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At The Net With Natalie
Release: 11/19/2012
Natalie Hackbarth

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Creighton Volleyball's Natalie Hackbarth will be blogging througout the spring, taking you behind the scenes during her junior season this fall.


11/19/12
CHECK US OUT!!!!
 
Some highlights of our weekend:
 
Outright conference champs! (17-1)
5-set wins over Wichita and Missouri St. (both by 2 points!)
3 charter flights (total travel time under 4 hours)
Full body massages
AND
No practice today!!
 
Man, we have to try this winning thing more often :)
 
I can’t believe our regular conference season is over. It’s insane how fast time flies when you’re having fun. We head back to Springfield, Missouri on Wednesday (by bus this time…darn). For those of you that haven’t heard, we play the winner of Southern Illinois and Illinois State at 5 pm on Friday.
 
You’re probably thinking “Whaaaat?! They don’t get a Thanksgiving dinner?” Oh, we do. We get two :) We’re heading to coaches house tomorrow where her mom has traditionally made us a bomb Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, you name it! And there’s even dessert!—which coach actually lets us have. (Normally she doesn’t because she knows we get plenty on our own time.)
 
We also get a delicious meal Thursday night, provided by our most loyal and dedicated fans—the parents. Just add it to the list of above-and-beyond stuff they do for their daughters.
 
As I mentioned, we play the winner of SIU and ISU on Friday at 5pm. If we win that match, we will play the winner of the other side of the bracket—either Wichita State, Missouri State or Northern Iowa.
 
Then back to Omaha! We will watch the NCAA Selection Show with our fingers crossed (and celebrate our regular season) at 3:00 on Sunday. And hopefully hit the gym again next Monday to practice for our Friday night NCAA Tournament match!!
 
That’s all for now. I’ll keep you updated with the conference tournament and the NCAA Selection Show.
 
Check ya later,
 
15


11/8/12
Jays’ fans,

The excitement continues!!  

Wins over Bradley University and the University of Northern Iowa last weekend has moved Bluejay volleyball into the top 25!! We are currently ranked 25th by the AVCA coaches poll with a record of 22-3.   

Our season is beginning to wind down, but the intensity is heating up. Regular season conference champs, MVC tournament champs, and making the NCAA tournament are all goals we are still working to reach. While we have two more weekends of conference play, two wins this weekend will allow us to close out regular season in first with a #1 seed in the conference tournament.   

As you can imagine, we have no intention of getting soft heading into our final home matches. We play Indiana State at 5:00 Friday, and Illinois State at 6:00 on Saturday. Be sure to stick around after the Saturday match, as CU plans to honor the seniors.  

Can’t make the Saturday match? The game will be airing on Cox 2!  

Hope to see you there,  

15


10/23/12

Hey all,
 
Have you heard? The Bluejay volleyball team is making history…and it’s exciting!
 
-We’re 28th this week in the AVCA Division 1 coaches poll
-We’ve received votes for the 7th time this season
-Best 21-match-start in program history—18-3!
-We’re No. 34 in the NCAA’s RPI
 
Some other cool stuff…
 
-Ranked 3rd in blocks per set—3.13
-Ranked 18th in winning percentage—.857
-Ranked 36th in hitting percentage—.251
-Ranked 45th in digs per set—16.94
-Ranked 98th in service aces per set—1.32
-Ranked 98th in kills per set—13.23
 
Some individual stuff…
 
-Kelli ranks 2nd in blocks per set—1.71
-Kelli ranks 24th in hitting percentage—.386
-Kate ranks 67th in digs per set—4.88 (5th among freshmen!)
 
I know I threw a bunch of stats at you, but they definitely say a lot about our season! And that’s not even the half of it! Stats don’t tell you how much chemistry we have on and off the court, how much fun we have playing in games and at practice, or how much we like each other—so I will. We have GREAT chemistry, we have A LOT of fun, and we REALLY like each other :)
 
We’re just over half way through, starting the “second round” of conference play (as we begin to play each team for the second time).
 
We’ve elevated our play since our first game, so if you haven’t been out to a game in awhile, come see us this weekend! We play at D.J. Sokol Arena both Friday and Saturday. We’ll be taking on the Evansville Aces at 7 PM Friday, and we’ll be seeking revenge against the Southern Illinois Salukis at 4 PM on Saturday.
 
Hope to see you there!
 
15

 


10/4/12

Hello everybody,
 
I’ve made a promise to a few readers that I’d post more than once a month, so here I am! Today, I’m just going to leave you with a little thought I had while studying at Starbucks:
 
Have I mentioned to you guys that Thursday is the best day of the week? Well, a few teammates and I were discussing that for Creighton volleyball, it is. And here’s why:
1.    We have a short (not to be confused with easy) practice

2.    Our day ends at 3. Done with practice, done with class (except for those lucky nursing students) with the rest of the day to sleep, eat, study, and go back to sleep. Occasionally we’ll hang out with each other, if we’re feeling up to it.

3.    Only one more day of class!—and it’s a Friday!

4.    Tomorrow, we get to play the biggest match of the season. (Coach says that before every game—EVERY match is our BIGGEST match of the season)

5.    We can take a sigh of relief—no more stressing over the tests we took, the papers we wrote, the hard practice that might be coming, or the weights we’ll have to lift.
 
Are five reasons enough to convince you that Thursday is Creighton volleyball’s favorite day of the week? If not, I could probably come up with a few more.
 
Happy Thursday :)
 
15

 


10/2/12
And now it’s October.   

I can’t believe it’s been a full month since I last posted. I better step my game up.  

October marks the middle of our volleyball season. We’ve survived preseason, trucked through nonconference tournaments and midweek matches, and have made our way into conference play.   

Conference started off strong, as we defeated Missouri State, Wichita State, and Drake in our first two weekends. They were great wins too!   

However, our season veered in a different direction (unfortunately downhill) with a loss to Southern Illinois last Friday, Sept. 28th. We fell to the Salukis 29-27 in the 4th set. The loss was unexpected and disappointing, but not heartbreaking. We lost, we learned from it, and now we’re moving on. We still have competitive conference play ahead of us, with the goal of a conference title driving us. We finished the weekend off with a win over Evansville and a 9-hour and 45-minute bus ride back to Omaha.  

In addition to the win over Evansville, we had a few other celebrations, as last weekend was BIRTHDAY WEEKEND! Melanie, me, and Megan all celebrated a birthday on the road, turning 19, 21, and 22.   

We’ve been hitting the gym hard this week preparing for two big matches this weekend. We’ll be playing UNI on Friday at 7:00 pm and Bradley on Saturday at 5:00 pm in the D.J. Sokol Arena. I can say with confidence that they’re going to be competitive matches.  

Hope to see you there!

 

15


9/4/12

 

Happy September Everybody,

(Omigosh, can you believe it???)

This past weekend was our famous home opener, the Bluejay Invite. We got second at the tournament—after sweeping Syracuse on Friday night, losing to K-State Saturday afternoon, and finishing with a win against Denver Saturday night. It was a good weekend for us, as we’ve now advanced to 5-1 and have PLENTY of more things to improve on.

Next weekend we head to Greeley, Colorado. We’ll be playing Ball Sate, Tulsa, and UNC. (If you plan on keeping up with these matches, keep in mind they are in Mountain Time.) I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know much about these teams, but if I know Creighton volleyball (and I think I do), they should be pretty fun matches! We’ll be traveling retro style, taking a good ol’ charter bus the full 7+ hours… there and back. Yes, it’ll be terrible. We’ll be claustrophobic, crabby, and complaining about our leg cramps (mostly the tall girls). But on the other hand, traveling via bus has its perks—we can catch up on sleep, get ahead (or catch up) on homework, and bond with teammates. So, I guess you can say my opinion on bus rides is split, 50/50.

Alright, so I finally have the time to fill you in on us players:

Let’s start with the freshmen. Sure, you know their numbers, hometowns, and measurements…but is that really what you want me to tell you? Probably not. So how about I tell you a fun fact about each newbie that you can’t read in the media guide?

Ashley – the Bluejay’s Sweetheart--known for her sweet, innocent, and pearly white smile and “bust my butt” attitude

Kate – (not to be confused with Katie) constantly brings about laughter with her many ‘accents’ and her outstanding (and quite startling) ability to burp on command

Mel – to sum her up in one word—quirky. (an example of this, the strange purr noise she makes if her playing isn’t up to par at practice)

Lauren – her boisterous laugh can be heard from miles away, literally…miles away. She also has a pretty deadly elbow brace (unfortunately, for an injury) that she won’t hesitate to take you out with in practice

And for the old dogs, I’ll fill you in on what we’ve been doing with our lives, both the glamorous, and the not so glamorous.

Katie – spent some time working out and hanging at the lake. Went to the Dominican Republic for family vaca before returning to Omaha to work a few volleyball camps

Kelli – worked out, played a lot of beach volleyball, spent quality time with friends and family, and returned to Omaha to work Creighton volleyball camps

Michelle – the usual volleyball workouts, made some money as a receptionist at Alegent Health Clinic Elkhorn, and went on vacation to Mexico with her family

Lizzy – spent her time at home in California…hanging out at the beach (rough, right?), worked volleyball camps, and then went to Kauai for family vacation (as if living in California isn’t enough! Haha)

Leah – went on a 3-week trip to China to play volleyball, returned home to Florida to hang out at the beach and work at a flower shop, and then came to Omaha to help with July camps

Savannah – worked out (catching a theme here), babysat, went camping and horseback riding, and spent some time at the pool

Me – I stayed in the wonderful state of Neb. in my Davis Square apt. Woke up early for weights, played in open gyms, worked volleyball camps, and worked in the marketing department at Quantum Workplace. Oh, and I went to the pool…twice

Brittany – headed home to California (like Lizzy, rough life). But unable to hit the beach everyday, as she interned at an OB/GYN in San Dimas, as well as in surgery and the clinic

Megan – stayed in Omaha (in Davis, as my roommate!) for workouts and volleyball camps, coached club volleyball, and took a few small trips with friends

Heather – also stayed in Omaha (in Davis, as Megan and my roommate) to lift weights and attend volleyball open gyms, worked Creighton camps as well as some high school volleyball camps, and shadowed various dentists in Omaha for internship hours

Brooke – spent her first summer in Omaha interning at Alegent Health. Traveled home only three days the entire summer, but squeezed in time to visit her boyfriend in Minnesota and meet up with her family in Kansas City

Well, that’s the 411 on all of us volleyballers. This gives you a little taste on how we prioritize our summers… We work, sunbathe, fill our time with extra curricular activities, and spend time with family and friends. Oh, and I guess we play some volleyball.

Hope that helps you get to know us a little better!

That’s all for now,

15


8/28/12

 

Greetings,

Hope you all had a fantastic August. I think I speak for all of us volleyball players when I tell you ours flew. We had 2 ½  slooooooow weeks of preseason 2-a-days and BOOM!, now we’re in regular season. Can hardly believe it.

If you’ve been keeping up with gocreighton.com (and other media) you already know that we had a pretty successful opening weekend. We went down to Florida and made plenty of good memories. Loaded up the shuttle at 4:20 a.m., got to Tampa around 1:00, spent 30 minutes at the beach, dunked ourselves in the Gulf of Mexico, ate a delicious dinner at Leah’s house, a few of us fell asleep on her couches and floor, slept in on Friday, beat UCF, swept USF, and beat Wisconsin!! (Creighton’s first pre-season tournament title since 2006!!)  Our trip concluded with shakes from Chick-fil-A and a 9-hour commute back to Omaha. Quite the weekend. Not to mention, we had practice off Monday and some players who received very prestigious awards! (You can check that out and find details on the matches in the articles posted earlier this week.)

Also, rumor has it that a Creighton volleyball video is going to be posted sometime soon…very soon. Now trust me, this isn’t your average highlight video or match footage. This is high-end stuff that you may never have the opportunity to see again. What could it possibly be, you wonder? Well, you’ll just have to check it out.

I know I’ve flaked out on you guys a few times now, but this girl’s got a bedtime and 8:00 a.m. class. I’ll be posting as often as I can!

Coming soon—info on the Bluejay Invite this weekend, dirt on the freshmen, and recaps on us old dogs.

Stay cool this week (I heard rumors of record heat…yowza),

15


8/10/12
We're still alive!!

 

It's been 3 full days of 2-a-days and 1 inter-squad scrimmage... and we're still kicking (some of us more than others).

We're sore, we're tired, we're cranky, we're stiff, we're irritable....you name it. But above all that, we're super pumped to be on the court and playing as a team! 

When preseason rolls around, I hear the same question from friends, family, and fans: "What do you guys do for 6 hours a day at practice?"  --uh, we practice! Haha.  We pass, serve, hit, block, pass some more, train setters, work on footwork, develop our arm swings, serve some more, work on team defense, practice offensive hitting patterns, more blocking footwork (I hear the middles love it!!....), perfect out-of-system sets, run some sprints, do some shuffling, dive for defensive balls, get serve-receive reps... Still curious? I could keep going.

What you read above is only a fraction of what we do at a practice. We're always working on something, always getting better. And you could really tell today at our scrimmage! We got great feedback from the coaches, and from a player's view, I'm excited at how well we played for only a few days in! 

We've been busting our tails, and it's paying off. The coaches seem to think so too, because we got practice off tomorrow! AAAAH!! You're thinking "One practice off..What's the big deal?" Trust me. It's a BIG deal. When your roommate has to spot you on your way up the stairs in case your quads give out and you plummet down to the bottom step and break your hip.... you'd be wanting a day off too. (I'm totally kidding...kind of.)

So you want me to stop blabbing and tell you what you've all been DYING to know!!?!? The dirt on the froshies and what us upperclassmen have been up to all summer?? 

Too bad. I hate to do this to you guys again, but you've caught me at a terrible time... We have a team pool party and BBQ to get to! (Rough life, huh?) 

So I'll have to take a raincheck!

So glad to be posting blogs again!! See ya next time!

15


8/7/12

THE BLOGS ARE BACK!!!!

Hello all,

Long time no see.

Well, Creighton volleyball is back and we’re gearing up for the 2012 fall season! (Where did summer go, right?)

Today is the first day we’re allowed to report, however, we’re not able to practice. So what do we do? Fun stuff, let me tell ya. Physicals, dentist check ups, eye exams, height and weights, injury tests, drug tests, pictures, compliance meetings, rules meetings, team meetings...meetings, meetings, meetings.

At least our day ends on exciting note! Dinner at assistant coach, Amanda Sjuts house! (followed by another meeting...)

While all of these meetings are completely necessary, some of them tend to get a bit long (and boring..), which makes for a lengthy first day back.

But we sure are looking forward to tomorrow! That’s when we finally get to step back on the court as a team again! Coaches, managers, players in all! It should be pretty exciting.

I’d love to fill you in on what we’ve all been up to this summer and give you some dirt on the new freshmen, but unfortunately we have team pictures today, which means I have 30 minutes to make myself look decent! So I’ll have to save that for next blog.

Catch ya later,

15

 


4/30/12

Hi folks.

As you read from my previous post, we had our last spring tournament a weekend ago. I can and will only tell you two things about our last tournament: We did NOT play our best, and that tournament was NOT a reflection of our team next fall. That being said, I'm sure you can imagine how the day went. But the players (and hopefully the coaches) have forgotten about the negatives and have started focusing on the positives. We all still get very excited when we think about August and FALL SEASON!!

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, the volleyball team and the entire student body need to finish up with finals. This week students are nervous wrecks, as fears of one test ruining an entire semester of hard work fill a lot of stressful minds. The reason I say students, instead of the students and I, is because I have already completed my final tests! (something I think a lot of my teammates resent me for). But I'm not going to let a little bitterness ruin my summer! I'm already out in Seattle visiting family :) But please, please, please keep the other students in your thoughts this week! I am sure they'd appreciate it!

Well this wraps up the spring-semster blogs (sad, I know). But I'll be back. You can expect to hear from me once in June (to let you know how the first few months of the summer have been going) and then again in mid-July when the team is back together again!! We'll be working out, hanging out and laying out! Gonna be a fun summer!

See you in June!!

15

 


4/12/12

 

Hello readers,

And it’s that time of year. One full week of regular classes, dead week (where professors aren’t supposed to assign us projects, papers or assignments so we can focus on finals…but they still do) and then finals week!! Just three short weeks until the freshmen become sophomores, us sophomores become juniors and the juniors become our seniors.           

Since there’s only three weeks of school left, that means there’s only six days of practice (not that anyone is counting).

It’s almost a sad thing that we’re about done, now that we’re getting closer to full strength again. Heather is on the court about 90% of the time, just limiting herself during live drills where the chance of getting hurt is greater. And Brooke is off crutches, out of the boot and doing rehab on her ankle everyday. Brittany just got off crutches as well, but unfortunately she still has a few dreadful months of rehab before she’ll be back to full strength.

I know it’s been awhile since we’ve talked so you must be wondering what we’ve been up to. Well, as you know, we played at Kansas City the week before Easter. We played really well, competing and winning sets against K-State, KU and St. Louis.

And since then, we’ve been doing what we always do—working out in the morning, attending classes and going to practices. Of course, we have other things slipped in here and there, like going home for Easter break, attending the Hall of Fame Banquet or going out to dinner, but those all seem far and few compared to our daily routine.

The next big item marked on our calendars is a week from tomorrow.  We head to Kearney, NE for their “Big Guns” Invitational. Our first match is at 11:30 against K-State’s White team. After a 30-minute lunch break we’ll play three more matches: 1:00 against KU, 3:30 against the University of Northern Colorado and 4:45 against Wyoming. We expect good competition again against KU and K-State, as they are both very good teams. We’re not sure what to expect in our match against Wyoming since we’ve never played them before, but that’s what makes it fun, right?

Enjoy the thunderstorms this weekend :) Such a great weekend to be curled up in the student center, listening to the thunder, writing papers and studying for tests! (That’s what I’ll be doing)

15


3/30/12


Aaaaand we're hitting the court again!

This weekend we head to Kansas City to strut our stuff on an unfamiliar court. We'll be playing 3 back-to-back-to-back (yowwwzaa) matches in the afternoon.

Right after we arrive, we step on the court to play a 12:15 match against Kansas State. Followed by St. Louis at 1:30 and Kansas at 2:45. Unlike last weekend, we'll be playing matches only (no scrimmage drills).

For those of you planning to attend, we'll see you at Blue Valley West High School at 12:15!!

For those that aren't, will you pleeeeeease do us a favor? Take 10 minutes (10, that's it!) out of your day to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather that we'll be missing! We'd really appreciated it :)

Catch ya on the flip side,

15


3/27/12

Isn’t it beautiful outside?!?!
 
I hope you’re all enjoying the weather—the Creighton volleyball team sure is! We’re headed outside today to play in the sand!
 
It should be a fun and exciting practice considering we’re coming off of a great weekend! If you haven’t heard, (or didn’t see for yourself) we played very well on Saturday!
 
We started with a cooperative warm-up drill, as Creighton, North Dakota and Iowa State were all on intermixed team. After about 15 minutes, we started drills! We played fun little practices games against both Iowa State and North Dakota, and we rested while they played each other.
 
This is where it gets really good.
 
The games began!!!
 
We played North Dakota first, and won 2 out of 3 sets. It was very fun and exciting as we were able to try out different line-ups.
 
Our second match was against Iowa State, which we also won!! It was quite thrilling playing a big, physical team that made the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament last year.
 
Last weekend was a great weekend to see the physical gains we have made on the court and in the weight room. Wins like these definitely provide motivation to keep working hard!
 
We play in Kansas City next weekend, with 3 back-to-back matches starting after lunch. I’ll post again soon once I find out more information for those friends, families and fans that want to attend!
 
Try to spend some time outside today :)
 
15


3/22/12
Hello there,

Hope all is well with everybody. Are you as busy as we Creighton players are? I don't know what it is, but something about this week is ridiculously overwhelming. I guess having to balance practice, conditioning, school work, class and sleep time can be a little too much for one plate to handle sometimes. But I still have time for you guys:)

Unfortunately, I don't have time to answer a question this post, so I'll just fill you in on our weekend plans. We play again this Saturday and D.J Sokol Arena!! We'll start off our morning at 9:30 a.m. with intermixed warm-up drills with Iowa State and North Dakota State. At 10 the fun begins!! Creighton and Iowa State will be playing a Creighton practice drill (called 3-2-1) for 15 minutes, after which, we will play North Dakota in the same drill. As you may have guessed, Iowa State will then play North Dakota in the same drill.

Then at 10:45 we'll be playing North Dakota in one of Iowa State's practice drills (called Serve +1). At 11, Iowa State and North Dakota will play and at 11:15, we're back on against Iowa State. Following the drills, there will be a short hour break (mainly for the players' benefit) to grab lunch and refuel.

Now, here is where it gets exciting!

COMPETITION STARTS!!!
(All teams will play each other; best 2 out of 3)

We will start our first match against North Dakota at 12:30.
Then, Iowa State and North Dakota will play at 1:30.
And then we're back on at 2:30 against Iowa State.

So now you know our schedule, that's one less excuse to stay home!
The entire day (drill work and competition) is open to the public, and it's FREE!!

We'd love to see a lot of friends, family and fans coming to show their support!
Should be an exciting day for us Bluejays!!

Hope you can make it,

15

 

3/13/12
Wowza...

That pretty much sums it up.

It's safe to say we have completely lost all of our muscle mass and fallen out of shape during our week off. (Relax coaches, I'm just kidding) But we are definitely sore! There is no doubt that our bodies know the difference between 2 hours of volleyball and week and 2 hours of volleyball a day! However, after three more practices we should be used to the grind and ready to go for our tournament Saturday! (which I have more information on)

We'll be playing UNO and South Dakota, like I said, but I found out some exact times. We'll be playing at the UNO field house on UNO's campus starting at 2:30. Then again after UNO and SD's match at 4:30. It's open to the public so we hope you stop by to check us out!

Okay, for our next order of business, to answer another question: What do you girls do on long bus rides?

What would you guess that a bunch of 18-22 year-old girls do on an eight hour bus ride? I'm sure you have a few guesses, so I'm going to start off my squashing a few stereotypes. No, we don't paint our nails, do our hair and make-up, and talk about boys. (okay, we do talk about boys on occasion, but what girl doesn't?) I decided the easiest way to express what we do on the bus is in terms of math. Our bus rides consist of: 60% sleeping (on these wonderful sleeper buses that allow us to make bunk beds so us tall ladies can stretch out our legs, although I think the shorties enjoy them as well :), 5% homework, 10% procrastinating while we attempt to do our homework, 5% making decisions, like what movie we want to watch or what game to play, 10% playing "back of the bus" games like "would you rather," and 10% chatting, gossiping, or talking about useless nonsense.

That pretty much sums up our ridiculously exciting 8-hour bus rides.
Thanks so much for the question! I'll answer more next post!

Hope to see some of you Saturday!! (but if you want to spend the afternoon outside, we'll totally understand)

 15


3/11/12
Hi everybody!

First of all, I wanted to start off by congratulating all of the Jays' teams that are currently representing our school with some wins!! I've been keeping up with baseball, softball and tennis; and rowing and golf are beginning competition as well! A special congrats to the men's and women's basketball team as they've declared themselves Missouri Valley champs and reserved a spot in the NCAA Tournament!! Very exciting! The men had their selection show party on Sunday night. The #8 seed Creighton Bluejays will play Alabama in North Carolina on Friday! The women will have their selection show Monday  at D.J. Sokol Arena to see where, when, and who they play. Can't wait to cheer both teams on!

Next, I wanted to tell you that I love, love, loved your questions! I decided to answer one of them today.

1.) What's our funniest locker room moment? Hands down, our funniest moment was at Indiana State. During our locker room talk after the first two sets (2-0, us) the coaches wanted to give us some incentive to close in three sets. They gave us a scoring goal and promised that if we made it, they'd dance on a platform in the locker room to "Drop it Low." And, WE WON! (I'm not really sure what would have happened if we lost.) But it was definitely one of the funniest moments we've ever had in a Creighton volleyball locker room.

Again, I love the questions. Keep em comin' :)

As you read last week, Creighton just went on spring break. We finally got a week to relax. No practice, no classes and no alarm clocks. But that all changes tomorrow. The volleyball team will be back on our grind at 7:15 Monday morning with strength and conditioning. We'll have just 5 days of team practice under our belts before we get to compete (finally!) We will be playing UNO and South Dakota at UNO. It's on Saturday the 17th and open to the public! We are unsure of the playing times at this point, but if I had to guess, I'd say we would play from late morning to early afternoon. Feel free to stop by and see how we look!

Hope you're enjoying the weather :)

15

 


2/27/12

This one is going to be short and sweet.
 
I feel like I’ve been doing all the talking, so I wanted to take this opportunity to open up the floor for you guys. Since there won’t be much material to write about these next few weeks, I’m taking questions!
 
What do you want to know?  
 
What kind of weights we lift and conditioning we do? What classes we like (and dislike)? What our majors are? A day in the life of one of us? What we do outside of school and volleyball? A fun fact about each of us? How we’re known to our teammates? Who can eat the most? Our favorite things?
 
I got the dirt ;)
 
So comment on the link below or pop me an email at nataliehackbarth@creighton.edu I would love to answer any questions you might have, whether it’s about volleyball or our lives outside of it!
 
Short and sweet as promised,
 
15

 


2/24/12
Heya,

It’s that time of the week again—Blog time. And fortunately for you, I am writing this one on a Friday so I’m in a fairly good mood.

The girls and I started our day out with a “fun day” for weights and conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, but we all know a coach’s idea of a fun day is conditioning in disguise. So for our “conditioning in disguise day” they let us play ultimate frisbee! It was so much fun! Brad and Bailey reffed, while we ran, caught, threw, scored, dropped and goal-tended (on occasion).  We split up into two teams based on height and (I know Brad and Bailey will back me up when I say this) one team completely dominated the other. “Team Awesome” (Megan, Brittany, Savannah, Lizzy, Michelle, and I) destroyed “Team Not Quite As Awesome (Katie, Leah, Kelli, Heather and Brooke) by a solid 15 points. It was a beating. Needless to say, half of us walked away from weights today with a smile and the other half a face of shame :)

 


The fun continued at practice this afternoon. We had another team practice so we got to play a lot of 6 on 6 games and drills. We’re definitely improving! It’s so fun to get together and play competitively. And lucky for us, we will be competing against other schools in March! It’s right around the corner!

Speaking of things right around the corner, Spring Break is exactly one week away! After we get over the hump of midterms we’ll all take a sigh of relief – no waking up early, no studying, and no commitments. It’ll be a week of pure bliss. (You may think I’m over exaggerating, but this is how we really feel about it.) You may be curious what we all have planned for this spectacular week, so I’ll tell you.

Brittany – After coming off of her ACL surgery on Wednesday, Brittany won’t be able to travel back home to Cali as she normally does. So this year she’ll spend Spring Break icing and doing rehab, all while she’s studying up for the MCAT. (Maybe she’ll perform surgery on an ACL someday).

Kelli – Kel is super excited to head home to Wisconsin because she hasn’t been home since Christmas. After spending only a short weekend in her hometown (and comfy bed) she’s heading to Dallas to see more family (although she may be more excited to see some sun!).

Megan – Spring Break for Megan is going to be a social week. She’ll be spending some quality time at home with her parents and visiting some friends she doesn’t get to see very often. She’ll also be catching up on sleep and resting her brain and body for the second half of the semester and the competitive part of spring season.

Leah – As I’m sure you can image, this Florida native will be hitting the beach. Man, must be nice to have your hometown be a common Spring Break location. Leah will also be catching up on some much-needed sleep, and spending time with friends and family she hasn’t seen since Christmas.

Me – I’ll be flying out to Seattle on Friday-off to see my big sister Jess and her brand new baby, Will. (That’s right! I just became an aunt!) It’ll be nice to spend some time with her, the baby and my mom (who is out there visiting as well.) Then I’ll spend the weekend before school in my hometown to catch up with friends and spend time with my dad.

Katie – Katie will be flying home to Texas for break. It’s also up for debate if she is more excited to see family or the sun :) And lucky for her she’ll be bringing a friend to keep her company during her 11-hour car ride—Michelle!

Michelle – As mentioned, she’ll be going home with Katie over break (no worries parents, she lives in Omaha and has plenty of family time.) The two will have plenty to do, as they plan to go shopping, spend time at the pool and go to Six Flags.

Savannah – Sav is going home as well. And like many of us, planning to catch up on sleep.  She’s really excited to spend some quality time with family and her puppy! During her time at home, she also wants to visit her mom and make a few extra bucks by babysitting.

Brooke – Brooke will be heading to St. Louis to support the men's basketball team at the MVC Conference Tournament, which is conveniently her home! After a short weekend home, she’ll be headed to Marco Island, Florida with a friend and her mom. During this time, Brooke will be turning the Big 2-1. Happy Early Birthday to Brooke!

Heather – Unfortunately, catching up on sleep is not on Heather’s Spring Break agenda. Instead she’ll be job shadowing dentists in the Omaha area to complete her hours for her internship class. While job shadowing causes her to wake up early, something else will be keeping her up at night—two brand new puppies! She’ll be taking home Chloe and Sophie on Thursday before break and you know she’ll give them all of the love and attention they need.

Lizzy – Lizzy is also headed to Seattle! Not to visit my sister, but her own. She’ll be visiting her sister at her college before heading home to California. And like Leah, she’ll be spending all day, everyday by the pool, not leaving until she has to. In addition to that, she’s looking forward to spending time with her mom, dad and little brother.
Have a great weekend :)

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2/15/12

 

Greetings,

I can’t believe how fast this spring is going! It is true what they say, the older you get, the faster time flies. But in this case, I think it’s a good thing.

We have only a handful of weight and conditioning sessions left, which seems crazy since usually the more you dread something, the slower it goes by (just kidding Brad and Bailey). However, I’m curious to see the gains we’ve made when we do testing in two weeks. We’ll do things like test our max weight in bench, hang cleans and squat and do a vertical test, sprint test, etc. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’ve definitely made a lot of gains.

Today was an exciting day for the Bluejay volleyball players (and coaches). You’re undoubtedly wondering why, so I’ll tell you. We got to play 6-on-6 today!!! I’m sure you’re thinking “whoopty-do, what’s the big deal?” Well if you’ve spent the entire spring semester practicing in a “1 on 4” scenario (1 player, 4 coaches) soaking in feedback, constructive criticism and direction, you would be really excited too. We only got to play for an hour, but man was it fun! We are definitely a competitive bunch, which makes for a great playing environment. It was great to FINALLY see the evidence of our hard work at individual practices these past weeks.

I believe the coaches said something along the lines of, “You guys looks great!!”

And then some boring rambling about how we “still have room for improvement and a lot of progress to make”…. something like that :)

But in all seriousness, they’re right. And I find that really exciting! Nobody wants to peak during spring season; fall is when we want to kick it into high gear!

I’m looking forward to two weeks from now. Yes, because midterms will be over. And yes, because spring break will be starting. But mainly because we’ll be having team practices as we gear toward spring tournaments! Unfortunately, it all still seems so far away when you’ve been anticipating it since January.

It was great having everyone on the court today, except for Heather and Brittany, who have become temporary cheerleaders on the sideline.  But believe me, their “cheerleader, motivator, encourager, advice-giver” roles have not been underappreciated. I seriously don’t think I could make it through this season without them.

As of now, everyone else is injury free!! Even Savannah, who has been suffering with a shoulder injury for the past two years! It was fun to see her back on the court playing at 100% :)

Thanks for reading,

15


2/9/12

 

Hi all!
 
I hope you’re having a fantastic February. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for myself. I know what you’re thinking, “Why do you say that, Natalie?” And that’s a valid question. There are a lot of great things about February…like Valentine’s Day, the shortest month of the year, 2nd semester midterms, spring break around the corner, and a step closer to spring (and then summer)! So why is my February less than fantastic?
 
For you to understand this story, I’ll have to take you back to late November-early December. As I’m sure many of you recognize, that’s prime Christmas shopping time. About this time I realized that I had been spending way too much money. Not only on gifts, but also on other buys…like eating out, daily trips to Starbucks, loads of laundry and dorm-room food. So I presented myself with a challenge, or a bet if you will. And since I’m a fan of alliterations, I decided to attempt a $50 February, allowing myself to spend only $50 dollars this month.
 
I’m sure you can imagine the mixed responses I got when I began telling everyone about this challenge. My mom supported and encouraged me as she always does, my sister and brother-in-law considered participating in the challenge themselves (not sure how that turned out), and my teammates immediately expressed their skepticism and doubt (as they were all well aware of my addiction to Starbucks and my love of a night out for dinner.)
 
Now I’m no quitter, but I’d consider myself logical, and somewhat of a realist. After $40 spent just eight days into this month, I came to a logical conclusion: $50 February isn’t realistic. But like I said, I’m no quitter, so you may see me around again for a $60 September… we’ll see:)
 
As far as an update on the team goes, we’re still doing our thing! Getting in shape, hitting the weights, and improving our game on the court. I did hear the coaches whispering about a possible group practice next week! Hope that happens!! (Right now we’re practicing as “individuals,” working on our own specific positions.) It’ll be great to start seeing our progress in a game-like setting.
 
Also, we’re glad to have Heather back:) After having a scope on Friday morning to relieve some knee pain, she spent a few days at home healing up. We’re happy to have her back at practices and hope the trainers can get her back on the court as soon as possible!!
 
One last thing: I hope you all have checked out our season video! It’s a great way to review our season as a whole and the players individually. If you haven’t seen it, scroll down a bit and check it out!!
 
I’m out,
 
15

2/5/12

Hi everyone!!
 
Hope you all had a great weekend clearing snow off of your cars, dodging accidents, skidding through red lights and cursing the ground after you stepped in a big, slushy puddle in your $100 Sperrys—I know I did.
 
Despite the snow fiesta that plunged through Omaha, the Creighton Volleyball Program was still able to host its annual banquet at the Paxton downtown on Saturday night. (In fact, because the last two banquets marked days of almost record-breaking snowfalls, we’re beginning to think there is some kind of correlation. We’re already anticipating a snowy banquet next year.) Nonetheless, those who made it arrived safely and the banquet was a huge success!
 
It’s one of the few times a year we volleyball players get to show that we “clean up nice.” Speaking of which, you may have been distracted by the photo on this page. I know what you’re thinking—Who are they?!? Yup, that’s us. We don’t always wear spandex, numbered jerseys and ponytails, you know. Every once in awhile, we like to throw on a pretty dress, wear our hair down and strap on a nice pair of high heels. It’s rare though, very rare. Needless to say, you should feel somewhat lucky to come across a picture like this and even luckier to have witnessed it in person. Because, let’s be honest, the next time you’ll see us fancied up will be at the volleyball banquet in 2013.
 
While being able to have a legitimate excuse to wear high heels is a volleyball player’s favorite part about the banquet, more importantly it’s a time for us to be recognized in front of friends and family for our accomplishments the previous season. There were many achievements to be proud of: Megan led the nation with nine triple doubles (assists, kills, digs), Brooke finished the fall semester with a 4.0 GPA, and Michelle and Leah received All Freshman honors (to name a few).
 
To top it off, the dinner was great (the dessert, even better).
 
Stay tuned for our banquet video possibly being posted!
 
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1/30/12
Well, today marks the end of January and we’re already beginning the 3rd week of spring season. Hard to believe the gains we’ve already made in such a short period of time. I already feel quicker, stronger and in better condition. But if you’re like me, “feeling like you’ve improved,” just isn’t enough. So I like to examine the evidence.
We’re lifting more. While I can’t speak for everyone, I know Kelli (my lifting partner) and I have increased 5-30 pounds on all of our lifts. Our agility and conditioning has increased--we are able to have longer workouts, completing more sets of a drill we did the first day. It’s also evident on the volleyball court. Because we are getting stronger, faster and in better condition, we become more efficient, more successful, and get less exhausted during drills.
While each and every day we put full effort into the gym and the weight room, we still make time for other important things, like friends, family and the community:) 
On Saturday, a group of us volunteered to help out at the Sports for Kids Benefit Silent and Live Auction. We did little jobs that we knew we could handle (aka NOT auctioneering… My dad thinks I talk too fast? He should hear those guys.) Heather and I were in charge of registration, Megan, Savannah and Brittany worked the silent auction tables, and Michelle, Lizzy, Kelli and Katie helped with the silent auction and sold raffle tickets.  It was fun to see the memorabilia auctioned off, knowing that the proceeds (from things like a $500 Peyton Manning jersey) were going to a great cause!
Leah represented Creighton Volleyball at the boys’ basketball game. She attended the ‘pink game,’ showing support for cancer awareness and finding a cure (while also supporting the boys in their win over Bradley!) Brooke also attended the game, spending much needed time with family that she doesn’t have the opportunity to see as often as she’d like.
We ended our weekend on Sunday night with a physical, emotional and mental stress reliever—yoga:)
One of the greatest things about spring season is time. We have time to improve our skills while getting stronger, quicker and more conditioned. We have time to see our family and friends. And, we have time to give back to a community that gives so much support to us.
It’s been a good three weeks, hoping for a great 11 more!
You’ll hear from me soon,
15


1/26/12

 

Hello sports fans!
 
It’s been awhile. I apologize for that. The professors must have come to some kind of agreement to make every assignment due at the end of this week. So, that’s where I’ve been…reading books, writing papers, completing assignments, and preparing for quizzes. I also have another paper that I need to wrap up in a few days, but I happen to be an excellent procrastinator, so here I am :)
 
We started open gyms this week and they’ve been going great! We’ve got a really balanced team for this spring, which makes scrimmaging in open gym a lot of fun. We have 2 returning setters, Megan and Michelle; 5 outside hitters/defensive specialists, Leah, myself, Lizzy, Katie and Brooke; and 3 middle/rightside hitters, Heather, Savannah and Kelli. Brittany unfortunately isn’t able to play this spring due to a pretty serious knee injury, but nonetheless, she is a huge part of the team! You really realize how much you value a great motivator like Brittany when she has a to miss a few weight sessions for early morning class. We’d love to have her on the court but beggars can’t be choosers. We’ll take what we can get :)
 
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH…….. That was my sigh of relief because it’s Friday. Am I the only one that had what felt like the longest week of my life? I’m not going to bore you with the details but, needless to say, I’m completely over-the-top, ecstatic that it’s finally Friday.
 
For those of you that are like me, and don’t have any plans this evening, head to D.J. Sokol Arena for the women’s basketball game. It’s a big, big, game for the Bluejays, as they play Northern Iowa. Tip off is at 7:05! (Don’t worry folks at home. You can catch the game on FOX Sports Midwest or online at ESPN3.com.) Good luck to the players! (and a special shout-out to my roommates Carli Tritz, and Riley Norman!)
 
Hope you can all make it tonight!
 
Stay warm this weekend,
 
15


1/19/12

Happy Thursday!....my favorite day of the week. Why, you ask? Simple. I start my day off with a great “late morning” workout, followed by 2 journalism classes, lunch with my closest friends, and a nap all afternoon…or homework, whichever one I deem a necessity. On top of it all, tomorrow’s Friday! Now that’s a great feeling. No one’s crabby on Friday (at least they shouldn’t be. It’s Friday for crying out loud!)
 
Fall is a great time to get to know us Creighton volleyball players, athletically at least. From August to December we can be seen competing in the D.J Sokol Arena, in the paper, or on the Internet (via Twitter, Facebook, or GoCreighon.com). And usually this concept of “getting to know us” only encompasses our first and last names, hometowns, and maybe our height (which, let’s be honest, can sometimes be a few inches off). So why don’t we use the offseason to help you to really get to know us.. off the court, I mean.
 
One little quirk about us I think you should know is that we’re jokesters. And by jokesters I mean that, more often than not, we’re either being sarcastic, coming up with ridiculous scenarios of things that could never happen, telling the classic “knock-knock” jokes (kidding), or laughing at each other for the many, many ridiculous, nonsensical, and just plain silly things that we do.
 
Just a week into spring season, and we’re already firing with one of our most common jokes. (And in this case, by “joke,” I mean “absolute truth.”) Call it what you want, but we like to refer to it as “ICantGetUpIHaveTheBodyOfAn80YearOld-itis.” It’s rare amongst women of our age and stature however; it commonly affects women and men over the age of 80. This unavoidable epidemic hits Creighton University twice a year, keying on Creighton volleyball players. During preseason and the first week of spring the symptoms are the worst. Symptoms include: inability to walk up stairs, unwillingness to get out of bed, and frequent cramping when seated in a compact position for more than 3 minutes.
 
All of our talk about feeling like we’re 80 and our inability to beat our own grandparents in a race got me thinking. We can’t be the only collegiate or even lower level volleyball players that feel this way. And we’re not. Apparently “jumper’s knee” (patellar tendinitis) is one of the most common volleyball injuries. It’s basically just inflammation caused by extreme stresses and overuse. However, being someone who has been affected by this in the past, I can say that I’m very grateful for the therapy we’ve had in the training room, and the injury prevention exercises we are currently doing with weight coaches, Brad Schmidt and Bailey Dawson.
 
To them I’d just like to say,
Thanks for keeping us kickin’.
 
Have a great weekend:)
 
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1/16/12
January 16th marks a day of firsts. The first of many blogs I'll be posting to keep everyone updated on Bluejay volleyball--on and off the court, the first of many posts we hope you read:), the first Monday of classes for the 2nd semester, and Bluejay volleyball's first day of offseason practice and conditioning. As you can imagine, after a month of sleeping in, exercising on our own time, and eating christmas cookies..it was rough waking up for the first early-morning weights and conditioning session. Especially, when the majority of Creighton volleyball players aren't "morning people." But despite the muscle soreness and the need for an occasional nap, we're all really excited to be back on the volleyball court:)

A common misconception of a typical offseason is assumed to be filled with rest and time off. False. Offseason is the best time to perfect fundamentals, get stronger, and train harder---all in preparation for next fall. After weight training with our new weight coach Brad Schmidt, conditioning with coach Bailey Dawson, and working on skills with Kirsten Bernthal Booth, Tom Mendoza, Angie Oxley Beherns and Amanda (Gates) Sjuts... we hope to have a memorable 2012 season. I think I can speak for everyone when I say how excited we are to see the gains we'll make this spring!

Volleyball, School and Blogging are underway!!

Talk to you soon,

15

 


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