Sept. 25, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, La. - What a weekend! It feels so good when the hard work begins to pay off. Starting on Friday against East Carolina, we felt great playing our conference opener at home. The newly renovated Fogelman Arena was bursting of excitement and energy as it was filled with so many wonderful, supportive fans.
We executed our game plan swiftly and efficiently, sweeping ECU in three fun games. What made the win even better was the crowd's positive reaction and support after the match. So many groups from Girls First to the Ray Hester Club congratulated us on our success and said they really enjoyed watching us play. They told us we put on a good show and they were excited to come back for future matches. That was so nice to hear and made the win that much better.
Then we were on to Marshall. We traveled to West Virginia on Saturday and got in a couple of practices to get accustomed to the gym before the match Sunday evening. Marshall was last year's Conference USA regular season and tournament champion so we knew we needed to put forth some of our best volleyball. Adding to the excitement of the game was the fact that it was televised live across the nation on CSTV.
The added pressure did not faze our team. In fact, we seemed to thrive on it. We came out on fire and from then on it was a battle with Marshall for every point. Going into the fifth game, though, we had the momentum and pulled it off. There were some tense moments throughout the match, but we fought hard and came out on top. The feeling in the locker room after the game was incredible and epitomizes the reason we all play volleyball. It is all for moments like that.
These two matches were a great start for our team, but we still know we have a lot of work to do. Neither match was flawless, far from it. If we can technically improve, matches will be that much easier for us to win. But we are encouraged by the fact that despite our errors, we had the heart to pull it through. It was a great weekend, and hopefully the beginning of many this year. Thanks again to the people that attended our East Carolina match and we look forward to seeing you again!