December 30, 2009

Christmas Break

I love my mom. It was December 23rd and we just caught a convincing “L” at the hands of the UConn Huskies. Yet as we made the 2.5 hour drive from Storrs back home to Queens the first thing out of my mother's mouth was, “There’s a lot of time in the season to improve” and “I liked your three.” Thanks Mom. You’re the best. I hope Tara sees it your way.

On that dark cold night we tried to warm the car up with chatter about all things not UConn. We discussed how my classes and final exams went, plans for Christmas, love and life, but still, every now and then, if there was a pause in the conversation, someone would lightly murmur about UConn, “gotta get back, can't let them run”… “yea… that Moore, she’s good.”

Fortunately, family, jokes, and good food will make you forget about anything you don’t want to think about. I made the most of the three days I had off for the holidays and had an amazing time with my family and friends. Hair got did, nails got hooked up. Food got buttered and baked. Presents were dressed in the finest of wrappings and laced with the shiniest of bows. The Christmas music was blasting. UConn schmuconn… it was good to be home.

…On the plane ride back the reality of things started to settle in. On one side I was pessimistic; I thought, “We blew a chance to make a big statement about our program; to garner a certain level of respect we always cry out for season after season.” On the other side I was staying positive and realistic, “We beat some very talented teams and we will learn from the UConn loss." But as a senior making her farewell tour… I knew ultimately I wanted to be greedy--I wanted it all! I wanted to win the chip -SHOOT, I wanted to go undefeated! I knew our team was good… better than good even, and I still believe we have what it takes.

The next few days of practice were hard. Really hard. We didn’t even practice offense. Many of the drills didn’t even require a ball. We worked on defense. I’m talking summer camp drill defense: pushing off the right foot and defensive slide races. We worked on taking charges and boxing out. We did a transition defense drill for about 30 minutes straight. No one dared to ask for water.

It sounds cliché… but if we won, would we have paid this much attention to areas we clearly needed more work in? Probably not. If we had won would we be moonwalking and doing the tootsie roll, feeling ourselves? Ha-ha! Maybe for a day…but not too long. All “What If’s” aside, this was a good reality check. Something that will keep a chip on our shoulder as we move further and further away from our preseason and deeper and deeper into our regular season. We know what’s coming in March… and we’ll be ready for it. See you at the tourney…

-Ros #21

December 14, 2009


Christmas is the time of year when our team spends just about every waking moment together. From practices to meals, watching movies and just everyday life you start to notice things. So, I'm going to spread a little holiday cheer by sharing a few of these "things" I've discovered about each of my splendid teammates.

Starting with everyone's elder, we have Rosalyn. Ros has the uncanny ability to spot a Red Lobster from miles away. Name a city, and she could probably name up to three Red Lobsters in your general vicinity. (She will drive up to 40 minutes to eat there!)

Melanie Murphy is the definition of cool. If you have yet to realize this you might be living under a rock. She has recently been seen sporting snazzy new headphones which only add to her "swag" as she calls it.

Moving on, we have the incomparable Jennifer Hones. JJ, or jota jota, has been known to whisper sweet nothings in Spanish to unsuspecting people (me in particular). She is also highly skilled at yelling things across a packed auditorium right before a final starts!

Michelle Harrison was named after a Beatles song. I don't know how life gets any better than that! Anything I could possibly follow that statement with would just be insignificant. Hence there is no need to mention her drum playing skills, artistic prowess, dunking abilities, addiction to Ritz and peanut butter, or anything else you can imagine. I don't know if you got this the first time but she was literally named after a Beatles song.

Next we have Mikaela Ruef. There is not a single Billy Joel song that she can't belt out on cue. (My personal favorite rendition, "Vienna") Not only does Ruef have a marvelous singing voice, but word on the street is that she is a semi-decent tennis player and just might be the next Roger Federer! (in her mind at least).

Our other freshie, miss Joslyn Tinkle has a similar performance quirk. Hannah Montana doesn't stand a chance when it comes to dancing the Hoedown Throwdown. Jos has perfected every step and has been known to perform in the locker room, her dorm room, probably on her way to class, and my personal favorite, the weight room. (Vocals provided by our very own Jeanette Pohlen)

Which brings me to Jeanette. I recently discovered that not only can she tell you the artist of any song ever created, but she is also a nail polish connoisseur. I know from personal experience that she is a more talented manicurist than anyone the world. (Check out my nails if you don't believe me.)

Kayla Pederson might have a semi-unhealthy addiction to a television show I honestly think nobody else in the world watches. Every Friday night Kay is in an especially good mood and can be found watching the newest episode of the Ghost Whisperer. (She is anxiously awaiting the day when the coaches recruit a fellow enthusiast.)

Rounding out the junior class we have Ashley Cimino. She has been known to get a little too excited when telling a story to the point where her voice is so high it's almost inaudible. But we all love this Princess Peach voice of hers, especially Jayne.

Speaking of which, Jayne has the magical ability to call anyone out on any specific quirk they might have. For instance Boothe's very unique pronunciation of words like "dad" and "math" are never gone unnoticed by Jayne, who makes the Chicago native repeat each word several times before realizing what's going on. (Sidenote — if you didn't already know, Boothe loves cranberry sauce.)

Did I mention Jayne has the most wicked wink I've ever seen, because she does.

Continuing with the sophomores, we next have Grace. Grace might be the most photogenic player on this team. She even has patented her very own "Grace Face" which Ros has decided is the best group photo theme ever invented. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

Lindy LaRocque "Sparkster" could win a worldwide burping contest, without even drinking an ounce of soda. It's quite an endearing talent if you ask me. She can also be found creating clever rhymes that go with each of our names.

Last but not least we have the lovely Nnemkadi. As many of you have probably noticed, Mel has been sporting her hair in intricate braids recently. Nneka is the sole mastermind behind the hairstyle. She has created numerous designs, each one more incredible than the next. Oh yeah, Nnek watches 90210.

These and many other special quirks are why I absolutely love my team and could not ask for more amazing people to spend everyday with. I hope you enjoyed a little inside look at the sweetest team EVER. Happy Holidays.


P.S. I have absolutely no quirks to speak of in case you were wondering.

December 3, 2009

Most wonderful time of the year

Hey Cardinal Fans!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No really, it is! For all of you avid basketball fans, you might think that March is the greatest month of all. Yes, March Madness is exhilarating, but nothing beats the Christmas season. Keep in mind that I am the type of person who likes to listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving!

December is the month of joy. Bright lights glorify ordinary houses, Christmas trees fragrance homes with the refreshing smell of pine, Christmas jingles fill the airwaves, the Grinch teaches us how to use our hearts, decorated cookies stuff our stomachs, and Santa visits every house. What can be better than this? Everybody just seems to be happy and loving. I know there is the stress of having to buy presents for your family and friends and worrying about how to tame Uncle John when the family gets together, but it is all worth it in the end.

December is also a crucial and exciting part of our basketball season. We have four BIG games against the top teams in the country. It’s kind of like a mini-March Madness. It’s a preview of what is to come and an evaluating point for our team. The team is looking forward to these games and we are extremely excited to be able to just play without attending to school. So in my opinion, holiday cheer plus December Madness equals the best time of the year.

Spread the Christmas love!