Kristen Veseleny's Women's Basketball Player Blog for 2011-12 season
A blog from a senior women's basketball player
Editor's Note: Kristen Veseleny is a senior guard/forward on the Point Park women's basketball team. She is a native of Pleasant Hills, Pa., and a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School. She is a Multimedia major in the School of Communication. Follow this blog to find out what's going on with the Pioneers' team as told by a veteran starter.
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Posted on March 13, 2012 (1 p.m. ET)
Here’s an update about our trip to Iowa for the NAIA DII National Championship!
Monday (March 5) was our travel day. There were two groups traveling because we all couldn’t fit on one plane. One group left at 6 am and another group left at 9:55 am.
The plane we flew in was a little smaller than we expected it to be. Luckily for us, it wasn’t that long of a flight to Chicago. We had an hour layover there. Our next flight was to Omaha, Nebraska. Flying into Nebraska and looking out of the window was a completely different view from Chicago. There was a lot of open areas and farms…when they say it’s flat, they aren’t kidding!
After we got off the plane, our traveling wasn’t done. We got on a bus and had another hour to go to get to our destination. We actually stopped at McDonald’s on the way because we didn’t eat anything since that morning.
Around 1:30 p.m., we arrived in SIOUX CITY! Our hotel was very welcoming and even had a sign in the lobby greeting us. When we got to our rooms, we had more goodies. Each team for the tournament had a sponsor.
Our sponsor was Liberty National Bank. We all got an engraved key chain with our name and number on it along with a treat bag and cookies (the cookies were our favorite). We were all so tired from traveling that we took naps. Around 7 p.m., everyone including the broadcasters and Kevin went to Chili’s for dinner. Another team bonding event!
Tuesday (March 6) was eventful! We had practice early at a local high school. Their gym was very nice and big. The people there were very nice. We had a good, hard practice…a lot of running. Since Sioux City is at a higher altitude, we had a hard time catching our breath.
After practice, we all ate breakfast in our hotel lobby. There was a buffet waiting for us. We didn’t have much time to rest since we had to be at the Tyson Event Center for a basketball clinic for kids from Special Olympics. The clinic went well. We had the kids do drills with basketballs, play duck-duck-goose and at the end there was a scrimmage. The kids seemed to enjoy it, and it was also a great experience for all of us.
(Not to mention that the weather was beautiful! It was 70 degrees.)
At 7 p.m., we had to attend a banquet with all of the teams in the tournament. We had to dress up, and the banquet hall was decorated nicely. They had a pianist and a photo booth! Needless to say, we had a lot of fun in the photo booth! At the end of the banquet, they announced all 32 teams, which I thought was nice.
On Wednesday (March 7), we had another early wake up. We ate breakfast at 8 a.m. before practice. We had practice at a different gym than the previous day. After practice, we went back to the hotel and relaxed until around 1 p.m. Our sponsors treated us to lunch at a BBQ restaurant.
At 6:30 p.m., we had to go to a parade. At the parade, we gave the team we were playing Terrible Towels and they gave us t-shirts from a tournament. I thought this exchange was neat, a keepsake. As the teams entered into the gym, they had us stand a certain way that spelled NAIA and took a picture. After the parade, we watched Daemon play and went to the Olive Garden for dinner.
Thursday (March 8) was the big day! We woke up early to eat breakfast because a lot of us didn’t want to sleep in because we would be sluggish for the game later that night. We had a shoot around at 1. Knowing that it might have been our last practice together, coach made it fun.
We practiced at a local elementary school so they had jump ropes and kick balls. Coach had us do a jump rope relay race as well as play kickball. We were loose and having fun, and I think that helped all of our nerves. All day we kept busy doing things with each other, hanging out mostly in the hotel. Our game was at 7:00.
Unfortuntely for us, the earlier games were delayed due to a shot clock malfunction so our game was pushed back. Anxious would describe how we were all feeling.
Well, you all may know by now the outcome of the game. We couldn’t pull out the win. But Ape finally scored her 1,000th career point.
Losing by two (60-58) in the national tournament isn’t the outcome that we wanted. We all played our hearts out, and no one had any regrets which is what Coach was most proud of. Yes, there were tears shed (even Coach).
If I could only describe the emotions and feelings after this game -- oh man. I can’t explain how much each and everyone on my team has touched me personally. My family grew this year, and I am so thankful. We all came together, grew together, and even cried together, and I will carry each memory with me.
Thank you all for making my senior year so memorable and enjoyable. To my fellow seniors, Jonc, Beatty and April, we did something no other team has done. Let’s be proud of that, and I am so glad that I could go on this journey with each of you.
And Coach, now if you asked us where the national tournament is played, we can all give you the answer.
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