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Beating rival Lewis a relief for ‘Dozo

TimesLedger Newspapers

Every other week, Cardozo star Ashley Grubler, one of the top girls’ volleyball players in the city, takes us behind the scenes into her world as the Judges attempt to win back-to-back PSAL Class A championships. Grubler will give us the blow by blow through scrimmages, tournaments, rivalry matches and recruiting.

Tournament champions, completed a goal and made our presence known.

In a total of 14 days, we had one tournament and seven matches. Exhausting? Yes! But with each day we are growing as a team. With each win, we are becoming more confident. We are starting to realize that, “Hey, we can do this. We can go all the way again!” It definitely is a great feeling.

Four years ago, I joined a team that was always second best. Always second best to one team. That team being … Francis Lewis. They ran PSAL just by intimidation. The last time that Cardozo beat Lewis was my sister’s (Mallory Grubler) junior year of high school. Ever since that day, Lewis went on a streak. A five-year streak.

On Sept. 21, it marked the end of a streak. We finally beat Francis Lewis. It was a big sigh of relief for me, especially since I spent three years of my high school career losing to them. Beating them is great, but staying focused and staying on top is even better.

Our goal now is to go 10-0 and become division champions. We already have one trophy under our name, winning the Cardozo tournament. That tournament had the top competition there and each game was tough. The starters on our team didn’t get to rest. We all played each point and each game — none of us got to rest. It took a lot out of us.

We ended up going 5-1 in pool play. We split with Wagner, which was supposed to be in a rebuilding year but they looked great. That was the best rebuilding team I have ever seen. They looked great and they put up a hell of a fight.

Ironically, in the finals we ended up defeating Wagner and becoming the champions of the tournament. As a team we are doing good. But we have to be great. During games, we give away such easy points, aka free balls and rolls and we shouldn’t. Those are the points we should take advantage of. We also need to clean it up.

The one thing that I love right now is the chemistry on the court. There’s many people on the court that know how to cheer people up, cheer me up. My goal for myself is to fix my attitude. I need to stop thinking that I have to be perfect. I need to let myself know that I am allowed to make errors. And last but not least I need to learn how to keep my head up and to stay strong.

For the past week I haven’t been focused on my playing due to the stress of college applications. But guess what? I am officially done! I am now allowed to be 100 percent focused on my game and I’m ready.

Check back with Ashley Grubler every other Friday during the season. Her next diary will run Oct. 14.

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