Finals Week

April 13, 2017 — Leave a comment

Finals is always a stressful time for everyone. Between taking finals, finishing projects and papers and moving out there is a lot going on. But the end of the semester also brings an end to seasons. For volleyball the first week of finals matches up with our conference tournament. This year is the second year in a row that we have locked down the first seed going into the tournament. This means we got a bye through the quarterfinals that were played on Tuesday and we get to host the semi final today. Just as I mentioned in one of my previous posts game day is always a difficult day to focus on school work. But the lack of motivation towards school goes down even further when it is a playoff match. Unfortunately that doesn’t really fly during finals. So I am trying to stay as focused on studying as I can. Luckily my first final isn’t until tomorrow afternoon so I have a little bit of wiggle room but it is going to be my toughest final so I’m trying not to utilize the wiggle room. But volleyball has constantly been in the back of my head throughout the day and will probably only become more predominant as the day goes on. If we win tonight then we will get to host the conference championship for the second consecutive year. In order to get there we must get through Johnson and Whales tonight. The other semi is also being played tonight. That one is being played between Lasell College and Rivier College. Playoffs are always a good time because there is a lot of energy around the games and we usually get a lot of fans to the game, which includes a few family members for me. Since I am from Colorado it isn’t too often that my family makes it to my games but it is always fun knowing they are in the stands.

 

I wish everyone good luck on their finals and if you need a break tonight or Saturday maybe consider come watching some volleyball.

 

Thanks for reading,

Jake

A Day in the Life

April 2, 2017 — Leave a comment

I realized the other day that I have mentioned a few times that I keep meaning to write a post but I end up running out of time. So I figured it would be beneficial to explain just how busy it gets in season. A lot of people don’t fully understand the dedication and commitment it takes to compete as a collegiate athlete, especially at Wentworth. Wentworth is different than other schools because of the work load that goes with our majors.

Now I personally have a few extra commitments that add to my schedule on top of class and volleyball, but this should provide a decent example of the schedule of athletes. This semester I am taking 17 credit hours, working at Boston Children’s Hospital for around 17 hours a week, and have volleyball practices or matches 6 out of 7 days of the week. But on top of all that I am injured so that adds some time spent with the athletic trainers. I’m going to describe a normal Tuesday, meaning practice and not a game. My first class starts at 8 and goes until 9:15, after that I head to straight to Children’s and start work by 9:30. I spend 5 hours at work and then return for class from 3 till 4:15. From class I go to the gym and start getting ready for practice. Practice doesn’t start until 6 o’clock, but I spend all the time between class and practice with the trainers doing pain management and rehab for both knees and my shoulder. A normal practice will run until 8 pm and then it is back to the training room to take an ice bath and then head home. On Tuesdays I leave the house by 7:30 in the morning and usually don’t get back until close to 8:45. With the only breaks during the day being just enough time to walk from one place to the other I generally haven’t done any homework or eaten a whole lot. So once I get home I start dinner and once it is ready I eat and get started on my homework.

Now this describes a normal Tuesday but all of my week days are pretty similar, although game days add some more time spent at volleyball due to a later start but more time with the trainers and on occasion travelling to another school to compete. Away games are the toughest days because they involve travel to and from the other school and generally make it so I am not home until closer to 10. Not every student athlete has the same schedule but all student-athletes have the same schedule as mine, but they all have about 20 hours topped on top of their class schedule between practice, games, studying film, travelling and spending time in the trainers.

Hopefully this was insightful. Until next time!

Jake

Spring Break Recap

March 13, 2017 — Leave a comment

Spring break is always a good time to relax and forget about school for a week, but it is a little different when you’re a spring athlete. We have never had the whole week off because we are in season. This year was the first year that we traveled as a team, unlike in the past when we stayed in Boston to practice and have matches. But this year we scheduled games in California.

We had a great trip, we got to have a few days of fun and then a few days of playing good competition. We left early Wednesday morning, which meant we landed with enough time to hit the beach as soon as we got there. We were the only ones dumb enough to get into the water, but it was definitely worth it. That night we went to a division 1 volleyball match between Lewis and UCLA. The next morning we had a practice and then we went to race go carts and then everyone split off for dinner. A bunch of the guys stayed with the team for dinner but those who had family there, like myself, had the option to go with them instead. Since I don’t get to see my family as frequently I took that opportunity and we got some authentic Mexican food.

Friday was the first of our two game days. We started with an easy warm-up practice in the morning and then played Benedictine first and the Cal Lutheran. Benedictine is an NAIA team so we didn’t know much about them other than what we saw of their match right before we played them. The match was really close and went 5 sets, but we were able to pull it out in the end. We went immediately from that match to the next. The next match went much quicker as we played really well. We were able to beat Cal Lutheran in 3 straight sets. That night we broke off for dinner again and then reconvened at the hotel to watch film for our first match on Saturday.

Saturday morning we had the biggest match of the weekend, we played UC Santa Cruz who is currently rank second in the country. We have already played the teams that are ranked first and third in the country and have lost to both. But we were ready to change our record against top ranked teams. We came out fired up and were able to upset Santa Cruz in 4 sets. After that match it was back to the hotel to pack and have lunch and then head to another school for our final match. We ended our trip playing our coaches old Junior College, who is coached by one of his old teammates, Moor Park College. This match was a good match to get some guy off the bench and in the game. We were able to get every guy some playing time, which allowed our starters to have the opportunity to cheer on those guys like they do for us. We adopted all their distraction techniques and tried to be loader than they usually are. Unfortunately we lost this match, but it was still a good opportunity for guys to get some experience playing against other teams. From Moor Park we drove straight to LA to grab dinner and head to the airport.

It was a quick trip, but it was better than staying in Boston for the whole break. Thanks for reading!

 

Game Day

February 27, 2017 — Leave a comment

Game day is by far the best day of the week. It doesn’t matter if the game is home or away, against a top team or not, conference or non-conference, it’s all the same. Now there are benefits between the different types of games. Home games allow us to host a team and invite all of our friends to come watch. When we have home games a lot of the parents are able to come watch as well, now not only is that fun for each athlete who has family at the game but usually they bring us treats for after the game too. It’s like going back to youth soccer when there was always a snack at the end of the game, but instead of Fruit Rollups we get cherry bars and mint chocolate chip cookies. When we have away games we get fed on the way home. Each away game our coaches choose a restaurant close to that school and we order food and pick it up on the way home. As every college student knows, a free meal is always nice! In the case of top teams vs. not top teams both games are fun for different reasons. When we play top teams it is fun because it is a big deal. There is always a good crowd for good games and those games are a lot of fun to play in. When we play teams that aren’t at the same level it is fun to get some guys off the bench and into the game. This year we have a large freshmen class so it is nice to get the older guys off the court and get to cheer them on. Being on the bench is always as fun as you make it, we (as a whole team) like to be a load bench and do a bunch of dumb stuff.

Today happens to be a game day. Today we play Rivier College at home. Riv is always one of the top teams in our conference and it is actually the rematch of the conference championship from last year. Last years conference championship was a really close match and this year should be the same. I struggle with game days because it is difficult to focus on my classes. I tend to be so focused on the match to come that I just look at stats, rosters and film most the day, whether or not I’m in class. But somehow I have made it through my classes so far doing that so why change? By the end of the day today I will know just about everything I can about Riv’s team, but maybe not quite as much of biomaterials…

 

Thanks for Reading! Until next time, Jake

First Post

January 27, 2017 — Leave a comment

Hi Everyone! I’m going to try and keep up on this blog but I have already fallen further behind than I had wanted, so we will see if I can get my act together. My goal with this post is to not only give insight into daily life at Wentworth, but to give the perspective of a student-athlete. I am a member of the Men’s volleyball team and will discuss our team and my experiences on the team for most of my posts.

I was hoping to get a post done before our first matches but it slipped through the cracks so I guess I’ll just give my thoughts on the season. This season is off to a really good start and as a team we look really good. We started the season ranked 9th in the nation in the preseason coaches poll. Division III volleyball ranks the top 15 teams so it was nice to get that recognition to start the year, but in all honesty I, along with most my team, was not completely happy with our initial ranking. We all believed we should have started higher. And we made it a point to prove that our first weekend of competition. We started the season with a 4 game tournament at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica. At this tournament we had the #7 and #8 teams on our schedule. We were able to beat both teams with little trouble and prove to the nation that we should be ranked higher. In this weeks ranking we were posted at #5 which is a program best. It was awesome to prove to the nation what we already knew. But we still aren’t completely happy with being #5. Our schedule sets us against many more ranked teams including the #1 and #3 teams in the country.

Our team is committed to making a national championship run again. We were able to make it last year and plan to go further this year. Last year we were one of 10 teams to make the tournament and had to play a play in match to solidify our spot in the elite 8. We were able to do that and then were seeded to play the number one team in the country, SUNY New Paltz. We unfortunately lost that match in 4 to end our run. This year we hope to be seeded higher going into the tournament and have a longer run. Our hopes are high after returning all of our starters from last year and now with our fast start against high level teams. If you have never made it to a volleyball match at Wentworth you should make this year the year you come cheer us on!

 

If you have any questions be sure to leave them in the comments and I will address them in the future.

 

Thanks for reading!