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End of Summer

Hi Friends!

So I can’t believe that summer is already over and that preseason is starting in 3 DAYS!!!! I couldn’t be more excited to be with everyone again and get this season started! This summer however, was so much fun and I’ll be sorry to see it go. I lived and worked in Lex this summer for my adviser. I was doing neuroscience research (and getting paid woop woop!). My research project was to look at if facial nerve cuts in hamsters resulted in abnormal taste bud formation in the circumvallate papilla  on the side of the cut. Overall, I really enjoyed my research however, having to (humanely) kill the cute little animals is the actual worst. It was so awesome to be working with my favorite teacher doing research that I love, and on top of that, getting paid for it! It’s bittersweet that it’s ended but I still get to continue my research during the fall.


This little hammy is my favorite (and the chubbiest) one!

I can’t wait to see everyone so soon and get back into the swing of season (AKA the best time of year!!!)




Hey guys!!

Obviously, this summer has been pretty eventful for us here in Cleveland. It’s great to be relevant in sports again and not as the laughing stock of the nation… Personally, I’ve been loving every second of it even if it may not be because of my favorite athletes. Now my teammates can’t make fun of me for being a Browns fan (well not quite as much… We’ll see how the season goes). I also guess I have to post my obligatory comment about getting Lebron back; I swear I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon now guys but at least the Cavs will be good again this year! I’ve successfully managed to stay away from all Lebron memorabilia just to prove something (not sure quite what yet) but I think that may not hold out much longer. I mean what kind of Clevelander doesn’t show off their Cleveland pride in a form of an obnoxious shirt that everyone hates??

Its hard to believe that in 8 short days we’ll be back in Lexington! I know everyone is super excited to start the season and be together again. Preseason is one of the most fun parts of our season because we really get to know all of our new players since we’re together basically 12 hours a day, everyday for 2 weeks. This year we even got the added bonus of an extra week together thanks to our school schedule! Can’t wait to see all of you guys so soon!




Work Work Work

Hey all!

I’m Lauren, one of the seven new freshman on the team! I’m from Rochester, New York (for everyone who doesn’t know, that’s practically Canada.) It’s safe to say that Washington and Lee will be a little bit of a culture shock for me. If what the girls told me at Marietta camp was any indication, going South is gonna be quite the change. I don’t own any Lily Pulitzer, I’ve never eaten at Chick-fil-a and I didn’t know what Rainbows are (when I hear leather sandals, I think Birkenstocks.) Still, after last week’s camp with Kenzie and the other new Generals, I cannot wait to head down to Lexington, (I leave in 18 days!), and get to work.

Speaking of work, that’s pretty much all I’ve done this summer! I only had six weeks home; my school didn’t graduate until June 28th! Most of my time has been taken up with volleyball workouts, my job at a retirement home, nannying for a family in my neighborhood and my internship at our local hospital. It’s my second summer at the hospital, and I’m working in the observation unit connected to the emergency department. I’ve had the opportunity to work hands-on with patients, and even observe a few doctors in surgery.

I’ve been working hard, but keeping busy has helped the time leading up to my departure fly by! It’s good, because every day I get more anxious to move down. My roommate and I have been talking a lot, and I may have gone a little crazy in planning and decorating for my dorm. (Pinterest: it’s a bad thing.)

The one break in my summer is coming up this week! Thursday I fly down to Orlando to spend four days at Disney with my sister, who works as a Marine Researcher at Epcot. We’re going to all the parks, and she even scheduled us a princess breakfast. We’re both huge Disney nerds, so I’m unashamed to say I couldn’t be more excited. I plan on spending the one day my sister has to work at Universal, checking out the new Harry Potter park! Mary, the Freshman who lives in Orlando, might even be joining me!

I hope this wasn’t too boring! I’ll see you all later!



Some of my friends and I went to a paint rave, hands down one of the weirdest experiences of my life. And the paint was really painful, it stung!


Me, my mom and my sister at our combined grad party! My sister graduated from Syracuse University in May.


The first half of my summer seemed like an endless circuit of grad parties!


My friends and I have gone to the beach a few times, but our beach is small and gross and on Lake Ontario.

OMG! I realized I forgot to include the best pic of all!! 

Say hi to the freshman + Kenzie!!

Say hi to the freshman + Kenzie!!

Hi Friends

Hi friends! (Kenzie told me that phrase is a saying at W&L, so I am embracing it). Happy last couple weeks of summer from the inferno down here that we call Florida. Seriously, I can not wait to get up to Lexington to escape the heat and more importantly to meet everyone/start preseason! My summer has been very exciting, but pretty exhausting to be honest! The week after graduation my whole family (grandparents, cousins, aunt, uncle etc) went to France for two weeks! We spent the first couple days in Paris doing the typical things that American tourists would do (Eiffel Tower, segway tour, museums etc), and then we met up with a bunch of other American families and some guides for a 10 day biking excursion through the Loire Valley! This part of the trip was so beautiful; we biked about 40 miles a day through massive fields of wheat and sunflowers, stopping occasionally for lunch at a vineyard or to tour a historic chateau. We had to conquer a lot of hills which my cousin and I renamed “upHELL,” but it was totally worth it because I got to eat all the french bread and macaroons I wanted to.

Pretty soon after that, I went up to visit my grandmother in Highlands, NC for a week full of croquet, tennis, hiking, and hanging with the fam. It was a great time, and I am very proud to say that my friend and I almost beat the club champions in croquet (we were up 3-1), but the game got rained out and we could not finish. We also went on this awesome 6 mile hike to a place called “the potholes,” which are basically giant natural swimming pools that were created by waterfalls. We got to jump into the potholes off of big boulders, which was slightly frightening but fun.
Last weekend was definitely one of the most exciting weekends of the summer because I finally got to meet all the other volleyball freshman (and Kenzie) at Marietta camp! We had a great time getting to know each other and of course playing lots of volleyball! I can already tell this is going to be such a fun group, and it makes me more anxious than I already am to get up to Lexington! Exactly three weeks from today we will be moving in!
See you all soon!  :) 
PS it took me about 30 minutes to figure out how, but I managed to add some pictures
Here I am with my sister, Anne snapping pics of the Eiffel Tower

Here I am with my sister, Anne snapping pics of the Eiffel Tower

My mom, cousin, and I in front of the castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty

My mom, cousin, and I (sporting our super cute padded bike shorts) in front of the chateau that inspired Sleeping Beauty

my cousin and I trying to get a cute picture in the poppies, but it turned out to look more like a life alert commercial... "help I've fallen and I can't get up"

my cousin and I trying to get a cute picture in the poppies, but it turned out to look more like a life alert commercial… “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”

family croquet match

family croquet match

pls excuse my awkward body position, but here I am jumping into the potholes

pls excuse my awkward body position, but here I am with my bff  jumping into the potholes 

This is Anne and me today on the beach!  I had to add it because she has been at summer camp for 5 weeks and finally came home this morning!

This is Anne and me today on the beach…I had to add it because she has been at summer camp for 5 weeks and finally came home this morning!


[Colorado to Virginia]^2

Hello from Colorado Springs!

This summer, I’ve been in Colorado Springs interning/taking classes at the Focus Leadership Institute at Focus on the Family. Yall, I’ve done more reading and more intense self-examination in the last seven weeks then I’ve done in the past two years at W&L combined. Okay, not so much with the reading (we do a lot of that at school), but pretty close. While I’ve been here I’ve managed to drag myself out of bed pretty early (read: 4:45 AM. Should not be a thing) on some Saturdays for some awesome days exploring Colorado… check out some of the pics at the bottom of this post to get a glimpse of how awesome this place is!

My internship program took a 10 day trip to DC over the 4th of July. Yall, I literally lived a lifetime in those ten days. We went everywhere – I honestly don’t remember if we ever slept. We toured a bunch of awesome places, visited the monuments a few times (GO SEE THE WWII MONUMENT AT NIGHT. TRUST ME), got to have a fancy schmancy dinner on the Terrace of the Newseum one night, toured the Capitol Building, got to meet Rick Santorum, and got a personal tour of the Pentagon by a three star general. I was, like, totally in my element (#politicsnerd).

The past few weeks back at FLI we have been focusing on our personalities, our strengths, the sources of our identity, and our unique leadership styles. It’s been increadibly intense, but I’ve learned so much about myself and other people and now that I understand myself, I feel both very confident in leading from my strenghts and admitting my weaknesses and asking for help in them.

I’m bummed to be leaving this awesome group of friends here in Colorado, but yall, as August gets closer I keep getting more and more impatient. It’s time to be with my team (aka my family aka my best friends aka my sisters) again. It’s time to walk into the Warner Center again and actually get to play volleyball. It’s time to once again make a statement about who the Generals are and what we are going to do. It’s time for us to step out onto the court and show the NCAA again what we already know – that our skill, our talent, and our athleticism make us good, but our culture, our heart, and our determination make us great.

See yall soon!








Tequila and Bacardi

Hey guys!

Okay, I’ve never blogged before, so I’m just going to wing it! I’m Elena and I’m from Roanoke, VA (45 mins from Lexington) and I am ecstatic to be at W&L in the fall!! Apart from doing our summer workouts, my summer has been pretty uneventful. I have been working at Roanoke Country Club in the pool snack shop all summer, and it has been entertaining to say the least! Between adorable little kids and creepy old men, I have been enjoying taking orders and delivering food. Not to mention I’ve learned how to cook any type of children’s food you could possibly think of (deep fried chicken tenders, grilled cheese, fries, etc.).

Also, I have been on two beach trips so far this summer, one to Hilton Head Island and one to Holden Beach. My family and I also went to Aruba over spring break, and it was, by far, the most amazing trip I have ever been on! We went on an exciting snorkeling adventure, and I was given the chance to snuba (snorkel/scuba dive) in an abandoned shipwreck. I was able to dive 20-30 ft to the ship and stay underwater for about 45 minutes without coming up for air, with the help of an oxygen mask, of course! Also, I went on a horseback riding tour through the Aruban hills and along the volcanic side of the island. I rode a horse named Tequila and my dad rode Bacardi -the Aruban’s said the horses didn’t mix well, so that’s why they chose those names. I found that to be pretty funny. Tequila was a frisky little horse who demanded to be at the front of the pack at all times. As an experienced rider, I was not intimidated by her spirit; as for the beginner riders, where do I begin…

Other than my beach trips, work, and working out, I have been enjoying my time with friends, family, and beloved pets. I have 3 cats and a chocolate lab, and they are my family’s BABIES! We are definitely animal people at the West household. I am really close to my younger sister, Jenna, as well. It will be an adjustment next year without her there, but I am looking forward to meeting many new friends at W&L.

I know my title was a little misleading, but I was hoping for something eye catching! Can’t wait for preseason and see you all soon!


The infamous Tequila and Bacardi

The infamous Tequila and Bacardi


This is Nookie (one of the 3 babies)

This is Nookie (one of the 3 babies)




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