Trip with volleyball team proves interesting

Nick Hartley

Nick Hartley

On Nov. 9, I took a journey with the SDSU volleyball team as they traveled to Fargo, N.D., to play in the National Independent Tournament. The trip started out with meeting in the football stadium parking lot and leaving in two twelve-passenger vans and a car.

The atmosphere in the van I rode in was relaxed for the most part. A few girls, including red-shirt freshman Elise In’t Veld, napped. Some watched movies and some studied. As our van got closer to the Old Fieldhouse in Fargo, our first destination, the girls serenaded us with their version of Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying.”

The Old Fieldhouse may be best described as a version of SDSU’s DePuy Military Hall. The girls changed into practice gear and practiced for an hour. The girls were really wound up after practice. I asked if they were normally like this after practice and they responded that they weren’t. They were only like that because it was the end of the season.

We departed to the hotel, the Best Western Doublewood Inn, which served as our humble adobe. During our journey, the girls serenaded us once again. After checking in, we headed back out to the local Wendy’s, just down the road.

Friday morning arrived with a chill in the air. At about 9:30 a.m., I headed to the Fieldhouse. I was met by many volleyball players’ parents, a close group that travels well. I really enjoyed cheering with them.

The Jacks won their first match handily, 3-0, against Providence College (Rhode Island). Afterward, the parents and I went to a good Mexican restaurant, Paradiso. The conversation among the parents was entertaining, and I learned a lot about the players and their families.

The afternoon brought relaxation and rest. After a short trip to the Fieldhouse with senior Minette Ridenour’s family, and interesting conversation about sports and my background, we were ready for the second action of the day. Before the Jacks played, we watched the end of an exciting game featuring IPFW and NDSU, future Mid-Con opponents. The match went five sets, with IPFW winning a squeaker of a game. Next up, the Jackrabbits took on Utah Valley State. The Jacks fell to Utah’s team.

Saturday brought another cold morning. We traveled to Qdoba Mexican Grill for brunch, and then took a trip to the West Acres mall. This was one of the first times the women had an opportunity do some bonding with their parents on the trip. After an hour of looking around and having some fun, it was back to the hotel to do some studying and watch film in preparation for the NDSU game. After approximately an hour and a half, we were in the vans again.

The ride to the Fieldhouse before the game was an entertaining one to say the least. Singing and laughter filled the van I was riding in. The girls were in high spirits, and my hope for an awesome night continued to build. Before the game, the girls did a lot of dancing to get pumped up. After about a four-minute session of dancing, it was business time.

Unfortunately, business did not go well. After a loss to NDSU, SDSU finished the tournament in fourth place. The one bright spot on the court for the weekend was junior Kristina Martin, who was named to the all-tournament first team.

The rest of the evening was spent watching the championship match, during which the girls took time to do some more dancing when play stopped. Sophomore Justine Olsen broke out her dance shoes and did her version of what can only be described as some sort of Irish dance. Freshmen Laura Slagter and Amanda Polzin did a little headbanging during some harder rock songs. Despite losing a tough match, the girls still were upbeat.

After we grabbed some food, we hopped aboard the vans to return home to Brookings. Once again, the women serenaded us before they all went quiet for the last two hours of the trip.

Overall, this trip was an interesting experience for me. I want to thank the girls for a year of fun memories. I look forward to seeing what you can make happen next year.