Senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo contributed a team-leading 16 kills in Volleyball's victory Friday night at No. 9 Wisconsin in the opening round of the AVCA Volleyball Showcase. Acevedo took time after the team breakfast Saturday morning to share some of her thoughts from the match and the team's stay in Wisconsin.
The Longhorns take on defending NCAA Champion Washington tonight in the finals of the AVCA Volleyball Showcase at the UW Field House in Madison. The match begins at 7:30 p.m. CDT and will air live on College Sports Television (CSTV). A live stats link will be available at TexasSports.com.
Friday's match against Wisconsin was a great test for us. We had been playing against ourselves the whole preseason, so we were really excited to be playing against someone else. We came into the match with three freshmen - two starting and one coming in to pass and serve. It was a great chance to see how far along we had come since fall workouts began, and it couldn't have worked out better! The atmosphere at Wisconsin (over 4,000 fans) gave us a taste of what we will experience later in the season during our conference matches. It was good for us to play in front of a big crowd early in the season.
I came into Friday's match feeling confident, knowing that I have been playing college volleyball the last three or four years, not counting the year I got injured. I came into the match feeling relaxed, knowing it was not the first time I have played in that kind of environment.
Tonight, we play Washington in the finals of the AVCA Volleyball Showcase. We respect them a great deal - they are the defending NCAA Champions, after all. We will come to the court ready to play our best. We feel we can go head-to-head with them, so it should be a fun match against a great team. When you play a team like Washington, every player has to be in tune and playing together, and that's what we will have to do if we want to win.
I was expecting it to be a little warmer here in Madison, but it has been rainy and a little cool the whole trip. But, when we first went to the gym on Wednesday, we quickly found out that the gym was not air conditioned! So, I guess it's nice that it hasn't been as hot up here as it has been in Austin!
We know that (junior) Jen Christian likes baseball, and she likes to sing, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." There is this new commercial on ESPN where some Little League baseball players are singing the song in Spanish. So, Jen tried to sing the song in Spanish, too. I actually looked up the lyrics in English and sang it to her in Spanish, and now she wants to learn it in Spanish! After this trip, she'll be singing along whenever she hears the song...but in Spanish!
As upperclassmen, we have been really supportive of our freshmen. It would be easy to tease them or play pranks on them, but we're trying to be more of a support system, instead. We talk to them about things like playing in front of a big crowd (like last night). You never know how they will react in front of a crowd like that. It's something we'll have to deal with throughout the season, but they handled it really well last night.
We encourage you to watch the match tonight on CSTV! We are ready to go for whatever comes our way.