Colorado State Day One: Lucky Jumping Beans?
Aug. 28, 2009
A mile is 5,280 feet above sea level and in Fort Collins, Colo., it’s not quite a mile high at 5,000 feet, exactly 4,782 feet above Corvallis. But despite the higher altitude, the Oregon State volleyball team didn’t seem too affected by it at Friday morning’s practice. Talking with junior middle blocker Kiersten Sambrailo, she said that she can tell they’re at a higher elevation, but since the team is in such good shape, it doesn’t really affect its game. The only biggest difference is the volleyballs seem to sail just a little higher and further.
The trip to Colorado State was pretty smooth for a season opener – a bus trip up to PDX, two-and-a-half hour flight to Denver and another bus trip to Fort Collins. The team met with sports psychologist, Dr. Alison Arnold, who is along for the ride, to get mentally prepared last night for the season opener against Cal Poly at 3:30 PT today.
The competition will be tough this weekend as all three opponents are either ranked in the preseason top 25 or are receiving substantial votes in the poll. Cal Poly is currently ranked 39th. And Asics is always a great sponsor, guaranteeing the tournament will be a success.
Senior defensive specialist Brittney Belshe sat down to tell her thoughts on the season opening trip so far and the item she bought at the airport to bring the team luck.
August 28, 2009
Practice went very well the morning of departure. The team’s energy level was high, and I can tell we are all ready to face new opponents. Over the past three weeks, we have made huge improvements, and this is the best competition I have ever seen on this team. It was a quick bus ride, and the airport is always interesting. We ate lunch and looked through all the crazy little shops together. I was paying for my magazines and noticed there were little clear boxes of jumping beans next to the register. They were “lucky” Mexican jumping beans. So I bought some, knowing that they would bring the team a bit of luck this weekend. And get this, they actually are alive, and they really jump around. Too bad not everyone was as excited as I was about them. We named all the beans: Jilly, Bob, Tabatha, Joe and Billy. After the flight, we got to the hotel and had an amazing dinner. After our big family dinner, where of course Mark was sitting at the head of the table, we had a great meeting with Doc Ali. Practice went very well this morning as we adjusted to the altitude; it was a great kick off to the weekend. This afternoon’s match is going to be fun and we are all extremely excited. Hopefully the beans will bring us some luck!!!