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 #2 (August 10, 2011)
Preseason is finally here! It is one of the most exciting times of the year for Duke Volleyball. The offseason is finally over, preseason is here, and the season is in sight. The past couple of days have been packed with excitement, anticipation, emotion, and a little bit of nerves… okay maybe a lot of nerves for our freshman. Excited to get started, anticipating what may lie ahead for this group of 13, emotion as this is the last preseason we will be spending with Kellie, Amanda, Sophia, and Kayla. And most importantly a fire within, all 13 of us to compete, achieve, and win.
For me, and some of the older girls, preseason has started off as a beautiful combination of both the familiar and the strange. I feel quite old saying that the tradition of getting our gear, picture day (and the subsequent stress of waiting to see your GoDuke picture). That first team meeting, fitness testing, and the string of necessary meetings coach schedules are feeling quite familiar.
There are also of course some unfamiliar feelings floating around that are both strange and exciting. Strange seeing our four freshmen who have spent the past two years visiting, suit up in their official Duke Volleyball gear. Strange but exciting getting so much coaching after we all just spent three months playing without a coach in sight. Unfamiliar returning to an apartment instead of a dorm after a long day of practice along with juggling double days with finals as we all still have a week left of class.
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. An annual trip to the lake house that involves home videos and home cooked meals. Our first team practice in Cameron as soon as the new floor is finished. The freshmen, sophomores, and juniors moving into East, West, and Central campus respectively. And a goodbye dinner to our beloved academic advisor Kacy King, a woman who has meant more to this program then most could comprehend. She has helped every one of us hold it all together when we were sure we were falling apart. A supportive friend, brilliant mentor, and utterly perfect example of what we all aspire to be as young women.