A Halloween Scare!

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[(Strategizing over post-game dining options?)]

It was busy on the streets of Alexandria last night . . . very busy.  As the entertainment capital of Douglas County, things were happening everywhere.  The supervisor and I lit out for the high school about 6:30, for our appearance at the volleyball section quarterfinal game between our No. 1-seeded Cards and 8th-seed St. Cloud Tech  Along the way we had to pass the hockey arena, where it appeared the Blizzard were drawing their usual big crowd. Then we passed the Maritime Museum, where we were glad to see the front parking lot was already full for a concert by Bill Staines (we really wanted go to this, but . . .).  Then down Broadway, where it looked like the AAAA theater was drawing a good crowd for the opening night of Haunted Theatre.  Then the Johnson’s were hosting a 4-table bridge tournament, with trail mix.  Then we were delighted to see a terrific crowd at the volleyball game.  🙂  We were hoping for a three-game sweep so we could hurry off to SAWA and still catch most of the Paul Meland and Adam Astrup extravaganza.  But the Tech Tigers had other ideas.  They basically said, “Not so fast, buffalo breath!”  Nevertheless . . .

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[WE WON!]

I cleaned gutters in the afternoon in anticipation of a fun-filled evening.  I had taken out the lake pump a week or so ago.  These are not fun chores for “Mr. Maintenance,” who if you look up white-collar worker in the dictionary, you’ll find his photo.  I just hate cuticle damage.  And when I get done, I usually just throw my clothes in the burn pit, and then head down to the fire department to be hosed off.  Every year I think, geez I hope that’s the last time! But, back to our story . . .

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[Psssst, don’t tell anyone . . . I think despite her years of protestations, the supervisor is becoming a volleyball fan.  She’s not averse to voicing criticism (constructive, of course) if the team isn’t on their “A” game.]

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[Our first task upon finding our seats (well, after berating ourselves for forgetting our seat cushions again) was to see if Liz would be playing.]

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[She hadn’t played since dislocating a finger in the Mounds View game.  But here she was in warm-ups, taking a set from Amanda H, preparing to smack one down (you can see her right ring finger and pinkie are taped together).]

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[She looked OK here.  🙂 ]

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And here’s your first volleyball video of the year.  It begins with the team introductions,  the back of Dave Harris’s head, the band (so you knew it was the playoffs), and the first few points of the game.  Yeah, we weren’t clicking then:

Start of the game:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw8lsj-0P7Y

Tech won games 1 and 3, to take a 2 -1 lead into game 4.  This mirrored the early season Cards when several times the team overcame that deficit to win.  And we did again this time.  Tech was just sharper in the games they won, having just come off an opening round win against Becker.  But the Cards were often their own worst enemy, never being able to string any kind of run together because of bad serving errors.  We did take all the mystery out of games 4 and 5 early though – the supervisor noted she thought the Tigers were worn down by then.

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[The start of the match.  Little did we know at the time, but looking back all we can do is give a big thanks to the “old ladies.”  Amanda C and Emily, the two seniors, both played great, particularly when the rest of the team was struggling.  I think they may be the only team members (well, maybe Amanda H, too) who have played in sections before, so no doubt the rest of the team were feeling some nerves.]

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[We noticed Amanda C was giving words of encouragement to her teammates all night.  She was rightly named player of the game.  And I don’t recall Emily ever having a better all-around game, blocking and killing.]

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[Amanda H serves early.]

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[Wensia and Emily go up on a block attempt.]

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[Then pull back to stay out of the net.]

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[A serve series with Kalley.  I don’t know how she does it, but she serves a hard drop, kind of like a split-fingered fastball.]

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[Then Katie, another fastballer.]

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10-25-13-19[The net judge signals Cardinal point; Wensia is happy about it!  🙂 ]

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[Are we placing DQ orders yet?]

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[Have you guys placed your orders yet?]

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[Good, coach is calling us over to talk about it!]

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[With whipped cream!!]

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[And cherries!! ]

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[We’ll pan around the huddle as the team discusses Blizzard options.]

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[When her teammates were faltering, Amanda C was solid on serve.]

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[Amanda H ready to set . . .]

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[And does.]

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[Will it . . . or won’t it?]

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[Amanda H, Liz, and Wensia on the defensive front.]

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[A Tiger goes up . . .]

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[As do Liz and Wensia . . .]

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[And the ball disappears?]

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[“The Voices”]

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[Dave soothes his throat with his ever-present Coke.]

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[Well, let’s see how the band is doing.]

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[Wensia lunges for a dig . . .]

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[But I don’t know what happened then?  😉 ]

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[Anatomy of a kill.  As Amanda H sets, Liz breaks to the right and Wensia moves toward the net.]

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[So, who’s going to get it?]

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[If you picked Wensia, you win a cookie!]

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[The defensive line.]

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[Amanda H and Liz go up.]

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[Did they stuff it?]

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[How ’bout a serving sequence by Liz?]

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[How ’bout a drumming sequence?]

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[How ’bout a student section solo?  Keep an eye on ’em, Sheree!]

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[How ’bout a team get together sequence?  The Tech fans in the stands are texting . . . each other!]

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[And don’t forget the blue garbage can.]

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[Does Kim Kardashian really like pickle Blizzards?]

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[If this is going 5, I want double hot fudge!]

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[OK, back to work!]

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[Ooops!]

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[Wensia!]

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[Get it, Liz!]

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[Block . . .]

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[And one-legged landing.]

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[The triple option.]

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[So, it’s decided then?]

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[Double hot fudge if it goes 5?]

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[But no super-sizing!!]

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[Coach Jackie discusses the finer points of the science of the Blizzard with Wensia.]

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[Really, Kim Kardashian likes pickle Blizzards?]

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[I saw Jackie leading an aerobic weightlifting class at the ‘Y’ recently.  I asked her if she ever puts the volleyball team through that routine.  She said no, but it’d be a good idea!  (Sorry, team!)]

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[Did you hear the Super Fans asked Jackie if we should do her workout routine?]

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[Thank goodness I’m a senior, so I don’t care.  😉 ]

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[Ooops, how’d that one get by?]

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[Game 2 result.]

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[Game 4 result.  Since these are shot in sequence, I must have given the ole Brownie a two-game respite?]

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[How ’bout a cow bell sequence?]

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[The start of game 5.]

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[It’s win or go home.]

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[And the Blizzards become Dilly bars.]

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[Liz and Wensia go up . . .]

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[How’d the ball get on this side of the net?]

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[Uffda!!]

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[Get it out of here!]

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[Somebody else hit it!]

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[Positions!]

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[Let’s wrap this up, ladies!]

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[Here we go!]

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[Be Happy!!!]

I started running the video in the 5th game when the Cards were up 12 – 4 (the 5th game is played to 15) in anticipation of the victory celebration.  Then the Tigers scored three straight points and the Cards called a time out.  So, I stopped and deleted that video and started again when play resumed.  Here’s the win and celebration:

The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9i0zLv2NEQ

The fan jumping up and down in the red jacket is Gideon Hartsell.  He was homecoming king in 2011 (“search” him in this blog), and he had at least a couple of brothers who were terrific Cardinal athletes.  He’s a special guy who was the football team’s student manager.  On the last game of his senior season, the coach had him suit up and then sent him out to kick the extra point on the team’s last touchdown.  Unfortunately, Gideon hesitated and his kick was blocked. The Echo did a story on that.  It was great to see him back cheering on his Cards.  🙂

We then bolted to Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale, two games later than we’d hoped.  But, hey, win and move on.  When we got to SAWA, it was a packed house – the kids’ reputations had preceded them!  And the boys were joined by bass player, Kirby Karpen, for a little icing on the cake! What’s not to like?  According to on-site fans, Paul (on sax) and Kirby are now seniors in high school, and Adam (guitar) is a freshman (?).  Adam’s family moved to Cold Spring a year ago, so it was nice to see this group get together again.  We couldn’t get any videos – the place was just to noisy and we were sitting on the side.  I plucked a few of their videos off YouTube for you and took these stills:

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“So What” – Paul & Adam (1 year ago):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUc9L6iC0Ag

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“Take the A Train” – Adam:  http://www.youtube.com/user/urlovedbeetle

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“Straight No Chaser” – Alexandria Jazz Combo (includes Kirby, 2012):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcKExPscy3w&list=PL6BA86444B4351EBA

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“Silent Night” – Paul & Adam (1 year ago):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNT7Q-ECb6w

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[Paul’s dad, Jeff – he’s usually at the volleyball games!  😉 ]

And a few more items of potpourri. If you missed the photos of the new high school construction in the last Echo:

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[School board member Sandy Susag looking tres chic in construction vest and helmet.]

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[We can hardly wait!  🙂 ]

Up next:  The volleyball teams hosts the section semifinals on Tuesday.

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One Response to A Halloween Scare!

  1. Jeff Meland says:

    looking forward to pictures!

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