The Et Cetera asked NJCAA Division III volleyball All-American Cynthia Martin to document her experience during the national tournament in Rochester, Minnesota. This is the first of a six-part series as Martin shares her daily tournament diary.
Day 1: Wednesday, Nov. 13
My alarm went off at 5 this morning, and it wasn’t until 5:15 that I realized I had been snoozing it for 15 minutes. I jumped up and went to the restroom immediately because we had to be at the school at 5:45 and I need all the time getting ready that I can get. I was in the bathroom for about 5 minutes before my roommate and teammate, Tangela Fuller, walked in. Her eyes had yet to adjust to the light, so she walked in making the funniest face. It was so funny that I forgot that I was running late and just began to enjoy the morning.
We rushed to the school and arrived just in time. The whole time Coach Michael Martin kindly drove us to the airport, Tangela and I were jamming to the new music she downloaded just for the trip. Everyone seemed pretty tired, but we were to excited to be tired. After lots of waiting, we finally boarded the plane.
My favorite part of flying is watching everything below me getting smaller and smaller. Unfortunately, I was so tired by this time that I passed out right after we took off. By the time I woke up we were almost to Chicago, where we would board another plane that would take us to Minnesota. The plane that we rode to Minnesota was itty bitty. Because it was so small, there was only one flight attendant. She was very entertaining. She was aggressive and took her job very seriously; nothing was about to go wrong on her plane! As we left, she wished all of us a blessed school year.
Leaving the airport was funny because we all had such high expectations for Minnesota, and we were so excited to travel somewhere so far. As soon as we stepped outside not only was it in the 40s, but it smelled like cow poop, everywhere. Our hotel is very nice. We’re staying at the Doubletree, and it is beautiful. Our hotel is in what appears to be downtown Rochester, so it’s in a nice part of town. They gave us warm, delicious chocolate chip cookies when we arrived, and that’s probably what won me over.
After we settled in to the hotel, we went and ate Jimmy John’s and then headed to practice. This was another adventure because somehow we got split up and half the team was at one Jimmy John’s while the other half was at a different Jimmy John’s. But we all were reunited when we arrived at the facility where we will be practicing and playing this week.
Everyone seemed very focused at practice. I was pleased because in order to win a national championship we must all be focused. Now I’m ready to see what tomorrow has in store for us.