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 Monday on GoDuke.com.
Duke Volleyball Blog #1 (August 1, 2011)
We’re back! After a cold winter, a great spring, and half of a summer, the Duke University Volleyball team is back in Durham and ready for a new season. With new freshmen, new sand courts, and a new commitment to this program, our team is more than excited to be back. This being my first blog in a series of many to come, I would like to give everyone some insight of where we’ve been, where we are, and what’s to come.
Duke Volleyball had a record-breaking season in 2011. We worked hard, met our goals, and accomplished things noone expected of us. We won the ACC title, lost only one game at home, and went further in the NCAA tournament than any Duke volleyball team ever has before. We had an exciting tournament run, but eventually fell in the Round of Eight to Penn State at University Park. We finished the year proud, but not satisfied. To us, 2011 was simply a taste of how great we could truly be; a sneak peak at our true potential; a rallying point. We remembered this all spring and continued to grow. After two months of tough workouts in the gym, in the weight room, and on the turf, we parted ways for the first half of summer.
Our team was all over the country (and me overseas) for the first half of the summer. Kellie Catanach and Ali McCurdy headed home to Tampa, Florida for some sunshine and family time. Kayla Kirk headed back to Houston, Texas and spent weeks prepping for the LSAT. Megan Hendrickson went home to Michigan to work with her father and catch up with her good friend Lake Michigan. Chelsea Cook headed home to Kansas where she spent time nannying. Sophia Dunworth and Christiana Gray were here in Durham. Soph was participating in the Cape internship, a medical internship at the Duke hospital that is only open to female athletes and Baldwin Scholars. While T was training at Duke and taking a class. Both T (Christiana) and Sophia worked out in the Duke weight room with Amanda Robertson who made the trek from Holly Springs, North Carolina to workout with her teammates after a couple weeks of family vacations. And of course, I spent six weeks in West Africa. And let's not forget the freshmen. Maggie Deichmeister, Jeme Obeime, Kelsey Williams, and Brittney Balser enjoyed their final days at home, said goodbye to their high school friends and got ready to start the Duke Experience.
And then, on July 5th, all thirteen Duke volleyball players came back to Durham. There is a good possibility this is the first time this has ever happened in Duke Volleyball history. Every single girl, back, taking classes, working out every day all together. Making the commitment to our team, our coaches, and our University to do everything we can to reach our full potential. We lift, run, and play volleyball both indoors and outdoors as close to seven days a week as we can. We have also been spending a lot of time together outside the gym. We are almost all living together, celebrating birthdays, seeing movies, coaching camps, going to concerts, crashing pools, and anything else that sounds fun.
I am so excited for this season and for all of our awesome fans to get a chance to learn a little bit more about who the girls that make up Duke University’s volleyball team are. My teammates are unbelievable athletes, students and people, and I can’t wait for you all to get a chance to see this! Preseason starts in seven days and our first game is in 26. Stay tuned.
Nailah A. Waterfield