Monday- June 23, 2014
I arrived at the University of Minnesota on Sunday for the USA Collegiate National Team. After checking into the dorms, we got right down to business and had our first training session that evening. We played a half court doubles tournament which was really fun but a little difficult at first being thrown together with girls you've never played with before. Later that evening we had a team meeting and the coaches went over what it means to play for USA. They said the skill that separates the USA team from the rest of the world is serving. It is so important to serve tough when you are playing at such a high level of competition. It is only making me a better passer.
Today was the start of our double days which we will be doing until Friday when competition starts. The schedule includes: wake up and eat breakfast, play for 3 hours, eat lunch, take a nap, play for 3 hours, eat dinner, team activity. For the team activity we broke up into small teams and played games like the human knot and participated in a blindfolded race. It was a great way to get to know everyone. I ate lunch with about 6 other girls who play for ACC schools as well. It was interesting to see what they thought about our schedules and each others programs.
Playing 6 hours of volleyball a day is exhausting. We've only had three sessions and I'm already feeling myself getting so much better!
I'll check back in a few days!
Thursday - June 26, 2014
Today we checked out of the dorms (thank gosh) and moved into the Hilton which is located right next to the Minneapolis Convention Center where we will be competing at! I have been super busy the last couple days. The coaches held a draft to divide the players into 3 separate teams today. I was picked to the red team! Ever since we found out our teams we have done everything together and it has been so much fun! If I thought people stared at my Pitt team when we were at the airport, that is nothing compared to the attention we've been getting from people on the streets and at the Convention Center. Girls would come up to my team asking for our picture and our autographs. It is the cutest thing having the 13's club team idolizing us because we wear USA on our back.
Friday - June 27, 2014
Today was the day of our first match! We had breakfast at 9 a.m. and then a light serve and pass at 10:30. Our match took place on the championship court at 4 p.m. vs. the Blue team. It was cool because we played with all international rules and even an international ball which is different than what we usually play with. The game was super intense and my team played great but we fell short and ended up losing 3-1. Even though we lost, I was still so proud of my team because we fought so hard throughout the entire match. We're learning to play and get comfortable with each other and that isn't something that just happens overnight. While we have such great chemistry as a team off the court we're working to make sure we are fully connected when we are on the court.
Tomorrow we are headed to the Mall of America for our day off! Then our next match is on Sunday at 4pm!
I'll check back soon.