Hello to all the dedicated NMSU Volleyball fans reading this diary! I am very excited to be the one writing this diary this season. This will be my first and last year to write it, so please bear with me. I might be a student in the education department; yet, in my point of view, those of us who can't do... teach!
I would like to give you a recap of how our season ended last year. In the 2008 season we finished in Berkley, California where we faced the #8 ranked team of the nation. Making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament was a challenge; it was an exhilarating experience knowing that we were in a position where no other NMSU Volleyball player had ever been before. We lost the match in four games. After winning the third game of the match, we had the motivation and the momentum to attack California, but somewhere in the middle, we lost the momentum and California came back to take the game. It was a heart wrenching loss, but it just wasn't meant to be.
After the loss, it was time to re-evaluate why we were here, and what we are looking forward to. How could we build up our strengths while making great improvements on our weaknesses? Krystal Torres was not only an amazing athlete; she was a terrific friend, teammate, and overall person. She was able to overcome obstacles and motivate her teammates beyond belief. Her leadership and enthusiasm about her love of the game will be greatly missed. Lindsey Yon brought a sense of confidence while on the court. We knew we could count on her to bring her offensive aggression out on the court and shoot us to the moon. Lindsey will also be greatly missed along with Alyssa Gintant and Amber Simpson. As the season progressed Amber became more vocal about her expectations of each and every one of us as players and teammates, she let us know where we stood and how we could get there. Alyssa Gintant had great expectations of herself; she always tried her hardest and gave it 110% to put every set "on the money." These were all great players and I wish them the very best as they leave us and venture out into the world.
In January, our spring season begins! As Juniors for the 2008 season, Krista Altermatt, Erin Birmingham, and I (Kelli Goodan) were expected to become the Seniors of the team. Everyone eventually moves up a class level in the spring on the volleyball team, but it isn't official until August rolls around. That is when the new freshmen come into the picture. Spring season is the building time for the team. It is when we work on our skills and the fundamentals of the game. It is really the time as individual players, we improve, and as a team we bond and become a well-oiled machine. It is a difficult schedule to keep up with, but we made it through with few injuries and much improvement.
Kelsey Brennan and Bethany Self made great strides this spring. Kelsey has been working on improving her blocking. She wants to fill the shoes of Amber Simpson, this is a very difficult task. There is nobody like Amber Simpson, and there never will be again. But at the same time, there is nobody like Kelsey Brennan and there never will be. She will be a great force on our team and I am excited to see how she will explode out this coming season. Bethany Self has improved tenfold in her abilities this spring. Coming from the small town of Portales, New Mexico I understand how far behind she was in not only her abilities as a player, but in her knowledge of the game of volleyball. She has worked hard and has become a confident player not only on the left side but on the right side also.
I won't go in depth with how much everyone has improved, but I will say that we worked hard and climbed the many mountains that stood in our way. We were able to come together as a team with a new focus and a bright new vision for the future.
As the month of August nears, we are greatly anticipating the new changes that we will encounter. Most of the new freshmen have been taking summer school for the month of August. They are able to get into the gym and weight room with the returning players who have stayed in Las Cruces to take summer classes also. We are all still getting to know each other, but I am excited to see what everyone has to offer. We have many new additions to the team, but I will have to get into that at a later time.
Two-a-days start on Saturday, August 8th, which is almost a week away! Wow! Where has the summer gone? It feels like just yesterday I was taking my spring semester final exams and enjoying the warm weather. Now we are in HOT weather and preparing for another semester of school that is encroaching upon us like a tiger ready to pounce. I hope that all of you have had a wonderful summer, and are ready for another GREAT season in the world of NMSU Aggie Volleyball!