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Off the Court with Kaitlin Kozak

Friday, October 14, 2005

The past few days have been quite busy for my teammates and I. Thursday morning we left for North Carolina for a match on Friday evening against NC State and Saturday afternoon versus UNC. We arrived at Raleigh-Durham around 5:00 pm and immediately went to dinner before practice at NC State. It is important to practice on the road in order to get a feel for the gymnasium. We quickly discovered NC State’s arena was not air-conditioned, and it took us some time to get use to. Within the first fifteen minutes of practice we were hot, sweaty, and had to wipe up the wet floor several times after diving after balls. Although it wasn’t exactly the most pleasant atmosphere, it prepared us for the following day.

Friday arrived and we were anxious and excited for the match. We woke up around 8:30-9:00 am and ate breakfast at the hotel. Following breakfast, we had an hour and a half of mandatory study hall and then we had the option of going to the grocery store and getting some snacks to hold us over before our pre game meal. It was good to get out of the hotel and get some fresh air. At 3:00 was our pre game meal and then at 7:00 we played the match and beat NC State in four games. It turned out to be a great day for me not only because we won, but also because my parents decided to drive eight hours from Pennsylvania and surprise me!

After the match, we went back to the hotel and I got to hang out with my parents. My mom baked homemade chocolate chip and oatmeal raison cookies to share with the team. We went to bed around 11:00 pm and woke up the next morning again around 8:30 am to eat breakfast in the hotel. Around 11:00 am we left the hotel to go to UNC for our match at 3:00. It was a close match, but unfortunately we did not come up with the win. Immediately after the match we quickly said good bye to our friends, family, and guests who came to support us. Because our flight was that evening, we had to rush to get to the airport.

Although we arrived to Miami late on Saturday night we got to sleep in on Sunday morning. We then had practice from 4:00 to 6:30 pm to prepare us for our match against FSU on Tuesday. On Monday, I had class in the morning, practice in the afternoon, and then we left at 3:30 for Tallahassee, Florida. Our strength coach and our sport information director accompanied us on the trip. Upon arrival, we went to dinner and then checked into our hotel. It was strange because my teammates and I actually stayed in a separate building than our coaches. The rest of the evening was spent watching TV (the Steelers played on Monday Night Football!!!) and doing some studying. Tuesday morning we woke up and ate breakfast at my favorite place-the Cracker Barrel. We practiced for an hour in the afternoon and then our match was at 7:00 pm. Our team was extra excited because FSU is our rival and the game was going to be televised on the Sunshine Network.

After losing the first game 34-32, we came back and won the next three games. The entire team played very well and it was a great win for us. We flew home Wednesday morning around 10:00 am and went to class if we didn’t miss it. The rest of the day I spent studying and doing laundry. Today,(even though it’s fall break) I had to take a midterm that I missed while traveling this past weekend. The rest of the day I will prepare for our match tonight. We play University of Virginia tonight and Virginia Tech on Sunday. Go Canes!

-Kaitlin