back in to the gym the fans were still singing and being loud but no more stuff was being thrown and we eventually got the game started. We got off to a slow start but never fell too far behind. Ended up pulling out a very tight set with some key service and a couple good blocks. The first set was very important for us as it was the key to our victory.
In the second set it was close until about 12-11. Then our setter went back to the service line and took us all the way to 18 or 19-12. At this point a fan threw an entire cup of soda at him which paused the match for another 10 minutes. We finished out the set with no problems and took a 2-0 lead.
The third set was back and forth until 14-15 when we called a timeout and some coffee was thrown at us again. The court was splashed with sticky iced coffee. Took them a while to clean this up as well but we came out of the time out and took a 16-15 lead. The point differential was marginal until we broke loose at 24-21 and eventually took the set 25-22. As soon as the last point was over full water bottles, big batteries, paper balls and full soda cans started flying at our team. Then I noticed a big flare that looked like a stick of dynamite not five feet from me and a lot of my teammates. I took off towards the other team but only got 2 steps away when my eardrums numbed. No one was injured but it was just plain stupid. We didn't shake hands with the other team because we all scattered into the halls of the locker rooms.
Of course we were happy to win the match 3-0 and were able to leave the gym with smiles on our faces. But at the same time this is not a sporting event that I would wish on anybody. One of the players on our team was hit in the foot by a full can of soda and I'm pretty sure his big toe is black and blue. Its not the worse injury but there could have been some serious injuries. Not cool!
I know Jaime Rose (Jonathan's wife) took lots of pics and video and will be putting it up on her blog. I'll grab some from there or post the link to her blog when she has it up.
Last weekend we played Aris in a league match. After beating them the first round 3-0 and in the quarter finals of cup 3-0, I think we went into the match a little too relaxed. Not to mention we had some guys that have been battling fevers and stomach viruses for the past couple weeks. We also had to play this match at Aris. Their gym has a bright yellow court and low ceiling. We did not have a morning training session there due to it being about 30 minutes outside the city.
In the first set we came out incredibly flat going down 11-18. We couldn't do anything right up through this point. We made a big run at them with some strong serves and our block/defense. We fought back and took the set 25-23 I believe.
Thinking that would crush their moral in the second set we came out flat again. We went down early and battled back to 20-20 but then the game got heated and they gained some confidence with strong serves and our mistakes. They took the set 25-21 I believe.
I don't remember much about the 3rd set except that they beat us pretty handedly. The entire match was just uncomfortable on our side. And in the 4th set we were playing not to lose instead of winning which in my opinion is putting a monkey on your own back. We fought hard through the entire set and gained a nice lead at 24-22. They sided out for a 24-23 but we called a time out so we could focus on finishing the point. They made a good dig on us but their setter stepped under the net and was called for it. We took the set and evened the match at 2-2.
In the 5th set they came out on fire and served their way to 4-0 and 5-1. I think we switched sides at 8-3. They played well all the way up till 13-9 and then Ryan made some really key serves as well as our block/defense. We came back and took the set 15-13!
The last month our team has been playing at our worst. We have still been winning so it gives us a lot of confidence. We just need to find our groove again and start playing to our capabilities!