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Senior midfielders Jess Orrett and Kelsey LeBlanc

The Wahoo Central Chat Room with Jess Orrett and Kelsey LeBlanc

Virginia field hockey midfielders Jess Orrett and Kelsey LeBlanc, two of the senior captains on this year’s squad, will chat live Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 12:00 p.m.

The ACC-leading Cavaliers begin their final regular-season homestand this Sunday when they host No. 17 Wake Forest at 1 p.m. at Turf Field before closing out the home slate with games next weekend against Liberty (Oct. 17) and No. 19 Old Dominion (Oct. 19).

Submit your questions now. Questions will not appear until the chat starts. Remember the players cannot answer questions regarding the recruitment of prospective student-athletes.

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team-logo-va.gif spacer.gif Wahoo Central Moderator: Welcome everyone! Thanks for joining us in the chat room. Still time to send in your questions.
Fredericksburg: What makes this year’s team special?
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: This year we have a lot of underclassmen who are playing and getting a lot of time, which makes us different.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: We also have a lot of people contributing and not a lot of “stars”. We rely on teamwork and working together. We are really there for each other. Everyone is a part of this, and that is really special.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: I think every single person has played this year. We have had some injuries, and we have been able to rely on the bench to come in and play at that same level.

Daisy (Towson): Jess and Kelsey,

What other sports did you play growing up and what was it about field hockey that made you want to pursue this sport at the collegiate level?

10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: I played net ball, which most people don’t know what that is. It’s like basketball, but really bad. I also played tennis and rounders, which you also don’t have here. It’s like baseball, but a girlie version, but not like softball. And I skiied with my family, too.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: I played soccer. That was the first sport I started played. I really loved it and played through my soph year. I also played lacrosse, which I didn’t love very much, but it was something to do in the spring. I played basketball in middle school and I thought I was good, but I wasn’t at all. When I was really young, I did figure skating for awhile. I only got as far as skating backwards. I don’t know why I gave it up.
Sally (Clifton Forge, Va.): I noticed that this year not everyone wears a mask during short corner defense. That’s optional? Is it hard to see with those on?
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: I think most of us wear masks except Nadine. It is optional, but most of us opt in because our faces are important and we would like to not get hit in the face with the ball.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: The fly doesn’t always wear one. Maddie usually plays that position, and she usually wears one.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: I think its okay to see forward, but if you have to look down to see the ball, you can’t see very well. It’s hard to throw them off if you won the ball back.
Kelsey: What is the significance of that stuffed horse I’ve seen at games?? BEAT WAKE!
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: His name is Step-Up. And it was actually his birthday the other day. He’s like seven or nine years old. They got him during the ACC tournament.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: Since then, he has become an honorary member of the team. The name Step-Up is in reference to our defensive mentality of stepping up and winning 50-50 balls. It’s also a team motto about stepping up and rising to the occasion.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: A first-year normally gets assigned to look after him. In our first year, it was Kelsey. He once found his way into a dorm room. Riley took over last year and will not let him go. Rachel does help, but he has a special bond with Riley.
Tommy Gee (Las Vegas): Love following UVa field hockey, wahoowa! Quick question. What value did the team gain from beating No. 1 UNC and then falling to Ohio State a couple days after? How will that benefit this team as the season moves forward?
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: Beating UNC made us realize that if everyone works together the whole game, you can achieve something really great. I think it was our defense that won that game for us as we were really solid and we took every chance we got.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: On Sunday when we had Ohio State, we were still on a high over beating UNC for the first time since we got here. I don’t want to say that we didn’t come out to play, but we were sort of fatigued. And Ohio State seemed to want to win more than we did, even though we were probably the better team. Going forward, we are taking the loss for what it is and using it to fuel the rest of the season. I think beating UNC made us realize how capable we are. Losing to Ohios State made us realize we are going to have to work hard to win the rest of our games this season.
Katie, Scottsville: How do you prepare for a game? Do you have a routine you always go through?
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: Teamwise, before every game, we have a pregame meal together three hours before. We get treatments from the trainer if we need them. Then we all congregate in the locker room 1.5 hrs before. We get our uniforms on and then hang out. Sometimes we have dance parties. We have some songs that we always go-to. Then the coaches come in and give a pregame speech.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: I don’t think most of us are superstitious, but I know some have special gameday bras that they always wear on game days. I have special socks that I always wear on game days. Other than that, I don’t do anything unique.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: Our on-field warmup we start at 32 minutes before the game. We start with a run and stretch. Then ladders. Then we do stick and ball. 3v2’s. Shooting. That kind of thing. We then do a huddle where Michele fires us up once more. And Jenny fires us up. And then we walk out.
Falls Church: When did you start playing field hockey? And did you play on a competitive team?
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: I think I was about eight. Played club. And then I started at school and haven’t stopped since.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: I think I started playing at around 10. Our elementary school had a 4/5th grade team, and I played on that. My mom was the coach of our high school. I was always exposed to field hockey. When I was a freshman, I started playing club for WC Eagles.
Toby: Hey Kelsey- There seem to be a lot of players from PA on the roster. Is field hockey big up there? Did you know any of your teammates before coming here?
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: The Philadelphia and NJ area is a hot bed for field hockey. There are a lot of good club teams in that area. On my club team, there are Caleigh, Megan, Katie, Emily… we all played for the same club. But I was in the age group above them, so I never played with them. In high school, I played agains Caleigh and Emily in high school. Maddie and Tara and Carissa are all from South Jersey, so our club teams would play each other a lot. But I didn’t know them, but when I got here we suddenly remembered each other. So getting to play with them is really fun.
John: Jess, what was the transition like coming here from England? How often are you able to get back across the pond?
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: It is pretty hard at first. Getting used to the accent. And the food. And everything being so enormous, like the shops and the cars.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: And then I got used to it and I completely forget that I am in America most of the time, though I still struggle with people asking me what words mean that I say every day.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: Again people always ask me where am I from and they don’t understand.
Renee: Does the field hockey team go to watch any other UVa teams play? If so, which teams?
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: I think we try to support our fellow athletes as much as we can. It is hard to get to see the other fall sports play. We all enjoy men’s and women’s soccer. We did make it to the football game last week, and we try to watch them on TV when we can.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: We have some pretty good friends on other teams. Like I try to go to a lot of wrestling matches. We have other players who know the swimmers, so they go there.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: I think soccer is the easiest to get to, because we can go after our games. And the matches are quite long, so they are still going on when we get there.
Jacob: Kelsey as the INJECTOR is that a pressure filled role?
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: Hi, Jacob. Being the injector is kind of a pressure filled role, in that if I mess up, it messes up the entire corner execution. It doesn’t make me that nervous anymore, but it is a pretty big role.
Ed (Boston): Hey Jess, Do any of your friends let you borrow their car at all? I feel like that would be a little dangerous with you being used to the other side of the road
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: Hi Ed. My friends are very trustworthy. I drove a car this morning, and I am still alive. Thank you for your concern.
team-logo-va.gif spacer.gif Wahoo Central Moderator: And one final question…
Robert Orrett – Wells, England: Jess – have you got anything special to look forward to this week?
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: Hi, Dad. I am very excited that my family are coming out tomorrow. My sisters have never been here. So I am going to show them everything I do. Have a safe flight.
10412646.jpeg spacer.gif Jess: My parents keep up with every game, even though they are 3000 miles away. I know they are always watching.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: Hi Mom and Dad and Jordan and Maya, Thanks for always supporting me and coming to my games. I always enjoy when you guys visit. Maya, I hope you can take some time out of your busy middle-school social life to come visit your big sister this weekend.
10412672.jpeg spacer.gif Kelsey: Love you!
team-logo-va.gif spacer.gif Wahoo Central Moderator: Thanks, ladies, for chatting and thank you to everyone who submitted questions.
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