What a whirlwind of events! It is amazing how great it feels to be back in the big town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. We had a very long week a couple weeks ago. After playing against UNM on Tuesday, October 13 for our “Dig Pink” game, we flew out the next morning for San Jose, California. I can honestly tell you that gym was a hot box! Imagine a very small gymnasium, much smaller than even Las Cruces High School, with the furnaces on. It felt like we were in Hawai'i already. The game against San Jose was good for our team. We went out on that court and got to work. Although, during the third set we lost focus and vision and ended up dropping the set. We were able to come back and battle in the fourth game to win the match.
Then it was the day everyone looks forward to… Friday. We left the hotel at six in the morning and arrived in Honolulu, Hawai'i at one o’clock in the afternoon local time (which was five o’clock Las Cruces time). Talk about a very long flight. Poor Stephanie Ziegler has had a sinus infection for the last couple weeks. She couldn’t even hear what I was saying to her when we arrived at baggage claim. But you didn’t hear any gripes or complaints from her, no siree! She is a trooper!
Traveling is not an easy task; it takes the wind out of your sails in ways that you have no control over. You feel tired even though you know that all you did was sit there whether it was on the plane, or in a rental car, you just sat there from point A to point B. It doesn’t make much sense does it?
Hawai'i is a beautiful state with wonderful scenery, beautiful weather, and a big blue ocean to stare out at. The color and smells are indescribable as you visit this place of beauty. I truly enjoyed listening to Lilly Wolfe and Jessi Roberts as they shared their excitement about being in Hawai'i. It definitely reminded me of my first trip, and it was an enchanting time for me. I was absolutely amazed by everything I saw. My eyes were the size of golf balls, and my excitement could not be held in. I would like to take the time to apologize to any and all of my past teammates that had to endure such a show from a small town girl. You were all such good sports! Thanks!
Now don’t get me wrong, Hawai'i is a beautiful place, and I would love to experience the state on vacation. However, as a student-athlete you are there on a business trip. We went from the airport, to the hotel, to the gym where we practiced in the arena and became familiar with the court and atmosphere. Saturday morning we woke up to have breakfast and then we could walk up and down the street of Waikiki to do a little shopping but then it was back to the hotel to rest up for the competition scheduled for that evening.
We ended up playing in front of over 9,000 people. It was an incredible experience. As it turns out, it was Hawai'i head coach, Dave Shoji’s, 1000th win of his coaching career. This is an incredible feat, and he has worked hard to deserve this honor. But personally, I would have rather he stayed at 999 wins for just a few more days. But then again, I’m biased.
All in all, it was an enjoyable experience that I will never get to be part of again. I’m counting down the days until senior night, and our last scheduled game. Believe me, it is approaching very quickly.
Homecoming Week is busy time for NMSU students and athletes alike. The Greek Organizations and various clubs associated with NMSU are busy assembling their floats for the homecoming parade; students attend various activities associated with homecoming, such as a movie shown on the big screen at the football stadium. Students and community members lay out blankets and pillows on the grass of the field and gaze up at the blackness of the night sky, just as the speaker system starts to rumble with the various sounds projected on the screen. As a student athlete, we are not able to attend these events as regularly as we would like. Usually our schedule dictates us to be elsewhere in the United States of America. One year we were in Idaho and learned about what happened by reading the school newspaper, The Round-Up, when we arrived back in Las Cruces.
This year was different for the NMSU volleyball team. We were able to participate in various activities and even played on Homecoming Day! I enjoyed seeing people in the stands that aren’t usually able to attend our games. Old friends, the parents of my friends, and even members of my family came to town for the big day of food, fun, tailgating, friends, and of course… Aggie Sports!
We were able to beat Fresno State in three games on Thursday on national television (ESPNU). I bet that was a thrilling experience for all you Aggie fans that live far away. You were able to see it first hand, instead of sitting on the edge of the couch listening to Kyle Doperalski on the radio, the entire time envisioning in your mind exactly what was happening in the game at any given moment. I think listening on the radio is torture. I like to see exactly what is happening so I can make up in my own mind what is going right or what is going wrong. It can all be a difference of opinion. But I am very confident in Kyle’s ability to portray the way of the game, and we are lucky to have him any chance we get. Kyle is very good at what he does. So is Eddie for that matter, they take good care of the volleyball team.
I’m sure most of you are interested to hear the inside scoop on Krista Altermatt’s situation. She rolled her ankle during the first game of the Fresno State game. After the game finished I was able to go into the training room and take a peek at the injury. It was unlike anything I had seen. She rolled her left ankle, and there was only swelling on the left hand side of her joint, right around the outside ball. I’m not a doctor, or a nurse, so I don’t know exactly what the terms are for these structures. But if you could just imagine a huge lump, the size of a closed fist, on the outer edge of Krista’s ankle you pretty much have the picture right there. So the next day she went to see the doctor, and was put into a cast. I’ll give you one guess on what color she chose… yes, you would be correct, the color is PINK!
She will be in the cast for approximately a week; the purpose is to get the swelling down. The cast will prevent her from creating any further swelling by moving her ankle. Once the swelling is down the doctors will be able to tell if she has a hairline fracture or not. If there is a hairline fracture, Kim will be put to work by giving Krista a heavy-duty tape job to practice and play on. Only time will tell.
We leave for Idaho tomorrow. This is a big game for us, as Idaho is ranked 3rd in the conference thus far. We have yet to compete against them, and the environment in Moscow is always a fun one. The band is loud and only twenty feet away from the bench, the crowd is up above and all around us. I remember my freshman year, Alice Borden, Tanya Allen, and Jackie Choi were the senior captains. This was the year the environment was quite hostile. They chanted different sayings to get into our heads and upset our volleyball mentality. It didn’t work that year and it hasn’t worked any year since then. Our goal is to be mentally tough for Idaho on Thursday night and Utah State on Saturday night.
Senior night is something that has been foremost on my mind since my freshman year of college. It is hard for me to grasp that this night is fast approaching. November 7th is the night! That is only eleven days away. I am excited and nervous at the same time. Reality hasn’t set in, and I don’t believe it will until that exact moment when I realize… this is it. But I don’t really want to think about that at the moment, I’ll go more in depth with that next week. I hope you all have a terrific weekend, and we will talk more in a few days. As always… GO AGGIES!