Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Back around the late 1980's I participated in the Cranberry Harvest Outdoor Volleyball Tournament held at Red River Beach as part of the Harwich Cranberry Harvest Festival held each year on Cape Cod in September shortly after Labor Day.
They stopped hosting a volleyball tournament so I ended up with the trophy after being on the team that won the final tournament.
I used to play outdoor volleyball during the summer at Phil & Jane Abbott's house in Brewster as they installed an outdoor sand volleyball court in their back yard. The court was surrounded by trees and blueberry bushes. A lot of my friends from Brewster volleyball would meet there and play on this court if the weather was good. Some of the players there decided to form a team to play in the Harwich Cranberry Festival tournament. I wasn't asked to be on that team so I decided to form a team of my own.
My team consisted of my brother Scott Shaw, Brian Keyes, Jill Clark, Doreen Cahill, and me. We five were ready to do battle against the other team from Brewster as well as all of the other teams that entered the tournament. I was determined to win this tournament and had a dream the night before that I would be on the winning team.
The Brewster team had seven players including Peter Abel, Phil & Jane Abbott, Tom & Faye Wingard,George Jepsen, and Glen Higgins. This team and my team ended up in the final match which was determined by selecting the two teams with the best record after each team had played everyone else. Peter Abel was injured as he stepped on a piece of glass in the sand and cut his foot.
The Brewster team had the best record through the round robin play before the final match. Bill McShane, a local volleyball coach, was the referee and I remember him saying prior to the championship match; "Should I just give the trophy to the Brewster team now?" to some people near his referee post. That comment added further inspiration to my team.
The championship game was to fifteen points. For this game you can only score points when you are serving the ball. You have to "side-out" against the other team to get to serve once the other team had the serve. You have to win the game by two points.
I remember that my team was losing 14 to 10 in the championship game. I thought to myself my dream of winning this tournament was turning into a nightmare as we were one point away from losing the tournament. We didn't give up though, somehow we came back from the brink of defeat through focused and inspired play and ended up winning the game and championship 16 to 14.
In addition to winning the trophy we also won some gift certificates for dinner to a local restaurant. We had an extra gift certificate as we were given six gift certificates and there were only five of us on the team so we gave a certificate to the injured Peter Abel.
At the end of the tournament I remember that I had cramps in both my right and left calf muscles so I had to get out of my car and try to walk them off. All the jumping in the sand throughout the course of the tournament caught up to me but luckily this didn't happen until after we had won the tournament.