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Feb. 28, 2014

During the course of the spring semester, members of the Virginia volleyball program will check in with about how spring practice is going, what they are up to this semester and more.

May 1 – Our final blog post for the spring comes from senior Emily Rottman a couple weeks before she graduates.

On July 12, 2010, I began summer school at The University of Virginia and entered Old Cabell Hall room 107 where my first class ever as an undergraduate was to be held. Two days ago, on April 29, 2014, I walked out of my last undergraduate class, which as creepy as this may sound was in Old Cabell Hall room 107. I don’t know whether the fact that my first and last class ever here were in the same room added to my emotions leaving class that day, but it was definitely the first time it hit me that my time here at UVa is rapidly coming to an end. Also, to make this moment even more dramatic, of course Old Cabell Hall is directly at the end of The Lawn and faces The Rotunda, the most symbolic part of the University. Oh and how silly of me to forget to mention that it happened to be pouring rain and thundering at this very moment (I promise I am serious, you can check the forecast). So there I was, done with my last class ever, standing right in front of the most beautiful place on Grounds, getting pummeled by the rain. Although it was a more emotional walk home from class this time around, I still had a smile on my face as I began to really think about my past four years here as a student and a member of the UVa Volleyball team.

It is not easy to remember everything that has happened over the course of my four years, but the memories that Virginia Volleyball has provided me are definitely ones that I will never forget. Although there are some memories I like to pretend never happened, like preseason towel drills, coach on ones that never ended, or shanking on game point, looking back I can now see how the bad moments really make you appreciate the good ones. Whether it was beating Florida State my first year at home, beating UC Santa Barbara in front of my family, or beating Maryland on my Senior Night, I can say that all these moments will stay with me forever.

So many changes have been made to this program over my career, but I can confidently say that Virginia Volleyball is in good hands. Although I am not certain what my future has in store, I am certain that the future of UVA Volleyball is a bright one. It is sad to come to terms with the fact that I can no longer suit up in Orange and Blue, but it is definitely less sad knowing that I am leaving a very strong and promising team that I cannot wait to follow and watch for the rest of my life. I really am grateful for being able to attend one of the best Universities in the country, being able to have played for some amazing coaches, and being able to have had some of the best teammates around. Although I was not training with them, I know the team has been working hard this spring (just look at Morgan Blair’s massive biceps) and you will definitely be in for a treat this upcoming Fall!

April 24 – Rising sophomore Jasmine Burton

8129045.jpegApril 23 – Rising junior Vivian Burcescu

We had our last spring tournament on Saturday at home. We were really excited to show the coaches how far we had all come. Everyone is so much faster and stronger than we were at the beginning of spring. We are in a really great spot as a team where everyone is still competing for positions. There is no clear starting line-up, right now it could be anyone. t’s such a great environment being so flexible and knowing that whoever’s in the game will put up a fight.

Now that we have no more tournaments coming up, it is time to focus on maxing and schoolwork. We have three lifts this week to max in power clean, snatch, squat, and bench press. Then it’s finals time. We’ve all been working hard all semester not only physically but academically as well. We have a team goal to get everyone on the athlete honor roll so everyone is studying hard! That’s the great thing about UVa, we want to be the best wherever we are; on the court, in the weight room, in the classroom or anywhere else. Go Hoos!

April 17 – Rising senior Abbey Welborn

9349238.jpegApril 15 – Rising sophomore Haley Kole

Going in to our last week of spring practice, there is a lot of competition in the gym. We have all gotten physically stronger and really worked on individual skills that we struggled with in the fall. Everyone is competing every day. It is a great environment to be a part of. It really gets us excited for our upcoming fall season. After finishing out last season with a winning record and tied for 5th in the conference, I think we are all ready to shock people and other teams in the conference again in the upcoming season. We have a lot of goals, but one thing we have really focused on this spring is limiting our errors, and maintaining a high level of play at all times. It has really helped us to have so many resources to improve our play, including the videos our operations assistant Chris Birch posts. The improvement of play becomes more evident everyday, however; we still have a long way to go. There is always something new to learn and some technique that needs refining.

We are all really looking forward to finishing out our spring season this weekend in our home gym. The tournament is this Saturday at Memorial Gym. We would love to see everyone come out, and see us demonstrate all our hard work that we have put into spring training.

April 10 – Rising junior Manon Greskovics-Fuller

We have spent the last week working on things that we struggled with in Virginia Beach. We are excited to see how much we have improved those skills this weekend when we travel to Richmond for another tournament. The team has been working hard every morning from 7-9 a.m. as well as lifting with (strength and conditioning coach) Bill Miller twice this week. Our bodies are feeling it but we know we are getting stronger! We are anxious to see how our hard work pays off this weekend!

We will wrap up our spring season next week when we host a tournament on Saturday, April 19 in Mem Gym. We will play against Maryland, JMU and Liberty starting at 10:00 am. If you are in town we’d love to see you there! It is free to the public and gives you a great opportunity to see how the team has progressed this spring!

April 9 – Rising senior Tori Janowski

April 3 – Rising senior Sydney Shelton


April 1 – Rising sophomore Karlie Suber

Our first spring tournament didn’t go quite as we expected, but it will be used as a good standard for what we will need to work on throughout the rest of the spring to prepare for our later tournaments and for the coming fall. Throughout our tournament there were a few parts of our game that were lagging and exploited by the teams that we played. We learned a lot from this tournament and will work in practice to perfect our side of the court and the things that we can do to prevent those parts of our game that are easily targeted.
After our first spring tournament, we were rewarded with a day off on Monday, except for the passers who only had to get in a few extra reps. Today in practice we worked on things that we didn’t perform well at the tournament. We talked about our efforts and what it will take to go from a good team to a great team. Though our first tournament did not have the result we were hoping for, it served as a great learning experience and showed us what we need to work on. It’ll be interesting to see how we grow from our experiences throughout the spring!

March 28 – Redshirt freshman Alex Thorson

We are officially back in spring ball! It’s so great to finally be able to practice as a team again and work on everything that we’d practiced in individuals. We’ve all finished testing finally after so many snow days. This weekend is our first tournament in Virginia Beach, and the whole team is super excited to get to play UNC, Duke, Wake Forest and Liberty. Everyone is working hard everyday in lift, thanks to our strength and conditioning coach, Bill Miller. He’s totally crazy and hard on us, but he’s helping us get better everyday and he’s great at what he does!

Also, now we can critique our playing thanks to our operations assistant, Chris Birch, and his videos and stats that he sends us via emails. Watching the videos and looking at our form, and how we look playing as a team I think is really going to help us work together more efficiently all together and be the best players we can be. Everyone loves our new assistant coach, Stephanie Ross, and all of the girls are really starting to bond and play really well in practice. I can’t wait for our tourney this weekend, since being a redshirt I didn’t get the opportunity to travel in the fall. Here we go HOOS!

March 26 – Rising junior Natalie Bausback

8204766.jpegMarch 20 – Rising junior Kayla Sears

Even though I decided to stay in Charlottesville for spring break, it allowed me to continue to lift with (strength and conditioning coah) Bill Miller and also do some extra conditioning, like boxing and circuits in U-Hall. Now we are back and ready to take on the 20-hour weeks with 7 a.m. practices.

Since we had a snow day when we were supposed to do our testing prior spring break, and then another one our first day back, we are finally starting the next part of our spring season with our strength and agility testing. Although it may not be our favorite thing to do, it definitely shows how much we have improved from the workouts that we have been doing. Waking up at 6 a.m. every morning will be a hard adjustment, but I am ready to be back in the gym and practicing as a team! It’s cool to see how much each person has developed over a short period of time from individuals, lifting and conditioning. It will be exciting to put all of that to work as we get our competitive juices flowing and start our spring tournaments!

March 12 – Redshirt freshman Meghan McDowell

SB 2K14!!!!!!! After a crazy week of maxing in the weight room and midterm exams, we finally get a chance to rest our bodies and minds. The last week on Grounds was tough, but it feels great leaving CVille knowing all of our hard work in the weight room this spring paid off. More importantly, it felt great leaving CVille knowing we made Wild Bill (strength and conditioning coach Bill Miller) proud.

As we return home or vacation somewhere warm for break, all of us are getting excited and preparing ourselves for the spring season ahead. Our spring tournaments coming up in late March and April offer us a chance to compete and showcase all the improvements we have made this spring season. Coach Hohenshelt told us the spring is our time to make the big jumps in our play that become the difference maker in the fall. I can’t wait get back into the gym and see how much we have all improved!

Also, The addition of (assistant coach) Stephanie Ross to the coaching staff has made a huge positive impact on our spring season! We all loved Steph immediately when she joined us and she brings awesome energy to our gym. I’m so glad she came to Cville!


March 5 – Rising junior Lauren Fuller

After a challenging few weeks filled with lots of conditioning and weight training, testing week has arrived and we will all finally be able to see our hard work from Spring pay off! This morning, the team all gathered in McCue to do our first round of testing: power cleans and bench press. Though I was really looking forward to getting through testing with the team, my car had been snowed in the night before (thanks to a surprise snow storm) so I had to come in a little later for a more private session with (strength and conditioning coach) Bill (Miller) who seemed just as excited as we were because it appeared that he’d even combed his hair!

Maxing was a first for many of us on the team and we learned quickly that it involves mental toughness as much if not more than actual strength or physical ability. I didn’t use free weights at my previous university and it was really exciting and rewarding for me to finally be able to affirm my lifting techniques by improving my maxes.

Despite this week being more strenuous than most with midterm exams, testing is off to a great start and we are all looking forward to our spring breaks to relax and recharge for the second part of spring season where we will have more team practices and be able to compete in spring tournaments. I cannot wait for what’s to come and am now more excited than ever to be a part of the UVa volleyball family… Go `Hoos!


February 27 – Rising sophomore Lexi Riccolo

Spring is off to a great start! We have been working hard, lifting three times a week, conditioning twice a week and practicing twice a week. Lifting has been an adjustment for the first years. It took some time to get used to lifting weights so often but now we are competitive and active in the weight room. Individuals have also been going well! Although we miss practicing as a team all the time we love working on specifics and technical skills. Also we love our new assistant coach Stephanie Ross!

This year we have been doing a lot of different things for conditioning. We even got to box! The coaches make the conditioning challenging but we are getting in better shape everyday! Classes have been going well too! Even though we had a couple days off of school (compliments to the massive snowstorm) school is going well. Many of us are taking a harder class load compared to the fall but still enjoying school! Can’t wait to max in the weight room next week just before spring break!

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