Mad Dog's Blog: From the Olympic Training Center

Cal Libero Maddy Kerr Reports From Her U.S. National Team Tryout
By Cal Athletics on Fri, February 21, 2014

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Cal libero Maddy Kerr is spending the weekend in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Women's National Team and U.S. Collegiate National Team tryouts, along with teammate Alyssa Jensen. Kerr will provide an update after each day.

Alyssa and I had quite the day today! It all started at 6:05 this morning when Dave, our operations director, picked us up outside our dorm, where it was cold and dark. We were extremely tired; thus, it was a pretty miserable wake-up call for two college girl who value their beauty sleep.  Luckily, Dave is an awesome guy and was full of energy at an impossibly early hour, so he made the early wake-up call a tad bit more tolerable.

Instead of driving us to the airport, Dave decided that this morning was a time for life lessons, so he set us off on our very first BART journey. Alyssa and I, being the fierce competitors that we are, took the challenge head on. I’ll admit, Alyssa was a lot better than I was in this situation, as she actually knew how to work the ticketing machine, while I just hit a bunch of random buttons. Nonetheless, we got on BART and made it all the way to the San Francisco International Airport.

After getting through airport security, we ate some breakfast and proceeded to our gate, where we hit our first of many roadblocks today. Our flight to Denver was delayed an hour. We did not worry too much, as our layover before our connection to Colorado Springs was already a long two and a half hours, so we continued to chat, eat and read our magazines. We finally got on the plane and realized that we did not have seats next to each other (*cough* thanks Dave), but it was OK because we were both exhausted and slept pretty much the entire time. The only disruption to my sleep came about halfway through when the two women sitting next to me realized that they were both elementary school teachers and argued over whose teaching method was stronger, or something like that. Other than that, it was an easy flight.

We got to Denver and immediately got frozen yogurt, obviously. Then we went to our gate, which was extremely crowded, and sat on the ground, only to find that our flight to Colorado Springs had been delayed about a half hour. We figured it would be fine, since our schedule gave us almost a three-hour time cushion between arriving at the airport and our first session of the tryout.

But our flight was delayed three more times, and between sitting at the gate constantly checking our flight status and having both of our phones running out of battery, it was a stressful few hours in the Denver airport - especially considering the flight we were trying to take was only 25 minutes in duration. We finally got on the plane and landed in Colorado Springs at 6 o’clock - exactly the time our tryout was meant to begin. As you can imagine, Alyssa and I were not in the highest of spirits at this point.

We were met at the baggage claim by a woman who works at the Olympic Training Center, and she drove us to the OTC in a shuttle. We traveled with a girl from University of Tennessee and five girls from University of Minnesota, whose flights were also miserably delayed. When we finally got there, we checked in really quick and then rushed into the gym, where there were six courts and a lot of girls competing in “wash” drills, which basically means they were playing out full points but not keeping score. Alyssa and I were immediately thrown onto different courts with no warm-up or direction on how to do the drill. I can’t speak for Alyssa because she was on a different court, but I was terrible and felt like I’ve never played volleyball before! Oh well, at least we have all day tomorrow!

I apologize for the lack of information about volleyball or the tryout or the OTC in general, which is kind of the point of this blog, I guess. I promise I will report back tomorrow in great detail about the wonders of the Olympic Training Center, the high caliber of the volleyball players, and hopefully a few better experiences.


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