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Volleyball Blog: Andrea Rodriguez Gomez
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Courtesy: USF

The University of South Florida volleyball team will give their thoughts on the 2011 season every week. The Bulls went 0-1 last week in a non-conference meeting with in-state rival Florida Gulf Coast University. Sophomore middle blocker Andrea Rodriguez Gomez talks about the team's idle weekend from BIG EAST play as they enter the second half of the season...

This last week has been a week meant for “rejuvenation” and “regrouping” as the USF bulls were provided a weekend free of competition in the Big East Conference. Coach Lessinger decided that a week in which we did not have to prepare for an opponent, should be spent as a week in which we could re-collect our thoughts and share quality time with one another.

Quality time began on Thursday. The coaches had a surprise for the team. They told everyone to wear dark clothes. We were all eager to find out what the mystery activity was. The team carpooled to the secret location for about 15 minutes to then find out it was about to be divided into two groups and have a little competition of our own in a laser tag battle.  The two teams were named Team “Fury” and Team “Its Whatever”(Red). Team “Fury” (Green) consisted of myself, Jessica, Marissa, Claudia, Janelle(usf trainer) , Caitlyn, Shelbie, and Valerie. Team “Its Whatever” consisted of Kimika, Kelsey, JBeria, Delaney, Janice, Kayla, Casey, coach Serna. Coach Claire was first part of the green team and the switched to the red. Not surprisingly, she won first place while on both teams when counting how many people she tagged and how many people tagged her.

In round 1, the green team took the lead 1-0. In round 2, the red team notched a win, tying the score 1-1. Coach Claire was a significant factor in both wins, so when she was removed from the last round, the green team was excited to take over once again. The game was lots of fun, and it was hilarious to see Coach Nikki taking pictures of everyone as we were hustling to not get tagged and running into walls because we lost track of where we were. Ultimately, the red team came out on top.

The team bonding continued on Friday, with a team meeting. Here, the coaches presented the team with “Mid-term Report Cards” grading each athlete within their position. By doing this, they felt it would be a good way for us to know what areas of our position needs the most work in their eyes. In this meeting, the coaches also gave us the privilege to sit in the “hot seat”. This seat was in the middle of the room facing all team members. Wile sitting here, everyone in the team was to give the teammate in the “hot seat” a compliment. Everyone was asked to tell the player which quality they admire the most about them and compliment them on anything they felt was necessary.  The experience was wonderful since we got to appreciate each other for the good things that we admire about one another. We were able to only see the good in one another and congratulate each team member for that special spark that they bring to the team. After all the players had been in the “hot seat”, it felt like we were all meant to be together and we all took a part in an indestructible puzzle that will stay strong through this season because we have one another to lean on.

We finished our off-week activities on Saturday. We headed to the “Bluz & BBQ” event at the Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa. At the event there was blues music playing outdoors where many people sat to listen to the music, eat, and enjoy the scenery. At the BBQ, the team also made a video honoring legend Lee Roy Selmon for his contributing efforts to the Tampa and the USF Bulls program. This was a lot of fun because the team got together to belt out the fight song in front of the crowd and caught everyone’s attention. I love that we take the Bulls spirit everywhere we go!

The team feels like new -- just in time for the second half of the season. We found a way to make being the wildcard in the Big East (a weekend without a match against a conference opponent) have a benefit. This week was amazing!!!

Andrea Rodriguez #16


USF Volleyball




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