Fernanda Bartels, Broadside Correspondent

The most exciting way to win in any sport happens when you rally from a deficit, when your team was behind for most of the game.

In a volleyball match, being down two sets does not mean the game is over. Instead, it means it is about to start. We have to fight to take the third set with a different mindset, now that we have nothing to lose.

The pressure is not on our side of the court anymore. After losing two sets, there are no responsibilities of winning the match. Holding back is not an option; we must leave all our feelings and energy on the court. If something went wrong in the past two sets, learn from the mistakes, but let the anger go. It is time to try every play in the playbook, and every player must push to do their best. It is essentially all or nothing.

With that attitude, we go back to the court feeling great. Even though we are losing the match, numbers have no meaning when the result is all that matters. That is when everything starts to work out for our team.

We start to work as a cohesive unit, moving well on the court and making smart plays. Point by point, we control the little details of the game. There is no such thing as ball- dropping on our side of the court.

Although we are still wearing the same uniform, we look like a different team on the court. By shutting down the opponent, we take the third and the fourth set. It feels right.

Starting the fifth set, you have the feeling that your body is full of hope, energy and momentum. When our team has that momentum going, I know that nothing can stop us from winning.

Although it is still early in the season, our team has been in this situation twice. The first time was against Kent State University during the Patriot Invitational. It was a close match, but we managed to pull off the win. The second time this happened was in the N.C. State Classic against DePaul University two weeks ago.

Even though we were leading the fourth set, we were down two sets to one. DePaul played hard and took the lead towards the end of the set. With two kills in a row by their main outside hitter Sarah Cullen, they had match point at 24-22.

DePaul had two chances to win the match, but we shut them down with good serves followed by perfect blocks. We took the match to a fifth set and dominated them from the first point of that set to the last.

After the last match, the team came together on the middle of the court for a final and strong celebration. With our arms surrounding each other’s backs, we were one.

There were no individuals. There was no distinguishing between a coach and player or starter and a bench player. There was only the excitement that involved all of us as one unit on the center of the court.

About the Writer: Fernanda Bartels is a setter for the women’s volleyball team. She is a junior and is a communication major.