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Waterfield Blog #7: ACC Opener
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 09/20/2011
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Nailah Waterfield
Photo Courtesy: Duke Photography
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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

Waterfield Blog Archives
Blog 1: Getting Ready for 2011
Blog 2: Preseason Under Way
Blog 3: The Preseason Grind
Blog 4: Lake House Trip and Move-In Day
Blog 5: The Cameron Crazies
Blog 6: A Long Way From Home

Duke Volleyball Blog #7 (September 21, 2011)

It's been two weeks since I've written a blog so I have a lot to catch you all up on! When I left off we had just gotten back from California, and since then we have opened the ACC, had our first team dinner with a home-cooked meal from our seniors, taken the freshmen to their first Duke Football game, and gotten some big news about possible changes that may be coming to the ACC.

Last week, after having only one match on Thursday, we were able to enjoy an exciting afternoon of football that is somewhat uncommon for a fall sport. After a Saturday morning practice, the team gathered together for some hamburgers, hotdogs, sunshine, and football. It was exciting seeing the freshmen enjoy their first college football game, and it was so nice to be able to do it with all thirteen of us. We sat together and cheered on our boys as we put our brains together to try and remember all of our friend's numbers.

Later that week our amazing seniors decided they wanted to invite us over to their beautiful (well-decorated) apartments to cook us dinner. It is always nice when we are able to get together somewhere off campus that isn't a restaurant so we really get to talk and spend time together. We had a great night, and the seniors impressed us all with their skills in making a Mexican cuisine. The night even ended with a special surprise from Kayla Kirk. With a little help from her mom, Kayla spent some serious arts and crafts time this summer making beautiful picture frames for the team. We were all so surprised and excited, I went straight home, picked up my latest Duke volleyball picture and put it in my kitchen.

Just a few days later we took off for our ACC opener. That week may have been our best week of practice this team has seen this year. We worked hard everyday and pushed each other, and Friday we had our first televised match against Wake Forest. Friday night we suffered a tough loss to an ACC rival. The loss hurt us all, but we took pride in the fact that we knew that we worked hard on every point all night. It was a quick turnaround for a 2 o' clock game against UNC Charlotte Saturday afternoon, but after a win in three it was back on the bus to come home to a rainy Durham.

It's been cooling down in Durham, and for us coastal girls (Ali McCurdy and Kellie Catanach) the sweaters and boots are coming out. Although we aren't quite ready for the leaves to change, we are excited and ready to get into the thick of ACC play. With a couple new teams potentially joining the ACC next year, we are going to take this as an opportunity to win the last ACC conference that has just 12 teams.

Nailah A. Waterfield
Go Duke!