Sunday, September 23, 2018

Alum Happenings: Visits to MIDD, Wedding Fun

There have been some fun alumnae things going on this month so far!  We've had visitors to Middlebury, and visitors at away games, which is always fun.  And, there was a wedding featuring a former MCVB "stud" where many old teammates gathered for lots of fun, laughs and good times!

First of all, Meg Anderson '14 came to see us opening weekend at Wheaton, which was fun!  I actually didn't get a picture, but promised we'd get one next time!  Also at that tournament, we had Katie Kenney Enslin's '03 parents (who are some of our biggest fans!) visit us and cheer us on, and it's ALWAYS great to see them!

Then, there was a gathering of many MCVB alums for Sarah Studwell's wedding!  There were many fun times and pictures that came out of that weekend, but here's the group photo of them all, which could appear in the Middlebury Magazine with the official banner?!  :)

The fun thing about our MCVB family is that it spans years, and lasts a lifetime!  The following people all gathered for the fun event:  Lizzy Reed '15, Julia Gibbs '13, Sarah Studwell '13(congrats Stud!), Elissa Goeke '12, Megan Jarchow '14, Katie Chamberlain '16, Kathryn Haderlein '16, Meg Anderson '14, and Amy Hart '14.

They also took an informal picture featuring Meg, Katie, Kathryn, Lizzy and Lizzy's parents and dog--ALL in Middlebury Volleyball swag--looking good, MCVB!!  A big congratulations to Sarah Studwell on her wedding!  It sounded like a really fun gathering of old friends and new ones to celebrate life and love!

Lizzy posted pictures from the weekend with a quote that made my day:  "Thank you MCVB for fostering my love of nachos and teaching me that it was never really about the volleyball after all."

It's always fun to hear from any of you alums out there, and of course, always fun to see you back at MIDD, or if we're in your area, come out and see us there!  Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

MCVB Splits First Conference Weekend

Our first Conference weekend was home this year, which was very nice.  We opened once again with a marathon match with Amherst, much as we did last year, but this time we came up on the short end of the 5 set duel. 

After not playing with our freshmen our opening weekend, we had a mid-week match at Plymouth State where many of the Rookies got to test the college waters, so to speak.  That match was a success all around, and we could start to see a lineup unfolding for the first NESCAC weekend. 

The Amherst match was a great test, and a tough one to start out with, but all in all, it was a good thermometer for us.  In almost every positive category we had a slight edge (more kills/assists, aces, digs, and tied for total blocks)...but in almost every negative category, we also held the edge (attack errors, serving errors, blocking errors, and ball handling errors.)  Our receive was very good at times, but we still need to keep working on being aggressive and smart with our out of system balls.  It's always tough to lose a 5 set match, but I felt like we fought the whole time, and were right in it the whole way.

Isabel and Sarah continue to lead our offensive efforts, and first year's Corley and Maggie jumped on the scene by putting up some big numbers early--Corley led all attackers for both teams with 17 kills in her NESCAC debut, which was exciting, and Maggie wasn't far behind with 13.  Gigi is anchoring our defense once again, and aided by our very own Claire, who we're thrilled came back to us after being abroad last Fall!

We also had an alum from '06 back to visit with her husband to show him a VT Fall weekend and they were excited to catch our game!  It was fabulous to see Georgia again, and we had fun reminiscing and we realized that she was here when my now 13 year old son was born!  Yikes!  Always fun to reconnect with MCVB alums, and she was excited to see the team play!!

Saturday's match featured an improved Trinity squad who came out strong and took a very close, extra point first set 28-26.  After that we seemed to find our stride, and our defense started to gobble up some balls that had dropped in the first set and our attackers found the gaps in their defense and we overpowered them for the win. 

All in all, it was a very good opening weekend, and we're all pretty excited about the group we have this year and what we can accomplish together!  We've had all week to work hard and prepare for our upcoming tri-match at Ramapo where we'll play the host Ramapo on Saturday morning after playing NYU on Friday night.  We're excited about the road trip and another chance for us to grow as a team and test our abilities and teamwork!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Pre-Season 2018 is in the Books...

I'm a little late in posting this, but we had a full and competitive pre season and we're excited to be heading into our first Conference Weekend tomorrow!  We had a large group in pre season, and some hot weather, but at least the backboards didn't fog this year, so we had that going for us.  We had our first gathering at my house, as usual, with the whole group including any parents that were around, which is always fun!  Then, during pre season in addition to practices, we had some time to do some team building exercises and lots of paperwork and trainings.

Our opening weekend was at Wheaton, where we once again played without our freshmen.  Due to our schedule of classes and Freshman Orientation, that first weekend of play coincides exactly with the Freshman Orientation Trips, so we left them behind and took the upperclassmen to Wheaton for our first weekend of competition.

 Senior Isabel Sessions was also job interviewing in NYC on Friday morning and managed to leave after practice on Thursday, fly to NYC, interview Friday morning, rock the interview, and still make it back to Boston and then Wheaton College before warm-ups!  Whew!  That was a full Friday for Isabel, but we're glad she made it back, and also glad she rocked the interview!  We came away from the weekend 2-1 overall.  Despite the last loss to the hosts Wheaton, I think we all felt pretty good about where we were and what we were doing for this early in the season.
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There were a few highlights about the weekend not exactly related to playing volleyball.  Our parent support was fabulous as one parent hosted our sit-down dinner (which we don't get to do all that often) on Friday night at a local restaurant, and then Beth's parents hosted the team for breakfast on Saturday morning at their home in Franklin! The breakfast options were amazing, and home cooked, so I hope the team doesn't think that our future team meals will be this good?!

Our team was relatively small without our 5 freshmen, but we had some parents in for the weekend, so it made for a nice sized group.  We always like fan support, so thank you all for coming out to see us!  It's fun for Beth to see the big bus parked in front of their house, also, so we took a family picture of that for fun.  A big "Thank you" to the Neal's for hosting us all at their house and for the fabulous breakfast!!

Another highlight was that my daughter goes to Wheaton, so I got to see her after her first two weeks of school, so that was great.  Our fan base was spread far and wide, both in distance traveled, and in years of involvement with the Program. 

Sarah's and Gigi's dad's came from CA, Chellsa's parents where there from NY, Beth's parents were there, and Claire had friends visiting.  Our volunteer Assistant Coach, Jill came down with her husband and son who was college touring and got a look around Wheaton and a couple other colleges in the area while they were there.

Additionally, Meg Anderson ('14) was on hand to watch us, as were Katie Kenney Enslin's  ('03) parents.  They're long-time fans of ours and it's always special when they come out to see us play!  Thank you all for your support, and we look forward to seeing you all again during our travels this season!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Relay for Life 2018

Our players are involved in a lot of different community service events as individuals and one of the main ones we do as a Team is Relay for Life!  Three members of our team were especially involved as Event Organizers for this big day, and they were Emily, Sarah and Beth.  Kudos to the three of you for your extra efforts all year (and years) raising money and organizing for this special event! 

Most of the team came out at one point or another, and I got pictures of most of them.  Beth, Sarah and Emily were there all day, setting up, running the show and making sure it all went as planned, including dealing with the rain.  We made it through most of the event before the heavier rain started, and they even moved the luminaria celebration inside, along with the closing ceremony.  The rain actually ended with about an hour left so people could still get some laps in as darkness was setting in. As you can see from the "check-in tent picture" below with Beth and Sarah that it was a little chilly at times, although we may credit the hat that Sarah's wearing to her southern California upbringing...I'm not sure it was actually THAT cold!  ha ha...

Becca Grais, Shea, and El were all there for a bit also, which was great, and I saw Becca and Eliana briefly late afternoon before the rain really kicked in.  Jack and Emily have both been involved for many years now, and since it was their final Relay, I had to get a picture of the two of them, and they were nice enough to allow me to take a picture "for the Blog!"  Thanks guys!  And, really, thank you for all that you've done over the years for Relay.  It's a great event, and there's probably not a single one of us who don't know someone affected by cancer, and for most of us, it's multiple people.  I know for sure you were both involved last year as well, and maybe all four years? 

The American Cancer Society continues to make strides, and the young student speaker who was diagnosed as a very young child thanked everyone involved because he credits his quality of life to the strides they've made with treatments, which is so encouraging to hear.  In his speech he mentioned working at a camp for young children with cancer, and he said the reactions from parents who see him there and hear his story are uplifting as they look at him now in college and can picture their children surviving this disease, and he could see the HOPE in their eyes and in their face, and that's such a special thing.  Let's keep working for more success stories!!

 The final picture here is our friends from Special Olympics, Kate, Sam and Cari.  They used to be super fans a few years ago, so we're going to have to work on getting them back to our games, but they turned up for Relay and we had a great time catching up! 

Well, it's really starting to look and feel like Spring here, finally, so Happy Spring, everyone!  Graduation is in a little over three weeks, believe it or not!  That will be our final farewell to Emily, Becca, Alice and Eliana as student MCVBers....because they're now Alumnae MCVB!  We'll welcome them back to MIDD forever as alumnae of both our own MCVB family and the Middlebury College community!!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Spring Recruiting and Visits with Alums

Spring really means recruiting season for me.  Along my travels to recruit and scout out potential new Panthers, I've also been fortunate to connect with some former alums, which has been really fun!

My first trip was to Boston, so a closer trip than most!  While there, I got to connect with Meg Anderson '14 who was also playing in the adult portion of the Mizuno Boston Festival.  It was great to see Meg back out on the court tearing it up!  She also was great to consult with me during her free time.  As a former assistant, she watched some recruits with me and weighed in with her evaluations, which I always appreciate.

A couple weeks later, I was out in Denver at the Colorado Crossroads Qualifier.  Another fun thing while out recruiting is seeing other NESCAC colleagues, and it's always fun to hang out with Candice from Colby, and many of our other NESCAC colleagues as well.

While in Denver for the Colorado Crossroads Qualifier, I got to have dinner with Dawn Trowbridge Marsh '00 and her husband Jon (also '00), and their wonderful kids.  Their daughter could become my first recruit whose mom also played for me...if I make it that long!  She's still got a few more years before she's in the recruit-able range, but I think she's playing some good ball these days!  I had so much fun at dinner just catching up.  The kids were fabulous to hang out and be part of the conversation too, which was so fun!

Also in Denver I took some time on Sunday after I'd finished recruiting to head up to Boulder to catch up with another alum from the same era as Dawn.  Amy Lowell Bloch '01 has a new baby and a toddler that I'd never met, so that was great fun seeing them!  I met Charlie when they were visiting New England before they were married...I think they stopped by during pre season a few years ago to say hello and check out MIDD.  It was great to connect with them and get caught up what's going on in Boulder and meet the kids.  Her new baby literally slept the whole time, peacefully!  Amazing...and Quinn is a sweet toddler in that great stage of hanging out laughing and smiling and playing with her food, but still eating most of it.  Adorable!!   I also got the full range of weather in CO with seasonable temps most of the time I was there, walking around in just a light jacket, to hail in Boulder, to giant wet flakes of snow that turned into a blinding blizzard on my way down from Boulder, back to simple light rain.  Anyway, really fun trip and great to re connect with both Dawn and Amy and their families!

My final trip was to Chicago for the Windy City Qualifier.  I'd not been to this tournament before, but I love Chicago and was excited to go. A funny thing happened to me the day I was arriving.  I got a text from my niece from CA who said she was thinking of me because in the convention center next to her TESOL Conference was a huge volleyball tournament.  Long story short, we were at the same convention center!  She was finishing up her conference just as I was arriving, but we got to hang out and catch up briefly, which was a surprise bonus!!

I had planned to see Jane Handel '12 sometime over the weekend.  Originally from Evanston, she still lives in the Chicago area, and has been doing some youth coaching and is still playing, so she was excited to join me for an afternoon of watching volleyball.  We probably watched almost three hours of volleyball while catching up before heading to Chinatown for dinner on Saturday night.  We then took the El downtown to the Riverwalk section.  It was a bit brisk to be out walking along the river, but there's a nice walking section down there and they've redone that  section along the river with lots of bars and restaurants along it, so I'm sure it's even better in nice weather.

Following those trips we've had a nice string of recruits visiting campus, which has been great also!  If the weather would just cooperate, it might actually start to feel like Spring?!  Spring sometimes takes it's time coming to VT, but it's awfully nice when it does arrive!  Happy Spring!

Friday, March 9, 2018

MCVB Gear Fundraiser

Several alums have asked if we could do an MCVB Gear on-line store, so here's the chance to get your MIDD Volleyball stuff!!  (Not just for alums, but for FANS as well!!)  We're doing this as a fundraiser to help support the team, and hopefully this gets you all some great MIDD gear to wear around and show your support!  There are youth sizes, so those of you with kids can get your gang in some MIDD Volleyball gear now, too!  Shop NOW because the Orders Due by Friday, March 23, 2018!

We're also working on an Alumnae Game for next year, so for any of the alums reading this, we'll keep you all in the loop for that also.  There is a limited offering of MCVB gear in town, so THIS is the place to get your volleyball gear if you're interested!  Happy shopping!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

College Trustees Invite Coaches and Athletes to Dinner

When the College Trustees were last on campus in January, they invited a group of coaches and student athletes to have dinner with them at Atwater.  Becca, Isabel, Chellsa and Sarah were invited to join me for the event.  It was a very fun evening, and we had a chance to mingle and talk with several trustees, which was very nice.

There was a small panel of student athletes who all shared a "Middlebury Moment" with the group, and then we were asked to share our own "Midd Moments" at our tables.  Becca was selected to sit on the panel and the MIDD Moment she shared was winning NESCAC's in 2016.  She highlighted not only winning NESCAC's, but the community spirit she felt when our Field Hockey team, who was also at Tufts competing in their championship all streamed into the gym after their game and gathered in the gym to watch and cheer at the end of our come-back match!

They had an open bar, and since everyone but Chellsa is of age, we were able to share a glass of wine together, which was also nice.  The food was good, and it was great for me personally to connect with an old friend from college who is currently serving on the Board of Trustees, in addition to meeting some other board members and getting to know each other a little.  It's always fun to spend time with team members in other settings, so this was a great opportunity for that as well!  The Board has been meeting with various focus groups around campus and this was an opportunity for many of the board members to have a much closer look into what role athletics has played in these student's experience.

By the time I'm posting this, J-term has ended and second semester just started.  Isabel is already in Prague, and our seniors enter their final semester of undergraduate!  Over Break we also got a beautiful new foot of snow!!

Happy February from MCVB!!