Iím going to be posting over the next couple of weeks, my top 15 sports moments that Iíve been involved in, or have been to in person.
There are no rules here, itís just some of the best sports moments Iíve been blessed to be a part of. Iím sure I missed some, and certainly nothing is official. If you want to comment on any of these, or something I may have missed, please do so in a positive and preferably respectful manner.
Some of these will be extremely obscure and others will be things most of you know…
#14…(18) Florida State Seminoles @ Ball State Cardinals
Women’s Volleyball regular season match…Sometime in Fall 2000.
This was without question the best volleyball match I’ve ever seen, in person or not. Thankfully I was there to witness it.
There was nothing special about FSU coming to Ball State, but it certainly helped that they were ranked 18th at the time. What many in the crowd at Worthen Arena were there for, was a setter turned hitter out of Elmhurst High School some 70 miles north of Muncie. Needless to say, there were a lot of people I recognized from Fort Wayne in attendance. Jamie Hibbard held several setting records at Elmhurst. I don’t know exactly what they were and to what level, but she was an awesome player who helped Elmhurst to a sectional title I believe.
Anyway, Hibbard got a full ride to FSU for volleyball where, at least in this match, she was an outside hitter and not a setter.
The match was played under the old rules before the rally scoring universally took effect. Please don’t get me started on rally scoring, I think it has basically killed the sport from a spectator’s point of view, and this match would not have been what it was under rally rules.
The Cardinal faithful were pumped up as the team was pretty good this season, in fact they did go on to the NCAA tournament in 2000. But with #18 coming into their building, there was electricity in the air that I’ve never witnessed in a volleyball match before.
BSU jumped out to an early lead and pretty much dominated the first game. After game 1, scoring was difficult to come by as there were an enormous number of side-outs. In fact, on many occasions there would be extensive rallies where the offense would just dominate, but the defense held it’s ground. There weren’t a lot of errors either as it was a well played match.
After taking a 2 games to 1 lead, the students were feeling the upset and the hostility was truly intense. You’d have sworn this was a BSU/Miami basketball game.
In game 4, which by the way took nearly an hour, no exaggeration, BSU had probably 7 or 8 match points they failed to convert. I don’t remember the final score but I believe FSU won with 20 points in that game. Games were normally played to 15 before rally scoring and remember, you have to win by 2.
The marathon came down to a 5th game and the crowd was loud on every single touch of the ball. The clutch defense of BSU would be what would allow the Cards to prevail. FSU had many what normally would have been sure kills, dug up by the defense, which subsequently turned the tables.
Every Seminole touch on Ball State’s match points had 5,000 people yelling “NO!, NO!, NO!” and the shift to offense had each touch produce a resounding “YES! YES! YES!” The explosion of the crowd after the win was incredible and a moment that is up there with the best I’ve ever seen.
3 hours 30 some minutes after the first serve, I had lost my voice and was sweating profusely. I wasn’t alone either.
Ball State pulling the upset of #18 Florida State is #14 on my list of Top Sports Moments.