Aug. 17, 2009
With preseason camp underway, different members of the volleyball team will take turns keeping RollTide.com informed of its journey right up to the first match of the season. This week, junior outside hitter Alyssa Meuth talks about the first week of practices along with the team’s annual retreat.
Starting a new season is always exciting, and this year is no different. After losing our starting libero and our starting middle blocker, there is definitely competition in the gym during our preseason camp. We have so many talented players on this team, including our two incoming freshmen, and any position is up in the air. However, our team is very good about encouraging each other and you can tell how much we enjoy playing together already.
This preseason camp has a new focus to our practice plan. Each practice is broken up into five “sets,” like a game would be. Our goal is to always “win” practice while winning three out of the five sets. Sometimes if we win the first three sets, then practice is over with early! Another way this preseason was different than my first two years was that we did not start out with basic drills and technical things. Our very first practice we were able to scrimmage competitively and start playing right off the bat. I liked this so much better because I felt like we were able to mesh as a team on the court right away.
Our normal schedule during preseason camp is two practices a day that last for about three hours. We continue lifting weights on some days to maintain the hard work we put in during the summer, with a cold tank and delicious chocolate milk for recovery. We get a day off every third day, and trust me our bodies need it! Sticking with our annual ritual, we had dinner at Coach Green’s house on the first report day, having yummy Qdoba delivered. We also had dinner at the Dean of Engineering’s house the second week of camp. Dr. Karr and his family prepared delicious food with homemade ice cream for dessert!
Another thing I like about preseason camp is our team bonding trip. This year’s trip was a surprise to the team, and we did not find out what we were doing until we drove the two and a half hours to Fort Payne, Alabama. Our activity? - Touring a cave!!! We spent about two hours crawling through mud and icy water and tight spaces at about 1,000 feet underground. It was a definitely an interesting trip, but when our team is together we can make anything fun, for we shared lots of laughs and almost some tears as we crawled through the icy water that felt pretty much like a cold tank! Unfortunately Coach Green was not able to join us due to her gimp arm, but Pav, Josh, Kevin, Amy, and BJ were up for exploring.
Our motto this year is PlayStrong, and our preseason camp has proved that we are a very strong team not only mentally but physically as well. I am very excited for this season to start, especially for our first non-conference tournament where we will be facing No. 17 St. Louis, and No. 1 Penn State. It will be a challenge for our team and I am anxious to see how we will respond to it.
Please come to our Crimson vs. White Scrimmage at the CAVE on August 22 at 7 p.m.! It will be a great sneak peek to what our team will bring to this season!
Alyssa Meuth #16