U.S. Women's Junior National Team Journal with Cat Highmark and Kristin Carpenter

July 25, 2008, 8:30 p.m. (ET)

Note: Cat Highmark (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) are members of the U.S. Women's Junior National Team competing in the 2008 NORCECA Women's Continental Championship at Saltillo, Mexico.

July 23, 2008

The day began a little earlier than usual at 6:30 a.m. Most of us had our usual pancakes and Fruit Loops for breakfast and then headed off for practice. The weather was cooler because Hurricane Dolly was coming towards us. Practice went well being at 8 in the morning. We then came back and ate another breakfast (we all like to eat). Then we rested until our game at 2.

Bus rides over to the gym are always interesting. We play this game called silent football. We all have a hard time with being serious so when one of the rules is not to laugh… it gets pretty intense. We like to bond (happy face sign).

We pretty much had control over Costa Rica the whole game. We did not quite know what to expect because they took Canada to 5 sets. But we finished in 3 sets. We had probably 20 people in the stands and five of them were actually our parents. We played well and we played together.

After the game we went to lunch with the Costa Ricans, but as Annie says “it’s only as awkward as you make it,” Well, lets just say, they sat on the opposite side of the cafeteria.

We went back to the hotel and got some rest. We headed back to the gym to see the end of Canada and Dominican Republic. We scouted (well, as well as we could) and then we watched the first set of Mexico and Cuba. The crowd was INTENSE. It was kind of fun to see how Cuba reacted to the home crowd. Mexico surprised us all by winning that first set. We kind of hope we play Mexico. The crowd was just awesome and it would be fun.

We came back to the hotel to find DOMINOES PIZZA waiting for us. It was basically the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. I think I had 7 pieces … wow, it was good.


Cat and Kristin