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Sept. 23, 2009

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This fall, junior volleyball players Kayly Elmer and Katrina Racibarskas have teamed up off the court to fill Leopard fans in on the 2009 volleyball season. They will take readers from preseason to key conference match-ups while also giving the inside scoop on roadtrips, their teammates and more. Be sure to check all season to get your fill of Lafayette Volleyball!

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA!!! The weather is a scorcher! After a long day of traveling, we have arrived. We settled into our hotel rooms with little time to spare. We headed out to explore the downtown. A Charleston Harbor tour was on the schedule! The Harbor tour took us along the Charleston Bay, pointing out all the historical aspects Charleston has to offer, such as Fort Sumpter. Excited and hungry, the team grabbed a good old southern dinner at Hyman's Seafood. The team was able to try some of the South's favorites--boiled peanuts and fried green tomatoes--which were actually pretty delicious.

Waking up for practice the next day was a struggle. The arena we were to play in was beautiful. It was as if it was our own stage. Practice consisted of running plays and in general just getting used to the feel of the gym. In store for the afternoon was a tour at the famous Boone Plantation. There we were given a tour of the home where our tour guide informed us of the famous movies filmed on the plantation. The most famous being The Notebook!! How exciting!! The team also enjoyed a tram ride throughout the entire plantation where we learned all about the harvest season. It was really interesting to hear about the variety of crops they harvest. We saw strawberries, squash, pumpkins, grapes, pecans, almonds, cotton and much more. The day ended with a messy meal at a rib and wings restaurant called Sticky Fingers, followed by scouting the match between College of Charleston and South Florida.

Game day!! Though it was not a technical success with the loss of both matches, we didn't go down without a fight. We stepped-up and challenged both teams. South Florida was our first match. We knew it was not going to be an easy game. South Florida has some big girls but that didn't shy us away. Everyone was excited and eager to play. The sets were hard fought and we held our own. Unfortunately, South Florida put up a great block and exploited our weaknesses.

With a little break in between matches, we rested and regrouped before playing our next match against the College of Charleston. Again, not going to be an easy game, we came out fighting. The downfall to this match was our inability to hit around their block. Though we struggled at some points, we never let down, and with nothing to lose, we played all out. I'd like to congratulate Kari Horn and Cara Mulholland for making the All-Tournament team!! This weekend really gave us an insight into how ready and excited we are for Patriot League! We've become familiar with the level of play we are going to see and know what mechanics we need to work on to improve our own play! That's it for now! Keep posted!