Hello all you volleyball fans! We made it back from Denton, Texas all in one piece. It was a victorious weekend and we are currently UNDEFEATED! Oh boy, that feels good to say out loud. But it was especially a good weekend for me. Unbeknownst to me, my mother called the assistant coach, Stevi Maytubby, two weeks previously to make arrangements about the University of North Texas weekend. On Friday morning, I walked into the lobby of the hotel, we were getting back from scouting the other teams in the tournament, and sitting on the couch was my mother, Cheri Goodan, and aunt, Allison Tcherneshoff. It was such a surprise! Yes, I even cried. And that’s rather hard for me to admit, but it’s true. My parents live in a relatively remote area where the nearest airport is over three hours away. They have only been able to make three trips my entire volleyball career to see me play. So to have my mother and aunt catch me completely off-guard, really touched my heart and made me realize just how much I truly am loved.
But enough about me… how about the team? We are working hard in practice. As we played the first game, you could tell that we were having a hard time clicking with each other. As the second game came around, we started to communicate better and have a better overall vision. When the University of North Texas game was thrust upon us on Saturday evening we were on a roll. Now that the first game jitters are out of the way we are looking forward to a weekend that is packed full of excitement, competition, excellence, and motivating volleyball. We fully realize the level of play these teams will bring to the Pan American Center. Florida State will definitely bring the heat, and can completely compete with us. Illinois is ranked in the Top Ten in the nation; they made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA tournament last season and are returning six of their seven starters. We played Illinois last year in their tournament and I am excited to play them on our own court and show them how we play the game in New Mexico. The Italian National Team will definitely be a fun time! I might even be able to pick up some Italian while I’m out there… hmmm we will see.
I would have to say that the funniest thing I saw this weekend was when Kelsey Brennan was going in to the game for Kelsi Phillips (libero) in the front row. Kelsey was so excited to get in the game and become a blocking brute that she wasn’t really paying attention to which direction Kelsi was running off the court. She gave her a high five, but almost plowed her over! Kelsi was really tired, but when Kelsey almost took her out, the look on her face was that of surprise, exhaustion, and it was absolutely priceless. Stephanie Ziegler and I both have what we call “man voices” due to the constant yelling and cheering during the tournament. Here it is almost Wednesday and our voices have yet to return. That just shows our dedication. Way to go Steph!
It was also a great weekend as we were able to see former Aggie Basketball Player, Niki Holt. She is now coaching a volleyball program near Dallas, after graduating in May. She brought her whole high school team to the game, and the NMSU Aggie Alumni Association also made a point to be there with flashing pins and noisemakers. It was overall a great opening weekend full of fun, volleyball, and wonderful people that make our program what it is today. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, thank you! I’ll see you Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday night this weekend at the Pan American Center! I can’t wait!