2012 U.S. Women's National A2 Blog: Day 6
On March 23, it was announced that Ali Gossen and Kaycee Acree of the Western Michigan volleyball team were selected to the 2012 U.S. Women's National A2 team, a select group of 48 college athletes chosen from over 200 total who tried out. Gossen and Acree will spend nine days in Columbus, Ohio working out with the team, and will be blogging about their experiences.
This is the sixth entry in their blog. Enjoy!
July 2, 2012
Not much happened today outside of volleyball. All of the teams had practices early this morning and then rested before heading to lunch. After lunch a lot of us took naps and then headed to the convention center.
Kaycee's team lost a close match to the Gold team and my team won again. Tomorrow we start tournament play. My team is seeded first and will play the White team at 7:30 tomorrow night. Kaycee's team is seeded third and will play the Gold team again at 5:30 tomorrow. The winners of those matches will play in the championship on the fourth.
Since we played later matches tonight we ordered pizza for dinner when we got back to the dorms. Tomorrow we will have another morning practice and a day of relaxing until our night matches.
I'm pretty tired but still having an amazing time and am so happy to get to have this experience!
Goodnight from Ohio,
July 1, 2012
It's been another busy day in Columbus!
When we got to the convention center our court was extremely far behind schedule, so we watched other club matches for a long time. A bunch of young teams came up to us wanting to take pictures; I felt like I was famous. When it was finally time to play the Red and Blue team (Kaycee's team and my team, respectively) played each other. The Blue team won in three in a competitive match. The second set finished at 28-26!
After play, I went to dinner with my family while a bunch of girls headed to the movies. Unfortunately, another huge storm hit tonight leaving more areas without power. Not to mention, when we drove back to the dorms a huge tree was down across the road. The winds have been unbelievably strong!
Late tonight a bunch of the girls sat in the lobby of the dorms and watched the Olympic gymnastics trials. It was another good bonding experience and a lot of fun to watch.
I'm excited about another day of strong competition tomorrow. The blue team is looking to go undefeated before "tournament" play starts!
We will let you know how it goes,
June 30, 2012
Hi Bronco fans!
Today was our first day of actually playing in matches. Ali's team played against the Gold team, and my team played against the White. Our morning began at 8:30 a.m., when we had to go in for a serve and pass session. After that, we ate lunch and headed to the convention center. It was awesome to be playing in that exciting atmosphere again, because it's not what we normally get to experience. Both of our teams won yesterday!
After the matches, we came back and had dinner. Ali's family came to see her play, so she spent the evening with them, while many of us went to the mall. The mall was huge and very nice.
After the mall we all came back and went to bed to get rested for tomorrow! More to come!
June 29, 2012
Today has been an interesting and exciting day. At this morning's session we were placed on the teams we will be playing with for the remainder of the time we are here. I am on Team Blue and Kaycee is on Team Red. During both practice sessions we worked on the system we will run during tournament play and got to know all the girls on our teams.
In between sessions, Team Gold and Team Blue went to a local community day center and taught volleyball to third, fourth, and fifth grade boys and girls. It was really neat to go out in all our gear and represent Team USA by giving back to the community. Much like with the community service we do at Western Michigan, it was special to touch someone else's life in such a positive way.
During our afternoon session, a huge storm hit and the power in the gym went out for a good ten minutes. Soon, the lights came on and we were back to work, but we soon found the damage was much worse. When we left the gym it was pouring and huge tree branches were down everywhere. Part of the metal roof from one of the buildings even blew off! Luckily, everyone is safe and the power is back on in the gym and dorms.
Tonight we are doing laundry and getting some rest for our first day of competition tomorrow. We all have an hour long serve and pass in the morning and play at 2:30 at the Columbus Convention Center. I'm looking forward to playing and coming out with a win!
June 28, 2012
Hello from Columbus,
Today was another great day of volleyball and other activities. Much like yesterda,y we had two practice sessions, one in the early morning and one early afternoon. Again, the morning was a lot of position work and passing. Kaycee and I were actually in the same passing group for most of the morning. It's the first time we have really seen each other the entire time we have been here. During the afternoon session we played a six on six drill for a total of eighteen points. After every set of eighteen, each position rotated to a different court so that you were always playing with new people. The drill was a lot of fun and it was neat to experience all of the different styles of play that each athlete had to offer.
Unlike last night, tonight the entire group of players and the coaching staff got together to watch film of the USA Women's National Team playing in a World Cup event that took place in November. It was absolutely unbelievable to watch these women play! The level of volleyball is unreal.
After watching the film, some of the coaches shared their experiences of playing with Olympic teams and the commitment that is involved. All of them shared their unique stories of working through the USA pipeline of teams and ultimately making it to the Olympics; a few have Gold Medals to show for all their hard work. Their stories were inspiring and it's neat to hear each of their personal stories.
At tomorrow morning's session we will find out our teams for the rest of the time we are here. The 48 girls who are participating will be split into four teams of 12 players. The teams will be Red, White, Blue, and Gold, and each team will be assigned two coaches. I am excited to find out which team I will be on, as is Kaycee, and to get used to the styles of play of the girls I am put with.
I'm still having a wonderful time and learning a lot. It is an amazing experience.
I am looking forward to another day of hard work and fun tomorrow!
All for now,
June 27, 2012
Hi Bronco Fans!
This morning we woke up nice and early to head to breakfast at 7 a.m. We had pancakes, eggs, bacon, cereal, and fruit to choose from, as well as a wide variety of drink. It was delicious!
After we ate he walked over to the gym - the dorms, gym, and cafeteria are all within walking distance - to start warm ups and practice at 8:30 a.m. This morning's session was a lot of drilling and position work to improve our ball handling skills. It was nice to split up by position and really learn a lot from the coaching staff. In addition, I was pleased that I was able to meet a lot of new people from a wide variety of schools. Practice went until 11:30 a.m. and then we walked back to the cafeteria for lunch.
Once we had finished eating we headed back to the dorms to relax and recover before our next session started at 3 p.m. Kaycee and I both took naps to get rested for the next practice. During the afternoon session we did a lot more live play and six on six drills, which was a lot of fun. Afterwards, we went to dinner.
Tonight we have a lot of free time to do what we want and then we are back to work early again tomorrow morning. I am excited about the rest of our time here and I know I will only continue to grow as a player and person. The atmosphere is amazing and the coaching staff knows a ton about the sport. I think my favorite part so far is meeting, playing with, and interacting with so many great volleyball athletes. Everyone is super friendly and it will be really neat to know a lot more people from different teams that we play during season.
More to come!