"Paint it Pink"
Hi Seminole Fans! It's week eight and we're half way through conference play. It's crazy to think how fast it has gone by already! We were home this past weekend when we welcomed North Carolina State and North Carolina into Tully. This was going to be a true test for us because within the ACC they take away one weekend of play from each team, and for us it was to play UNC and NC State away. Meaning that this was the one chance we got to play them, and we had to make it worth it. And how did we do you may ask? It was a little stressful at times but we pulled out two wins.
Friday - Game Day! WOO! That night we were going to play N.C. State, which is a tough team to play against because they are very scrappy and they will bring balls back over the net that you would never think would come over. As warm-ups started and we got into the groove of playing, the coaches told us to play like we knew how to and that was about it. If only that would have happened! Let's just say that my team and I were kind of not all there that night - but we ended up pulling out a win, which is a positive that came out of the match. CP said, "I was disappointed that we weren't more focused the first game. We made a lot of errors. To North Carolina State's credit, they came out and made plays and we didn't. I thought we showed character there at the end after we ran out of subs. Finding a way to win a game in that situation is a good thing for us." Yes ... running out of subs ... a very scary thing for sure. I looked at our associate head coach, Holly Watts, and all she said to me was, "You have to serve Bri." ... blank stare .... I have to what??? I went back to the serving line and thought to myself, "Just please let this go in." We kind of scrambled through the last few points and won the first set and things were a little better from that point on. One good thing that happened that night was that the soccer team made their appearance in Tully with some amazing signs and awesome support! We <3 them so much! And our very own Stephanie Neville led the team with 11 kills and a match-best .611 hitting percentage!
Saturday morning we had an early practice and got some things accomplished, which was good for us because we had to prepare ourselves for the UNC match on Sunday. We had the rest of the afternoon off, which was amazing because my friend Lauren was in town! So we went to lunch then to the mall to shop a little and I found pink shoe laces for our game the next day since it was our "Paint it Pink" match. After shopping I went to get my hair cut, which was a relaxing experience of course. Then I got to go home and make my shirt for Sunday. Being the crafty person I am, I made a breast cancer awareness shirt for my Grandmother, who recently had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. So this cause hits close to home for me and my family.
Saturday night was going to be fun for me and my team. Mrs. Romanelli made an amazing dinner for us and we ate so much food! It was sooo good! And that night my friend Jen and I got the chance to go to the Civic Center and see the hit show, So You Think You Can Dance Live on Tour. One word explained the night: AMAZING! It was an incredible performance and it made my Saturday a great day!
As I woke up Sunday morning to get ready for pregame meal, I thought to myself that we were going to do well as a team today. As I got dressed in my new shirt and my pink ensemble and made my way to breakfast I couldn't help but smile. That day was not only our Paint it Pink match, but also our only other TV match during conference play, which adds even more excitement to a very important match for me and my team. For the match I was able to find pink goggles, tape, and pre wrap - I was very excited to be all pink! As we changed into our Pink Florida State t-shirts and listened to our pregame talk about what we needed to do to win the match, I got jitters because I was ready to play and prove to ourselves that we would play so much better than we did on Friday. Warm-ups started and we were doing well - the cameras were rolling and the commentators were saying who knows what about us and UNC. As our painted guys walked in covered in pink paint, and their backs saying, "Save the Tatas," we all couldn't stop smiling because we were supporting such an amazing cause!
The match started and things were a little shaky at times but we pulled out a win in the end and secured our spot in first place in the ACC. CP said, "The first three games were a little bit bland. They weren't quite as sharp as I wanted them to be. (We) still pulled out the first game and made a comeback in the second game but we knew we were going to need to pick up our level of play. I thought that midway through the third game, Taylor Wilson came in and had a stretch of serving that picked us up and our focus kicked into high gear." So proud of my teammates for stepping up that game when other girls were struggling and we came together and won not only for ourselves but for our fans who continue to come watch us every weekend! And Ms. Rachael Morgan had a career high day - "Rachael Morgan left her mark in the same category as she set a new career-high with four aces. She also set a new-career best with 10 digs." 🙂 We also had some very enthusiastic fans that day - some of our golf team members had pink hair and all pink outfits and made us signs, which made the day that much better! After our match we had another clinic with the kids of our community and that is always so much fun! We get the chance to interact with the girls and boys who love volleyball just as much as we do and I love the feeling of making a kid smile because they get the chance to be around us athletes ... just like how I felt when I was in their shoes!
Oh Mondays ... Ha! We had practice like normal and found out again that we were still No. 17 in the AVCA poll. It does get a little frustrating to see that we're not moving up, but it is very difficult to move up when the teams above us keep winning and we're playing teams not ranked or anything. But one good thing is that we are still No. 2 in RPI rankings - which is a positive thing for us in the long run of the season.
That's about it for now! We leave Thursday for UVA and VA Tech - it'll be a big weekend for us to prove that our hard work in practice has paid off and we become the consistent team that our coaches know we can be, and that we know we can be as well. Watch us this weekend on Gametracker!