Senior Maggie Acuna
Throughout the season an Illinois women's basketball player will post her thoughts on fightingillini.com in a weekly blog. In the second installment this week, senior Maggie Acuna talks about the many "lasts" of being a senior and about life on the road during the Thanksgiving Holiday.
November 25, 2005 Women's Basketblog - Maggie Acuna
On the road again...
School has been in session for about 12 weeks. Classes are far into the first semester and we are now into the 2005-2006 season. It's my senior year and it is different from any other year before. I am coming into the season with more knowledge, experience, higher expectations, and a different perspective (although I've still managed to be the shortest person on the team). As I, and my two other senior classmates, Janelle and Brittney, continue on our journey through our final year at Illinois we will come across many "lasts." Some of the "lasts" are good and exciting, but there are others that are far more sad and upsetting.
The GREAT: LAST PRE-SEASON is finally successfully completed. For all of you who aren't aware...no more suicides, sprints, ladders, relay races, wonderful morning track workouts, etc...unless the coaches decide to throw some extra running in during practice. But the worst is over and we, the seniors, can celebrate and rejoice. As words of wisdom for the younger ladies, good luck with the next one, two, or three torturous pre-seasons awaiting you in your future. The moments we spent together on the track and court are truly some of the greatest times I can take away with me.
The Good: This is the last big road trip. We are now in Colorado hoping to come home with some hardware. Since this week of November is the Thanksgiving Holiday, it is a long week to be away from our families. This seems to be the toughest for the freshmen to adjust, however, for the sophomores, juniors, and seniors, it is all something we have learned to accept and adjust to. For the more fortunate members of the team, or, dare I say, more "special" teammates...their loving families have devoted their time and efforts to travel to Colorado and salvage a Thanksgiving family dinner. However, the rest of us will come together and be the ILLINOIS family. We will still come home full and round in the tummy from all the great food, compliments of Coach Grentz. As she reminded us at our first dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, "When you're with me, you get dessert." As much as we enjoy eating on our road trips, Coach still maintains her competitive demeanor and side notes that we can't have dessert unless we win. That is motivation enough for our players to "kill themselves" to win.
The Bad: We lost to Northern Colorado, but hopefully this will be our last upset loss. We are now looking forward to our game against Utah State. It will be a good for us to put the loss behind us and hopefully come out with a victory.
We are missing our family and friends back home during this Thanksgiving holiday and look forward to coming home 3-1. We are all thankful for our loyal support from all our fans, friends, and family. Happy Thanksgiving!