All together for Thanksgiving

Courtesy of Pete Stevens

The USC women’s volleyball team is joined by associate head coach Tim Nollan’s daughters, Avery, center, and Emma, for Thanksgiving at the Galen Center.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Yes, we had practice on Thanksgiving morning, and we didn't have the chance to go home because of the way our match schedule worked out, but I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be a part of USC women's volleyball. I am at one of the greatest universities in the world, playing the sport that I love at the most elite level. What our team does every day is something that so many volleyball players can only dream of doing.

Most importantly, I am thankful I get to go through this experience with my teammates. My teammates are the most incredible individuals, and they are my family. During my time at USC, their families have grown to become my family as well. I really have 15 mothers, 15 fathers, brothers, sisters and countless cousins. We'll consider our volunteer assistant coach John Xie as that crazy uncle on the far side of the family.

Today, we started a new tradition and celebrated Thanksgiving as a volleyball family at the Galen Center's Founders Room after our morning practice. For the past two years, I've spent Thanksgiving with Hannah Schraer and her family and had the privilege of saying grace at the Schraer household, so I was asked to lead grace for our team. I wanted to pass this blessing on to you and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays!

Dear lord,
Today is a joyous occasion
We gather here with your love
Thankful for each other
And what you have provided from above

Our table is blessed and bountiful
With a large turkey so fine
Stuffing, gravy and fixings
That surely will taste divine

All together, beaming, laughing
And my, that pie looks so kind
When I eat three pieces
I hope Mick won't mind

Those closest to thy heart
Sharing this meal under one roof
You mean the world to me
And that's the truth!