June 22: Day 8 of Training

June 24, 2009, 9:37 a.m. (ET)

June 23, 2009
Katie Messing and Madelyn Hutson

June 22: Day 8 of training

Today, we had two scrimmages scheduled. After waking up bright and early, the team departed for Coast to practice for a couple hours and later play its 17s team. We played its 18s team last night, and beat them in a thrilling 5-set scrimmage. Being the first observation day for college coaches, there was added pressure for us to play well.

As always, the van rides to anywhere are a highlight of our day. Three vans – Chuck’s, Melissa’s and usually Jim’s, are taken everywhere. Blasting the music and dancing couldn’t be any more fun with this group! Heath refuses to play anything we want to hear. Julie, our trainer, joins us everywhere we go. She claims to be 5’1” on a good day. Being surrounded by all of us of the taller type doesn’t seem to boost her self esteem.

After another wonderful lunch in the Olympic Training Center’s cafeteria, eight of us went to the training room in an effort to relieve the un-ending soreness. We stifled our screams as we slowly dipped into the 53 degree ice plunge. We actually had a few hours off afterward – of which we took full advantage. We got our first nap of the trip!

We left a little before five to make the hour-long trip north to the Wave facility. Physically tired and mentally exhausted, we prepared for our 3-out-of-5 set against Wave 17s. Afterward, we had social time with its team and some of the people who had come to watch. We ate pizza, a rare delicacy for us. We talked to the team for awhile, and got to know them a little bit. I think they taught us all a valuable lesson – you can dislike any of your opponents on the court, but you’d never realize all the friends you are missing out on gaining throughout the awesome volleyball community.

The ride back to the OTC was much less exciting. After a long day, everyone just wanted to head straight to bed. However tired we were, we knew it was a successful day in preparing ourselves as players to be successful in Thailand.

Editor's Note: Katie Messing and Madelyn Hutson are two of 12 players competing on the U.S. Girls' Youth National Team which will represent the United States at the FIVB Girls' Youth World Championship in Thailand July 3-12.