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 #11 (October 28, 2011)
Home Sweet Home
Duke Volleyball could not have asked for a more perfect week than this past week. We had two home games with local opponents, a game broadcasted on ESPNU, highlights broadcasted on ESPN Sportscenter, an ACC player of the week in Ali McCurdy, an ACC freshman of the week with Jeme Obeime, and the first Duke win over Carolina of the year.
Wednesday night we suited up in pink warm-up jerseys, pink shoe laces, and pink head bands to support the fight against breast cancer and take on UNC. It was a special night of firsts and lasts because it was the first time our freshmen got to see a Duke versus Carolina match up, it was the first Duke win over Carolina this year, and it was the last time that Kellie, Kayla, Amanda and Sophia would take the floor against our biggest rival.
The game was broadcasted on ESPN U and, thanks to a great promotions team, we got a record-breaking crowd. Duke versus Carolina is a rivalry unlike any other, and we are all so proud to be a part of it. Student-athletes know that when we take the floor against Carolina it is about more than us and more than just our team or our program. It is about every student-athlete, every coach, every team, every employee, every Duke fan, and every person who has ever called themselves a Dukie before. All eyes are on us because a win is celebrated by the entire Duke community, and last Wednesday night we celebrated.
The love and congratulations we were given on Wednesday night and Thursday morning was just another reminder of how blessed we truly are. From a flower from our coaches, tweets from our friends, hugs from other student-athletes, shoutouts from our teachers, and even a phone call from Coach K and a note from coach Cutcliffe, we were proud of what we had accomplished. Thursday afternoon we got back to work and prepared for a much-improved N.C. State.
The mindset of Friday night was that we wanted a sweep for our seniors. Not a three-set sweep, but a four-year sweep. Our seniors have never lost a match to N.C. State, and we wanted to help them continue that. After three competitive sets, Kellie, Kayla, Amanda and Sophia finished a perfect 7-0 across four years.
With no Saturday night match, we were able to enjoy our first entire Duke football game. It was a beautiful day and it was tough to see our boys lose by just one point. But as always we stood behind our fellow student-athletes proud of their hard work. We finished the weekend laying low with lots of family in town, and with a couple days off Chelsea Cook even got to take a quick trip home to Kansas to see her younger sister win semi-states to head to the Kansas state championships.
This weekend we have our favorite ACC away trip. Georgia tech and Clemson always have amazing crowds and atmospheres when we play down there, and it is always a great game. We are excited to compete this weekend and hopefully bring home two more W's.Nailah A. Waterfield