This week has been crazy! It seems that since the summer started, I eat, sleep, and breathe volleyball, and I’m loving every minute of it. This past week, I was able to be one of the coaches at a volleyball camp for little girls with my high school coach Tami Ellsworth. My little sister was in my group, and I have to say that it was an eye opener for me. She is just like me when I was little, right down to the hands. I had more than one of my teammates who were also helping tell me that she sets just like me! Soon she’ll be playing seventh grade volleyball, and I’ll be watching her, remembering how thrilling and exciting and nervewracking junior high ball is. The circle of life is an interesting thing! The camp itself was a success. Not only did the girls learn a lot, coaching really helped ME remember some things that I had forgotten. Soon I’ll be going to ERAU to help with a little girl’s volleyball camp there as well, and I am so excited!
At the end of the week, (Thursday), Anna and I drove down to Thatcher for the Allstar volleyball game. All of the seniors who got nominated played in the game, the North Allstars against the South Allstars. Well, Blue Ridge is in the North, so Anna and I walked into the hotel’s conference room where everyone met and started to embrace our North teammates. That’s when the North coach notified us that we were being transferred to the South due to lack of players. So that’s how the North girls got transferred to the “Dirty South” (I didn’t make up the name…our coaches did :-)). It was kind of ironic, actually. 1. Coach Ellsworth was one of the people in charge and she was the assistant coach for the North team. 2. We knew someone was going to be transferred and Anna and I were positive that we weren’t going to be the ones. That proves how karma works its course, I guess. After about five minutes with our team though we were STOKED that we were playing with the South! The girls were so much fun and the coaches were AMAZING at volleyball! These two big guys from florence are the hardest hitters I’ve ever seen in my life! They were pretty rockin’.
We stayed at the Mariott Springhill Suites in Thatcher, and it was really nice. The pool was a little on the small side (think glorified jacuzzi without the jets) but everything else was great. We practiced as a team at Thatcher High School and got to know how the team played as a whole. Even at dinner we played get-to-know-you games. After shoving our faces with pizza, we were split up into groups and were given six items. The girls had to create some kind of commercial for the items. Our team (the short kids) got second place for creating a commercial for the BUSTOMATIC. Don’t ask. There were so many outgoing girls who weren’t afraid to wear, say, fake teeth and a witch’s nose, and it was so hilarious. We, the short kids, got waterbottles and towels as prizes for our amazing commercial (ha). Man, if I wasn’t going to Embry Riddle to get my degree in GSIS, I would probably be right up there with Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Rooney and Will Ferrell. Well, you never know.
Pictured top to bottom left to right: Jessica Queen (JQ), Daniella Serrano (Dani), Ashley McCracken, Anna Martin, Ahsaki LaFrance (Sakie), Stephanie Johnson, and me! Not pictured: Sabrina Blanco. We think she was talking on the phone somewhere.
Overall, the entire experience was a BLAST! A group of girls from all around the southern state became friends and teammates somewhere between practices, accidentally locking our middle hitter out of our room for three hours (oops), and walking to Denny’s where our other middle HAD to get hot wings because it was her tradition to eat them the night before the game. She also carried around a mini volleyball in her bag for good luck and had to take a shower the night before, that morning, and right before the game, so she would keep to her traditions. Well, those crazy traditions definitely didn’t fail her! The South ended up beating the North in three games (we play three out of five) and the bonding during the game was incredible. Everyone had the same passion for volleyball as I did, and we played like a team that had been together for years. The feeling was absolutely incredible. Eight teammates became eight friends. Go Dirty South!
“Life is partly what we make it and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose.”