April 22, 2005
by Kelly Anderson – Our idea to journalize our trip to ACC’s in Cary, NC, was initiated on the ride to the airport on Wednesday morning. Perhaps this is just one way our team is bursting to share the irreplaceable and exhilarating memories we have created thus far on our journey this season. Words can probably not do justice to our experiences but perhaps will be able to convey a mere brush stoke in our artwork in progress.
After arriving in hot, dry Raleigh-Durham Airport, we drove straight to the site in Cary to practice. We found the courts to be extremely high-bouncing but made adjustments accordingly. Nannie [de Villiers] and Cheryl arrived at the end of practice with some birthday cupcakes, which served as our post-practice carbohydrate replacement. I blew (and spat) out a few candles and then we rushed off at 6:15 p.m. for the hotel where the ACC Banquet was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
[Side Note: Kelly Anderson’s 20th birthday was on April 20th, the day of arrival in Cary]
It was chaos in the lobby of our hotel, the eloquent Embassy Suites, where all of the ACC teams were gathered. Either checking in or already dressed and ready awaiting the ceremony, we collectively created quite a buzz. Nannie (aka Supercoach) sorted out the rooms with a bit of her natural charm and wit and we were given our keys with the mission of sprinting up to our rooms to shower and look presentable for the banquet in under 2.753 minutes. Some of us accomplished this, others did not. Our preparation times, I must admit, were a function of how many heads we turned at the banquet! We certainly ended up turning a lot more heads as the ceremony progressed.
Our team was noted as being the highest-ranked women’s ACC team at No. 6 in the nation and subsequently had three girls (Ali, Kristi and Dasha) named to the all-ACC team. Kristi deservingly received the ACC Rookie of the Year award and then to top it off, Coach Shelton was awarded the ACC Coach of the Year. A humorous part of the evening was that while we were waiting for those titivating to join us downstairs at the banquet, the hotel fire alarm went off. Perhaps an indication of the amount of energy expended on pounding tennis balls for a good portion of the day, nobody at the banquet paid much attention to this as the rest of the hotel residents ran in haphazard circles trying to find the exits. Those on the eighth floor trying to still blow-dry their hair had to abort that idea and taken an eight-flight gallop down the stairs as the elevators shut down!
The evening ended off with a laid-back trip to Starbucks, after which we offered two Wake Forest men’s players a ride back to the hotel and let them get a taste of what nine off-key girls sound like singing/shouting/screeching to Enrique!
Guess that’s about it…Good night!