MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2011
VOLLEYBALL BLOG: Kylie Jacob edition (9/12)
After surviving the swamp of UF and the snake pit of FAMU, the team was ecstatic to finish the weekend off with a day of no classes or practices -all thanks to Labor Day!

When the team got back together for practice on Tuesday, we were surprised with a new warmup: Abs by D (Coach Diaz). Several crunches and ‘around the world’ spins later, we could practically feel our six-packs bulging through our tees (that’s nothing new to Chunia (Graves), however!) It was safe to say that if our ‘Fear the Fin’ chant didn’t scare our upcoming opponents this weekend, our abs of steel surely would. We continued the week with intense practices to help prepare us for one of the most important tournaments in the season so far; our first home matches played at Swisher Gym.

We started the tournament on Friday night against Presbyterian College, full of excitement and energy from our stands full of fans. To promote the upcoming matches, each player grabbed a stack of pink flyers that were quickly spread out to students throughout campus. Just hours before our Friday game, we passed down the ‘tradition’ to have one lucky freshman announce our exciting upcoming match in the middle of a packed cafeteria. Unfortunately, our nerves got the best of us so greatly that night that even rowdy fans and a shirtless crew team couldn’t help pick back up our energy which resulted in a 3-2 loss.

Even worse than the Friday night loss, Taylor (Nyquist) came down hard from a block, making our team and fans on edge when we saw the struggling player limp off the court. Our coaches surprised the team the next afternoon with a new lineup and game plan to help us back on our feet for the upcoming match that night against South Carolina State. We crushed the Bulldogs in the first two games but had to fight to finish the 3-1 match as our opponent came back with a punch in the third game. Before leaving the night with a victory however, deja vu took place in Swisher. Another Dolphin fell after blocking a hitter, resulting in an ankle sprain and a new and different lineup.

As if our weekend hadn’t had enough surprises, the team walked into the volleyball locker room Sunday morning to discover a few things out of place. The ‘Phins experienced another obstacle in our routine but we remained focused when we stepped on the court to face our next opponent. We all came around to blow Savannah State back to Georgia with a 3-0 victory for the Dolphins.

After spending the weekend on our home court, we continue our season with another chapter by playing our last tournament in Orlando before conference matches start. In the past month, the team has developed and matured substantially and we still have so much more room to grow and make a name for ourselves, even if we have to fight through some crazy obstacles to get there.

-Kylie