Monday, September 08, 2003
We left Tuscaloosa at 8:30 Wednesday morning – 3 planes, 12 hours, and 1500 miles later we arrived in Bozeman, Montana. It was the beginning of a fun-filled, challenging, and eventful weekend. After a much needed night’s sleep, we searched for a fun team activity that would allow us to take advantage of the beautiful mountainous scenery and humidity-free air. A local suggested we go FLOATING, so we decided to give it a try.
We loaded into the vans and headed to WAL-MART in search of aqua socks. We left the store with an array of cheap shoes, from bright blue aqua socks to blue flowery keds, and Brian and Bibber come out of the store wearin smiley face bandanas. Who knew WAL-MART could be so fun? We then rented inner tubes from BIG BOYS TOYS where we each marked our hometown on a map of the United States (Sarah, from Winter Park, Florida, was the farthest visitor so far). The biggest challenge of the day – stuffing 8 people and 8 large tubes into each 15 passenger van. It’s much harder than it sounds J.
We finally made it to our launching spot on the Madison River after off-roading through the Rocky Mountains in our big vans. We jumped on our tubes and began our journey in the cold river water surrounded my magnificent rock sculptures and grassy mountain sides. Due to a drought in the area, the deepest part of the river was only 3 feet deep!!! Besides an occasional splash fight initiated by Chris and me (EP) getting stuck in the marshy water, our 3 mile float was very relaxing.
Also, Bozeman, Montana is a hotspot for fly fishers. Our head coach, Judy, and our manager, Will, decided to try their luck at this popular attraction while we went floating. They were gone before we woke, but greeted us at our final river destination, empty handed. We grabbed some lunch in town after our float and then ended our day with practice at Montana State.
Friday – GAME DAY
The morning began with a tournament breakfast in the hotel with all the teams present. We then headed to practice to focus on some last minute preparations for the match against Utah State. We battled hard that evening against a tough team, but the Aggies prevailed.
Saturday – GAME DAY
At noon, we competed against Kansas State. We played hard against the Wildcats, but were unable to defeat the 14th ranked team. After the match we headed back to the hotel to get some rest for our next match. We took on the Bobcats from Montana State at 7:30 that night in front of a large hometown crowd (attendance: 1,232). Although we fought hard point for point, the Bobcats ended up finally winning the match.
Even though we were not successful on the court this weekend, we got better each match. It was an awesome opportunity to visit a part of the country that most of us had never been before. We will have good memories from this trip – Crystal teaching Julie how to dance in the van, Erin Heffner singing her version of Free Fallin, and Brian (our SID guy) breakin it down in the van. We now head into practice this week to work hard for another tough weekend playing at Butler and the University of Louisville.
ROLL TIDE !!!!!
Jennifer Bibber and Erin Price