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    And-1 With Amy

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM As part of her pre-game ritual, Amy Jaeschke has to be the last Wildcat to run onto the floor for warm-ups.
    As part of her pre-game ritual, Amy Jaeschke has to be the last Wildcat to run onto the floor for warm-ups.

    Feb. 2, 2010

    Hey Wildcat Fans,

    We went 1-1 this past week. We lost a close one to Michigan State (56-52) and the beat Wisconsin (68-62). Despite losing against MSU, our team walked away feeling good about the effort we put out on the floor Thursday night. It was a great team effort where everyone fought hard against a very tough and aggressive Spartan squad. I think the good things that happened during the MSU game carried over to the second half of our Wisconsin game on Sunday. The opening of the first half was a little brutal to be honest. Our offensive wasn't flowing well and we were very stagnant. However, coming out of the half, we were completely on-point. We went on a 17-2 run, to build a 10-point lead that the Badgers could not overcome. On Thursday, we play Michigan for the second time this season after beating them in our first away conference game in Ann Arbor back on Dec. 28.

    In the middle of last week, I was invited to attend a writing work shop conducted by Skip Myslenski, a renown sports writer who has written for the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Enquirer and Sports Illustrated. During the workshop he gave advice to the group about working as a journalist. It was interesting to hear his perspective as a journalist going to an interview because I am often the one being interview, rather than the one asking the questions. After the workshop ended, he offered me some ideas about what to talk about in my blog.

    So I thought I would start with his first idea, superstitions. When I think about it, my superstitions have become an integral part of my pre-game ritual. They are completely silly but they are now routine habits for me. For instance, when our team runs out to warm-up, I am always the last person in line. Kaitlin McInerney will run out in front of me and Beth Marshall before her... always.



    When the national anthem is sung before the game, I always stand near the elbow of the free throw line with Lia Henry standing to the left of me. I chew gum during every game. I high-five my teammates the same way after they call the starting lineups. For every home game, I store my scouting report in the same spot. I always have to make my last shot before the game starts. As I am shooting around before a game, I will often think in my head, if I make this shot we are going to win.

    Truthfully, I know if I make or miss the shot it does not predict the outcome of the game. However, it keeps me at peace knowing that I ran out the same way or that I put my scouting report in the usual spot. I have no idea how any of these started and most of them change from year to year.

    Right now, I think I am developing a new superstition and it is one that I do not necessarily enjoy. The last two road trips (Iowa and Wisconsin) I didn't listen to my ipod. When we played Iowa, I played pretty well and then we just won at Wisconsin. So now I feel obligated to not listen to my ipod so that we can win on the road! I think my superstitions, minus the ipod example, are not really breaking news type of things, but they're what helps me prepare for each game.

    This week we are back at home against Michigan on Thursday at 7 p.m. In our last contest against the Wolverines, we won by four points, so I know it is going to be another good game. Michigan is 5-6 in conference play thus far and is on a three-game winning streak. If we execute our game plan, hopefully we will begin a winning streak of our own!

    Until next time,
    Go 'Cats!
    Amy J.