Women's Basketball Blog: Kelsey Reynolds

So we meet again, Blue Demon fans...

This is Kelsey Reynolds writing to you from the comfort of my own dorm room. After a 20-day stint at home, the team is back on campus and ready for the start of the quarter. I absolutely love being home, but by the end of break, my parents were busy working and my sisters were back at school. That left me home alone, bored, and talking to my dog. Needless to say, I am glad I am back at school and socializing with my teammates instead of a yellow lab.

The start of a new year means meetings: meetings as a team, individual meetings, and meetings with the entire athletic department. There is no denying that these are essential meetings and all information being relayed is incredibly important, but at times, you wish the meetings would end and you could just be in the gym. However, during one team meeting, Coach Bruno mentioned a team outing that made all of our ears perk up. He informed us that we would be going on a trip to watch the Chicago Sky take on the Phoenix Mercury at Allstate Arena.

At the game, the team was its typical self. Chanise and Brandi threw 30-second dance parties during timeouts, Megan Podkowa and ShaKeya jumped around and screamed to try and get a free t-shirt thrown their way. And a few of us ran to the concession stand to fuel-up on pizza, nachos, and M&Ms (don't judge, we burned it off earlier in a workout). During the game, the team was reciting Coach Bruno quotes that fit the situation. We screamed at the Sky players to, "Make the extra pass!" and to "DEFEND AND REBOUND!" and to "Stop searching off the dribble!" Clearly they headed our advice because they got the 'W' in dramatic fashion.

For all the fun we had at the game, the next day had a much different tone. It was the day that we were to run the dreaded "Beep Test." The test is a conditioning test that gauges where our fitness level is at. It's called the "Beep Test" because we have to run and touch a line before we hear a beep and then run back to the end line before the next beep. With each level, the beeps get faster and faster resulting in you having to sprint to keep up with them. The test ends when you can no longer reach the lines before the beeps.

The day of the "Beep Test" is always met with great anticipation. In the locker room, we all discuss what we got on the test last time and are always amazed that we made it that far. We are so amazed that we convince ourselves there is no way we could ever get that high of a score again. Once we are on the court, our anxiety only increases. Megan Podkowa is swearing she isn't going to get past the first-level. I am threatening to puke from nerves. Brooke is claiming she could cry. Jasmine is saying she is just going to do her best and everyone else is somewhere in-between. All the while, the coaches are encouraging us and - I am sure - secretly laughing at how dramatic we are all being.

Right before the test, we all line up across the baseline. We have strategically placed ourselves next to teammates who will get to the same level, and can push us to keep going when the test starts to get hard. When the test finally starts, everyone settles down and gets into a rhythm. With each passing level we feel the fatigue start to build, but keep pushing through. As people begin to stop, they put aside their own pain and cheer on their teammates who are still running. Chanise was last person left running this time, so the whole gym filled with cheers and claps to keep her going. When she stopped, the team came together to congratulate her and each other for conquering the "Beep Test." Everyone's nerves had turned into elation and pride because we had all improved upon our last scores!

In our team huddle, coach Pizzotti complimented the team on our mental toughness.  We had all broken through mental and physical barriers to reach a place that we had never been before, which is exactly what we plan to do this season!

Go Blue Demons!
Kelsey Reynolds #20




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