The Sportsmanship Brigade got into the Immacolata gym on Friday night just before the skies over St. Louis opened up for a torrential and much needed downpour. We were on-hand to see the home team 4th grade girls volleyball squad take on their counterparts from Holy Redeemer. Immacolata had a tough time matching Holy Redeemer’s serving and digging skills. The visitors took control and easily won all three sets. Strange thing is you wouldn’t know it by looking at the Immacolata girls on the floor or on the bench. They were completely oblivious to the score. These girls lost, but they would not be defeated. They cheered each other when they did score. They cheered each other on returned serves. Heck, they cheered for each other when one of their serves made it over the net.
Neither the score nor the weather would dampen their spirits. Then, there was Libby of Immacolata. Libby was racing toward the sideline trying to return a serve when she noticed it may go out of bounds. She tried to pull her hand back at the last second. Did she touch it or did it just go out? No one was sure. The officials were uncertain of the call and both coaches shrugged their shoulders. There wasn’t any indication from the crowd either. No one knew but Libby and the young lady didn’t leave us in suspense very long. She raised her hand and acknowledged she touched the ball before it went out. Possession would go to Holy Redeemer. Integrity went to Libby. The Brigade came up with an interesting way to present the evening’s award. Libby had clearly shown an act of selflessness. Her selection was easy, but we chose not to leave out her teammates.
Immacolata has a team that embodies the very essence of youth sports. They have fun and lots of it. Their positive attitude was infectious and everyone in the building caught it. We all wanted them to do well regardless of the outcome. With that in mind, the Brigade decided to treat the Immacolata team to a pizza party for its efforts. Here’s how the girls reacted: