Saturday, December 26, 2009

Heading into the Holidays....

Our Women’s basketball team is off to a great start this season with a 6-3 record. We had a shaky night against Tennesse Tech’s Golden Eagles last Saturday night. The Lady Bruins had a good first half and felt we could finish the game with a win. Our team was not shooting as well as we would like to and just fell short of winning the game by 3 points. The Lady Bruins have great chemistry this year but were having a lack of focus as well as communication and not playing quite to our potential throughout the game. Our team has so much potential to have a great season, so coming off of a loss right before our Christmas break will just give us time to get focused and regroup to finish off our season strong. Preparing for conference games is going to be our next field of importance. We are really planning on making it to the NCAA tournament this year so our focus is going to have to be stronger than ever when we return to Belmont for the remaining games coming up.

- Haley Nelson, SO #44

Monday, November 23, 2009

First Doubleheader of the Season

If you didn’t make it out to the Curb Event Center Saturday night for the Women’s Basketball game, then you missed a thriller against Alabama. Those that got to the Men’s game early were not disappointed with plenty of action and hopefully they will come to some other women’s games this season. The game was back and forth the majority of the time and Belmont held on to a 2 point lead as time was expiring before Alabama was able to knock down a jumper to send the game in to overtime. Overtime was just as exciting as the end of regulation and was nearly sent in to another overtime period. Belmont was down by 1 as Alabama was trying to throw the ball in. Belmont was able to come up with a steal on the in bounds and knock down a lay-up to go up by 1. With only seconds remaining, Alabama made a costly turnover giving back the ball to Belmont which knocked down 1 out of 2 free throws. The last attempt of an over half court shot by Alabama just fell short to secure the victory for the Belmont Bruins and extend their winning record to 3-0.

After a brief intermission, it was time to see how the men could perform on their home court for the first time this season. Before the start of the game, the freshmen, class of 2013, was honored and had the chance to run out on the court with the team. From the opening whistle, the team came out strong and built up a dominant lead which they never relished to the opposing squad from Alabama State. This game luckily was not a nail biter, as the women’s was, because I do not think our fans could have handled two extremely close games in one night. All fans were entertained at halftime by the USA Hot Shot Jump Rope team from Franklin, TN. Both teams will have a small break from playing to enjoy the food and festivities that surround Thanksgiving Day. They will both be back on the court in action this weekend: Friday for the women when they start play in a tournament out in Arizona against Oregon State and Saturday for the men when they travel north to play Eastern Illinois.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Senior day for Jenny Gray

The final game of the regular season was special particularly for Jenny Gray, the lone senior on this years team. J. Gray, as she is better known on the court, had several fans in attendance all sporting the I <3 Jenny Gray t-shirts.

Throughout the season you could sense the amount of leadership she had and could tell her team looked up to her as the Senior Captain. Although Campbell put up a good fight, Belmont was able to secure the victory in 3 games and send J. Gray out in winning ways on her home court. The Belmont Bruins have an opportunity to extend their season down in Florida starting Thursday when they open up with Kennesaw State in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.

Monday, November 9, 2009

....Keepin' It Classy, Nashville!

First off, as Lisa said, the last team to repeat as back-to-back A-Sun Tournament Champions, was Central Florida who is now ranked #9 in the country. We had some tough tracks to follow and we put forth a near perfect effort to fulfill them…

This was our third appearance in the semi’s ever, but this road was a LOT easier than previous years! As soon as we got to Georgia we had a VERY efficient 55min practice. We weren’t even allowed to touch a ball until the clock struck 3pm! I’m not going to lie, the coaches really stressed us all out with how quickly we were moving from one thing to another, but we understood that time was of the essence. Dinner later that night was at Ippolito’s, a cute Italian place. I sat with our trainer Michelle, LP and Erica. Erica thought it would be funny to put salt on and ice cube and lick it. She immediately regretted that decision. This is what happens when you forget to serve hyper soccer girls, their bread! Erica may have burned her tongue that night, but this weekend she “burned” every defender she matched up against! At night we received our Regular Season Championship Trophy. Lisa caught Derek off-guard when she told him to get the surprise for us, but Kyle saved him. Derek saved himself though later when he showed the highlight video he made for us from this season. I’m proud to say, me and my silly video camera, contributed some sugar and spice to our game footage! We could not have been more fired up to play the next day and boy did we show up!

We FINALLY put together an AWESOME first half! Though we didn’t score, we had them on the heels the entire time. The second half, of course, evened out, but we still created great opportunities and won 1-0. It was a nightmarish ending for Stetson, as we beat them on the same free kick, from the same person (Annie) as the last game, when we scored late to tie them 1-1. We returned to the finals for the second time in a row/our history. We would face off against our co-Champ foes, Kennesaw St…

As more of our families arrived, we had dinner at the Porter household. I LOVE this part of college soccer! It was SO cool to hang out at a home and have parents and players get to know each other. We have families from GA, to AZ; PA to OH; from FL back to TX and then some! You wouldn’t think playing horseshoes and sitting by the fire would be this priceless of an experience, but it is! I will never forget the good times my “soccer family” gave me and the rest of the team. We are extremely grateful for all that you fans have done for us! After eating we all gathered in the living room to watch the video together. Everyone got to laugh and got to see what makes this team so special. My mom worries that I am far from home, but I tell her I’m surrounded by good people here. She KNOWS that now. Lisa spoke to us all and gave a speech that made even our parents want to play Kennesaw! Derek and Sari proceeded to thank her, on behalf of the team, for how much she gives to us and cares. I haven’t heard too many coaches immediately turn credit over to their team and team management after winning the Coach of the Year Award, but Lisa is one of them.

Usually, the YouTube videos floating around, consume our downtime. This helps to let our minds go and not over think the game ahead of us. One of these was a soccer clip from the UNM game. A girl went ballistic and pretty much assaulted the opposing team…knowing this girl was not on KSU’s roster was one of many things we had going for us!

The other things we had were confidence, belief, urgency, experience, and support. This is what made us come out so strongly in the first half. We got a legitimate PK called for us for the first time this season, but we should have known, getting a good call, was too good to be true for this team. Jess buried it, despite KSU players SCREAMING at her…very unsportsmanlike if you ask me…(or anyone else). 1-0 at halftime was not a big enough lead and we did not come out like it was. We had no intention of packing it in, but after it was tied, we knew we had to step everything up even more. With 3 min left, a handball at the top of the box was called. To be clear, we were not disputing the handball call. We were disputing the PK call which with 3 min left, would decide the game. We were also mad the game was not stopped 2 min before this event, because our player was injured; meaning that we were defending down 1 player for that length of time. This is THE WORST way to lose a game that, we truly believed, was supposed to go in our favor. It’s rare everyone on a team feels NO DOUBT before a game like this, but all of us, had complete faith in the outcome. That being said, this one hurt…to say the least.

You guys should know we are TOTALLY proud of how our season panned out. We still took steps forward for the program overall. And we still ran across and thanked our fans for an incredible season and for their incredible support! “No one can take your dignity from you, unless you give it to them” and Belmont Women’s Soccer is one team that will NEVER give that away. We tried to be a class act in the process. We know we had opportunities slip us by, but realize, Kennesaw, that those missed chances are going to be the starting points for next year’s attempt to regain the title. Our RPI this year finished at 149, which is 14 places above Kennesaw St. (163). RPI is a totaled statistic that compares the competition of a school, to how well they did on the year (322 total). This program just keeps building and building! The flag I brought everywhere, has been passed down on behalf of the seniors, to two, VERY, deserving freshmen, Jane Owen Robbins and Lauren Trappey and they will be sure to keep BU positive and to let people know when the BruWins are in town! Grrrr!

One last shout out to everyone who followed us, especially our own Volleyball team! The support from everyone has really impacted our success and will continue to do so!

Thank you to…whoever…reads this! :) I hope I gave you a few giggles, as well as a little bit of on insight to the fantastic group of individuals that represent your university every day!
Affectionately yours,

A senior and now, a retired GK/Tribe member,

#0 “Reggie” Pilch :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Congratulations to Brittany Thune who won the individual conference title down in Florida over the weekend setting a personal record. Two years in a row she has won the individual title and also received Atlantic Sun Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Year.


Monday, October 26, 2009

If they don’t have Soccer in the real world, I am NOT going

Last weekend was HUGE for us. We are completely in the driver seat on whether or not we win the regular season this year. We need to take care of business against 2 incredibly tough opponents; Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson.

Lisa often gives us some “last chance” motivation before games. They start with “This year’s Seniors have never…” This week that sentence ended with…”beaten Florida Gulf Coast.” That obstacle in front of us, AND the WET, FREEZING, MUDDY, conditions ahead of us, proven a formidable challenge for this years team to face. Well, class of 2010, we can cross beating FCGU off of our “to-do list.” A Pair of goals from Erica Carter sealed the deal in the second half. We ran, and ran, and ran, at the tired, cold, and jet lagged Floridians until the game was over. They are probably the best SOCCER team (besides us) in the Atlantic Sun and play VERY similar to us. Only a few teams will be as creative and connect as many passes, and I think beating them is one of our greater achievements. In the future, if you have a chance to see Belmont and FGCU play women’s soccer, don’t pass it up! You will not be disappointed by the soccer being played.

Our post-game chat was quite short. Lisa wanted us to go inside and defrost ourselves. Saturday morning, we woke up to our field…our brown field. Double-headers help with attendance to games, but really kill our playing surface. It was cold anyway, so instead of even walking on the field, we jogged and stretched in the parking lot, and talked over some things in the locker room to get ready for Sunday against Stetson.

The reason I titled this article the way I did, was because Sunday was SENIOR DAY for the 2010 class. There is NO greater motivation for a team, than to have them play for a group of girls, who, after this year, will most likely walk away from soccer and into other things. Well, if they don’t have soccer in the “real world”, than I’m not going! Whether I stick to my word, will remain to be seen. However, allow me to enlighten you on some Senior day traditions…

The team as a whole, usually gets together for gifts for all of the seniors. This year, we were presented with the most awesomest scrapbooks ever! Please, ask us to see them. I have never seen anything like the detail they put into them! Secondly, they spraypaint sheets with our names and things that are funny or that remind them of us. Last year, we accidentally got the seniors “fitted sheets”…Still sorry about that, by the way guys! :( You can imagine how well HANGING fitted sheets worked out…but this year they made the adjustment. They all looked awesome! Thirdly, Lisa always writes the seniors a letter and reads it to them. We love this part :) …I was only a part of two of them, but wowzers!…Holy cry-fests in our locker room! We thank you for all your sincerity, Lisa, and for the rare, but meaningful words of affirmation! :)

This next tradition is fairly common. We walk out with our parents/families and share our big moment with those people who got us there. Not to make this too personal, but the gratitude I’m about to express, is most assuredly shared, at least to a certain extent, by each of us seniors, who are graduating. That being said, I want to wholeheartedly thank 2 specific members of my team, who you will not see on the bench, but they are my teammates, nonetheless. My parents, Lou and Jean, are the motor on this “little engine that tries.” It is one thing to allow your children to dream. It is another, if you support that dream. But when you stand by while they go through the heartbreaks and support that dream even harder, ALL you Parents, put yourselves in the hall of fame! On behalf of the class of ’10, we thank you for following us, praying for us, PAYING for us, and cheering us on, near or far!

Lastly, generally all the seniors start. Elizabeth Bublis, Alex Mindel, Annie Mussacchio and I, all started. THANK YOU, Lisa, for trusting us. Stetson is, to put it nicely, “rough.” They came out to dash all our hope of winning and ending up scoring towards the end of the half. I wasn’t happy about that. Life goes on. The team came out in the second half with bigger smiles and more energy than I have ever seen at halftime! They were all juggling, laughing, and doin’ the ‘Stanky leg’! (It’s a dance.) I don’t know what Lisa said, because all the goalkeepers were warming Sari up, but I was told she was certain this game would turn out fine! When we came out and started firing shots at will, I soon realized that as well. The pressure was on and towards the end, a free kick was awarded and a senior, Annie, put a knuckle ball in the upper 90 (the top-corner of the goal, where it is HARD to save)! We went NUTS! I lost my voice in no more than 15 seconds…still sound like a frog. We ended up tieing, but after that first half, SU had no room to breath. They were lucky to escape with a tie and we are happy to still be in the driver’s seat after this weekend battle. North Florida and Jacksonville next weekend…”This year’s seniors have never…been regular season champs.” 2 wins=Champions! I hope when we travel to Florida, we take the ‘road to VICTORY!’ Ba-duum Chhiii ! ;P

Monday, October 19, 2009

Catching Up with Fall Sports

  • Men’s Cross Country – This season the men have placed 2nd, 4th, 15th and 8th as a team in various meets. They will head to sunny Florida for the Atlantic Sun Championship coming up on Halloween.
  • Women’s Cross Country- The team has finished the regular season with 6th, 9th, 14th and 3rd place finishes. This past weekend Brittany Thune captured the individual title. They will join the men down in Florida at the end of the month for the conference championship.
  • Men’s Golf- In fall tournaments, the team has played in four events finishing 6th, 14th, 6th and 8th. They will participate in the APSU Invitational this weekend before breaking until the spring.
  • Women’s Golf – The team has been busy this fall with 4th, 5th, 11th and 10th place tournament finishes while also beating rival Lipscomb in a dual match. They have two more tournaments before they will put away their clubs for the winter.
  • Men’s Soccer – After getting off to a rocky start, they had a successful weekend winning both games to improve their record to 3-10-1. They have a big match up with rival Lipscomb Thursday before closing out the regular season the following weekend.
  • Women’s Soccer – Currently #2 in the conference, the team has had success on the field holding a 8-5-3 overall record. Two more regular season games remain when they travel to Florida before the A-Sun Tournament gets under way.
  • Volleyball- The 2nd half of the season has officially begun and currently the team has an overall record of 10-11 and is 7-6 in conference play. There are still several home games left so come out to the Curb Event Center and cheer on the Bruins.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Rivalries

We knew going into this weekend, Mercer and Kennesaw were seeking revenge on their overtime losses against us last year, and that we were intent on proving our right to be on top! We all forgot to pack something when we left for Georgia, though…football pads. This weekend was a dogfight!

Firstly, one of the reasons I like playing for Belmont is the fact that not only do we as players become family members ourselves, but each player’s family welcomes us as new members. It seemed like we were at home in GA this weekend; Laura Harris, Alex Mindel, Alex Morgado, and Mad-dog Porter are all GA natives and they all brought their fan clubs. We ate at both Laura and Alex Mindel’s houses this weekend and both families welcomed us with open arms and DELICIOUS food! It is always a treat to look at baby pictures and ALWAYS nice to get a home feel when away at college. So thanks to both families for hosting us and for all the fan support…especially, Mr. Trocino (Jayme’s dad), for starting chants at the Mercer game! Mercer’s crows didn’t know how to handle you guys!

Mercer was a brutal battle and bodies were flying everywhere, but we withstood the storm and once again made our halftime adjustments. We adjusted and put the Bears under a lot more pressure, but failed to find the back of the net. After once again not playing very skillful in the first half, escaping with a 0-0 draw and a full injury-free travel roster, was something we could live with for the night.

Saturday we mostly spent watching college football and doing homework at Alex’s house. And a few of us spent the whole day itching the um-teen bug bites all over us from Mercer’s field. (If you see a soccer player walking around, they aren’t diseased; they were just attacked by about 1,000 mosquitoes). But the most exciting part of the day was when we arrived at the sweetest hotel EVER! It was the one we stayed at last year where the beds are better-named as “clouds.” We spent a week here last year at conference and LOVED every second. As far as the game goes, the last 3 times we played on Kennesaw St.’s field, we won. So we were STOKED to play there again. However, we were quickly deflated minutes into the game. Our connection just wasn’t there in the first half and NOT that we’re making excuses, but we were fighting some “official” elements, as well. When a team feels those two pressures, it’s very hard to overcome a 3-0 deficit. The second half was a battle for sure. I’m proud of how we didn’t roll over to adversity, even though our effort fell short. Coming away from a game like that with a 4-2 result, leaves A TON of hope for us, the next time we play them. Besides scoring 2 comeback goals, we also hit a post and a crossbar. The game could’ve easily been 4-4. We know they don’t exceed our skill-level; they just out-played us at the right times today and finished their chances.

We respect both of these rivalries and games like these are the reason we play. They are a challenge in every respect. Any one’s mistake can be the other team’s opportunity and next time we play, we hope to reverse those roles more in our favor. We stand now 2 points from 1st place under Kennesaw and the next 4 games are not going to be a walk in the park, by any means. Make sure you come out to Belmont to see (potentially) our last 2 HOME games! We promise to put on a good show when FCGU and Stetson come to town!

-R.P. #0

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Takin' Names and Boostin' Stats!

Belmont Women’s Soccer at the moment is alone at the top & fighting to hold on, in Atlantic Sun rankings. We went 3-0 this week with a 4-0 conference record heading into what will probably be the most challenging weekend for conference play yet….

The Battle of the Blvd. on Tuesday night was another one of our “switch-flipping” type games. We escaped after the first half with a 0-0 tie & once again Lipscomb was knocking on history’s door with force. (Belmont has yet to lose to Lipscomb in a Women’s Soccer game.) With that fear in mind & a few great tackles by Patience Whitten & Dani Stolt late in the first half, our spark ignited. We scored two goals (Jtro and Annie) to beat them 2-0. Our depth is by far our GREATEST aspect & energetic subs is not the only thing I mean when I mention using our whole roster to win games. Lisa pointed out another reason we won. Those teammates who could not dress/sit on the bench with us for this game (because of the A-Sun rule about only 22 players on the road) sat on the wall behind the goal. This was the goal where we were scored on twice last year. Lipscomb fans sat there, yelled & harassed our defenders. So this year, our girls sat there, attracted other BU fans, & turned our weakness into our strength. We scored both our goals on that end of the field. Most teams win games with 11…we win with 27.

Another random practicing this week, having our day-after-game and day-before-game light practice. This is a hard schedule for people who aren’t playing 90 min. to adjust to & difficult to work on things in this time, but that’s how the cookie crumbles. ETSU was a revenge game & we needed to be focused. They were 1 of only 3 conference teams to beat us last year & we made sure they remembered that by beating them at home Friday night 1-0. Jamie Loftis (Lofty) scored on a beautiful header for the game winner! Lofty worked with Alex Morgado (Gado) on finishing crosses & when the Birthday girl “south-paw”, Gretchen Sutch, sent her own gift into the box, Lofty put it in the back of the net. Practice makes perfect. After, the girls drank their usual post-game chocolate milk & got ready for Sunday.

USC Upstate came to town. We weren’t very friendly… we sent them home with a 6-1 result. You might think winning a game by this margin makes it unimportant, but it means a lot to not play down to an opponent. We respected the heart of Upstate enough to keep attacking & playing smart soccer, because if we didn’t the result would’ve been closer. This weekend we matured a lot in an area where we usually miss our mark. We finished chances & had goals from 5 different people! Our talent is incredible! We used our depth not only with field players, but with Goalkeepers as well. This is the first game all 3 GKs contributed to the win. Granted, I was the one to get scored on and let our shutout slip away , but we as a “Tribe/Tripod” performed well overall for our Chief, Coach Kyle. Sari, Ashley Hudak (Hootie), & I like to refer ourselves as this because in soccer, GKs spend a lot of time with each other away from the team. In a game, GK is the loneliest position on the field, so in practice we like having the support of 2 other people. Kyle is our Chief and he makes it near impossible to be invited into the Tribe. Alex Mindel came the closest, becoming an honorary member when she was injured in the spring, but never made it to actual Tripod status. Sorry guys. It’s a tough club join. You need to know things like the capital of South Dakota…In the tribe the answer to that question is ‘Piedmont’

I’ll end with some shoutouts: Sari Lin for the second time in her career was A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week & actually had her first career assist! That’s right…GK’s boostin’ offensive stats! Congrats Sari!! Also, Happy Birthday this week to Lauren Trappey, Gretchen, Marcela Sanchez, and Alex Morgado! Jane Owen Robbins made a lot of cookie birthday cakes this week, so maybe if you read this blog soon enough, you can still grab a slice! This week we play 2 teams we beat in PK’s to win the tournament last year: Mercer and Kennesaw St. They will be out for blood!…How will we fair in the big G A ? TBD….GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
- R. P. #0

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Perfect Running Weather

After last week’s muggy, rainy weather, the women’s country team is definitely loving the temperatures this week! There is nothing better than a run through the park in 68 degree weather! Being from northern Ohio, to me, this is what cross country is supposed to feel like! It’s about time too, because the season seems to be flying by! Only two more races until the Atlantic Sun meet on October 31st, and three races until the South Region meet on November 15th.

This weekend the team will be headed up to Louisville, KY to compete in the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday morning. We’re all really excited to get to race again. We love every opportunity we can get, especially after some disappointing results two weeks ago in Alabama. From the looks of it, this week’s course looks fast and the weather looks like it will help bring some fast times! With some lingering injuries at the beginning of the season, and some unfortunate new ones, we’re lucky to have almost everyone back to race this weekend. Hopefully this race will be successful for everyone, and we hope that we will come back to Nashville with some personal best times!
Wish us luck!!

- Aubrey Alexander, SR. Women’s Cross Country

Monday, September 28, 2009

Big Week in Carolina!

It was a longgg trip to NC this week for Belmont Women’s Soccer, but we figured out a way to make it shorter. You might ask, how do you to turn a 12 hour trip into an 8 hour trip? Survey Says: Come back with 2 wins! We started out the week with an odd practice schedule & played Thursday night. A lot of other things were odd about this game too: we warmed up in pink (breast cancer awareness), it didn’t rain, & my shirt could’ve been a dress. On another note, the locker room was emotional that night too. When you have away trips, a lot of times there is a certain amount allowed to travel. This meant that starting with tonight, when we are not at home, a conscience effort will be put forth to play for our teammates who cannot come with us. Like I said last week, we cannot be successful without our ENTIRE roster. We had GREAT support from them at home & tried not to disappoint them by wasting our opportunities. We played into a stalemate at halftime & I decided it was time for an obvious & corny pump-up speech. I told everyone to put their hands on someone’s back & “flip” the “on-switch.” I didn’t feel we were playing to our potential & something collectively needed to change. They all laughed then & teased me after the game about my lame motivation attempt, but we DID end up scoring 3 great goals in a small amount of time! Granted, I have my annoying moments, but when you guys score 3 goals in 5 min, its pretty hard for me to stop doing those sort of things! We ate some food then headed to Campbell.

We practiced on Friday & Campbell’s coach tried to tell me there were snakes in the field where we were. He lied. Saturday night rolled around & we were back to our normal playing conditions: Rain. Mud. Rain. But this was our first conference game & we weren’t going to all of a sudden let the weather bother us. The “Fighting Camels” came out hard & we withstood their high energy shutting them out in the first half. Second half, we turned it up a notch & ran at them. Jayme Trocino (JTro) scored a beauty off of Elizabeth Bublis’ (Bubs) cross. But later the refs rained on our parade & called a PK. We went into OT. Bub decided we had all been out in the rain way too long & just before the 1st OT was about to end, she picked up the garbage around the goal & scored for the game winner! Starting 1-0 in the A-Sun. It was a great win for us! And also, special thanks to all our fans who came to support us this weekend & all of those who have in the past! Winning twice, got us home in a JIFF!

Belmont women’s soccer is STARTING to turn the corner. Can we continue Tuesday night against our rival, Lipscomb?…Come out to The Battle of the Boulevard to find out! For now, we’ll see ya then…or see you some other time!

-GRRRRRRRR! Renee Pilch #0 Sr.

The Weekend...

Hey Belmont Fans. My name is Maggie Johnson and I am a sophomore Outside Hitter on the volleyball team. I am from Naperville, IL, outside of Chicago, and I attended Wheaton Academy. If you keep up with us on the court I wear #1. I am teaming up with JGray on this blog to keep you all up to date on our season and the team. We just got back from a great non-conference match at UT-Chattanooga. We won the match in four sets with a really solid collective performance form the whole team. We had three players’ notch double-doubles and some awesome defense carried us to a win against a tough Mocs team. There were defiantly some extra battles fought to including one against the floor that could not stay dry. The gym was not air-conditioned and both teams were working hard the whole night, so a towel was kept close to the court and used often. The team was a little incomplete last night because we had to leave two players at home due to illness, hopefully they will be back for our conference matches this weekend against Kennesaw State and Mercer. We really hope that you all can make it out for a game sometime this year. So after a good practice this afternoon we should be ready to go for the weekend.

- Maggie Johnson, Volleyball, Soph. #1

Monday, September 21, 2009

Road Trip

Hello bloggers. My name is Jenny Gray. I am the solo senior on the Belmont volleyball team. I am originally from Greenwood, Indiana- a suburb of Indianapolis, where I attended Center Grove High School. If you are a frequent viewer of Bruin volleyball, you will see me playing middle hitter and wearing #14. If you really know me well, you know my name to be J.Gray. Being my fourth and final year on the team, I am pretty accustomed to how things work around here. From our travel experiences to our daily practices, experience often comes in handy. Being a division I student-athlete is certainly an amazing opportunity; however, it also comes with its fair share of obstacles. Managing school work with athletics seems to be more of a balancing act than anything else.

Some of you may attend (or attended) Belmont, some may be dedicated Bruin fans, and others may just be into reading blogs. Whatever may bring you hear, I am glad that you made it. My teammate Maggie Johnson and I will be taking you on a journey through Belmont volleyball. We will travel on road trips, spend some down time at airports, and enjoy home matches together. The purpose of the blog is to provide you with an inside look- which, knowing myself and my teammates, will be rather exciting.

Conference play is underway, as we are currently 2-1. Yea…yea, you must have heard that we lost to Lipscomb in 3. It was a tough loss to say the least. But we didn’t let it do too much damage. We are moving forward from that and got 2 conference wins this past weekend. Our next trial comes this weekend as we face Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson. Florida Gulf Coast is a very strong program with a powerful home court atmosphere.

Quick fact: They have only lost 1 conference match at home—ever.

We are hoping to add to that number this weekend.

Right now we are at the Orlando, Florida airport. Sitting around- you will see our team doing a variety of activities to pass the time until we board the next flight and head to Ft. Myers, the home of Florida Gulf Coast. Some studious players are hard working on their homework; others are catching some sleep before we take off. We even have a group of 3, Megan, Kayla, and Tara playing Rummikub. Personally, I pass time reading. Don’t get too excited, they aren’t my school books. I’m really good at reading for pleasure and not as skilled as reading for homework. I haven’t quite mastered that yet.

We will be flying into Ft. Myers and playing Florida Gulf Coast. After the game we will drive to Deland, Florida- home to Stetson University. The 2:00 Saturday game causes some trouble to scheduling a flight home, so we must stay until Sunday morning. Hoping for some free time at the pool- it should be a nice, relaxing time.

Thank you for checking in on this first blog. We have a long road ahead of us as we journey throughout the season. Catch ya later!

God Bless

-Jenny Gray

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hey Hey from the Sideline

Well our season has begun and things aren’t going EXACTLY like we had hoped. However, Lisa made a great point that we are turning a new leaf at Belmont and playing a VERY new style of attacking soccer, while still trying to maintain our stellar defense (a defense that won us the Conference tournament last year! ).This has been an adjustment that has made our climb harder, but once we hit our peak, there’s NO team in the A-Sun that will be able to compete with us. I love EVERYONE on this team for what they EACH bring to the table and once we can get 110% dedication from our ENTIRE roster, this will prove to be the most all-around talented team Belmont has ever had…one that can TRULY make a name for ourselves in the Division I world. We have fared well against tough competition, but the time for moral victories stops after August. BU can REALLY make a statement for the rest of September, BUT it is up to EACH ONE of us to decide HOW we can contribute to the success and HOW we will write our history. Belmont Women’s Soccer has raised its expectations in the last few years. The 2008 title is OURS without a doubt! But when it comes to Championships…One year CAN BE criticized as a fluke; Two years DEFINES the start of tradition..What will we do in ’09?? Stay tuned and see how our adventure plays out!..GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!

—-”I believe” :) , Renee Pilch, SR Goalkeeper #0

Raining in Nashville

Running in the rain in Nashville is a very dangerous proposition. The drivers themselves show little regard for you when the sun is shining anyway, but when the clouds form overhead and the rain starts coming down in sheets, you become absolutely invisible. I suppose it’s not too hard to see why. Anyone with any semblance of common sense shouldn’t be out in running shorts when rivulets are forming on the roadways, but each of the cross country runners here at Belmont are inspired by a multitude of factors to lace the shoes up even as the various animals are lining up two-by-two. Today was one of those days, when each cross of the road becomes an exercise in self-preservation. The men’s team is preparing for a split-squad weekend, with most of us heading to Tuscaloosa to compete in the Crimson Classic on Friday, September 18th. The rest of us will be staying in Nashville for a Saturday morning race out at Percy Warner Park (the site of the Belmont Opener-thanks to all who came out and supported the teams!) sponsored by Vanderbilt. Hopefully the weather cooperates, otherwise it could start to look like Woodstock ’99 out there-without the $7 water bottles, of course. This week should tell the team a lot about what kind of shape we’re in going into some big races next month, including a race at Louisville, Kentucky we go to (mostly) every year and a new race for us in Charlottesville, Virginia. A couple of us are getting back into shape, and some of us are getting acclimated to college running (which, believe it or not, is a lot different from high school training), but everyone is very excited about this season’s prospects. For now, it’s time to pound that wet pavement…and hope that Range Rover on 21st Avenue heeds the “Walk” signal flashing in front of him.

- Kip Hill, Men’s Cross Country RS Jr.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Successful Weekend for Volleyball

The Lady Bruins Volleyball team finished a 7 game stretch of playing at their home, the Curb Event Center, this past weekend where they picked up two W’s in conference play over Jacksonville and North Florida. After coming out and playing well in the first two sets of the match Saturday afternoon against North Florida, a different team temporarily emerged from the locker room after intermission. They fell behind early 1-6 and never could quite gain momentum to turn the tables and rally a come back victory. Something must have been said in the huddle between sets 3 and 4 because the Lady Bruins came out dominating and clicking on all cylinders, taking a huge early lead in set 4. The announcer and I commented about how different this team looked from the one we saw just a few minutes earlier. They all seemed to be having a ton of fun and you could tell they were enjoying being out there, playing with all smiles. It was a great way to end their home game stretch before hitting the road later this week to head south for two more conference games in Florida. The team will hit the hardwood again Friday and Saturday for games against Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson respectively.

- Kristen Finch, Belmont University Marketing