Oct. 20, 2005
WASHINGTON - Thursday: October 6
I woke up tired, rushed and stressed out because I had to write an exam and go to three classes before I got ready to go on the bus to travel to Holy Cross and Army to finish up the first round of Patriot League play. Needless to say, everything worked out perfectly and I was on time for our 2:00 start on the road. Well, I slept for a couple of hours, watched a movie, tried to do my homework despite a constant headache from motion sickness and after all of that, there was still another five hours left on the bus. Wow. This was one long bus ride. We ended up getting to our hotel around 11 p.m. Cutrina and I were rooming together and we were both really tired. As soon as our heads hit the pillow we were out.
Friday: October 7
I woke up this morning and felt good because I had slept so well the night before. After breakfast we all had the choice as to whether we wanted to go shopping at a local mall or to stay at the hotel and do our work. The whole team chose to stay at the hotel and we all said it was to do work but I think everyone just wanted to save their money for the outlet malls we were going to on Saturday. We ate our pre game meal at 2:30 and were at the gym and ready to play by 4:30. The Holy Cross Crusaders had better watch out because the Eagles were ready to win. At least I thought we were. Somehow, every year that I've been here we have played horribly on our road trip to Holy Cross. This year was no different. How did we let Holy Cross get the lead? Wow. We came back and won the first game by two only. The second game we won cleanly and played better than the first but still the game needed to get better. We won 3-0 and got back on the bus to drive another couple of hours before we checked into our next hotel. At 11:00 we got to our hotel and went to our rooms to get some sleep.
Saturday: October 8
This morning I looked out the window to see it pouring down rain. Regardless, we ate our breakfast at the hotel and drove to the outlet malls where we faced the cold and rain in order to get a few bargain deals and spend all of our money. We stayed at the mall until about 2:00 and then went on to Army's campus for our pre-game meal. Still raining, we ran into the gym and got ready for our 7:00 match. As usual there were a lot of Army fans there and we opened up the first game really weakly. I didn't get a lot of swings the first game and there wasn't much flow on the court. I was hitting the ball way too deep. This was not good. Usually when I play bad or someone else plays bad the rest of the team picks it up and plays better. This was not the case this time. We were off. The second game was no different and I think that everyone was feeling pressured. I tried hard to keep my mind focused but it was hard. We went down two games to nothing and went into the locker room down two games. This was the first time that has happened since I've been here. We all felt the pressure by the third game and I think that our attitudes changed to playing not to lose instead of playing to win. We ended up ahead at the end of the match but Army came back with two aces. I couldn't believe this. I wasn't going to lose. This was impossible. I remember the last point clearly in my mind. I was in the middle at the net and the setter dumped the ball for their last point. I couldn't believe it. It was the end of our four year streak of being unbeaten. We have never lost in the Patriot league before. We don't lose. Maybe I'm asleep. No, this is it. We got on the bus without a word and to make matters worse, it was still pouring rain and the first exit we went to was flooded by five feet. The next exit, it was the same thing. Luckily the third exit was clear. It was a long bus ride home.
Tuesday: October 11
After recovering from the loss it was time to prove ourselves again. We left at 10 am to drive to UMES. We stopped at a shopping mall and then ate our pre-game meal at The Olive Garden. Game time. It was exactly the opposite from the weekend. Everything was flowing and everyone was working together well. We ran good play sets and I felt very comfortable in all aspects of the game. I felt like we were doing everything right this time and it looked that way on the court as well. We beat them handily in three games and everyone played well. It was time to get on the bus home because we had a three hour drive ahead of us and school and practice the next day.
(Editor's note: The Eagles play this weekend on the road against Colgate Friday and Bucknell Saturday.)