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    Sweet: Playing on Our Home Court
    Follow freshman Nikki Sweet's first year with the Wolfpack program each week via the NC State volleyball blog on Nikki will keep fans up to speed on the latest happenings of the team; discussing practices, training, matches and much more.

    RALEIGH, N.C. -
    This past week was a challenging week for us, both mentally and physically. We have been working extremely hard in school to catch up with the work we missed the previous Thursday and Friday due to our tournament in Florida. For the most part we have done a great job of staying disciplined with our studies and keeping up with our hours in study hall. On the volleyball side of things, we have been working very, very hard on and off the court. We have been doing weights and conditioning on top of long hours of practice.

    During this past week of practice we picked up the pace and intensity of our game. We have been doing drills that have been testing our physical and mental abilities, and we finish our practices off with mini competitive scrimmages, such as games to five, 10 and 15. On top of that we had conditioning before practice on Tuesday, and weightlifting before practice Wednesday. The lifting and conditioning before practice tested us physically, but believe it or not, it tested us even more mentally. It has been a challenge to keep up the intensity, energy and competitiveness in practice, especially when our muscles are sore and tired. Thursday was a frustrating practice for us in the beginning, but after the first hour and a half we brought back the energy and buckled down to finish on a good note. We are all proud of the progress we have made in practice, but we all agree we have a lot more to work on and accomplish as a team and individually.

    We had a frustrating weekend going 0-3 in the Holiday Inn Brownstone Volleyball Challenge. We are happy with the fact that we stepped it up from last weekend, but we were really hoping to pull out a few wins. Most of our losses were due to our unforced errors and inability to rise to the occasion. On the positive side, these are all areas that are in our control. With continued hard work and discipline we know we will get there.

    One great thing about this weekend was the awesome support of our fans. Friday night we played in front of a crowd of over 1,300 people. Reynolds Coliseum was full of energy and it was exciting to finally get to play in front of our home crowd. Thank you to all of our fans that came out to support us. You all really do make a difference.

    This coming Friday, Sept. 14, we play North Carolina at 7 p.m. in Reynolds. Please come out to support us as we take on our rivals to kick off the ACC season.



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