Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Connor's Second High School Tennis Match - Junior Year vs Camden County

Connor had his second tennis match of the season this past week vs Camden County, from Georgia. The boys all played well during the match and Connor won on line two doubles with Hunter. Hunter's a very tall senior that has a great serve and is intimidating at the net. They won the doubles match handily and then Connor had a long break before he played line three singles. 

Connor played against a young guy that was a bit shorter than most highschoolers. Connor decided at some point that he should dropshot to the kid's backhand and then try to lob him. The strategy wasn't what we would have recommended, and it seemed like Connor really had to work hard to put the points away when he got himself in to the situations of his own design. Both Connor and his opponent would end up placing tough shots all over the court, and they had to run a lot. 

Neither opponent wanted to hit with pace and there were only a few moments where Connor swung freely at the ball. For the most part it was a slow chess game of a match, and in the end Connor did with the match 6-1, 6-1. So, I guess he did know what he was doing, based on the score. 

The big change in this match was Connor's intensity. He's usually a fairly chill kid, even when he's getting frustrated during a match. When he and I play ping pong, sometimes Connor will get pumped and will yell "Come on!" after a good point, but he never does it at tennis until this last match. Connor shouted after he hit good shots, and he got pumped as the match went on. His teammates had all finished their matches and watched from the fence, cheering him on. Connor's opponent seemed to get annoyed by it, and I heard some of his opponent's teammates conversing nearby and they also commented on the fact that Connor was getting to him. 

After the match, Connor came to the net to shake hands, but his opponent tapped racquet instead. As Connor walked away his opponent called him a couple of bad names. It's unfortunate that it ended that way, but we were proud of Connor for hustling and playing hard during the match. It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a win, and he found a way to make it happen.

Millie Mae at the Beach


It's too cold for swimming, but Millie Mae still enjoys going to the beach to run around, dig, roll in the sand, and generally be a wild animal. I go for jogs on the beach sometimes, but this past weekend I just went to search for shark teeth and Millie came along to enjoy the cool weather. 

Chiefs vs 49ers - Superbowl LVIII + Taylor Swift

This football season has been extra fun because our Chiefs have had a dramatic season, and Taylor Swift has been to a lot of the games since she's currently dating Travis Kelce. Everyone but Connor in our family likes Taylor Swift's music, and Andrea and Paige saw Taylor this last summer in Denver, so it was exciting to see two of our favorite things come together this year.

The team's had a lot of struggles since their offense hasn't been performing as well as previous seasons, but their defense has improved quite a bit and they made it to the playoffs. All season we've been rooting for them, and cheering for them, but we have been saying all along that we didn't think this team really had a chance to make it to the Superbowl, much less to win it. The Chiefs won the Superbowl last year and we didn't think there was any way they could win another back to back. The Chiefs proved the pundits, analysts, and all of us wrong as they triumphed during some difficult road games and made it to the final big game. Taylor flew back from Japan, where she had multiple performances ahead of the Superbowl, and she made it to Vegas in time to cheer on the Chiefs.

The game itself was the most stressful game I've ever seen. We decided to watch it at home rather than with anyone else, because we knew we wouldn't want any extra distractions. The four of us started off watching it together, but the kids couldn't take it and wandered in and out of the room as the game went on. The first half was a defensive struggle and the Chiefs couldn't get anything going, and the 49ers managed a couple decent drives. It was 3-10 at halftime, and I don't think anyone was predicting such a low scoring game. 

The second half saw some good drives, a few lead changes, and as time expired the Chiefs drove down the field to tie up the game at 19-19. I started with my Chiefs shirt on, but changed out of it because apparently it was bad luck. Paige fell asleep on the couch and Connor eventually wandered back in during overtime. Andrea couldn't take it any more and went to the office to work on bills and to get her mind off the game. The 49ers scored a field goal in overtime and then the Chiefs got the ball and had a drama filled drive down the field, where they had to overcome a fourth down, and Kelce caught a few great balls from Mahomes to get them to the 4 yard line. By this point Paige was awake, Connor had come in to the room, and I was standing up by the TV, completely nervous and barely able to watch. The Chiefs scored with a short pass on the edge to Mecole Hardman and we all exploded with relief. We screamed at the top of our lungs and I picked up the kids and spun them around. Andrea heard the commotion and ran in to the room to join in the celebration and we all reveled in the victory together. 

We have a camera in the Family room and I pulled the recording off of it and synched it up with the final moments of the game so we can remember our reactions. There's no audio on the camera, which is just as well since it was a lot of screaming and we probably sounded like wild animals.

Go Chiefs!

Paige and Andrea in Winter Park - Level 7 Tennis Tournament

Friday, January 9th 2024, Andrea and Paige went down to Winter Park for a tennis tournament. The girls enjoyed eating at Uno's, doing some shopping, walking around Rollins College, and of course the tennis tournament. 

The tournament was kind of an odd format where the girls only played one short set to 4, with no-ad scoring. It isn't really a good opportunity to get in to a groove, or to make adjustments to your opponent's strengths and weaknesses. The tournament organizers also split the girls in to two separate brackets and Paige landed in the stronger bracket. Paige won three of her matches, and only lost one. The way they scored the tournament, was odd and even though Paige actually beat the girl that ended up in first place, Paige mathematically ended up finishing in 3rd. Because Paige lost a few extra games, it ended up mattering in the end with the way final scores were calculated. 

The level 7 tournaments are nice because they're fairly fast and only last a day, but the scoring format is unfortunate and I don't think that we'll probably doing many more level 7's going forward. At least the girls had a fun weekend together!

Cupcake Makeup


Paige was at football practice this past week and one of her teammates brought cupcakes to celebrate a birthday. Paige's friend Annalese is a goofball and they had a little bit of a food fight and Paige ended up with icing around her eye. It actually looked like some colorful makeup and I took a pic of her on the way home.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Connor's First High School Tennis Match - Junior Year

Connor had his first match of the season this past Tuesday. They played Nease high school, and he played line two doubles and line three for singles. Connor knew a couple of the Nease kids including his buddy Robert and unfortunately they had to play each other in singles.

Overall, Connor played fairly well. He was running around his backhand quite a bit to play more forehand balls, and his second serve is still inconsistent. That said, he found a way to win both matches and we're happy he had a good start to his season. 

Grandpa Rick's 75th Birthday Lunch at TPC - Nineteen

Tuesday was Grandpa Rick's birthday and we went to Nineteen at TPC for lunch together. The kids were in school Tuesday, so it was just the adults. 

Happy birthday Dad! Love you!


Paige Wins Queen's Harbor 14U Level 7 Tennis Tournament

Saturday, February 3rd, 2024, Paige played in a tennis tournament at Queen's Harbor. She played in the 14U division. There were only three other girls in her group and Paige managed to beat all of them. Two of the girls were not the strongest players, but there was one girl from out of town that was a solid tennis player. We were proud of Paige for standing up for herself as the out of town girl was a bit bratty and she tried to intimidate Paige by accusing her of making bad line calls. Andrea was sitting nearby and could tell that Paige's line calls were fair, and we all know that Paige is actually the kind of girl that will not call a ball out unless she's absolutely certain about it.

Paige didn't let the girl get in her head and won their match pretty quickly. Her tennis has improved lately and it we loved seeing her playing her best.