Duke volleyball junior Nailah Waterfield will keep a weekly blog this season chronicling the Blue Devils' 2010-11 campaign. Last season, Duke won the 2010 ACC Championship, made the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight year and advanced all the way to the Round of Eight.
Look for Nailah's blog every week during the season on GoDuke.com.
Duke Volleyball Blog #3 (August 17, 2011)
So much has gone on in this past week for Duke Volleyball, I feel like I have so much to catch you all up on! We are really starting to settle into this preseason grind, as we like to call it, and things are beginning to feel a lot more normal. Summer school is over, and although we are all of course proud Dukies who love the classroom, it has been very nice to be able to just focus on volleyball these past couple of days. And what is even more exciting is that the end of summer school means much more time for team functions.
Scheduling proved challenging during summer school, so it was not too often that we got a lot of time together with all thirteen of us. Recently, besides just playing together, we’ve been able to lift together, eat together, and spend all kinds of quality time together.
It has been great to get in the weight room all together this past week. Over the summer we often lifted in smaller groups because of our overlapping class schedules. I almost forgot how contagious the energy is in there. It is also nice to have one of our favorite weight coaches Carl Christensen back with us. Whenever Coach P (Dan Perlmutter) hands us a killer ab workout, Carl is always around to encourage us by offering a reminder that spring break is around the corner, even if it is the middle of August.
We try and have a team dinner with just us girls every other night. A couple nights ago, we went to a Japanese steakhouse, and last night we opted for a local diner to go with the breakfast for dinner option. Saturday night, over hibachi and fried rice, I suggested to the team we play one of my favorite games, two truths and a lie. The game is simple, you state three facts about yourself. Two being true, one being a lie, and the group has to pick out the lie. We laughed all night, but we also learned some fun things about each other. We learned that Jeme Obeime was born in a car, Ali McCurdy’s mom tucks her in every night, Kelsey Williams has been bungee jumping, and Kellie Catanach crashed her car three days after she got her license.
Breakfast for dinner Monday night really hit the spot. There is something unbelievably comforting about eating pancakes at 7 p.m. surrounded by a group of girls you love. It was also Monday night that Chelsea Cook got a text from her father announcing that the preseason polls were out and Duke Volleyball made the list at number 17. Cheers, smiles and excitement erupted at the news, but turned quickly into serious talk of what we needed to do to break into the top 10. We are excited and proud, but not satisfied.
Our first game is just ten days away and we still have a trip to the lake house, a middle school volleyball clinic, sophomore and junior move-in day, a trip to one of our favorite places to volunteer at The Forest Retirement Community, our Blue and White scrimmage, and a few more double days to squeeze in. All before we get to put on that Duke D and take the floor in Cameron Indoor for the first time of 2011. I don’t hate it.
Nailah A. Waterfield