On August 30th 2014, I met Dave and that night he told me how he was going to win a national championship. He took my phone and put the NCAA DIII National Championships (April 24-26) in my phone calendar and I promised I’d be there…
Fast forward to January 2015 and I’m sitting at home bored out of my mind, wishing I was back in New York City. I had thought about booking trips to New York to see friends, interview at companies, and pack up my old apartment, but realized that I should just book a surprise visit for the NCAA weekend in April. Despite the fact that it is incredibly difficult to make the NCAA tournament, let alone win it ,in my mind, it was a win-win. I would get to see Dave, be back in the city and get a ton of volleyball in! So I booked my flight for April 23-28, which would later turn out to be a mere 48 hours after my flights for Formal. Truth be told, I wanted this weekend to be a surprise but Dave had an inkling that I’d show up so I told him.
There was electricity flowing through the air when I arrived in Hoboken on the first day of the tournament. Everybody was buzzing about the tournament and looking forward to the Ducks dominating their competition.Stevens faced off against Baruch and won in an easy three set match on Friday afternoon. I stayed for the following quarterfinal to watch the other team, while the boys “scouted” and took notes on their tendencies. On Saturday, the team took on a rambunctious SUNY New Paltz team (and crowd) in 5 sets and advanced to the national championship game against Springfield! I felt like I was holding my breath the entire match and was so relieved to see them pull of the win. Phebe and I woke up early on Sunday morning to make signs for the team (see below) and got the arena early to secure front row seats! I can’t even begin to describe the atmosphere – I felt like I was at a professional sporting event with the jam-packed bleachers and chants flowing back and forth between the opposing sides of the gym. The boys pulled off a three set win against the Springfield Pride – they made winning look so easy!
That weekend Dave was also announced as the 2014-2015 National Player of the Year and First Team All-American among many other academic and athletic accolades. Huge congratulations to Dave and the rest of his team on a fantastic year! I’m excited to see what comes next.