Women's Volleyball Blog: Hannah Benjamin

Dec. 9, 2009

Hello again Cardinal fans!

We have another busy week ahead of us here on campus, but I think it is safe to say that this week is one of the most exciting and special weeks for the Stanford Women's Volleyball team. We have worked so hard in the gym, fought many tough battles on the court, and continued to build an unbreakable team, all to get here, the NCAA Tournament!

Being a freshman, I have had a lot to learn before even beginning to prepare for our tournament matches. Details like 'no more than one logo on any article of clothing,' NCAA-scheduled practices, scouting teams we know very little about...the list of differences between the Tournament and the Pac-10 goes on. But most overwhelming of all is that we were about to participate in the experience of a lifetime.

My first NCAA Tournament experience included a very important tradition that begins at the start of the playoffs which is a celebration and countdown to the finals. For example, last year, the team decided to use a Mr. Potato Head that gained a body part or article of clothing after each victory. This year we decided to use a Christmas tree that would be decorated by each class after each win! Denise purchased a quaint, mini Christmas tree for us, which is currently about a foot and a half tall, mind you. As everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed over its cuteness, Denise said 'This little tree is going to grow to be 15 feet tall!' Needless to say, we may need another airplane to transport our growing tree to Tampa!

Last weekend we faced Long Island University in the first round and St. Mary's in a thrilling five-set second round. The freshman class wrapped gold tinsel around the Christmas tree after our first win and the sophomores each made their own ornament that spelled out our team motto 'Rep the Bay!' after the second round win. The locker room is so festive with our special Christmas tree growing with decorations and we hope to add a little more Christmas cheer this weekend!

Thanks to all of you who cheered us on in our first two matches! We hope to see you all Friday at our match against Michigan at 7 p.m.!

Bring on the decorations!

Hannah

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