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20070731 Brooke's Blog
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/06/2008
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Brooke's Blog 2008


A weekly look inside life and Arizona Volleyball through the eyes of a student athlete.

Blog #27 Sunday, April 6 2008 ???

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Well, we just got back from San Diego, Americas finest cityˇ?besides Tucson, of course. We played in a four-team tournament against BYU, UC Irvine, and San Diego. We were by far ˇ?the most physical team in the gym,ˇ± but we have other things to work on. This is the stuff that jumping high and hitting hard doesnˇ?t fix, itˇ?s all mental. It is really starting to come together for us though, and I canˇ?t wait to see where we are at when season starts in the fall. Each weekend we are getting better, especially with all the different line-ups we are using.

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It was so nice to be back in SD. A few of the girls are from or around there, including myself. When we flew in on Friday we went over to Randyˇ?s auntˇ?s house for dinner and got to stop by the beach. I donˇ?t know if Coronado was ready for 11 very tall Zonies to raid their sun and sand. It has been awhile since I have been able to put my feet in the ocean, and itˇ?s hard to describe how much you miss it after you have moved off to the desert. The next day is when we played at USD. Afterwards I had to the team over to my house for some good food and relaxation by the pool. The dadˇ?s and coaches were entertained inside watching the UCLA/Memphis game, while the rest of us ate and watched the freshmanˇ?s Free Willy impersonations. I donˇ?t think Emily Johnson, our athletic trainer, stopped laughing once.

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So with our first two spring tournaments down, we only have two more to go. Next weekend we play up at USCB against some really good teams. Game On Cats.

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*Shout out to Kaylenˇ?s dad in Germany! Sorry itˇ?s been so long!

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??????????? Yours Truly, 99

Blog #26 Tuesday, March 27 2008 ?? ?????

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We are just about to finish up our first week in the second phase of Spring training. As of last Monday, we can train for 20 hours a weekˇ?a.k.a. lots and lots of volleyball. We are not confined within the walls of McKaleˇ?Yes they let us out every once in a whileˇ?We play sand volleyball every Wednesday morning out at the racquet club. So, if your every out there in the mornings you can come watch the up and coming Kerri Walsh and Misty May duosˇ?Beijing (2008 Olympics) here we come!

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F.Y.I. : Our first Spring game is this Saturday! We play New Mexico State at 10a.m. and then again after lunch. Hope to see you there

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Yours truly, 99

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Blog #25 Tuesday, February 26 2008 ???? ???????????

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Well itˇ?s been awhile, so Iˇ?ll get you up to speed. Weˇ?ve been in spring training for five weeks now. Our spring goes something like thisˇ?weights and conditioning from 6:30-8 a.m. m/t/th/f, then we have two individuals a week for an hour.

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An individual is a small group practiceˇ?so for example, all the middles will go together. It gives everyone an opportunity for more feedback from coaches and more specialized training for each position. Once Spring Break rolls around we start weights around 6 a.m., then go to a team practice 7-9:30 a.m.ish.

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We have a new strength coach now, his name is Jim. Lets just say, ˇ?Sally times overˇ±. He acts like a badass, but heˇ?ll love us soon enough. People canˇ?t help but love us, itˇ?s part of our charm. He works us hard, and I can already see the payoffˇ? Iˇ?ll be ready for American Gladiators in no time.

FYI: There have been some rule changes. Now our games will only go to 25 points instead of 30. Also, we play on Friday and Saturday nights instead of last yearˇ?s Thursday/Friday matches. For the weekends that football plays at home, weˇ?ll play on Friday night and Sunday afternoonˇ?that means you all can go to volleyball AND football without missing anything!? J Expect to see a new addition to McKale as wellˇ?they are putting up a curtain in front of the top sections to create a more intimate environment for us to play in.

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Yours truly, ˇ?99

Blog #24 Tuesday, January 29 2008 ?? ????????

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1 ? weeks of spring down, and we already have a fallen soldier. Neil Rampe, our strength and conditioning coach, got a great job working with the Arizona Diamondbacks. As much as I hate to see him go, homeboy made it to the major leagues! Neil, we canˇ?t thank you enough for increasing our verticals and giving us great bathing suit bodies for spring breakˇ? I kid I kid. In all seriousness you have gone above and beyond your call of duty to help us all be better athletes and better people. We wish you the best! *cue the musicˇ?

??????????? P.S. Award for first concussion of Spring goes to Paige Weber.

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Yours truly, 99

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Blog #23 Thursday, January 17 2008 ???

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Iˇ?m back! Well, we all are! The team got to go home for Winter breakˇ? I think we all needed some quality sleep and home cooked meals. Itˇ?s the perfect time to catch up with family and friends that youˇ?ve neglected for the past 6 months because of season. It was also much needed to rest our bodies and heal some injuries. Did I mention eat and sleep?...

??????????? The end of the season was bittersweet for me. It felt AMAZING to beat UCLA, emphasis on amazing. However, it was hard to take because it just proved that we should have been beating top teams like that all year. Think about itˇ?USC was in the finals and we lost to them by 2 points in the 5th gameˇ?and thatˇ?s only one example. But enough about that, the past is the past. It was a great win for the seniors. They played their hearts out this season, and we are really going to miss them! Xoxo ???????

??????????? ˇ?Next season starts todayˇ±-David Rubio at our team meeting this morning. Everything we do from here on out affects the outcome of next years season. Monday is the first day of Spring training. Hello Tucson sunrises. Early mornings filled with lots of sweating, heavy lifting, turf sprinting, box jumping, and protein shake drinkingˇ?all of which make up our McKale weight room routine. *Shout out to Neil Rampe our strength coach.

What are those old quotes?...no pain no gain, no guts no gloryˇ?they all apply.

Here we go cats! ˇ?awwww kitty kittyˇ?ˇ±

Yours Truly, 99

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Blog #22 Saturday, November 24 2007

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Well, this is itˇ?our last match for the year. I know everyone will play well tonight, especially the seniors. Nothing would be better than to beat the Bruins for Dom, Katie, Harper and Amy for their last time stepping onto that floor with a Wildcat uniform on. Here we go Cats, for one last timeˇ?Aww kitty kitty! Lets do this.

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P.S. Countdown for Dom to break another record!

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Yours Truly,

?????? 99

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Blog #21 Monday, November 19 2007

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Just got back from the Bay Area, home of E-40 and Brittany Leonard.

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We left for Cal on Thursday afternoon, and got to Oakland in time to go to a Sports Grill to watch our football game against Oregon. All 20 of us sat in front of multiple flat screens cheering, yelling, and signing ˇ?Bear Downˇ± for our boys back in Tucson. The Oregon fans next to us were not too happyˇ? From the confines of a minivan I got to see Alcatraz, the Transamerica building, and of course the Golden Gate Bridge. One of the best parts of traveling is that sometimes you get to see old friends as wellˇ? usually girls you used to play with or against in high school and club volleyball. *Shout out to Candice, now a Stanford basketball player, once a teammate of Harper, Jacy and mine.

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Well, itˇ?s Monday, 3:18 p.m., and Iˇ?m not in McKaleˇ? oh wait, its basketball seasonˇ?I mean, Iˇ?m not in Bear Down. Today we got the day off, I repeat off. No weights, no practiceˇ?just school, physical therapy and treatment. What do normal students do with all this free time? Randy, Amy and I decided to get our eyebrows waxedˇ?and we look goodJ . Now, were watching tvˇ?HBO to be exact, but I think this would get boring if I had nothing to do everydayˇ?maybe Iˇ?d get a job.

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Yours Truly, 99

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Blog # 20 Thursday, November 15, 2007

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The season is changing and so are the trends. Arizona volleyball rocks it better and badder than anyone out there... Its winter, and you know what that means?...Boots. More specifically, The Boot.

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theboot

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This boot comes in many different styles including the knee-high, mid-calf and ankle boot. Unfortunately, colors are limited but extra Velcro straps are not. You thought stress fractures and bone bruises were a bad thing? Not if it gets you one of these. Beauty is pain and Randy, Tiffany and Paige are very beautiful.

Blog #19 Tuesday, November 6 2007

Its written on the dry-erase board. The Arizona hit list. We have 6 games to playˇ? we need 3 wins to make it to the tournament. First up, ASU. Dave made a point before practice today saying that we have to take it one team at a time. We canˇ?t worry about Ucla until weˇ?ve beaten ASUˇ?weˇ?ll worry about the other teams later. The smartest man I know quoted a coach named Lou Holtz who once said, ˇ?it was about the belief in achievement rather than the acceptance of failure (thanks pop). We havenˇ?t given in, and weˇ?re not going to give in.
ˇ?You gonna bark all day little doggie, or you gonna bite?ˇ±ˇ?name that movie!

Yours Truly, 99

Blog #18 Friday, November 2 2007

It's time for a "W."? Play your hearts out.

Yours Truly, 99

Blog #17 Monday, October 22 2007 ?????

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I think we grew a lot this weekend. Although we lost both our matches, we can still be proud of how we played. Most teams with a record like ours would have given up by now, but our practice on Monday is going to have just as much fight, just as much energy, and just as much determination as if we were undefeated. If anything, we have more reason to practice harder. Our season isnˇ?t even close to being over. We still have one goal in mind.

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We had two recruits in this past weekend. One of them I used to play with back home in Cali. When recruits come into town, it is our job to make sure that they commitˇ?just joking, but seriously, no but Iˇ?m kidding, kind of.... The normal routine is that they get a tour around campus, meet with an academic advisor in McKale, watch a game or two, and get to know usˇ? the best part. Recruiting was so stressful when I was in high school. At big tournaments, there were hundreds of college coaches with clipboards and palm pilots jotting down notes after every play. Nowadays it seems like college coaches are recruiting players right out of the crib.? Once you commit to a college itˇ?s like the weight of the world is lifted off your shoulders and you can relax a little bit. The nice thing about committing early is that you have already selected a school before youˇ?re a senior. As a student athlete, we didnˇ?t have to worry about filling out applications to multiple universities, getting letters of recommendations, and whatever else comes with deciding where you want to go. However, unlike most students, we signed our life away when we signed our national letter of intent at the young age of 17. Iˇ?m pretty sure that more hours of my day are spent within the walls of McKale than outside of themˇ?from what I hear the weather in Tucson is pretty nice this time of year.? But I wouldnˇ?t trade being a college athlete for the world.

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*Amy and Randy say Hi

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Yours truly, 99

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Blog #16 Tuesday, October 16 2007

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It seems like each week these blogs get harder and harder to write. Words come easy when you are winning, and weˇ?re not. College volleyball is a lot different than what high school or club was like. Here, you lose a game and you canˇ?t escape itˇ?itˇ?s on television, itˇ?s in the papers, you go and get your car washed and they want to know who you played and if you won.? Even my morning bagel comes with a comment on Fridayˇ?s game. Losing isnˇ?t just hard because you are personally disappointed; itˇ?s that you share that disappointment with the entire city of Tucson. Well, I can tell you that we are keeping our heads up. There is no doubt in my mind that we are capable of being a top team. We have the skills and the talent to win, we just need to learn the mental game. Where does this start? Weˇ?re still looking for that checkered flag, but when we find it, you will definitely know.

Yours Truly, 99

Blog #15 Thursday, October 11 2007

Arizona Volleyball will be resilient. We had a rough weekend in Washington but a great week of practice. After we are done in the gym today, we will get some food and head up to Tempe. If we play how we practiced this week, then there is no doubt in my mind we will beat ASU. Thereˇ?s no room for doubt, weˇ?re sick of losingˇ?we win, bottom line.
Game on Devils.
?Yours truly, 99

Blog #14 Monday, October 1 2007

What do you say to a team that has enough talent to be at the top of their conference and one of the top teams in the nation, but canˇ?t seem to get it together mentally to beat an opponent? How does a team, who knows their only problem is mental, get over that barrier? Coachesˇ? verdict: itˇ?s a process. Last year we were a brand new team, fresh out of the blocks. We struggled, and struggled, and struggledˇ? Now looking back at last year, surprised I made it out alive, and with a new shoulder intact, I can see how much it has made those returning players stronger. Itˇ?s a new year, and those players along with some great freshman are going to make for a successful season, it just takes time.
?It was so great on Friday to see all the fans thereˇ?to have all those people believe in you and show their support. We wonˇ?t let you guys down. Weˇ?ll train harder, fight more, and just play like we know howˇ?for each other and for everyone around us. Itˇ?s still the beginning of the season and this team will continue to get better. So be like Journey and ˇ?donˇ?t stop believinˇ?ˇ±
?Yours Truly, 99

Blog #13 Friday, September 28 2007

Last night wasnˇ?t pretty, but we did what we had to do to win in 3. Tonight will be a completely different story. Expect a brawl. Oregon has gotten a lot better, but so have weˇ? not to mention thereˇ?s a score to settle after losing to them last year in their gym. Put your game face on. Here we go cats, ˇ?awwww kitty kittyˇ±ˇ?
?Yours Truly, 99

Blog #12 Thursday, September 27 2007

GAME DAY. Tonight is our first Pac-10 game at home. This is also our first Thursday match in Mckale. Thursday=schoolˇ?. So before I can start thinking about our matches this weekend, I have to go to treatment/ physical therapy, take an exam, attend another class and an academic meeting. That leaves me just enough time to eat, shower, and take a short nap before we beat OSU. Sounds like a good day to me. Ciao
?Yours Truly, 99

Blog #11 Monday, September 24 2007

Tough loss. Losing against USC in 5 hurtˇ?really bad. I think we played our hearts out, and despite some errors we were right there with the number 4 team in the nation. For as hard as we train, a win this weekend would have really felt good. What I can tell you for sure is that neither of those teams will win next time around. Arizona Volleyball will not let that happen. I hope you keep your expectations high for us, because we expect a lot out of ourselves this season. So for now, its back to the grindˇ?practice, practice, practice, till this weekend at HOME against the Oregon schools.
?To my team: Iˇ?m proud of you. You got my back I got yours, even in that foxhole . Lesson learned, comprende? Here we go boysˇ?
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Yours Truly, 99

Blog #10 Wednesday, September 19 2007

Good Morning Tucsonˇ?We leave for Cali right after practice today. The Pac10 officially starts tomorrow night! Our opener is against UCLA, ranked 5th in the nation. Numbers are numbers though. Personally, it doesnˇ?t matter what they are ranked. All I am worried about is our side of the net. If we take care of business on our side, then I know weˇ?ll have a great weekend. With school catching up to all of us, itˇ?ll be nice to get away from Tucson for a few daysˇ? you can put school aside for a day or two and just focus on volleyball. Well, off to school, treatment, weights and practice. Wish us luck! *Randy says hi
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Yours Truly,
???????????? 99

Blog #9 Monday, September 17 2007

Warm-up is over, its time for the real deal. We just finished up our last pre-season tournament and are going into Pac-10ˇ?s with a 10-2 record.
?This past weekend was full of twists. Stephanie Snow, our freshman middle, started for us and did a great job. Needless to say, she made it snow (*refer to ˇ?Make it Rainˇ±). Brittany and Alanna switched off for the libero position, and Elise played some outside hitter. I think itˇ?s great that even with line up changes our chemistry on the court remained pretty consistent. Overall we were pretty happy with how we played, but we certainly still have things to work on.
?We leave on Wednesday to play the LA schools, and practice this week is going to reflect that. You practice how you play, so hopefully we will be sharp and ready to go for our match on Thursday. All of us are a little beat up with injuriesˇ? sore, aching, tiredˇ? but the pain goes away once the ref blows that first whistle.? I know our freshman will be ready for this weekend, welcome to the Pac-10 little ones.

Yours Truly,
??????? 99

Blog #8 Monday, September 10 2007

After a long road trip to Atlanta Georgia, we now have t-shirts that say Tournament Champions. We came back to Tucson 7-2 after playing some pretty high-level teams, especially University of Kentucky and Georgia Tech. I think we are getting better at playing more consistently, which is something that is very important to learn before pac-10ˇ?s. The tournament was held at Georgia Tech, who has a small gym for volleyball only. They completely packed the place for their game against Georgia, who is their ASU. We went and watched a little bit of that game to scout Tech before we played them the next morning, and the fans were nuts! I wonder what it would be like to play in a packed Mckaleˇ? Anyways, Congrats to Dom who got tournament MVP, and Randy and Paige who got all tournament team! Our middles played great this weekend and so did the munchkins..Alanna, Brit and Katie. *Shout out to Paigeˇ?s family who supplied numerous cheers and sported some red and blue in a mostly opposing crowd. Back to the grindˇ?sometimes I forget that Iˇ?m a student too.

??? Yours Truly,
??????????? 99

Blog 8 pic2

Blog #7 Monday, September 3 2007

So this past weekend didnˇ?t turn out how we had hoped. We left Malibu with a 4-2 record, instead of the 5-1 record we had aimed for. We still have a ways to go before we are that championship team that we are determined to be. That being said, we were back in the gym less than 20 hours after arriving back in the 520. Now, with three practices down, we are off to Georgia. Everyday we are getting better, this next tournament is our chance to prove it.

Yours truly,?99

Blog #6 Friday, August 31 2007

Goin goin back back to cali caliˇ?.

?Its Friday morning and we all just woke up and ate breakfast at our hotel. I love away games because they feed us like football players, and trust me, no one is complaining. We flew into LA yesterday afternoon and went straight from the airport to practice. After that, we went back to the hotel for some much-needed beauty sleep.? And after a day like yesterday, we all needed some of thatˇ?
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?It was like a dreamˇ?the entire team was packed into two UA vans that had just picked us up from McKale. We were on our way to the airport and everything was greatˇ? laughing, dancing, singing, and just joking around for the quick trip to Tucson International. Then CRUNCH!ˇ?a little white Volvo swerved into our lane and STOPPED. Our huge 12 -passenger van filled with suitcases and 6ˇ?3 girls, had no time to go anywhere else but into the back of that little white car. The other van was fine and went ahead to airport after making sure our van was okay. All of us piled out in our, 3-inch heels, nice pants, skirts, and dresses, only to wait in the desert heat for another van to arrive. Donˇ?t worry, we made it to the airport in time for our flight, and no one was injured. *Shout out to our van driver
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We are all very excited for this tournamentˇ? we came here to win. Tonight we only play one match, which gives us some time to rest up for tomorrow. Watch out Pepperdine, weˇ?ve entered the Malibu.
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Yours truly, 99

Blog #5 Saturday, August 25 2007

2-0. We just started off the season with a win against both Utah State and Eastern Washington. I canˇ?t say that it was pretty, but I definitely canˇ?t complain about our record so far. As much as we practice our system...who goes where, when and how, for every type of ball the other team can throw at usˇ?it still got a little chaotic tonight. We made way too many unforced errors, but through it all we stuck together and pulled out the win. We are all so excited that season has started.

Itˇ?s going to be a good year, I can feel it.

Yours truly, 99

Blog #4 Friday, August 17 2007

Tradition: a long established custom or belief, often one that has been handed down from generation to generation.
Last night was skit night, a tradition in the program ever since Dave became head coach sixteen years ago. The skits are always hilarious. The team divides up by class and puts on a show either making fun of themself or everyone else, all in good fun. Our managers, once again, took the cake with the best performance out of all of usˇ?and I have to give props to the freshman, this is the first year that class actually did a good job.

Right now we are practicing in Bear Down. What exactly does ˇ?dri-fitˇ± mean? They certainly donˇ?t keep you dry. Today some of us hit a record with having to change our shirts 3 times so we donˇ?t mop the floor when we dive for a ball. Hate to break it to you boys, but girls do sweatˇ?especially these ones.

Yours truly, 99

Blog #3?Monday, August?13?2007

Day 5. Almost halfway through double days.

Top 3 Highlights
1. ˇ? We had a practice that we can be proud of.ˇ±-Chris Gonzalez
General Public: A compliment from Chris Gonzalez is a once, maybe twice in a lifetime experience.? I had to put it in writing or else there would be no recordˇ?and after awhile we would probably doubt it ourselves that the event actually happened. He has very high standards for us because he knows how well we are capable of performing. Arizona volleyball is held accountable to play at that level everyday.
2. If you are doing something incorrectly, they will make sure you donˇ?t do it again. Have you ever heard the saying, ˇ? Donˇ?t make that face, it might get stuck like thatˇ±ˇ?well Audrey ran for a ball with her hands together, and her hands got stuck like that. Emily Johnson, our trainer, was told to tape her arms together, and they remained like that for the rest of the drill.?
?3. Randy and I collided yesterdayˇ? Iˇ?m pretty sure I couldnˇ?t hear out of my left ear for a good 5 minutes. [Note: If Randy is running full force straight at you, donˇ?t run full force at her, sheˇ?ll win.] ˇ?at least we were running with our hands apart.

To the parents of Arizona Volleyball: Donˇ?t worry your daughter is alive, although she may be too tired to call you and assure you that she is.

Yours truly,
??????????? 99

Blog #2?Thursday, August 9?2007

Hamstrings cramping. Joints aching. Feet throbbing. Day 1.

Today the freshman dipped their toes in the pool I like to call Arizona Volleyball. I think they were a tad nervous, but they did well. They had a lot to learn today. Paige got thrown into the deep end with a? little taste of coach one on one, and Stephanie and Kaylen learned that they should never take the setterˇ?s ballˇ?and trust me, they wont forget it. Iˇ?m proud of them, they are staying above the water. And if my freshman are reading this, hereˇ?s some advice from your upperclassmenˇ?just keep swimming.

Yours truly, 99

Blog #1 Friday, August?3 2007

You know us as 22, 1, 99, 12, 34, 17, 5, 14, 4, 10, 22, 13, 9, 33, 55, and 6. (Side Note: Team, these numbers are in no particular order).? My goal is for you to get to know Arizona Volleyball as more than just jersey numbers. For now, you know me as #99.

7 days. Thatˇ?s it. One week. You canˇ?t fight the inevitable. Itˇ?s going to come whether you are ready or not. Double Days *insert dramatic music*. Donˇ?t go in scared freshies, or theyˇ?ll eat you alive. Dom and I decided that we probably wont get to see or touch a volleyball for at least 3 days. Footwork, timing, spacing, shuffling, rolling,...calm smooth deliberate and precise. Perfection. Once everyone can do this, then your ready for a ball. If everyone does it correctly, ˇ?the ball will be passed with the same speed, spin and trajectory to the net every time.ˇ± This keeps our setter in rhythm, our middle on time, and our high -ball hitters with only one or two blockers to faceˇ?not that blockers are a problem. Whitney hits over them, Randy hits through them, I hit around them.

The new recruits just came in a few weeks ago.? Theyˇ?re so cuteˇ? with their fresh faces and big smiles. So innocent still. They have yet to acquire the permanent black circles under the eyes and blank stare that comes with surviving a spring.
We just got done coaching camps. 13 straight days I think it was. Dave puts on 4 camps each year. Most of us will coach all of them, if not 2 or 3. Not only does it pay the rent, its great to watch them go from day one, evaluations, to the end of camp tournament, where they are digging and rolling correctly. Yes, most of us lost quality sleep from staying in the dorms, supervising these munchkinsˇ?(Attention dorm authority: Please reconsider your dorm bed size)ˇ?but I have to admit, its pretty nice to watch them grow up into real volleyers by day 4.?

Bed time. We have weights in the morning. Early bird gets the worm..er.. Gatorade protein shake?ˇ?

Yours truly, 99

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