Time Out with Tori

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Monday was picture day! We took individual and team pictures in the arena.  We had to dress up for some of the photos and wear our uniform for the others.  It was quite a scene in the locker room when we were getting ready! Everyone came in from class in their t-shirts and shorts and we all changed into skirts, dresses and shirts with ruffles.  The bathroom was full of us girls trying to straighten our hair and do our makeup.  We clean up pretty nicely if I do say so myself! The coaches looked good too!  It's always nice to see our whole team dressed up because so much of the time we are in basketball shorts and t-shirts.  But we all survived picture day and hopefully all of the pictures turn out nicely! 
 
This past week I had to write a blog for one of my classes and I thought I would share a little bit of what I wrote.  The topic was my team.
 
I don't think anyone fully understands what a team means unless they are a part of the team.  Unless they can say that's my team.  And I don't mean a fan in the crowd cheering for their school, which they may call their team.  Most people can cheer for a team, but could they handle being a member of that team?  Being on a team means you have a team first mentality.  Every decision you make affects the team and you must always put the team first.
Being on a team, my team, means we go through the trenches together.
 
Every day we grind it out in practice and physically and mentally exhaust ourselves trying to push one another to get better.  Every day we challenge the next girl to lift more weight than they did on the last set.  How many girls do you know that would feel comfortable bench pressing over a hundred pounds? Being on a team means that in practice we constantly battle, but we know that there are no hard feelings once practice is over.  How many girls do you know that wouldn't make a big deal if one of their friends shoved them in the back or hit them with an elbow?
 
Being on a team, my team, means that I know I have 13 sisters, yes sisters, not just friends.  When I'm on the baseline about to run sprints, I can always look to my right or my left and see my sisters right next to me.  When I feel like I can't push myself any harder, I know that my sisters are next to me to give me that extra energy.  I know that my team will never give up on me and will never leave me.  That's a pretty incredible bond, knowing that no matter what, my sisters will always support me.  How many people have that bond with 13 other people?
 
My team has shared moments that have brought us so close together that not many people could understand.  The phrase "blood, sweat and tears" really does apply to the bond my team has.  There are always scratches on one another from playing against each other.  At the end of the day our workout gear is soaked in sweat.  And there have been many long talks and heart to hearts with one another, whether it's in the locker room or outside of the arena, where there have been tears.  It's okay to cry on my team.  The emotions are real.  When one of my teammates experiences sadness, the rest of us do as well.  When someone is happy, we feel that way too.  It's all love.
 
Not many people could handle what all comes with being on a team.  But I couldn't handle not being on my team.
 
Peace, Love and Basketball
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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What a weekend!  We had the last three days off and they were great!  I know I caught up on some sleep and I'm pretty sure some of my teammates did too. Saturday was the first football game and most of us made it to the game. It was extremely hot, but still fun. After the game, we all cooled off at the pool.

Last week was our first week of individuals and they started off great. We went in groups of four. We had good intensity and worked hard! This week we have individuals again with four people and next week we go in groups of six.

This past Friday, after five-on-five, we had a team scavenger hunt. We broke up into three teams and had to run across campus to take pictures at different places. We had to run to the columns, Plaza, Shakespeare's, Memorial Union, the tiger and then meet back at the arena. My team won! Kyley, Christine and Paige were on my team. It was quite a workout running everywhere to try to beat the other teams!

With Monday out of the way, I'm ready to start the week. It helps that I only have two days of classes!

Peace, Love and Basketball.

Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori: Guest Post

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Today's guest post is written by teammate Paige Spietz.

Today was the beginning of our second week back in school. By this time I feel like our days are starting to become somewhat familiar and we're not scrambling to find our classes or rushing to eat lunch before heading to the arena for our afternoon workouts. So far I think it is safe to say that we have started out the year on the right foot. With a summer full of hard work behind us, we now move on to individual workouts, which start tomorrow.
 
This year I feel like we have a great group of girls. In our time together so far, I feel like we've created great chemistry and have learned a lot about each other on and off the court. Outside of basketball, we've really come together as a team. I can tell everybody is looking forward to the season ahead!
 
As for me, things have changed a lot since last year. I recently moved into a new apartment with a couple of my teammates and living completely on my own has been somewhat of a challenge. I think the biggest thing has been trying to stay organized and get everything I need to get done finished before the day is over. Sometimes I wish there were just a few more hours in the day! Other than that I'd say things are going smoothly.
 
I think I can speak for my teammates as well as myself when I say that I'm looking forward to a great year as well as seeing all of you back in the stands for another great season!
 
Paige Spietz

Time Out with Tori

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The first day of class is over!  We all survived.  It wasn't that difficult to get back into school mode since we just finished summer school, but it is still a challenge because we all have full course loads now.  Plus, there are a couple extra thousand students on campus that make getting everywhere a little difficult.  But I think we are all excited for the new school year.
 
This past weekend, when I was at the lake with most of my family, my aunts pointed out that I made a typo in my last blog entry.  I said that I was excited to see my aunt, uncles and cousins.  This became a joke to see which aunt was the favorite aunt since I actually had seven aunts at the lake.  But anyways, my last weekend of summer was great.  There were 31 of my family members there and we spent our time talking, swimming and eating great food.
 
Sunday was the first day that all of our team was together.  It was so great to see everyone again!  We also welcomed Liene!  We had our first lifting workout Monday and it went pretty well.  It will be good to get back in the swing of workouts.  We start individual workouts pretty soon.  Individuals are groups of four that are ran by the coaches.  They do drills with us and start teaching us new things.  They are a little more like practice so that will be exciting to start!  The season will be here before we know it!
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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One more week and school starts again!  I'm ready to head back to Columbia and start my sophomore year.  I think this year will go a little more smoothly than last year since everything won't be so brand new.  Time has absolutely flown by.  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was moving into the dorms.  It is nice though to not have the same freshmen jitters as last year.  I'm excited to start a new year!
 
Last week in South Carolina was amazing!  I had a great week with my family.  We went to the beach every day, rough life, I know, and luckily the jellyfish weren't too bad.  And no shark attacks!  The 15 hour car ride wasn't the highlight of the trip, but it was good family bonding :)
 
This weekend I am going to the Lake of the Ozarks with my entire family on my mom's side.  Our family does this once a year and we rent out a few condos and just spend the weekend together.  It's always a great time to see aunt, uncles and cousins that I don't get to see too often. 
 
I'm looking forward to getting back to Columbia and seeing all of my teammates.  Plus, there's only a few more weeks until football starts!
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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I'm writing from South Carolina! My family, which is my mom, dad, brother and I, drove to Georgia yesterday and to Hilton Head, South Carolina today.  We survived the fifteen hours of driving! We pulled in today around 3 p.m. and headed straight for the beach.  The weather is awesome here and we plan on spending all week just relaxing in the sand!
 
Last week was Shark Week on Discovery Channel, as some of you may know, and of course I watched plenty of it.  Now, I am thinking that wasn't such a great idea since I'll be in the ocean this week!  But honestly, I think I'm more afraid of the jellyfish in the water! I was stung a few years ago in Florida by one and I am still terrified of them!
 
Before you know it, it will be time to go back to Columbia for school to start. I'm excited to see all of my teammates again.  We've only been apart for a week but it seems like much longer! But until then, you can find me on the beach!
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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This past week Paige and I moved out of one apartment and into another.  We had to move all of our stuff down three flights of stairs on a couple of very hot days! But we got it done and we absolutely love our new place. 
 
Summer workouts and summer school is now over.  I would say this summer was very successful! I know for a fact that we all got quicker and stronger and we had a ton of fun while doing it.  Our last day was Friday and we had "Friday Funday."  We had weights at 7 a.m. but then we played kickball and wiffleball in the arena.  It was so much fun!  It was pretty funny how competitive we got during the games.  Now we have three weeks off to go home. 
 
Yesterday was my first day home and today was my first full day.  I've already had home-grown sweet corn, Georgia peaches and homemade spaghetti.  I definitely missed eating at home!  I'm looking forward to being back home for a little bit and hopefully getting a nice tan at the pool!
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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Only three more days of workouts!  I feel like I barely remember June and now July is almost over.  But this summer has been great!
 
We have today off from workouts, but our team is going to a community service project at Coyote Hill.  I've heard that we will be painting a basketball court.  Should be fun!
 
This week is already crazy.  Since its our last week of classes, everyone has finals or a final project due this week.  Also, most of us are moving into new apartments for the school year, so we are all trying to pack and clean our old places.  I am not a big fan of packing, moving or cleaning, so this week is going to be a little rough.  Most of us are moving into apartments with one another.  Paige and I are moving in with Christine, Liz is moving in with Sydney and Kendra is moving in with Maggie.
 
After this week, we get three weeks off to go home.  Then the school year starts up and we start pre-season workouts. 
 
I think quite a few of us are taking vacations when we get home.  Maggie and I are both making trips to Hilton Head, S.C. with our families, Paige is going to West Virginia, Christine is going on a cruise, Sydney is making a trip to Chicago and those are only the ones I know of.  It might be a competition when we all come back in August to see who got the best tan.
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Time Out with Tori

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This past weekend, most of the members of our team went on a float trip on the Meramec River.  It was a ton of fun!  We had one big raft and a bunch of tubes and we floated for almost six hours and we ended up floating seven miles.  I think we only lost a couple pairs of sandals, two pairs of sunglasses and not all of us got cuts or bruises from the rocks.  So the weekend was a definite success.
 
Monday our team had our best workout of the summer.  It started with conditioning at the indoor football field.  It was blazing hot, but we stuck together and ran hard.  We did ten sideline to sideline sprints.  Then we had a great weightlifting workout.  We finished up the day with five on five and we played eight intense games.  All of us played all out and pushed each other.  Afterwards in the locker room, we all decided that was the best we have played all summer.  It is always easier to make it through the tough workouts when you have your 11 sisters next to you.
 
The final two players left for me to introduce are seniors Kendra Frazier and Bailey Gee, both of Kansas.
 
Kendra's favorite thing to do at home is to see her family and her favorite thing to do in Columbia is to eat out.  She loves Chipotle.  Two things you may not know about Kendy is that she was in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC and she was the valedictorian of her class.  Kendra said the main thing she has learned during her time at MU is how to do her own laundry.  The biggest difference for her from being a freshman to now being a senior is that she knows her way around campus and Columbia.
 
Bailey's favorite thing to do at home is to hang out with her family and friends.  In Columbia, she likes to go to the different MU sporting events.  Her favorite restaurant in Columbia is Macaroni Grill.  Two things you may not know about Bay is that she used to be a cheerleader and she can play the guitar.  Sometimes she will play for us and she's really good at singing too!  The one thing Bailey has learned over the years is to not take things for granted.  Now being a senior, Bailey has noticed her leadership role on the team has changed and after 3 and a half years, she finally knows her way around the engineering building!
 
Only two more weeks of summer workouts and classes!
 
Peace, Love and Basketball.
 
Tori Niemann

Paige Buchanan's Journal Entry

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    I can't believe summer is almost over already! We have about 2 weeks left of workouts, and 3 weeks until we start practice.  It is flying by so fast!  But it isn't stopping us from working hard.

   

We are still lifting every day and conditioning Tuesday's and Thursday's, Thursday's in the sand.  Which can be fun but also very challenging.  

   

Anyways, we are so excited to have our new freshies here with us! We now have a complete team, and I couldn't be more excited to see what we will be able to accomplish.  All of us are putting in so much hard work in the weight room and on the court that success will hopefully come to us this next season.  Everyone is working well together and having fun which will make for an amazing next six months and beyond.  

  

Our doubles games each day are starting to get very competitive, which is a great prelude into season.  When it comes to the Tiger Challenge, black team is still winning...YUCK. GO GOLD :) If it is a physical challenge, black team wins.  But if we have to think or sprint, it usually goes to the gold. 

  

One of the goals we talked about in our meeting last week for next year is to be an Academic All-American team and with how all of our summer classes are going, I think we may just accomplish it!  I can't wait to see what this season has in store for all of us, but until then we are going to continue to work hard and better ourselves.  I hope Molly is having fun in Peru with the National Team!

 

We are finishing up these last two weeks by going hard!

 

Paige Buchanan #12

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