MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—Arizona State volleyball’s sophomore Kizzy Willey, junior Mercedes Binns, and assistant coach Linda Hampton-Keith began competing with USA Volleyball’s Collegiate National Team on Monday, which runs through July 2.
Willey and Binns are two of the 36 collegiate competitors training in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships, and the teams will compete in a round-robin event on June 27-30.
Here is an update from the first few days of competition from Willey (Highland, Utah):
Day 1: (Sunday)
T'was a long travel day. Arrived just barely prior to our first mandatory team meeting and got lectured by the famous Bill Neville on time efficiency. GO USA. Anyhow, the training session was good. We played a 2-on-2 half-court tourney for the entire two-hour session. I met a lot of new people and learned that after not playing volleyball for a month, you get a little rusty.
Thankfully, I ALSO learned some things about volleyball and life in general:
- "Be a player, not just someone who plays."
- The Triangle of DOOM!!! --> Lying, whining, and drama. DON'T DO IT.
- Society has made it way too acceptable to say "my bad." Don't be afraid to say "my good."
- When breakfast is at 7 am the next day, which means it's 5 am in your body (or AZ time)... you go to bed at 10:30. (8:30 AZ time)
Day 2: (Is it Tuesday yet?..... Monday)
Session 1- BEST SESSION EVERRRRRRRR. (Linda [Hampton Keith] ran it...)
We worked on deep serves and being patient. Between the whistle and when the serve needs to be airborne = eight seconds. Most do it in three. Bill doesn't like that very much. According to Karch Kiraly (U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach) you want a "flean" serve.... (FLAT and CLEAN).
Quote of the session: "You don't need to serve to ace, serve to disrupt."
Session 2- Defensive session! YAY. Tons of fun. Mr. Ray (head coach at Northern Illinois) ran this session, he's a funny man. We warmed up with a nice little game of "balls of fun." Guess what.... it was fun. You attempt to play volleyball by hitting a ball flying through the air at you with not your hands, but with another ball you're holding. I hit myself in the face. And then we dug balls and stuff for the additional two and a half hours.
This evening we played some minute to win it team games. I think my team won. For the record....
Bedtime is soon!
Goodnight my fellow devils.
Kizzy Willey #10