Connie Dangerfield was named to the all-tournament team of the AVCA Showcase.
Aug. 27, 2007
Utah opened the season with it's first-ever appearance in the AVCA Showcase, Aug. 24-25, falling to No. 5 UCLA (3-0) and Tennessee (3-2). Junior Kathryn Haynie sat down with UtahUtes.com to talk about the experience.
Our trip started off with a two-hour delay in our flight out of Salt Lake. After going on so many volleyball trips together you learn to be patient and relax. We just hang out and have a good time together, whether we're at the airport or the hotel. It's not the first time it's happened, that's for sure.
After we arrived in Omaha we got checked in at the hotel and had our first practice that afternoon. It was a good practice. It's always hard to get used to how the ball floats differently with the altitude difference, as well as the different atmosphere. It was really fun having our first practice before the match together as a team. It was really kind of exciting because it meant that the season is here and it's starting. It was fun, but it's always a challenge, that first practice.
We played UCLA in our first match as a team. We're a pretty young team this year. It was a good match to have as our first match, although we wish we could have played better. We know we could have played better. That was a little frustrating. At the same time, it was a good first match because we got a lot of the bugs out and we learned where we need to work on things. We saw specific areas where we can really improve and that was exciting, because a lot of the mistakes we made were our own.
Our second match against Tennessee was a great match. It was a lot better than the night before. We really pulled together. Game one was awesome. We were ready to go and fired up and everything. But, Tennessee came back and they pushed hard. We learned a lot in that second game. We learned we need to finish and we need to push to the end. At the same time, just like UCLA, we learned about areas we can improve and things that we can work on. It wasn't a frustrating match because we weren't good enough, it was frustrating because we know we can do better. It is exciting to see that we will be able to push harder to work on those things and be a lot better by the end of the season. We see room for improvement. It was a fun match to play and Tennessee played well.
We also got a chance to watch the other games. Nebraska won the national championship last year, so to watch that type of team and how they play, how they work together and how disciplined they were was a great experience. We all watched the different girls who played our positions, and maybe some of us found little things that we can work on to get better.