It's hard to explain this 'obsession' I have regarding volleyball. I equal it to watching my Chicago Cubs this year - well, not recently, but you get what I mean. Words can't explain what it's like to be back at the Pan Am, watching volleyball.
To me, it's doesn't matter who the first opponent is. What matters is setting up with the Tailgaters for great food and conversation, having people walk by and stare at us, then walk up and ask what in the world we're doing. What matters is standing in the walk way inside the PAC and yelling "Go Aggies" and seeing smiles from the team. What matters is getting to the seats, seeing familiar faces in the stands and, more importantly, new faces in the crowd (and we did see a lot of new faces). What matters is seeing the expressions on the new players faces when we get really rowdy - and the laughter from the returners as they try to explain that we're harmless.
It was difficult to get an idea of the team last weekend during the Illinois tournament. With no video, it's hard to 'judge' what's going on and how the team is really playing.
Last night, we finally got a chance to really see what's in store this season. The stand-outs:
*Jennah Devries - for a freshman player, she really impressed the you know what out of us. I had one fan ask me where she'd come from and had she been a redshirt last year. When I told him that, no, she's new to the team and freshman, he just smiled and mumbled something about her reminding him of Jackie Choi.
*Kelly Goodan - something happened over the summer because her arm seems to be on a wind up spring. It was amazing to watch her go up for, and get, those kills.
*Whitney Woods - after spending the majority of last season on the bench, we had a little scare at the alumni game when we saw her on crutches. Last night proved to us that she's back and better than ever. I wonder how much schooling she got from Kim Oguh. There were some similarities that I noticed last night.
*Amber Simpson - on fire last night to say the least.
I hate not mentioning everyone because obviously the team is more than just these 4 players but these are the ones that stood out for me. It's going to take a little longer to learn all the new names/faces/numbers.
Speaking of numbers - 2,011 is pretty good attendance wise for the first game. Yes, it was against a rival but it was nice to have that many there. Last year's UTEP game had 2,049 there.
The jury is out on the reserved seating. I'm in a mixed mindset right now. I'm not sure I like having the lower bowl empty. I guess we'll see how it goes as the season moves onward.
Next up is the Hotel Encanto Tournament. The Aggies take on Florida Gulf Coast (which I know nothing about) today at 4pm; Houston tomorrow at 7pm, Texas at 7pm on Saturday and then wrap up the tourney on Sunday vs Utah at 7pm. The Aggie Volleyball Legends ceremony is on Saturday during the game and that will be great to see.
Come out and support the team. If you've never been to a game, you're missing out. Grab your tickets and join us!
I know, it's only one game but I'm pumped. I'm ready for this weekend.