Red Towel Diaries

Red Towel Diaries are the writings of WKU's student-athletes about their feelings and observations before, during and after a game or road trip. A New Red Towel Diary will be posted about once each week by a different athlete in a different sport.

Freshman Ashly Miller
Indianapolis, Ind.
(Franklin Central HS)

Thursday, October 11, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
Today was our first travel day on our four-day road trip to New Mexico State and Denver. This will be the most challenging weekend of conference that we've had to face so far. Both New Mexico State and Denver are very challenging teams talentwise and in addition, we are playing them on their home courts. Going home with two wins after this weekend would be great for our team.

Our flight to Houston was supposed to leave the Nashville airport at one o'clock this afternoon. It was delayed because of bad weather in Houston so we had to lay around the airport for a while. It didn't bother me, though, because I got to catch up on some sleep. After waiting around for a while our flight finally got cancelled all together. This was a hassle because there was no way that the airline was going to be able to get the whole team to Houston and then to El Paso on a different flight. Our only other option was to switch airlines so that's what we did. That meant we had to get our bags from baggage claim and check in all over again with the new airline. I think we stood in line to check in for well over an hour. While we were in line, Tracy, Cynda, Lyndsey, and Natalie decided to give each other make-overs. They were trying to be funny and have a good time so their make-up ended up looking hideous. It was good entertainment, though, for everyone in line, including people we didn't know. We all got a good laugh.

It was funny because earlier in the day Travis had joked that every year there is one trip that is just terrible, and this would probably be ours. I don't think any of us thought that the trip could get any worse than it already was, but of course, it did. After checking in, the airline wanted to search all of our bags. They didn't just open them up and look inside. They totally emptied everything out of each of our bags and went through all of our personal stuff. It took forever, but it was for our safety so it was worth it.

We finally flew out of Nashville at five o'clock, after spending six hours sitting around the airport. Once we got to Houston we had a connecting flight to El Paso, and of course, it had to get delayed also. In fact, it was delayed twice, but they were only for short amounts of time. Once we finally reached El Paso all we had to do was get our rental cars and drive to Las Cruces, N.M. We were foolish to think we could get through this with out a few bumps in the road. The rental place had closed early on us when they knew that we were coming. So, we sat a little longer in the airport while Travis tried to find us some means of transportation. The way our day was going I was surprised he even tried. So now we're stuck here in El Paso for the night, but we are staying at the Radisson and it's really nice. Hopefully we will sleep well tonight and have a better day tomorrow, so we can play our best against New Mexico State.

Friday, October 12, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
This morning we left El Paso at ten in the morning and headed for Las Cruces. We were supposed to practice at New Mexico State at eleven, but instead we got to sleep all afternoon to make up for our long day yesterday. This was a good decision because I think we were all pretty tired. After sleeping all afternoon we went to our pregame meal at Chili's and then to New Mexico State to play our match. As a freshman I didn't know what to expect from New Mexico State or their preseason player of the year. Travis had been saying that they were one of the best teams in the conference along with us. They certainly proved that tonight. They beat us in five games, all of which were close except the last game. We definitely didn't play our best tonight, but we didn't roll over and give up either. We played as competitively as we knew how and battled against New Mexico State all night. Travis said he was proud of us for that. New Mexico was a good serving team though, and our serve receive, which includes me, pretty much sucked tonight. I think we had thirteen zero passes out of serve receive, which is just embarrassing. Tonight was a very disappointing loss for our team , because we all know we could have beaten New Mexico State. If we're lucky we'll get the opportunity to prove it in a month at the conference tournament. Until then, we have a lot of work to do. We also have to concentrate on our next challenge, our match against Denver. I know none of us plan on going home with another loss this weekend, so we need to put New Mexico State behind us and prepare for Sunday.

Saturday, October 13, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
This morning we had to be up by four in the morning to fly to Denver. Our in-flight entertainment was definitely the stewardess. She had to be the world's biggest perfectionist. She didn't miss a single detail when it came to airplane safety. At one point, she even told Travis she was going to tuck his shoe string under his seat because she was afraid someone might trip over it. Who in the world trips over a shoe string? That's right, no one does.

Once we got to Denver, Travis cancelled practice so we could catch up on our sleep again. I'm not complaining, though, because I know I was tired. I feel like all I've done on this trip is sit in airports and sleep, and occasionally we'll play a little volleyball. So after sleeping all day, we went to the Cheesecake Factory for our team dinner. We all ordered appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Lyndsey and I split garlic cheese bread for our appetizer and pasta with four cheeses for our entree. Then I ordered coffee heath bar crunch cheesecake. It was incredible!!! I think we all ordered different desserts so we passed them around the table and sampled all the different types of cheesecakes. Everything we ate that night was wonderful, but I know we all ate way too much.

When we got back to the hotel we had a team meeting to talk about tomorrow's match against Denver. They are also a very talented team and will be a good challenge for us. I don't think coming out competitively will be a problem tomorrow. Hopefully we'll play well and will go home with a win.

Sunday, October 14, 2001
Dear Red Towel Diary,
This morning we got up and had breakfast as a team before leaving to go play Denver, our last match of this long weekend. I was a little nervous before our Denver match. I knew they were a good team and I didn't want to lose again, and I was feeling a little pressure to pick up the serve receive game after our poor display of talent against New Mexico State. Not to worry though, we took care of both of them today. We beat Denver in three straight games on their home floor, and we enjoyed every minute of it. Today was a fun match to play. We had complete control of the match from the very beginning. We came out strong, which is something we had been struggling with, and we finished strong too. Serve receive was also much improved today.

I think we only had one zero pass instead of an embarrassing thirteen. So today was a good day, for us anyway.

This weekend was a long one and I was happy to go home. I sat with Beaven on the flight home and that was a lot fun. The flight was really bumpy and she didn't like it at all. She kept grabbing on to my arm and complaining about how rough it was, but I thought her reactions were funny and we had a good time. Once we got to the airport we had another short delay because a few people's luggage was lost, but then we headed for Bowling Green.

On the whole this weekend was a good one. It was kind of long but very beneficial. Even though we lost a match, we got to see what we are up against and what we need to improve on before the conference tournament.