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Members of the Virginia women’s basketball team have been blogging throughout the summer and fall at In this edition of Inside The Huddle, sophomore guard Ataira Franklin checks in on Oct. 26, 2011. The Cavaliers begin the 2011-12 campaign with an exhibition against Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m., at John Paul Jones Arena.

If I had to describe this year in one phrase, it would probably be ‘so far, so good.’ Everyone always wants to know how the transition has been with us having a new coaching staff. To be honest, for me, it’s like being a first year again. The only difference is, in a way, everyone is a first year. The transition has been smooth and filled with lots of fun, learning, hard work and community service.

Community service is definitely one of the most rewarding parts about being a Virginia student-athlete. Recently we went out to the Hope Center here in Charlottesville to teach kids about teamwork. It was refreshing to hear six and seven year olds associate teamwork with words like caring, trusting, respect, and patience.

Spending time at the Hope Center and explaining what teamwork is was extra motivation to practice what we preached! Carrying over the principles of teamwork is essential to having a great practice. Each day we try our best to get better, stay in shape, and get used to our new system. It’s definitely a process. From learning new plays to building team chemistry, there is never a dull moment at our practices. This is a particularly good thing because game time is right around the corner! It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of the year already. We only have 10 days until our exhibition game against Alaska Anchorage. Let the countdown begin. Before you know it, it’ll be time for conference play! In the mean time our focus will be to keep working hard and making a difference in the community.

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