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 #13 (October 28, 2011)
Duke Volleyball Family
It was a successful weekend for Duke Volleyball as we picked up two four-set wins over Virginia and Virginia Tech in ACC home matches. The week leading up to these home games felt especially slow, most likely due to the loads of schoolwork that are beginning to come through. While almost half of us had tests, the true test came for our freshmen Jeme Obeime and Maggie Deichmeister who turned in their first big college papers. My little freshies each wrote huge papers for a biology class in their first semester at Duke. I could not be more proud.
We also took some time out of practice this week to sign some Duke Volleyball gear that we auctioned off to support the fight against multiple sclerosis, a disease that is close to this program as it affected the family of one of the best Duke Volleyball players this program has seen: Carrie DeMange, also known as "ledgy".
The week flew by, and Thursday night our team went out to support the first Duke Women's Basketball game of the year. It is always fun to be spectators in our home gym once in a while. The girls played unbelievably well and won by an 85-point margin. However, the big shots and sweet passes weren't the highlight of the night for Ali McCurdy...being on the Cameron video board three times was. Ali has a bit of an obsession with Jumbotrons, and it is always fun to watch her face light up when she gets on screen. We had a great night together and were all excited to go to sleep knowing that when we woke up it would be gameday.
Friday morning family started trickling in, and this weekend may have taken the cake in the amount of Duke Volleyball family in town. We had all the usuals including The McCurdys, an Obeime, a Catanach, and the Robertsons. But we also had cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents who live a little further, and one baby sister who is really missing her big sister Maggie Deichmeister. Friday night we got a four-set win and spent some time signing autographs and taking pictures after the game. Meeting our fans is one of our favorite parts of our experience as Duke student-athletes, and Friday night we met a group of girls who drove four hours to come see us play.
After sleeping in Saturday morning, most of us went out to some of our favorite breakfast spots with our families. If you're wondering what I did - because my mom and dad weren't in town - I went to breakfast with my family as well. A nice morning with Kellie Catanach and her mom started my Saturday off great. One of my favorite parts of this program and this team is that we are always looking out for each other. When someone's family isn't in town, they always know that they are welcome to spend time with any family that they choose. Because once you make the Duke Decision, you join the Duke family.
Saturday night was another four-set win, and we saw improvement from a month ago when we won both of these matches over UVA and Va. Tech in five sets instead of in four. We left the gym happy knowing we were getting better. We were also very happy to know that Sunday meant fall back, an extra hour of sleep. With Thursday-Sunday matches this week, it will be a long exciting weekend as we play some of our last and toughest matches on our home court. Hope to see you all there!Nailah A. Waterfield