Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Great Day To Be A Panther

Another weekend down! I know you all missed me, but due to some last-minute class scheduling I was unable to take the trip to Ohio last weekend to watch the Panthers take the Akron Invitational title. No need to reach for the tissues, I am back at it and ready to tell you all about this past weekend as we took on the always welcoming city of Mad-Town.

I knew it was going to be a great weekend about 20 minutes into the trip for two reasons. One, everyone got their chips! Let me explain, I am basically in charge of anything food-related during the season and Jimmy Johns is a staple for our bus ride meals. Every time we order from there, we always seem to an encounter with what I like to call the PCC. The Phantom Chip Changer (PCC) is a mythical creature who likes to mess with our Jimmy John chip orders so we either come up short a bag or someone doesn’t get the chips they wanted. But no devilish minions were cause this weekend by the PCC, and that is most definitely a win in my book. Reason number two is very simple; no one’s heads were in trash cans because of motion sickness and lack of bus driving skills.

Keeping in with the theme of food, our Thursday night dinner was pretty sweet. We walk in and get escorted up to the top of what seems to be a loft type area, and we are overlooking the entire restaurant/bar. Between Susie looking over the balcony with a huge smile on her face screaming, “Woo, isn’t this so cool!” (which indeed it was) and her trying to squeeze players into a picture with the balcony scenery in the back, it’s easy to say that we all had an extremely fun night. Sadly, our next sit down meal on Friday was a little lacking in the fun category, and for some of us the food category as well. Susie got noodles with pesto; which in reality was pesto, with a little bit of noodles, sorry Suz.

We played Kansas Friday morning, and lost in three. We then ended the day with a big win against Bowling Green! The girls saw an awesome opportunity to work together, work hard, and just play volleyball, and played they did. An outstanding effort as a team, a game that was fun to watch and not to mention they definitely deserved that win.

We stayed for the Wisconsin-Kansas game, and the Badger Band was there to impress once again. Having the band there was such a nice break from the constant repetition of the song “All Star” by Smash Mouth. Maybe it was just me, but if I never hear that song again in my life, I’ll be okay, because it literally got played at least 87 times. Nonetheless, you could find some of our team and most of the coaches dancing and singing along with the band, especially to my personal favorite, Sweeeeet Caroline (Bum Bum Bum).

Speaking of singing, after Kansas beat Wisconsin in a crazy five-set thriller we got to hear a very enjoyable number on the way back to the hotel. Our bus had a microphone and our bus driver was more than willing to turn it on, and yes, you guessed it the one and only Susie Johnson was singing to us of all. It was throwback Friday in the Coach USA and Susie was center stage! It was a lovely performance, myself and the whole team loved it, even Lindsey and Nikki were involved some backup singing. Clearly, this wasn’t the first time they all sang this song together. Bravo coaches!

Saturday we played the Badgers, we fought hard but lost in four. This weekend was all about opportunity, in my opinion. I absolutely love pre-season for one main reason; opportunity. I love that we go hard and play top ranked teams, teams that probably over-look us which gives us all the more reason to go in there and come out on top. We are a team that works hard and takes these risks and opportunities and evidently I believe, is going to play into our benefit when it is all said and done.

Before I sign off here with my themed quote of the week a huge shout out is in order to UW-Milwaukee’s very own student-athlete Paula Kuiper for her outstanding performance at the Miss America pageant Sunday night! Myself and all of UWM were watching and cheering for Paula, what a great job she did and she looked absolutely stunning!

To end, it was a very good weekend in my eyes, we played hard and just had an all-around good time. This weekend was a great opportunity for us to get better and take a giant step forward, which we did. Until next time… “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

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