March 17, 2007
The Golden Bear women's basketball team arrived in Pittsburgh for the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The eighth-seeded Bears play on Sunday at 9 a.m. (Pacific) against No. 9 seed Notre Dame on ESPN2. California players have been taking time to sit down with CalBears.com and share their thoughts and experiences on the road. Sophomore Ashley Walker gave her recap of the team's Saturday activities and is definitely ready to go on Sunday.
This trip has been a lot of fun so far; it is great to just hang out with my teammates, but now we're getting excited and ready to play. Now we're getting serious. Tonight, we had some fun and wore our bathrobes to dinner. We just wanted to be funny and spontaneous and do something silly. We have done things like this before; on our last trip we put our sheets on like togas and went to Coach Boyle's room for film. We like to do fun things like that. But now, we're going to go to our rooms, shut the doors and get ready for a good night's sleep - it's game time!
Today was definitely a long day. After breakfast, we went to the gym at Pitt and had a really good shootaround. It's a good gym, a really nice facility. It was so exciting to be in the gym where we will be playing an NCAA Tournament game tomorrow, I had jitters and everything. We did everything game-like because it is the only time we get to practice in there. It was awesome. We left there and went to Carnegie-Mellon to finish our workout [the NCAA limits practice time at the main arena to 50 minutes]. Then we had some time off when we went back to the hotel to get some rest before dinner.
Before our practice, I had to go to a press conference. It was my second time doing it [last year at the NCAA Tournament as well] so it wasn't so scary. I told Coach Boyle that I didn't get nervous until the [television] lights came on. That made me realize, "It's here now." We've been waiting all these weeks and finally it's here. It's a lot easier to play basketball than to talk about in the media.
We watched Stanford play this afternoon and they killed Idaho State; and we saw a little bit of Boise State playing George Washington. A girl from Boise had like nine three-pointers. Watching the games gets us even more excited to actually go out and play tomorrow.
Tomorrow, my goals are to work really hard on defense. I am going to playing against more guard-type post players who play on the perimeter. It's typically who I played against, like Michelle Westerberg [from Arizona State] and Eleanor Haring [from Oregon], all of them are really guards. So I am used to it, but I have to be ready to work. I also need to take care of the ball tomorrow.
I want to say hi to my mom and my dad, my boyfriend, and my brother, who's home from England with his family. They'll probably all be at one house watching tomorrow.
I am so ready to go! I definitely think the team's ready to go. We're in the right mood, moving in the right direction. It's finally here and we are ready to play!