Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Kristina Baum's Player Diary from Arizona Volleyball's Sweet 16 and Elite Eight Matches
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 17, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Junior opposite Kristina Baum kept a player diary during Arizona volleyball's road trip to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in Palo Alto, Calif.


Sacrifice. It’s what comes to mind when I think of this sport that has consumed my life since I was an awkward pre-teen. In junior high, I sacrificed family dances and confirmation classes. (Yes, I am a Catholic school girl.) As I got to high school, I sacrificed all formal dances, Easter Sunday mass and my uncle’s wedding. Now that I’m in college, the sacrifices are a little different. They include more of my body and my heart. I included my body for the sheer physical toll it takes to train each and every day. My heart is a different story, with a more emotional effect that is placed upon it. My heart has to endure the out-of-your-mind wins, the adrenaline that keeps you awake at night and the excitement of playing at the highest level possible. With the good comes the bad, though. There are also the heart-breaking losses, the agony that can also keep you up at night, and leaving your heart on the floor and not getting the result you wanted. Sacrifice is just something you have to be willing to do.



I feel like I slept too much. We ate breakfast. We went back to sleep. We went to practice, then back to sleep. I’m ready though. Bring on the Bobcats!



We won in five! Whoa! Ohio is legit. They ran a really fast-tempo game, which is very different from what we are used to. We knew it was going to be a battle, and we fought till the end. Kim played out of her mind. I thought she was amazing. Girl got skills. Hee hee. Personally, I started off slow. Let’s just say really bad. Then, in game two, I think it was, I started bleeding all over from my elbow after trying to pancake a ball. It was nasty. After that, I played better. So next time I suck, just make me bleed and I’ll be good to go. Time for bed.




I ate too much. My Buddha belly is full. Game time!



I don’t know where to even start. It hurts. I don’t really want to talk about it. All I can say is that I’m hurting like the rest of my team. I’m sad to see our seniors ending their season without the result we all invested so much time working for. When you put so much heart and time in and fall just short, it’s painful. Really painful. It’s kind of like floor burns. On the top of my hand, there are two. How they got there is beyond me. They come when you least expect it. They graze the surface of your skin just enough to make it burn. Sometimes they cut deep enough you need a band aid to help it heal. And, yet, other times a band aid just won’t do and all you can do is wait for it to heal on its own, out in the open, for everyone to see. Even then, it never completely heals, because you are left with its mark to remind you of the pain that it once caused. With the pain that this loss caused, it’s going to be a long while before anyone is over it. Do you really ever get over it, though? This is what happens, sometimes, when you sacrifice your heart.


For now, I have big shoes to fill. We have 365 days to get better. This is what I have told all the underclassmen already. My new job has already started, and I have accepted it with all my heart. I will see you next year in 2006. Thank you to everyone for all the love and support throughout the season. I know you’ll miss me. Who wouldn’t? Hee hee! Until next time...


Love Always,


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