VolleyBlog: Week 15

by Claire Manuszak

Monday marked our first day of preparations for the NCAA Tournament. Our intensity and effort at practice reflected our drive to succeed in the tournament. We left Wednesday morning for Bridgeport, Connecticut. We stopped at a quaint little cafe for lunch before our 2 o'clock practice. The food was sandwiches and salads with sides of either fruit, pasta salad or coleslaw.

Because of NCAA rules, we were only allotted 55 minutes of court time for practice. Our team aimed to be as efficient as possible in this window. For the beginning though, we played our favorite warm-up game, deep court. This opening drill set the rest of our practice up for a competitive drive and intensity.

Wednesday evening we went out for a team dinner at a little Italian place near our hotel. Our dinner consisted of multiple rounds of "odds are," our team's favorite pastime, selfies on coach's phone, and a surprise visit from one of our favorite people, Laura. Laura is a graduate of Stonehill who played basketball, but also has a love for volleyball. She also had her class make us goody bags with motivational notes and snacks.

Thursday was game day. We woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel and set off for Bridgeport's Harvey Hubbel Gymnasium. Our game was the first one of the day, so we were the first ones there. We warmed up, allowing the anticipation of the game to build. We took the court, aiming to play our hearts out. We dropped the first set 17-25. Looking to fight back in the second, we lost 22-25. The third set was a tough loss, 12-25. This game knocked us out of the NCAA Tournament and was the last of our season.

We would again just like to thank our seniors for everything they have done to better the Stonehill volleyball program. They have definitely left their mark, as well as laid the foundation for what it means to be a part of this program. Your leadership this season allowed our program to make history. Words cannot even describe the love and thanks we have for you guys.

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