By: Meghan Meleski ’14
Preseason is a very special time of year, like Christmas or Halloween, only better. It’s a chunk of our time where we get to play volleyball and spend time with our best friends without the worries of school or anything else. What could be better than that?! And now as a senior, I appreciate this time of year so much more. I know that I won’t get to be here this time next year. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be in the real world, crunching numbers or sitting in meetings, instead of doing the thing I love most in the world with the people I love the most. But enough of the sappy stuff!
I came to Lexington with the same thoughts I have had the past 2 years (I say 2 years because coming in as a freshman was incredibly frightening and I had a different outlook then); I was excited, nervous, anxious, and ready. However, when I walked into my house, I came to find my toilet broken. It also happens to be the only bathroom on the first floor, which is where I reside. And I really don’t want to sound like a diva, but walking up another flight of stairs to use the restroom is just not what I want to do after a long day of preseason. I really tried to not let it get to my head in thinking that it was a bad start to preseason. I knew it would only get better once I saw my fellow seniors and best friends in the entire world! That is one of the most exciting parts about preseason: the moment our team reunites. I know I said the seniors were my best friends, and they most certainly are, but what is so awesome about our team is that we are all best friends. When we reunite, it’s a scene of giggles, screams, hugs, and extreme happiness.
Now after all of the hugs and stories of the summer, we realize that we are actually here for a reason: to play volleyball. After a couple of days of practice, I think it is safe to say that WE ARE GOING TO BE AWESOME! We have a very young team with 7 freshmen and 7 sophomores. The upperclassmen are outnumbered, so we knew as captains and seniors that it was going to be a challenge to make sure that everyone is on the same page with our system and culture. It is going very well so far. I really see this great things happening this season for our team. Our practice gym is the most competitive it has ever been on the third day of preseason. We have so much talent and potential, it really is going to be an exciting season. We have a lot of athleticism on this team as well. We’re also really tall, which is great for a volleyball team. When we walked into the dining hall for lunch the other day, we heard the football players say, “oh wow, that must be the volleyball team.” We have definitely got some height on our team, and I love it! I get so excited thinking about the season ahead of us and about all of the incredible things that this team can achieve. We have been working really hard in the gym so far and have made improvements in such a short time. I don’t think I have ever been this excited about a team in just the third day of preseason.
Something I look forward to a lot during preseason are the naps we get to take during the days. Mash (M.A. to most other people) and I go back to her house and nap in her incredibly comfortable bed. Last year, Coach told us to elevate our legs a little bit to help them feel better after a hard first session. So when we got to her bed, we decided to rest our feet up on the headboard. Well, that put us at a 90-degree angle…that is just not right. A couple of days later, someone else on the team brought up something about resting with their legs elevated and Coach explained the proper way. Mash and I laughed hysterically because we had realized we had taken that VERY literally. This year we haven’t made the same mistake with keeping our feet obnoxiously elevated, but we have returned to her wonderful bed to nap. This time we have added sleep masks to the mix. If anyone were to walk in, they would see 2 extremely exhausted people, passed out with sleep masks over their faces. That is the face of preseason.
I really do love everything about preseason. It is exhausting, hard work, and tons of fun. This season is definitely going to be an exceptional season and one to watch. After three days of practice, I am so excited to see what else this team is capable of and how well we are going to do this season. It is so exciting!
Coming up in our next installment of “The Season”, we’ll hear what preseason is like from a first-year player perspective as rookie defensive specialist Maddie Cutler shares her thoughts about her first week of collegiate volleyball.