Aug. 8, 2017

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The 2017 Virginia volleyball team has started preseason training and our student-athletes will be providing insight each day. The Cavaliers open the season in Memorial Gymnasium with the Cavalier Classic on Friday, Aug. 25.

Monday, August 21 – Junior Harley Sebastian

Today was our last day of freedom until school starts up again! We started off the morning with a good lift at 8 a.m. and were done at 9. We didn’t have practice until 4 this afternoon, so after lift we got to run errands and get prepared for school tomorrow. During practice we focused on our serve receive and side out play and everyday we keep our first match in the back of our minds. Only four days until we play Hofstra! Go hoos!

Sunday, August 20 – Sophomore Jennifer Wineholt

With the first match of our 2017 season just around the corner, we finished up our preseason with a great scrimmage. After two hard weeks of being in the gym and in the weight room, we are taking today to rest up and get organized for the first day of school!! We’ve been working extremely hard in the gym, by now it’s time for us to hit the books. I know I am excited to get back into my routine, and I can tell the girls are too. This summer has been absolutely amazing, from studying abroad to Sunset Series nights at Carter Mountain, summer 2017 will be one to remember. As we finish up our class schedules and enjoy the last full day of summer, we are looking forward with anticipation and excitement for the 2017 season!! Go Hoos!!!

Saturday, August 19 – Senior Haley Fauntleroy

Today we had our annual preseason Orange and Blue Scrimmage! In my four years on this team I’ve always thought this was the most exciting day of preseason because we finally have a chance to compete in a game-like situation. We were divided into two teams, one team in Blue jerseys and the other in Orange jerseys. While we practice game-like situations all the time in the practice gym playing 6 on 6 games to 25 points, this scrimmage was an especially great way to prepare for next weekend’s tournament. We had a pre-game meal together, we wore our jerseys, we had referees to monitor the game, our bleachers were set up, the score boards were on and we had fans come watch! I think our level of competition definitely shot up having all of those factors in the back of our minds.
It was really cool to see how everyone improved during preseason at this scrimmage. The little things each of us worked on are starting to show, from how pin hitters are picking up off-blocker tips to the way middles have been able to read the block. I know that this scrimmage is just a starting point, though. I really think we’ve shown so much growth during the course of preseason but I know we have so much more to do. I can’t wait for another week of practices so we can prepare for our first competition as a team.

Friday, August 18 – Freshman Alexandra Spencer

Today was a special day for the UVA Volleyball team, last day of preseason and Megan Wilson’s 18th birthday! As the team awoke bright and early, we were eager to begin our last two-a-day on a good note. We started off practice working on our floor skills. Hudson asked us to work on a floor skill that had us landing on our stomach reaching out for balls. After most of us got the hang of it, we decided to have some fun with it and create the wave with all 15 of us in a line. While this was a fun and interesting move to make, some could not quite get the hang of it leading to some beaten up chins. Once we felt accomplished with our new floor move, the coaches drilled balls at us so we were able to practice it in game like situations.
Following our energetic morning practice, the girls rested up so we could end our last preseason practice at our maximum potential. We did a defense drill, a transition drill, and a serve and pass drill to perfect those aspects of the game. Our last drill was a solid 6-on-6 game that worked on first ball side outs. We ended our practice competing with lots of focus and high energy that will be carried into our first scrimmage tomorrow!! We would love for everyone to come out to Mem for the Blue and Orange Scrimmage at 1 p.m.! Go hoos!

Thursday, August 17 – Sophomore Kelsey Miller

Today was the second to last day of two-a-days, which means the season is literally just about here! This morning we worked more on individual skills. The passers worked on keeping an angle outside of our midline so that we are able to make better touches on serves out of our range. Before our next practice, we met with our lovely sports psychologist, Dr. Egan to talk about our strengths and weaknesses and to sharpen up our team culture.

During our second practice of the day we focused more on competitive team play. We played six vs. six and five vs. five and focused on some ball control too. To finish the day, we all had dinner together and rushed over to the ice baths for recovery. Stay tuned tomorrow for more input on what we’re up to for preseason! Go hoos!

Wednesday, August 16 – Freshman Hannah Barcus

With just nine days until our season opener against Hofstra, our mission is to perfect our game to the highest level with each practice we attend. We started with a quick but strenuous lift that left everyone sweating and warm for our later practice. Practice started off with a slow pace, but we were able to pick up the speed and energy after the first two drills. We finished with “baseball” which allowed everyone’s competitive sides come out. We made some great plays and impressive attempts to try to play every ball. Overall, practice was successful and everyone left a better volleyball player than they were before practice!

Tuesday, August 15 – Freshman Sarah Billiard

With the Orange and Blue scrimmage rapidly approaching, we energetically jumped into 9 a.m. practice with the mindful intent to focus on defensive movement such as eye-sequencing and knowing our roles as defensive players on the court. After a hard-working practice, we packed up all our equipment from Slaughter Gymnasium and eagerly moved back into – what we call home – Memorial Gymnasium!!! With Mem Gym being under construction for the past few months, we spent the first week of preseason in one of the recreational gyms on grounds, and man did we miss Mem! It felt so good to be back in our home showing off our fancy new court shoes (also known as our “moon boots” according to Hudson) and working hard yet again in another round of practice at 3 p.m. This time the focus switched from defense to making solid connections between the setters and hitters as well as some highly competitive 6 v 6 drills.

Needless to say, the second practice today was arguably one of our stronger practices all accredited to the fact that we were competing in the place that we all missed playing in more than anything. There was fierce competition, 100% effort, and a lot of positive energy overflowing Mem.
Can’t wait for another productive day in the gym as we hungrily anticipate the home opener against Hofstra!

Monday, August 14 – Sophomore Jelena Novakovic

After a day off everyone was well rested and ready to get in the gym! First years got to move in their dorms this morning and they were very excited about it.
After that we had lift and a quick lunch break and then we got into the gym for our volleyball practice. We did a lot of 6v6 drills this afternoon. Everyone was very competitive and we had a lot of energy and fun while playing with each other. Every day is a chance to get better and I think that this team has a lot of potential to achieve great goals this season and that we’re growing in a right direction. Can’t wait for tomorrow as it is another opportunity to be in the gym and work hard with my amazing teammates. Go Hoos!

Sunday, August 13 – Sophomore Caroline Scrafford

Today was a day off for the uva volleyball team. We’ve been getting in the gym every day for the past week, and I know a few of us wanted to get in the gym today as well, but being an athlete means taking care of our bodies as well as pushing them. That means taking care of injuries with ice, rest, and rehab, eating and sleeping well every day, and giving our muscles ample time to recover for the next part of our training. Today was a day of active rest. Whether we swam a few laps in the pool, or got in a portion of cardio, each of us got in a light workout to kickstart the recovery process and be ready for the next week. I’m so excited to get in the gym again tomorrow with my fellow HOOs!!

Saturday, August 12 – Sophomore Chino Anukwuem

Day five complete! Today we had a lighter practice focusing on serving and passing, and understanding seams. We also implemented middles into the drill to work on timing with the setter. Most of us are learning new serves and still trying to figure out the timing and connection with the setter, therefore we all have to make sure we have a growth mindset, which we learned about yesterday with Dr. Egan. Since we are well into preseason, many of us are sore and tired, but we all understand that this is a process and we are all growing together, so we always push each other, which was evident in today’s in practice. We have an off day tomorrow, but can’t wait to get back in the gym on Monday!

Friday, August 11 – Junior Olivia Wolodkewitsch

Day four is in the books! During the first practice we split by position. We had the chance to learn many new things and get a ton of reps. Before the second practice started we met with our sports psychiatrist, Dr. Egan. She gave us very good insight about fixed and growth perspectives. Many players contributed ideas on how we can help get our teammates out of a fixed mindset during a match. We then had our second practice of the night. It involved a lot of competing and implementing the skills we have been working on during our preseason. Now- heading to bed early for tomorrow’s morning practice! Go Hoos!!

Thursday, August 10 – Freshman Megan Wilson

So today was defense day for our only practice for the day. We lifted earlier and had a short break before afternoon practice. A lot of people groan when they hear that the focus of the day is defense, but the whole team had high energy and was really excited to hit the floor. We did everything from full on dives to pancakes, as well as blocking. I think it was a really fast pace practice where everyone was focused and determined to get the ball up, and we will definitely keep that mindset in matches.

Wednesday, August 9 – Sophomore Kiley Banker

Today was a great growing day for our team on and off the court. We started off with a team breakfast at 8 am and got in the gym shortly after. After working hard in the gym we met with our nutritionist, Brooke, who informed us about the best foods to fuel our body and how to incorporate them in our diets.

After our lunch break we had another session. We split up the courts to focus on individual training and brought it all together at the end. To finish our day, we met with our sports psychologist to discuss expectations and how to transform all our energy into a good team atmosphere. Overall, another great day to be a Hoo!

Tuesday, August 8 – Sophomore Kat Young

Today was the first day of actual volleyball this preseason. I’ve been so excited to get in the gym with everyone after a summer of us all being kind of scattered. We had two practices today! I’d say we shook off some initial nerves during the first one and started getting more and more competitive and having good energy. This group is very supportive and it is easy to see that it benefits all of us on the court. We played a lot of 6 vs 6, which was a super cool way to see where we are as a team. We got a solid lift in right after that practice and had a quick lunch break (got some Jimmy Johns!).

Our next practice, we started out a lot slower than the first one, but we eventually picked it up and got competitive. We focused a lot on serving tough and went over the various ways to get other teams out of system from the service line. Everyone got better today and we are definitely headed in the right direction as a team. I love the passion and energy that my teammates bring to the gym, and I can’t wait to see where we go in the next couple weeks.

Monday, August 7 – Sophomore Jane Horner

It was rather humid and rainy Charlottesville morning, however, UVA volleyball was MORE than ready for picture day! As we walk into our locker room, our new “vintage” jerseys await us! Picture day 2017 completely outdid picture day 2016! After taking our team picture in front of the historically recognized Memorial Gymnasium, we head over to JPJ for some media relations action. We are welcomed by a giant green screen and UVA stage area. Our videos and interviews were WAYYYY more fun than the headshots.

After 3 long hours of feeling like movie stars, we were finally headed to Coach Aaron’s house where delicious Italian food awaited us. We discussed our team rules and expectations and were all on the same page (literally) and same place for the first time all year! We were all in agreement that we are so stoked for preseason and pumped to see where this year takes us! Go hoos!!!