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August 8, 2010
By Sydney Hill

There are many things that indicate an approaching volleyball preseason:
– Charlottesville heat
– Maxing for lifting
– A sudden increase in emails (most of which having a title along the lines of “Complete this form by tomorrow” or “Schedule for Sundays events”)
– And of course, excitement (maybe for the firsties a little bit of anxiety mixed in ☺).

The very starting day of preseason is not full of court sprints, technique instruction, and a very sudden and strong onset of soreness in muscles unused in the offseason. The first day of preseason is instead packed with meetings, new gear “Christmas,” moving the first years into their two week home at the famous and well-loved “Res Inn” and a team dinner that lasts longer than any other dinner you will attend in the duration of the year. It is a great way to gradually prepare your mind and body for preseason mode.

As a rising fourth year starting up my fourth college volleyball preseason, I would like to think I have earned the right to some sort of “Preseason Superpower.”

Several things happened today that serve to prove and disprove my hopeful theory:

1. Although the schedule indicated that we were suppose to wake up at 8 a.m. to have breakfast before our 10 a.m. meeting, I was able to “cheat” the system and sleep in until 9:15 while still making it to the meeting on time with breakfast in my stomach and a coffee in my hand.
2. While trying on our new gear, not one of my sizes had to be changed.
3. When filling out menus for restaurants we order from throughout the year, I was the first to finish (indicating I had eaten at the restaurants enough times to know EXACTLY what I wanted to order from each… many of which without actually looking at the menu).
4. While going to a total of four different locations throughout the day, I did not get lost once.

1. At the compliance meeting, the fourth years were required to stand up in front of the team and show their NCAA knowledge by answering questions. My shining moment was the very first question asked, “Can you gamble?” which I answered swiftly and correctly. For the rest of the questions, my memory did not seem to serve me as well as I had hoped. It became clear that Simone “money” Asque has nearly memorized the NCAA rules and Kendahl has a memory that would be sure to slam mine.
2. I did not seem to escape a few series of butterflies throughout the day when thinking of the approaching practices.
3. After three years hearing Lee repeat important definitions over and over, I still could not fully recite the definition of COMPETITION by complete memory.

Although many things went my way today, I think it is safe to say that my theory for a possible “fourth-year preseason superpower” is impossible. By Tuesday, at the latest, I will have developed an incapacity to comfortably reach down and pick up dropped car keys and I will have found a sudden desire to sit in ice baths instead of bubble baths.

The soreness, successes, mistakes, goofy locker room dance parties, taping of the ankles, sweating through countess shirts and team bonding is not only unavoidable, but miserably enjoyable. I would not wish a superpower that eliminates those ups and down upon anyone.

Becoming a fourth year means experiencing many “lasts.” My goal and dream for Virginia Volleyball Season 2010 is to help me experience some FIRSTS within my LAST. This year will be my first time beating Duke, the first time we have won an ACC Championship and the first year we have received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. I would love nothing more than a completely oxymoronic season. This team has the ability to make my LAST year full of FIRSTS….

Hello Preseason 2010. Lets get after it!

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