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    Bri Breaks It Down Vol. 7

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    "Surprises in a Great / Crazy Weekend"

    Hi Seminole fans! It's week seven and the team and I here in Tallahassee are experiencing some chilly weather, but knowing Florida it will become warm again like it always does. This past weekend we traveled to Maryland and Boston College, and knowing our past experiences with the airport this one wasn't any different. As we got to the airport we found out that our flight to Atlanta was delayed at least two hours. So we got to sit in the airport for a long time, but the good thing was that I got my paper done that was due the next week! We got to ATL with very little time to make our connection, but we got on the plane heading for Washington-Reagan Airport in Washington D.C. We typically don't fly into D.C. so that was a surprise for us. Maybe we would get to go sightseeing after Maryland!! Another new thing to our trip this weekend was that Lauren Richardson was back in the mix with us - which is very encouraging because earlier in the year she was never sure if she would be able to play volleyball ever again. As we went through Wendy's and got our chicken sandwiches and made our way to the hotel, the cold air felt amazing and we went to sleep awaiting the next day and what would come with it.

    Friday morning we woke up and had breakfast in the hotel and watched game film as a team. Rachael was my roomie the whole weekend and we had a blast! As the day progressed we made our way to Maryland's campus to have our pregame serve and pass. This year was going to be different because we were playing in the Comcast Center - the arena where the basketball team plays - so it is a much bigger environment than the normal volleyball gym. We needed just a little time to get used to the gym and we were rolling through practice very well. As we boarded back into the vans we went to a little strip mall by the hotel to have our pregame meal. We had very yummy pasta and salads and bread and we were pretty happy going back to campus to get ready for our match that night.

    As we stepped onto the court in the Comcast Center, the crowd was filling in from all entrances - after our volleyball game was their basketball team's midnight madness - so they wanted good seats. We didn't mind because the more people in the gym the more energy we feed off of to play well. Warm-ups started and then it was match time. As the National Anthem ended and the announcer began announcing names, I looked at my team and saw calmness amongst ourselves and it looked like we were ready to play. We ended up winning the match in three and all the girls got the chance to play, which was great for our team. Being able to pull our girls off the bench and have them able to perform is huge and is a great confidence booster for our team because it means that any time we're in trouble we have girls we can count on. "Lauren only played in the back row for us tonight and it was good to have her out there," said Poole, who was also pleased with the fact that true freshman Sareea Freeman also got to play against Maryland. "We came in to the night hoping to get the chance to play everyone and continue to build depth. Sareea got a chance to play in all three sets and I am pleased with the fact that we were able to give her that opportunity." Another surprise that happened that night was there was a group of FSU fans who sat right behind our bench. We didn't know who they were but they wore their garnet and gold proudly! Later I found out that the two ladies had attended FSU and this is what they told my coaches, "Thank you to the team for the wonderful match against Maryland yesterday. We were the loud older ladies behind your bench ... classes of 1963 and 1969. We were also cheering you on behalf of the Seminole Club of Baltimore. Our children were part of Volleyball County Championship Teams here in Maryland, so we are knowledgeable enough to say that you girls are FANTASTIC!!! Thank you, Brianna, for coming over to give the high fives. Thank you team, for being a TEAM! Best of luck with the season ... Go Seminoles! You are all wonderful ... hope to see you play again." LOVE IT! And one other crazy thing happened that night - the entire match I kept hearing someone say, "Bri ... I love your blog!!" and "Can we be in your blog??" First off I was confused because why would a Maryland fan care that much about another ACC school? But the match went on and afterwards when I was on the sideline talking with my parents I heard someone yelling my name again! So I turned to find this guy and said to him, "You want to be in my blog?" he was like yeah, um ... sure. So he came right down to where I was and we took a picture - a very interesting surprise indeed!

    Saturday morning came early but that was OK because we got the chance to go sightseeing in Washington D.C. before going to the airport to leave for Boston. As we boarded our vans all bundled up and wearing our new FSU beanies we got for the trip, we headed downtown. The rain was kind of annoying because we couldn't see much out of the windows of the van and because something was going on at the White House that morning we couldn't get very close to it! But it was a fun adventure in the morning and I got to see some sweet historical landmarks so it made the trip worthwhile.

    And one good thing about the weather being a little chilly was that my hair stayed soooo straight! It was amazing! In Florida it would have been one big poof in like five minutes from being outside. As we got to the airport, we boarded our plane to Boston and when we landed we went to lunch at a little sub shop, which was very good! Then we went to a local high school that generously let us practice in their gym while the girls eagerly watched us as we had our serve and pass. They were too cute! After that we went to the hotel and had some down time before going to dinner at this very yummy Italian restaurant. We ate until we could eat no more and then we went back to the hotel to watch game film and get ready for bed!

    Sunday morning - the final stretch of our long weekend! We woke up and had breakfast in the hotel and checked out and made our way to Boston College's campus. We had our serve and pass and we had a good feeling about the match that day. As warm ups started and the sound system spit out music from Destiny's Child and Britney Spears, we were in control from point one. We won 3-0 and once again everyone got the chance to play. I am very proud of my team on how focused we stayed throughout every point, even when the coaches would change up some things and put different girls in the rotations. And we've started a new tradition: us seniors will try to take a picture in every gym that we travel to.

    CP said, ""The girls were very focused today. Everyone contributed and worked hard to get the win. Georgia Tech and Duke both lost (over the weekend) so that puts us in sole position of first place in the ACC." And since we won the match pretty quickly we got the chance to go SHOPPING! We went to a very nice mall and had some time to ourselves, which was great. And then one more surprise came that day. I was in the Café at Borders and I looked out the window where I saw rain earlier and this time I saw little white puffs falling from the sky. It was snowing!!! Or slushing ... haha - not quite full on snow but close enough! Lauren Richardson had never seen snow so we were very excited for her! As we watched the snow come down it got thicker so that you were actually able to tell it was snow. And of course we had to go take pictures in it seeing as us Florida girls don't get to see it very often! Some Fun pics of us in the snow:

    After playing in the snow we made our way to the airport for our last airplane ride of the weekend ... or so we thought. We got to the airport to find out that our flight was delayed due to the weather and would not be leaving Boston until 8:30 when we should have left an hour earlier. But this meant that we would miss our connection from Atlanta to Tallahassee. So as we waited in Boston we tried to entertain ourselves as much as we could - like me and Nikki in the Brookstone Store.

    It got later and later and we were still sitting and waiting. When we finally boarded the plane around 9:00 they came on the intercom and told us they had to de-ice the plane ... could anything else happen? So after leaving late from Boston we arrived in Atlanta around 11:30. One good thing about the long flight was that we had a free Wi-Fi card we could use for one flight - I can say my team and I are now obsessed! When we were walking through the ATL airport, there was nobody around us and you could tell how exhausted my team and I were! Then we had to go out into the cold and wait for the shuttle to take us to the hotel. Thinking on her feet, Rich made a tent which kept some of the girls warm as we waited! We finally go to our hotel, only to get a few hours of sleep because we had to wake up that morning around six to make our flight back to tally.

    Monday ... normally a day of relaxation ... not so much for us that day. Waking up around six to make our 7:30 flight back to Tallahassee came very very very very early and my teammates and I were extremely tired. Most of us girls slept the whole way back home - then upon returning home most girls had the chance to take a nap or go to class then take a nap. As the day progressed it was good because we didn't have practice so we got to get off our feet for a day to catch back up from the weekend. The polls came out and we were still No. 17 - it is going to be tough for us to move up any more in the polls - but as long as we continue to perform weekly the AVCA will hopefully keep looking at us! My team continues to improve daily and this weekend will be the end of the first half of ACC play so we will get to prove ourselves to the teams once again and hope to stay on top! And one more surprise was waiting for Nikki and I when we got home - someone ... cough ... Julie and Drew and Tyler ... cough ... decided to write on our cars that were left on campus over the weekend and put saran wrap all over them. Mine said, "I like your car but your vball skills are better" :)

    That's it for us this week. We're HOME again this weekend - YAY! We play North Carolina State this Friday at 7 p.m. and UNC Sunday at 1 p.m. And our Sunday match is our Paint it Pink Match - promoting Breast Cancer Research in favor of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. So if you're in town this weekend make sure to wear your pink Sunday and come see your Lady Noles!
    -Bri #5-

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    1 Comment

    Awesome blog Bri; I enjoy reading every week. Keep up the great play, I'm sure the polls will move.

    Good luck today against UNC; excited to watch on TV.

    From a Seminole mom in Tampa and HUGE volleyball fan.

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