Tales from the road: Duquesne athletes share their travels
Sara Scheirman for women's volleyball
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 23:10
Sara Scheirman is a senior outside hitter on the women’s volleyball team. The team returned from a two game road trip over the weekend.
Imagine traveling on four planes and two buses in just one weekend. The women’s volleyball team did just that last weekend to play two teams on the road. We officially began conference play on Sept. 21, so now the fun begins. While we fly to just about every away game, this weekend consisted of more traveling than playing.
Thursday night we left Pittsburgh at 7 p.m., destined for Indianapolis via Cleveland. We then drove two and a half hours to our hotel in Illinois for our first match Friday night against St. Louis.
In preparation for the match, we had a continental breakfast at 9 a.m. After breakfast, we weren’t departing for our game until 12:30 p.m. so my roommate, freshman setter, Mary Henry, and I tried to catch up on Breaking Amish (“tried” being the key word). The wifi was so slow that it took us two hours to watch a 42-minute episode. Finally, after our show ended, we departed for our game and received a pregame lunch meal on the bus. This bus ride took about two hours.
After our long bus ride, we arrived at the gym around 2:30 p.m. and had our pass and serve from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pass and serve is just a quick hour of practice in preparation for the game, it consists of getting used to the gym and the lighting. Once we ended our pass and serve we had our pregame meal at Panera where I was able to see my dad, who traveled all the way from Pittsburgh to support the team on the road.
Following our pregame meal we headed back to the gym, where we were taken to our locker room to get ready for the match at 7. Everyone prepares for the game differently. Over half of the girls on our team listen to their iPhones or iPods, while others talk. The coaching staff came into our locker room at 6 p.m. to go over important plays or players that we need to focus on. Coach Steve Opperman finished this up with our pregame speech. This week it consisted of the phrase “get geeked up!”
After the coaches leave the locker room, we wait 13 minutes until we take the floor. At 45 minutes on the clock, we begin our pregame warm up and at 30 minutes the referees call captains to the center of the floor and have us flip a coin to see who will receive. This time we won the toss and chose to receive. At 7 p.m. the starters were introduced and it was gametime. After a long hard-fought battle of 2 hours and 9 minutes and 5 games (21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 20-25, 15-13), we finally won the match.
Two of the three seniors on the team, middle hitter Ashley Buse and myself, have been battling against St. Louis since freshmen year. This win was especially important to us because we were finally able to beat them on their home court. That feeling was truly indescribable. After the match my dad bought the team brownies and cookies and our coaches had our sandwiches ready for the long bus ride back to Illinois. We arrived back at the hotel around 11:30 p.m. and had to be up by 9 a.m. again the next morning to head to Indianapolis to take on Butler University.
After another continental breakfast in the morning, we watched film on Butler in our coach’s room and then packed up and began our two-and-a-half-hour trek to Indianapolis. Like St. Louis, we arrived about 2:30 p.m. for pregame, practiced until 4 and then went to Applebee’s for lunch where our food was already waiting for us. After a light lunch, we went back to the gym and the locker room to get ready for our second match of the weekend. After the whistle was blown at 7 p.m. we took the court against the Bulldogs. After finally winning the match in 4 games (22-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-19) and one hour and 48 minutes, we advanced our record to 4-0 in the conference and 15-5 overall.
Although we didn’t get into any fun off the court like our past two preseason trips to New Mexico and Nebraska, where we created a “Call Me Maybe” video and crashed a wedding, there is no better feeling than returning on campus with two wins, becoming 4-0 in conference and 15-5 overall with another road trip ahead to George Washington and WVU.