....ended with congratulations being handed to the Hawai'i fans sitting in front of us...and with us scratching our heads.
From the highs of tailgating with about 75 folks, playing volleyball and face painting by Amber Simpson's sister (among many other activities) to a 3 hour game in which the Lady Aggies just didn't hang on long enough - it was an amazing day.
The crowd was absolutely on fire and I take issue with the official attendance record. According to the final stats, just over 4200 folks were at the Pan Am. Ridiculous and insane. The lower bowl was full. There had to have been at least 6,000 people there. At Least.
So, whoever's doing the official headcount needs to re-think how they're counting.
Onto the match - as usual, we were seating in 'enemy territory'. The Tailgaters always sit behind the opponent bench. Why? I don't know but we always have. So that meant 2 1/2 rows of Hawaii fans in front of us.
Let me just state this right now. Their fans were wonderful. There was a lot of playful banter going back and forth. As opposed to last year's fiasco with unruly fans on our end, there wasn't a lot of trash talking coming from the stands. There was a group of students who started out with it but that was squashed by the end of game one. If you want respect, you have to give it.
It was an amazing game. The Lady Aggies stepped it up for the Wahini and played with their hearts and their heads. They served well, they went after everything they possibly could. During the high points, you could tell they were sure they could win. During the low points, they didn't focus on what just happened...they continued on.
As I predicted, we went to 5 games. I'd said to a Hawaii fan/friend of mine that we'd go to 5 unless one of the teams didn't bring their heads with them. As was the case in the last few meetings, it all came down to those last few game 5 points where things went back and forth. In the end, Hawaii got us.
Coach was unsurprisingly upset at the Sideout. We didn't execute when we needed to, we let things slip when they shouldn't have. This is a team that you can't take for granted - Hawaii was on all night and knew what it would take to win.
The team was disappointed as well. As they entered the Sideout room, you could tell from the looks on their faces that they were disappointed. There wasn't much playful banter in the room. They came in, said hello to us, grabbed some food and sat. I was able to finally introduce myself to Jordan Bostic. I'll be interested in reading what she has to say about the game.
I hope that the team knows that we're proud of them, no matter the outcome. They have come a very long way and it's a pleasure to be able to tell folks that yes, we are proud fans of the Aggie Volleyball team.