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    Bri Breaks It Down - Vol. 10

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    "One Team ... One Heart"

    Hi Seminole fans! It's now the 10th edition of my blog and I still can't believe that ACC season is almost complete! Craziness! This weekend was HUGE for me and my team since we were playing Duke, who is ranked 2nd in the ACC, and Wake Forest. We had very strong practices going up to Friday and I believe that my team was very prepared for the match. This weekend was interesting for us because Sun Sports was with us the entire weekend - filming everything from pregame talks, to treatments in the training room, to even interviewing my parents ... hope they didn't embarrass me too much! I was very excited to hear they would be filming us because it means that people are going to see Florida State volleyball for what it truly is. We are now nationally known and we continue to improve each week and we are proving to everyone that we are contenders now.

    DUKE! That was the word of the day on Friday - we knew what we had to do to beat those girls and we pulled out every stop that night to do so. Thanks to Julie in our corner crew we had some pregame entertainment with "Reptar," our very own Blue Devil Piñata. And we let Fatma and Duygu have their swings at him because they didn't know what a piñata was! It was so much fun!

    As warmups began and the music was running through our veins - my teammates and I were getting ready to play one of the biggest matches of the season. We knew we had to win to keep our lead in the ACC. The match started and we were off. It was back and forth the entire match - they won the first set, then us. We won the 3rd, but they came back in the 4th set and pushed us to go to five. We knew we had more in us and we definitely let it out in that last set. One of my favorite parts of the match, as well as the most nerve racking, was when we messed up on a rotation which meant Taylor, our defensive specialist, had to play front row for one point. She was going to be right side, where Duke's main outside hitter was going to be hitting. So Jordana made the quick decision to solo block against her on the outside and Taylor went back for the tips. Jordana did everything perfectly and got the solo block and the referee then called a lift on one of the Duke players and we went crazy. That one play gave us all the momentum and we used it to win the match in five. CP said, "I am proud of the girls for the effort they put forth tonight. We can play better. We made a lot of critical mistakes but we found a way to win and that's the most important thing. We now have to get ready for Wake Forest coming in on Sunday." It was completely true! And I have to add that Fatma, our freshmen outside hitter from Turkey had her career night against Duke - career highs in kills (15), hitting percentage (.519) and digs (21). GO FATTI! :)

    As soon as the ref blew the whistle for our point and the match was over - we ran to the middle of the court so fast and attacked each other! We beat Duke twice in one season - something that hasn't been done in quite some time. I couldn't have been more proud of my team that night - we played together so well and even when we were down we pushed through and ended victorious. We took some fun pictures that night:

    I finally got my picture with our painted guys!

    We saw the flying nun too!

    Saturday came around early and we had practice to get ready for the Wake Forest match. We had a good practice and we felt pretty ready for the match Sunday. Saturday was a fun-filled day for me - I got the chance to go to the swim meet to support our guys and girls swimming teams against LSU - and I made some pretty sweet signs for their Gold Letter Meet! They won, which made the day even better!

    After the swim meet some of my teammates and I got the chance to volunteer at the Gilchrist Elementary Carnival, which was tons of fun! Holly's two sons go there and some of us went last year and had a blast. Also there is a family that my dad knew through work when we lived up here in Tallahassee, and their two boys go to Gilchrist and they come to our matches too! So they were very excited to see us there that day. We each were assigned a different station - Steph had the temporary tattoos, Rach and Tay were making snow cones, Fatma was managing the coloring tables, I had the candy catapult station, and Jenna and Brandon Blahnik, our team manager, were there helping too! I love giving back to the community because they support us so much and it makes our season that much better to see Tully full every home weekend!

    Here are some pictures from the Carnival:

    Sunday morning came early and we made our way to Tully to take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. It was hard to get excited for this match because we had a very emotional match Friday night and a long day on Saturday - and you could tell by the way we came out for the match. We won the first two sets with the help of Sareea, our freshmen middle blocker, who stepped up big that match and played her heart out. But then things went south for my team, and Wake came back and won the next two sets. We weren't the team that we knew, that the coaches knew, and that the crowd knew. We ended up winning the match in five and it was a very mental match for us that we need to learn from and realize that we can't play so up and down as the season progresses. CP said, "I was very disappointed the way we played in games three and four. We came out in both of those games without any fire whatsoever and we played tight. We are a little banged up - which a lot of teams are this time of year - so we had to move some people around and that sometimes causes chemistry problems. But we got the win, which is most important." I am proud of my team for pushing through the obstacles and getting the win we needed that night.

    But one good thing did come out of that match - our painted guys were very creative with their painting schemes - with fake money for Rich and everything! "Make it Rain Rich!"

    Monday! After such an exhausting weekend there was a good surprise waiting for me and my team that day - we moved up in the rankings again! We're now currently No. 15 - new school record for highest ranking ever! WOOO! I am so proud of my teammates this season and I could not ask for a better senior season! I can't wait to see how the rest of the season goes. We will be practicing hard this week because we have Clemson and Georgia Tech this weekend - and if things go well then our future is going to be very bright indeed! Look for us on Gametracker!!

    -Bri #5-

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