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Junior Simone Egwu (Odenton, Md.) checks in on Sept. 16, 2011, in the latest installment of Virginia women’s basketball’s Inside The Huddle.

The first week of school is my personal favorite. There is little actual work to do, mainly just reviewing syllabi and going over due dates for papers. Hence, it is the best week of school. There is also that nerdy joy that comes with buying new school supplies and putting said due dates into your planner, but I have been told this feeling is exclusive to me by several teammates.

While school may start off light, workouts certainly don’t. With the first day of classes under our belt, it was straight to JPJ for our first workout. We’ve begun individual workouts with the coaches and so far they are going great. We have been doing a lot of basic, fundamental things, like working on footwork, coming off of screens and getting up lots of shots. The energy in these workouts is electric. You can tell everyone is anxious to start playing and put it all together. Our coaching staff is really dedicated to improving and tweaking our games, and it shows.

We play a lot of pick up against each other in our free time. Some days it is tiring, but I definitely think it helps us get to know each other’s style of play again as well as develop team chemistry. Conditioning has been a challenge, but conditioning is never easy. Word on the street is, the more running you do, the more in shape you’ll be come your first game. Who knew? So we keep working out, anxious for the day we can show just how in shape we are.

School is beginning to pick up, and I have my first paper due next week. I spend the majority of my weeknights in the library, another trait my teammates have told me is rare. I usually have a hard time finding a table, so it can’t be just me! Classes are interesting, but they are still work. My favorite class so far has been my Civil Rights and Civil Liberties class, where we learn about Supreme Court cases that determine what rights and liberties the Constitution actually bestows upon us. It sounds boring and technical, but we discuss some pretty controversial stuff. Luckily, our professor is a good moderator. No fights have broken out yet.

This year is going to be an amazing one. As a team, we can’t wait for the day we start practice and get to learn our new offense. All of us are giving everything we have to be the best we can be. We are taking ourselves to another level with conditioning, in workouts with the coaches and in our individual games. I think the results are going to be well worth it. We’ve already started the countdown to our first exhibition game of the season on Nov. 5.

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