Monday, September 15, 2014

The Land of 10,000 Lakes

Katelyn Hegewald, the student-manager of the team, takes over the Milwaukee Volleyblog on a full-time basis in 2014.

Self-described as "that girl who sits on the bench and catches scarves, books, pens and sometimes even heavy necklaces that Susie throws when she gets frustrated," she will be writing the blog every week for the team and the many endeavors they encounter.

Today is her third installment for 2014.

Another preseason road trip is down in the books for the Panther volleyball team! This past weekend we were in Minnesota for the Diet Coke Classic, and if you could pick a soda that the entire coaching staff loves it would some sort of Coke product. You could say the cooler in the locker room full of soda for the staff was empty by the end of the trip. Love that Diet Coke!

Due to a class conflict I couldn’t ride the bus up with the team, but I hear Frozen was played, which bummed me out a little because I still need to see that movie! I know, I missed the boat on seeing that movie when it first came out. I was in good hands though. The always wonderful Lori and Ottis Price, parents of setter Kayla Price, were generous enough to let me ride up with them Friday morning. A big shout out to them for letting me talk their ear off, I might be considered to some as a chatty Cathy, once you get me going. Oh, and I got to share the back seat with not only senior Taylor Galobowski’s dad, but also an entire box of cookies. So you could say the ride up was pretty solid.

We struggled Friday night against the Iowa State Cyclones but were ready to go Saturday morning to play the 19th ranked Gophers. What an outstanding game! If you didn’t get a chance to see it or read about it, just know this, it was electrifying. It was almost hard to keep stats on the laptop because I literally didn’t want to take my eyes off the court! We beat Minnesota the first game of the match but the conquered would take on the next three. It was an outstanding game played on both sides, truly. Both teams were made better by playing and being challenged by the other.

Later Saturday night, we played the last game of the weekend which was against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. We rallied hard but got beat by the Hurricanes and that concluded the weekend. Overall, in my opinion, I think this weekend was good, I think we are one step further to being totally ready to start conference. We played hard and we never gave up! I am very excited to go on our last preseason trip and then bring it on back to the K to kickstart the 2014 Horizon League Conference play!

Thursday we head on out to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on another Big Ten tournament Michigan State! There we will play the Spartans, LIU-Brooklyn and we will have our second matchup with Western Kentucky! See all you travelers in Michigan and I will see the rest of you at the next home game! Until next time…

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.” -Babe Ruth

Friday, September 12, 2014

Welcome to the VolleyBlog - 2014 Style

Katelyn Hegewald, the student-manager of the team, takes over the Milwaukee Volleyblog on a full-time basis in 2014.

Self-described as "that girl who sits on the bench and catches scarves, books, pens and sometimes even heavy necklaces that Susie throws when she gets frustrated," she will be writing the blog every week for the team and the many endeavors they encounter.

Today is her first installment for 2014.

Due to some issues beyond our control, the start of the blog was delayed so we will catch up in one shot today.

The Panther Volleyball team underwent their first road trip of the season, a quick nine-hour bus ride to Springfield, Missouri for the Missouri State Tournament. Ok, so the ride wasn’t exactly quick, but it was a pretty good time if you ask me! The ride down was Snooze City, everyone kind of passed out the second we got out of Wisconsin until we stopped in Peru, Ill., for some lunch. Once we got back on the bus, everyone was basically up for the rest of the time either doing homework or watching movies. We got to St. Louis, we all leaned up against the window to take pictures of the beautiful Arch and then it was merely a hop, skip and a jump to Springfield. For those of you that don’t know (I was one of these people) Springfield, MO, in September is hot, like really hot. It got up to the 90’s while we were there, but luck for us we were in an air conditioned gym all weekend!

The weekend didn’t go exactly like we wanted it to. Our first match of the tournament we lost to the Summit League's, Oral Roberts from Tulsa, OK. We then came back to the gym Friday night with our game faces on and beat Southland Conference’s Incarnate Word, from San Antonio, TX in three. Saturday we suffered a tough loss to Conference USA standout Western Kentucky in four. Fear not, we will actually be seeing Western Kentucky again next week in Michigan so we will have another chance to take them on! Our last game of the weekend was against Missouri Valley hosting team Missouri State. We lost in three to conclude the tournament. Although we went 1-3 on the weekend a huge congratulations goes out to Julie Kolinski who made the All-Tournament Team, she played absolutely outstanding!

After the tournament we got food delivered to the hotel got ready to go to bed because we were leaving at 6 am Sunday to head back to Wisconsin. But we got a nice surprise at around 11:30 pm. The fire alarms start going off. Now, I’m not talking your run-of-the-mill school fire alarm drill, I’m talking ear-piercing sounds. All the coaches, our trainer and myself were in Susie and Lindsey’s room. Once the alarms went off we all stood up, finding our shoes and making our way (walking) towards the door. After we got into the hallway we were asking where Susie was, because she was literally right next to us. We turn the corner to get out of the building and Susie is sprinting down the hallway with some of the girls. Susie Johnson was not playing around with the fire drill. We all made it out, the firefighters came and checked it out and we were good to go back inside. We all made our way back in but not before we all took selfies with the truck and firefighters behind us. Sophomore outside hitter Myanna Ruiz took a selfie with Kayla with the firefighters in the background. Totally unplanned, the firefighters saw that they were in the picture and threw on a smile and a quick pose for the was priceless.

We got on the bus and headed on home Sunday morning. We slept, did homework, watched movies, the works. Then some of us played Catch Phrase, which seemed like a good idea but you could say the amount of competitiveness of absolutely through the roof. The teams were Seniors (Julie, Amber, Ari, Taylor, Hannah, and myself) against the rest (Nicole, Maddie, Maggie, Kaisa, and Jess). I am very proud to say the the Seniors steamrolled. Okay, maybe not steamrolled, I might be being a little bias because I was on the winning team, but we did win.

We are back in the gym on Monday and preparing for our next tournament, Minnesota! There we will play Iowa State, Tulsa, and Minnesota. Hope to see you out there! If not, until next time…

“It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog." -Archie Griffin

Welcome to the Milwaukee Women’s Volleyball Preseason 2014 and I’ve got to say sitting behind the media table watching Robert Morris play Miami-Ohio during our home tournament writing this blog brings the biggest smile to my face and maybe even a tear to my eye. I have a good reason for the tear, trust me, but we’ll get to that later.

We just ended our two week preseason and to say it went great would be an understatement. Everything went smoothly, the gym wasn’t 900 degrees, the alarms for the emergency exit doors that clearly state, “Alarm Will Sound If Opened” didn’t go off and there were no serious injuries.

If you came to the tournament this weekend you probably noticed that our bench of staff is just as large as the team that stands at the end of the bench. Joining us this year on staff is Sommer Hill, Jake Conrad, Rachel Neuberger and Maisy Mulvey. At practice we keep score and take stats, but mostly wait for Susie to come over by us and say something funny or sing a part of a song. The song is usually a throwback Destiny’s Child song, because let’s be honest, if you’re randomly going to break out into song it should be a DC song.

Here comes that tear again. This year we will be graduating 5 seniors. The seniors include Julie Kolinski, Hannah Blanchard, Amber Simonton, Arianna Wiersma and Taylor Golabowski. All the seniors were either freshmen or sophomores when I transferred here, so I have the most history with these girls and the friendships I’ve made with them I am truly grateful for...hashtag cheesy, but seriously. In addition to the 5 seniors it is also my senior year, I know, you all are running for the tissues. I’ve loved every second of being at this school and being apart of such an outstanding program. So thanks to all the players, coaches, parents and everyone that reads this, it’s going to be a great senior year!

My quote today comes from the roots of my hometown. Mike Yeager is the head football coach at Carthage College. Yeager has a goal list for his players when they come in the door. Like many coaches that have a goal list the first to are pretty traditional: first is to get an education and second is to win their conference. The third goal he sets for the team is to “Win the Day.” Susie encourages this a lot, did we get better as a team, did we individually improve, did we “Win the Day.” I like this quote a lot because it can not only be applied in sports but also in life. So this is me encouraging all of you to win the day, everyday; sports, school, relationships, life doesn’t matter.

We are off to a great start as we just won our home tournament going 3-0. We are headed on the road for a couple weeks now but don’t worry I will still be bloggin’! We leave Thursday morning for Missouri State for another tournament. Until next time…

”Win the Day.” -Mike Yager

Thursday, December 5, 2013

180 Degree Turn

Though it has been a couple of months since we’ve last blogged, we have so much exciting news to report back to you! Starting off, we are conference champs and won the Horizon League this season! Can you say 180 degree turn? (“Started… started… started from the bottom now we’re here!” It’s a hip song for all you older folks).

But this drastic change didn’t happen overnight. We have done countless 6 a.m. workouts over the summer and many open gyms. It wasn’t easy, but all the hard work paid off. Let's just say we weren’t satisfied with how last year ended.

Susie’s quote of the week was “Poetic Justice,” which means that we get a “re-do” with both teams that we had lost to during league play. We had our chance against Cleveland after an unfortunate loss the second time around (but for God sakes that match took forever because after every point they lost they cried out for a towel to clean up the imaginary sweat on the floor.) We also got another chance against Valpo for the championship match and were able to come out and defeated them as well.

We worked so hard as a team and always have each other’s backs, even if that means getting a yellow card. But hey, if that means getting into the NCAA, we’re okay with that. It was announced that we play the Badgers in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, Dec. 7 @ 7:00 p.m. So come out (wear yellow!!!!) and cheer us on! We need you to help us defeat the sea of red!

May, Tay, Hay

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Slippery Gyms And Drastic Temperatures

It was a weekend of slippery gyms and very drastic temperatures. Derek, our loyal bus driver, awaited us at the K-Dome (a little late I might add), but never the less he got down to business and hauled us down to UIC where Antarctica awaited us. We walked in and instantly needed our winter coats that we have tucked away all summer.

After a little shaky warm-up (maybe because we couldn’t get warm??) we got right to business. Rachel was completely unstoppable against a younger UIC team, who might have wished they didn’t sign the contract to play Sivision 1 volleyball against this all-American. Needless to say, we got right to business and hit the road before UIC even knew they had a match to play.

Upon arrival of our hotel, we engulfed Jason’s Deli and insisted on watching The Little Mermaid, where Kevin O’Connor, the only male on our staff, tweeted, #MoviesIWontSeeWithMensBasketball. Who would have thunk? After an inspiring team sing along to “Under the Sea” we headed right to bed.

After getting our full nine hours of beauty sleep (maybe some more) we crawled out of bed to breakfast. We cleaned out the whole state of Indiana of oatmeal because all 15 of us gladly enjoy some porridge. Our coaches surprised us with their brilliant wardrobe. This wasn’t any old ‘pajamas’. Susie, the queen bee of fashion, came to breakfast in pants that didn’t have an Adidas logo but instead some peacocks, and were a few inches too short. She must have thought a flood was coming. Nikki, on the other hand, came to breakfast in complete athletic attire while strutting her dress shoes. Don’t worry you two, you can’t win them all ☺

We headed to our favorite pre-meal (or any meal for that fact) destination: Portillo’s. While most of us ordered salads the first time around, we knew we’d be back if we won for a winning dessert. We soon departed to Valpo, where the Sahara desert awaited us. The gyms this weekend couldn’t find a happy medium. Not only that, but Valpo shoved us in their gas chamber – aka the football locker room. Our parents should be happy they had girls because this locker room smelled like onions, sweat and dirty footballs.

Lo and behold, that didn’t stop us. We absolutely dominated the first set, at a record breaking 25-5 as the final score. Although Valpo’s game plan must have been to invite us to play on an ice-skating rink, the slippery floors didn’t stop us. We got right down to business and stole the next two sets. Right when we got into the locker room, Susie informed us that Portillo’s was in our future. Nothing is better news that a word that starts with P and rhymes with amarillo’s.

When we arrived back at Portillo’s, the staff recognized us and welcomed us back with wide-open arms. This time we ordered chocolate cake shakes. If you have not eaten one, you have not lived. Please add the chocolate cake shake to your bucket list; you won’t be disappointed. The bus ride ended with some Great Gatsby and our sexy man Leonardy DiCrap-yo (Leonardo DiCaprio – we’re a little tired).

As of this weekend, we are now the only undefeated team in the Ho League. We take on green phoenix (I’m glad we’re the panthers) next Friday at 7 o’clock sharp. Be there or be square, because quite frankly we’re planning on doing some instate rival damage.

Catch ya on the flip side,
May, Tay & Han

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Hello there!

We are sorry for the tardiness on this week’s blog, but we are here again to tell you the funny shenanigans and latest updates on our team.

Preseason is now over with and we have officially started conference. Preseason was a helpful experience for us, it has made us hungry (in the sense for wins not food) for the rest of our season and we can prove that to you by our 2-0 record right now in conference. Though as Susie stated in a game in preseason, “It looks like we have ants in our pants!” (which we clearly did not, but may have seemed like it at times), we were all excited to be playing top ranked teams like Florida.

Our first home game this fall was against Iowa and that was an intense match! You can always tell when it was a close match when the next day Susie shows up to practice with no shoes on (barefoot may I remind you) complaining how bad her feet hurt from stomping so hard on the floor during each play. I feel as if every time she stomps the floor with as much force as she does she either breaks her calcaneus bone or breaks off her heal…I guess that would explain why she has so many difference pairs of shoes. I don’t think I have ever seen that woman wear the same pair of shoes, might I add.

OUR CONFERENCE GAMES HAVE FINALLY STARTED!!! And we couldn’t be happier to finally be showing these teams how much we have developed.

This upcoming weekend we have UIC and Valpo in Illinois (the land of people who know how to drive—coming from Maisey, and the land of people who have no idea how to even stay in between two lines, better yet use a signal—coming from every Wisconsinite).

As for now, take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Another Road Trip

Hello fellow readers-

Another road trip friends. This time it wasn’t eight hours away, it was just a hop, skip, and a jump over to Madison. As much as we love going there, we really don’t like them. So it was a win-lose situation. The journey started with a filling meal of Jimmy Johns. WE LOVE JIMMY JOHNS, and we must say they have the best pickles in town. Maisey insisted on grabbing “Massie’s” sub, and realized it wasn’t hers because of the lack of hot peppers. A couple bites later, she realized that “Massie’s” sub was really Maggie’s sub, and Maggie was stuck with half a sub.

To our surprise, they re-did the field house floor. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to play with spiders, flies, and cockroaches. One of our opponents this weekend was Bowling Orange… well they should have been Bowling Orange. They were actually Bowling Green, but wore hunting orange colored jerseys. Confusing right? We didn’t let that stop us, we stuck to the ‘game plan’ (don’t ask us what it is because we can’t reveal our secrets) and swept them in three. Wait, don’t let me forget. Maisey punched Taylor on the court, in the middle of a play. Let me explain… There was a chaos play, and Maisey and Taylor were going for the same ball. A little miscommunication if you ask me. Before either of them touched the ball, Maisey threw a fist at Taylor and continued to dig the ball. Good for Maisey for getting the ball up, sad for Taylor because she thought she lost all her teeth. A little blood and a couple fat lips later, we were back in action.

We always play in Madison around Juicy J’s (Julie’s) birthday. Amber volunteered as tribute and continued the birthday dance tradition. Sadly, we don’t have pictures to tell the story this time, lets just say there was a lot of ‘pop, lock and drop it’ moves.

We also played Iowa on Tuesday night for our first home game. The fans were AMAZING! The atmosphere was crazy and we can’t thank you enough. While this game didn’t go as planned, Coach Susie was able to show off her ‘stomping’ skills. If we aren’t playing to our potential, Susie expresses her frustration by stomping her feet. She doesn’t wear any old shoes; she’s always wears very fashionable heels. The next day at practice we asked her why she wasn’t wearing any shoes. She said, “My feet hurt too bad”. Sorry Coach, we’ll play better next time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Victory Ice Cream

Well, we headed back to another city that ended in some kind of ‘oooo.’ Last weekend, Kalamazoo. This weekend it was home of the ‘Roos.’ Interesting places they send us I tell ya.

Our linebacker of a bus driver, Derek, awaited us on Coach express. Susie asked if he wanted to put on a uniform and play with us due to his intimidating size. He politely declined. To occupy ourselves from the colorful cornfields that sat outside our window, the team decided to watch a scary movie. Half couldn’t watch due to the horrific scenes on the film and half were totally into it Bad idea because some of us could not fall asleep that night. Next time, we’ll choose a lighter film (Little Rascals??).

We took a pit stop at Schlotzsky’s Deli, where the entire staff (about two people) could have cried when they saw the bus pull up. We tend to have that effect on people. One hour and some skimpy sandwiches later, we rolled out again with our boy Derek and headed to the land of Lebron.

Friday, we played two teams that rocked purple Barney-looking jerseys. Thank goodness we wear black and gold because those jerseys weren’t too flattering. We defeated the Purple Eagles (do those animals exist?) in three, and also the Golden Eagles (which wore purple not gold) in four. Don’t let me forget about our pre-game ritual. Miss Amber enlightens us with a good solo of Treasure by Bruno Mars and struts some pretty sick dance moves. I think a picture is necessary.

It was such a successful day, our coaches treated us to the very healthy McDonald’s, for a rewarding ice cream treat. We rolled up and we were drooling everywhere. It had been such a long time that we have had ‘victory ice cream’ due to the insignificant amount of wins last season, if you know what I mean. Ice cream always tastes better when you win.

After the sweet ice cream, our conversation went to the next level. It was a heated argument about how short girls are able to date men of any height, but tall girls are able to reach the peanut butter jar on the top shelf. You decide what’s better.

Saturday we sealed the deal. We took on the Akron Zips. For all of you that don’t know what a ‘Zip’ is, it’s a kangaroo. While their plan must have been to jump on us like a roo, we turned that around in their own gym. Our blocking and defense turned it up, which ultimately helped win our first tournament championship of the season. We couldn’t have done it without Hannah and her motivational phrases, such as ‘swiiiiiiiing for the hills’ and ‘Guys, side out. Side out guys’. We won in four and got out of there as fast as possible. Akron gratefully treated us to a nifty coffee mug that we will so desperately need due to the early AM workouts.

A huge shout out to Taylor Gruber for stepping in for our concussed friend KP5 (Kayla) and playing flawlessly. Congratulations to Taylor Golabowski and Nicole Latzig for making the All-Tournament Team, and also Rachel Neuberger for clinching MVP of the tournament. Get ready for next weekend when we take on our in-state rivals Madison, where we also play Bowling Green and Kansas.

Catch you on the flip side,
Han, May & Tay