Occasionally balls take odd bounces in sporting contests. Sometimes they even strike people awkwardly, either on the field or in the stands. The resulting videos are nearly always both wince-inducing and borderline hilarious.
Two ridiculous strikes from a single ball? That's almost unheard of.
Incredibly, that's precisely what happened in a key Iowa volleyball match that earned one squad a berth in the state playoffs. With Forth Madison (Iowa) Holy Trinity Catholic High hosting Winfield-Mount Union (Iowa) High with a trip to the state tournament on the line, Holy Trinity set up to return a Winfield-Mount Union serve.
A Trinity backliner did just that, using a perfect set to create a powerful spike back over the net … and right into the face of a Winfield-Mount Union player. Yet, the volleyball wasn't done yet. As it turns out, the Trinity strike was so powerful it ricocheted off the player's face and directly into the stands at a roughly 45-degree angle, pitch perfect to trip up an unsuspecting fan who just happened to be headed to the concessions stand (or bathroom, or somewhere else outside of the gym).
While the first strike was legitimately scary -- the player remained down on the ground for moments afterward -- the second was worthy of a Benny Hill soundtrack, with the unsuspecting teen quickly getting to his feet and sprinting out of the gym.
Luckily, Prep Rally can report that the player that was struck by the ball is also fine. Her coach, David Pieart, confirmed via email that she didn't suffer a broken nose, concussion or any other serious malady, though there was some bleeding from her impact with the floor.
Whether that run was brought on by embarrassment, hunger or a desperate search for a toilet we may never know, but it added to the entire incident's humor regardless.
The impact of the ball -- or both impacts, rather -- did little to slow down Trinity, with the Crusaders cruising to a three-set sweep of Winfield-Mount Union that sent the squad back to the state tourney for a third consecutive year. This time, they arrive with a little bit of swagger and the knowledge that 15 years earlier, they might have had a video worthy of a pithy Bob Saget joke on "America's Funniest Home Videos."