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Even though we only had one session today, we got a lot done! We went through our game warm-ups (one week until our first scrimmage!), worked on team defense in each rotation, and went through and took stats on our serving reps with a radar gun, which was cool. It was a long practice, but we all know that every rep counts and makes us better.

We only had a single practice today because the second half of the day was devoted to the annual Hoo’s Top Chef Challenge! Every year during preseason, the team splits up in to two teams and competes against each other to win this awesome challenge. Each team has one hour to shop, $125 to spend, and one hour to cook for the team, the coaches and a panel of judges. This year the panel consisted of the UVa President Teresa Sullivan, our team nutritionist Randy Bird and Virginia Volleyball alum Sydney Hill.

As if cooking dinner for 21 people in an hour with a budget of $125 in a hotel room kitchenette wasn’t challenging enough, we had certain guidelines to follow. The three-course meal had to be made with foods that contained protein, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories. Before tonight, I had no idea what foods contained anti-inflammatories.

Our team’s meal began with a spinach salad with raspberries, blueberries, feta cheese and a poppy seed dressing. For our entrée we made garlic-based grilled chicken with sautéed peppers and basil pesto fingerling potatoes. For dessert we ended with an assortment of fresh berries and cool whip. Even though my team lost, we still really enjoyed making and eating our delicious meal. Top Chef was so much fun, we all learned a lot and it was a great bonding experience for the team!

Tori Janowski #8

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