November 1, 2004 - by
The Sarah File: Entry Six

Nov. 1, 2004

“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.” – Vince Lombardi

Howdy –

I read this quote and thought of something that our coach, Todd Kress, tells us quite often. He always emphasizes our fight and the idea that we should always “leave everything on the court,” and no mater the outcome, he will be satisfied with us because we valiantly gave our best effort. I completely agree with this, but I also have come to understand that if we fight as a team and are determined and confident, then our best effort will result in a win.

Sarah and her dad, Frank Griffin, stop for a picture before Saturday’s match versus Clemson.

This fact was proven this weekend when we defeated the Clemson Tigers 3-1 in their home gym. Jervey Gymnasium definitely does not welcome visiting teams and it was not easy, however, we overcame several obstacles in the path of our victory. Something was noticeably different in this game. EVERYONE played with emotion and desire. There was not a single person on the floor or bench who doubted that we were going to win. We moved from point to point with consistency and execution. What a huge step it was for us as a team. The emotion and confidence must be constants in every single match from here on out.

I have to admit, my birthday (Saturday) was amazing, and I couldn’t have asked for a better gift than a victory against Clemson (except maybe for what I wished for as I blew my candles out and no, I can’t tell you – because my wish won’t come true)! My Dad made my birthday weekend extra special. We have always been close, especially through sports. Basketball was my first love and my Dad was my first coach. He would wake

EVERYONE played with emotion and desire. There was not a single person on the floor or bench who doubted that we were going to win. We moved from point to point with consistency and execution. What a huge step it was for us as a team.
-Sarah Griffin

me up at 5:30 am before school and take me to the gym to shoot and work on moves. He would say, “If you can focus on making free throws at 5:30, you can make them during pressure situations.” He is definitely a firm believer in hard work and outworking your opponent. There are not many feelings better than knowing that my Dad is proud of me. He would be proud of me whether I played well or not, but it is the job well done that makes me feel so special.

Sarah loves to work with children and here she is pictured with a volleyball fan at pre-game meal Saturday.

He doesn’t know too much about volleyball strategy, but is learning quickly. He often times compares volleyball situations to basketball ones. My favorite is: “Serving is the exact same thing as shooting a free throw, Sarah. You need to get lots of reps, you need to have the same routine each time: take your time, take a deep breath and focus.” He also uses a baseball analogy: “A good server is much like a good pitcher, they have different pitches/serves as weapons. There’s the fast ball, the change up, the knuckle ball, the slider, the seam ball, etc.” My dad is absolutely amazing and I love him for these silly analogies.

We had a great time together this weekend. We ate a lot of beef – you can’t expect anything less with Frank Griffin. WE went shopping in the Atlanta Mall. I’m talking quality shopping! It’s pretty funny shopping with my Pops. I put on a fashion show and he would either laugh, nod his head, or raise his eyebrows and say “Oh….. my!” Men and shopping! As we drove back to Tallahassee we listened to one of our favorite road trip songs: “I’d sure hate to break down here” by Julie Roberts. All in all, a phenomenal weekend!

This upcoming weekend we host Maryland and Virginia. It is our last home weekend and we will recognize our seniors. Our four seniors have done an incredible job this season: Renee Hill, Amanda Santos, Ashley Meyer, and Aisha Carr. Each one, in their own way, has played an important role for our team. These girls mean a great deal to me. Some of the things that I will always remember about them are:

  • The expression on Amanda’s face after she blocks someone to the floor. She stares at the girl saying through her eyes: “No Ma’am, not on my court.”
  • The constant smile on Ashley’s face. She is always encouraging and reaffirming everyone saying, “You’re strong champ.”
  • When Aisha gets a hold of a slide and she bounces the ball on the 10 foot line. Everyone is jumping up and down.
  • Renee’s fundamentals and volleyball knowledge are unmatched, but her personality, especially off of the court will be missed. The laughter that explodes through her, the out of the blue sayings she creates, and her absolute love for the game of volleyball.

    I could talk about these girls forever. They are wonderful people, and I count myself blessed to have played with them. Thank you girls for all the hard work you have put in to making our team who we are! I love you guys!

    Thank you to all my friends and family who sent birthday wishes my direction via phone, email, or land mail. Thank you for thinking of me on my special day. I am fortunate to have such amazing people in my life!

    God Bless and Go NOLES!

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