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Team Colorado 17

By Erin Babilon, 08/12/13, 12:30PM MDT

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I have recently finished my seventh year of playing volleyball, all within the RMR region, and my third appearance at Nationals.  Attending Nationals is truly an exceptional experience.   It all begins by walking into the convention center; one seemingly similar to any qualifier but something is different.  As soon as you walk through the doors it hits you; the best of the best in the entire nation will be in this exact gym, and you are one of them. 

At the beginning of every season Nationals is a concept; it is a goal.  At the beginning of the season Nationals is eight months away, which seems like ages however every match in every power could mean the difference between qualifying and not.  Every finish at a power determines whether or not you and your team make it to JNQ.  It is eight grueling months of practice, workouts, determination, success and failure.

 Nationals is different from regular qualifiers because it is a privilege to attend.  You and your team will be challenged every match you play, there will be no cakewalks.    It symbolizes everything that you have worked for.  Having the privilege to play at nationals makes all the long practices, sacrifices and pain worth it.  You can literally see what you worked eight months for.  At Nationals great things can happen.  Amazing plays are made, colleges are watching and it is your final time playing as a team.  I think part of what makes Nationals so special is that it is the final time many teams will be playing together.  Teammates move or switch clubs so this tournament is the last time you have the opportunity to play with them.  Over eight months teammates become friends and family so Nationals serves as one final family gathering before everyone goes their separate ways.  I am truly honored to have had the privilege to attend Nationals three times: Reno, Columbus and Dallas.

Sincerely,
Erin Babilon
TCV – 17 National