By: M.A. Boles ’14
I can hardly believe it’s already time for us to leave for our first tournament. This preseason has gone by so quickly I feel like we’ve only been training for a few days; maybe it’s because I’m a senior or maybe it’s because we’ve been playing really well in practice and having a blast. Every year we have similar feelings going into our first tournament. Usually there’s some excitement mixed with nervousness. This year though, I just feel like we’re ready. Of course we’re excited, we got our itineraries today and there were definitely some squeals from the group (although, they could have been caused by the realization that we are going to stop at Olive Garden on the way down, which strangely enough has become a seasonal treat), but most of all I think we feel ready and eager to compete.
I truly think we are going to have an amazing season. Due to many factors, including six talented freshmen and a large number of players from last season returning, (bringing even more to the table after a successful off-season) the competition in practice is at the highest level I have ever seen in our gym. And we’ve only been here for just over a week! Not only do we have enough healthy players to have match-like scrimmages, but also each competition proves to be closer than the last no matter how Coach Snyder mixes up the teams. The front row has grown in height, athleticism, and vision while the defensive principles in our system are successfully keeping tough shots off the floor. Beyond that we have two talented and experienced setters ready to chase down any ball and make a great play. I can’t wait to see how we do this weekend!
Although I’m really excited to play this weekend, I’m also excited for the bus ride. My fingers are crossed that we have a sleeper bus, so we’ll see! In the past, we’ve brought guitars on board to have a concert (we can all thank Alex Kinzer for her awesome voice) and even had a limbo competition. We don’t have any schoolwork to worry about, so I’m sure there will be plenty of fun with episodes of The Office played on repeat alternated with the season finale of Pretty Little Liars.
Overall, I think our schedule for the season will be great for us, especially the fact that we have a good mix of NCAA tournament-caliber teams that will push us to the best of our abilities and prepare us for our big goals in the postseason. We’re starting out this weekend against Carroll University and Rhodes College on Friday and Hanover College and Maryville College on Saturday. Then we’re back on the bus headed back to Lexington for O-Week and another week in the gym! Go Generals!