COLUMBIA — The Missouri volleyball team (30-0) is in the middle of another quick turnaround after Friday's victory over the Gators in Florida. The Tigers play at South Carolina (12-15) at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
"It's hard at first," junior Whitney Little said of the Friday-Sunday away game schedule. "Now, after doing it for three years, you kind of get used to it."
Volleyball players get used to crowded schedules during high school club years and tournaments, Little said. Then in college, players have to take tests and write papers on the road.
"Before you sign," Little said, "you know it's going to be a hard task to be a student athlete. So that's just something you have to deal with."
And the heavy travel contributes to team bonding time. Last weekend, junior Emily Wilson said that before Friday's game, freshmen Carly Kan and Loxley Keala jumped on the beds in Wilson and Keala's hotel room, singing along with Nicki Minaj songs.
From the end of Friday's game to the beginning of Sunday's game, here's a typical schedule, according to Little:
Post-game: shower, get on a plane and leave for the next match destination. Or, if the next destination is close, stay at a hotel in town, and take bus to the next town on Saturday.
Saturday: watch film and go to practice.
Sunday: get ready for the early afternoon game.
But the team is prepared to take on any team, any time. It's just fine-tuning on Saturdays.
"Within preparing for the Friday match, we're also preparing for the Sunday match," Wilson said. "On Saturday, we'll look at a lot of what South Carolina runs. But otherwise, I feel like we're always prepared, always ready to go."