By V. Gonzalez
Having been practising and working very hard for a whole year, Rancho was finally here and we were ready for whatever the future brought to us. Unfortunately, for the Volleyball and Futsal season, Form 5s and Upper 6s are unable to attend the Inter 6 as they have the important IGCSEs and IBs coming up, and so, our teams suffered a huge loss without their help. However, we kept our heads up high and always looked forward in order to ensure that our teams continued moving and feeling stronger than ever. The Inter 6 tournament is made up of 6 schools between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, including EAC, OLM, British School of Rio, Sant'Anna and PACA. From the 8th to the 11th of April, 2018, these 6 schools competed and did their very best to decide which one, from both girls’ volleyball and boys’ futsal, gets to be the big winner. And so, these 3 intense days began.
Arriving at NR on Sunday evening, our Volleyball team was already having our first practice session and warming ourselves up to be as prepared as possible for our first game the next day. We gathered and discussed to talk about our team, having the typical pre-game pep talk. We had a long night sleep and were 100% ready for the first official game.
It was early in the morning when we started to warm up for our game against British. Having lost the first set, we decided we had to take action and do something. We came back for the second set as enthusiastic as ever, celebrating all our points; the game was around 10-6 for them, when we put ourselves back together and made a total of 20 points out of 21 in that section of the game. We won the second set, leaving the third one to decide who won the game. Fighting till the last point was over, we gave the best of ourselves, however, lost for only 3 points.
During the afternoon, we had a good time to rest and were again ready to face another game. We won the first set against PACA but lost ourselves during the second set. Something happened and we weren’t giving our best, and as a result, had to move on to the third deciding set. We decided we couldn’t, under any circumstance, lose that game. Just as in the morning, we put ourselves back together and as a team won the third set and the game.
Second official day, full of difficult games coming ahead, but we kept our heads up high. We faced Sant'Anna’s extremely experienced and strong team in the morning, knowing in advance this would be a hard game. Unfortunately, trying our very best at all times, we were unable to win that game and lost 2-0.
In that afternoon we faced OLM. They were another team with good athletes, however, that day we proved we were better. Winning by 2-0, we celebrated another victory and began preparing ourselves for our last game on the next day against EAC.
Last day, everyone was extremely tired, and we had one of the hardest games in that tournament. EAC was a strong team, which we faced during our SPHSL tournament back home. However, a small detail made us feel a little self-conscious; they played against our best players in SP - most of which were either Uppers or Form 5s. Yes, we were slightly afraid of them, but never, not for one second, did we let that stop us. We entered that gym with the biggest confidence anyone could have. Before that game, we had the most important pep talk - analysing our previous games and learning how we could improve to the next one. And so, we knew exactly what we had to do to defeat EAC. The game began, we were nervous and so we lost the first set. However, we knew we could do better than that. We knew they weren’t that special. We won the second set and therefore drove all the pressure back to EAC - if they won the last set, they would end up in 2nd, but if they lost, they would end up in 4th, having the 3rd place for us. It was an extremely challenging game, with lots of ups and downs, and unfortunately, they won the game.
In conclusion, we ended up in 4th place, with dignity and pride. We did the best we could, knowing beforehand we would face extremely good and experienced teams, and knowing we would suffer from not having important players on our team during the tournament. But we surpassed these obstacles and had the greatest times of our lives, enjoying every moment at Rancho - ready for 2019!