Sept. 16, 2009
It was a great week to be in Albuquerque! We had beautiful weather and great volleyball! Nothing could be better. The week started with a whole new type of practice. Coach took our practice to a higher intensity, with new drills and more expectations. We were not just expected to get a hand on tough shots, but we needed to get them in a playable position. Easier said than done!
Melissa Rohr led the way in these new drills and sacrificed her body to get a touch on one of those `tough shots'. This sacrifice would not allow her to play in the next two games, because of a concussion. It did, however, set the work ethic for the next few days. We kept this level of intensity throughout the week so we would be prepared for the Comcast tournament.
Most of our families traveled to see us play this weekend, including my Aunt Jan who came to see me play for the first time in my home gym. The enthusiasm of the fans helped us in our 3-0 win against Cal State Fullerton. This game was a huge turning point for our team. We were able to connect in ways we haven't before. After the win we celebrated for a few minutes, and then it was on to the next team. We knew that our next match against Baylor would need our full attention and commitment.
This lengthy match was filled with many different emotions, coming from both teams, the coaches, and the crowd. This game, however, did not go in our favor. We lost in the 5th set, 12-15. We fought through the tough times, but did not capitalize on other important points. This game was out first loss of the season, but we needed to find the lessons in the game and move on.
Pittsburgh would be the last team we would face in the Comcast Challenge. We came into the gym with a new outlook and different attitudes from the night before. The Lady Lobos had "she-wolf eyes" (shout out to Amy Wong!) when the game started and we were out for a win. After a long battle, and close to winning the 4th set, our senior captain, Rose Morris, suffered a finger injury and had to leave the match. We were determined to close out the game and to win the set and the match for Rose. We finished that match, winning 26 to 24 with a kill by Taylor Hadfield and went 2-1 for the weekend.
This weekend proved to be successful and many important lessons were learned. (Editor's Note: She won't say it herself, but Jade earned her third all-tournament honor of the season along with Rose.)
We come into this next week preparing a new line-up and looking forward to our first conference match against TCU on Wednesday. This game will set our tone for the year and we are looking to make a statement. We expect that our loyal fans will pack the stands to help us pull out a victory!
Friday (Sept. 18) we head to my hometown of Tucson, Ariz. to play three great teams. Many friends and family will be there to cheer us on and we will prepare all week to give them something to cheer about.
Have a great week!