NL 18-1, 18-2, 18-3 travel to
|The Northern Lights 18-1, 18-2, & 18-Black teams will be traveling and
competing in Italy from April 2- April 10. They will be spending the first few
days sightseeing in Rome, Florence, and Venice. After that they will be
competing in a tournament in Pordenone Italy (18-1), Falconara (18-2), and
Milan (18-Black) with Junior teams from around the world.
|Tournament Link for Pordenone=http://www.memorial-cornacchia.com
No links available for Falconara or Milan tournaments
|April 2 - Arrival to Rome
| By: Julianne Blomberg
Our adventure to Italy began in the Minneapolis airport. Checking in and
security went by fast and nothing too eventful had happened exceptttt for the
fact that the Michigan baseball team was at a gate right by ours. Sadly not one
of us girls gained the courage to actually talk to them so we just looked like
creepy stalkers staring at these guys. Then finally we boarded the plane and
began the nine hour flight to Amsterdam. We all had a personal TV to watch so
that made the flight go by a lot faster. But eventually everyone was sleeping,
except for me. I just sat there for the whole flight twisting and turning
trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in.
Then once we landed in Amsterdam we had about four hours to kill till our
flight to Rome departed so some did homework, others slept, but a few girls and
myself entertained ourselves with yoga and screaming at a rat we found. Then we
began boarding the plane for Rome which was a two and a half hour flight. On
this flight EVERYONE was sleeping. Except me again. Next we picked up our
luggage and thankfully no one's was lost. We met up with our guide and he took
us to our bus which took us to the center of Rome.
We stopped at our hotel which has extremely small rooms but that's fine with me
when we get to stay in the middle of Rome. Then right away we began site
seeing. We went to go see the Spanish steps, the Trevi Fountain and the
Pantheon. These places were incredible! It's crazy to see buildings and
monuments so old and intricate. You can't even compare it to the boring
skyscrapers we see every day in Minnesota.
After our site seeing adventure we went to a restaurant to finally get some
dinner. We were all starving since the last time we had eaten was on the plane
from Amsterdam. We cleaned the entrée plates off so fast you would have
thought we had never seen food. After we ate multiple plates of spaghetti,
lasagna, bread, and salad Andy walked over and said I don't know if you are
aware but that was just the appetizer we still have to get the main courses. So
then the waiters brought out potatoes and veal something and chicken, it all
tasted really good! At this point everyone was full and exhausted considering
it was 10 pm which mean it feels like 4 am to us. We walked back to the hotel
which only took about 2 minutes and crashed. But for some reason even if you
are extremely tired, which I was after not sleeping for more than 24 hours, you
can't stay asleep so everyone in our room woke up at 4 am and just started
talking and finished off the pizza I had ordered for myself.
The trip has been surreal so far! We are all trying to take as many pictures as
possible but they don't do anything justice.
from Day 1
at the Spanish Steps
talks about the day
|April 3 - Rome
|By: Amber Krenske & Taylor Lockett
Sleeping was hard last night due to the tremendous time change. I woke up at 4
and was wide awake, but then when I had to wake up at 7:15 it was terrible. The
breakfast at the hotel was simple and nice, we enjoyed biscuits and nutella.
Oh, and the hot chocolate was AMAZING!
We took the metro to the Vatican. Thanh and his wife, Steph, couldn't fit on
our train though cause we were there during rush hour. But after they joined
the group, we finished our journey to the Vatican. Thank goodness we had passes
to get in because the line went on for hours! Our tour guide's name was
Antonio, and he has been giving tours to lights players for a few years now.
And he knows what he's talking about. I learned a lot! Everything in the
Vatican was breathtaking. Everything was so detailed and intricate that it's
hard to imagine how much time was spent creating those masterpieces.
For lunch we went to a pizza and pasta place with the 18-Black team. The pasta
was delicious, but the pizza could've been better. One thing we've noticed is
that people in Rome doe whatever they want; like wandering in front of speeding
cars, parking in crosswalks, parking with two people piling in one spot, and
mopeds passing every car they car squeeze between.
After a long day of touring, we took what felt like an hour long bus ride to a
gym to play a local team. We watched the 18-Black team play before we faced our
opponents. Both of the teams we played were very talented and scrimmaging them
definitely helped us get ready for our tournament.
So far we're loving Rome!!!!!!!!!
from Day 2
& Lindsey team up to tell us about the day
|April 4 - Rome
| Hello! Or should I say Ciao! I am here to write a rousing rendition of
today's events. Everyday in Italy has a thousand stories from different
perspectives but I am going to tell today from my perspective in full detail,
so be prepare yourself because I am not gonna hold back. Let's start things off
with the morning.
We were afforded the amazing opportunity to sleep in till about nine
unfortunately I didn't make it that long
So, we needed to take three
showers this morning before breakfast and I was going to be the first one in
around 8:15. So, we the alarm went off, I promptly got up and in the tiny
can't even shave your legs
) Anyways I worked with
what I had and got outta the bathroom all nice and clean and ready for the day
when Ashley says in a morning groan, "Do you know what time it is? It's
like 6:30." Ahhh mmaannnnn come onnnnnnnn maannnnnnnn welp turns out that
Ashley's school alarm went off at 6:15 and I assumed it was Marens.. it wasn't.
But, no one decided to stop me nopppeee haha. So, I went back to bed with wet
hair and got a up a little bit later when we went to breakfast. But, the fun
was yet to begin! We all got dressed and ready together; sharing clothes, doing
each others hair, etc. Everyone was looking cute and girly with shorts and
dresses as we walked out the door. As all 30 of us are walking down the uneven,
cobblestone street, we were constantly being gawked at where ever we go. And
Italians have no shame in stopping and staring. There were defiantly some
awkward moments on the metro on our way to our destination. And what was our
destination you ask? Well, think about the most iconic symbols of Rome. Yes,
We got to the coliseum and it was overwhelmingly magnificent. It felt as if we
were in a movie, like it wasn't real. The old bricks towered over us and
eclipsed the sun. We had a little bit of a delay/;problem with our ticket to
get in so our tour guide, Antonio, had to go back and figure things out
which gave us plenty of time to find some trouble. As we are sitting on the
side of the coliseum, this huge group of Italian teenage boys walked by, then
back, and then walked by again, needless to say, staring at all of us. Then
they got up to the courage to take a picture with us
next thing you know
we are being swarmed by 40 Italian boys asking for pictures and asking our
names. Some girls even were surprised with a brave kiss on the cheek from the
braver ones. Well, I'd just like to say, I, and a few others, sneakily got out
of the situation because we are the ones with boyfriends. Sooo, Curt was
getting nervous this whole time and then finally they left.
Then, Antonio got back and we entered the coliseum. Words cannot do this
justice. It was incredible towering into the clear blue sky and standing strong
after centuries of adversities like earth quakes and robbers. The stairs were
so steep that your legs were burning by the time you got to the upper level. We
circled around that floor taking most likely hundreds of pictures : Then we
went down to the bottom deck to take even more pictures. There were huge
columns we waked through to gaze that this truly incredible sight. After we got
the whole group back we then went to see where the emperor used to live.
We walked up this huge hill with beautiful scenery, white little flowers in the
grass and purple flowering trees. Again, it was a workout in itself to get up
the hill where he lived. There were huge ruins of where buildings, aqueducts,
and temples used to be on the land. When we got the other side of the hill,
more like a mountain really, we got to see the most beautiful view in Rome. It
was so pretty with all of the sand and red stone colored buildings, ruins, and
dome churches. I hope he puts a picture up of that because it was incredible.
Then after that we came down the other side of the hill and went through the
ancient city center. It was amazing to see the columns still standing. After
going through there our tour was over of ancient Rome. It was crazy to think
that I was actually standing in the place I studied in world history.
Then the teams broke off and the twos had to make it on their own to go
shopping (even though we barely had enough time) But, many people do not know
this, I am a map master. I lead us back to the metro. So, today I led the team
to the shopping center. Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Anyways,
we shopped for about 45 minutes and got some steals! I have found a new
price bargaining. So Liza is looking for something for
her dad (I can't tell you because he'll probably read this blog
and originally it was 20 Euros but I got it down to 15. So, I was feeling
pretty good about myself. But, then Jackie asked me to haggle down the price of
this purse she wanted to get for her sister. So, I look at the purse and give a
pensive look. Convincing. Then that brings the attention of the sales guy. He
tells me the price, 38 Euro, and I look kinda disgusted and disappointed. Then,
it's a subtle look in the eyes and the tilt of my head. An idea of a new price
comes into my head. Gotta go way low, Kell. "20." He shakes his head,
a little insulted but still ready to deal. I look at the purse, look back at
him, then give him a new price, still low. "24" He hesitates a little
but then starts pointing out the uniqueness of the purse and it's features. I
counter attack with some made up flaws of the purse. He gives me a price.
"33." He's coming down now, in the palm of my hand. I give a little
body language of putting the bag down, then stop, and look up. My final offer:
"28." "Yes, yes good deal," in his Italian accent. Boom.
Winning. I have found a new hobby.
After that we headed back to the hotel and got ready to play. We walked to the
place we have had our meals for the past couple of days and sat down to some
nice salad, pasta, chicken, and potatoes. Delicioso! We headed back to the
hotel for a bit before our bus came to pick us up for the match. Naturally many
of us napped or were on the Web trying to connect to the US while we still can.
Then the bus came and we were headed to a mystery place to play a mystery team.
When we arrived, we found that there was a rhythmic gymnastic session going on.
Whoa. I have never seen anything like that before. There looked like they were
just floating on the floor and twirling with their hula hoops. Well, some of
them were pretty graceful, but others
yyeeaahhh not so much. But, we got
ready for the match and our opponents came in. They were women. Not, girls,
like 21 to 29 year olds. But, we played pretty well, took them to four. But,
they came out on top good aggressive servers.
On the way home, Alli talked Curt into taking us for some gelato because it was
the last night we were going to be with Curt (Not sure if that info is exactly
correct buuuttt it worked so hey!!) Of course, health nut, Jackie was grinding
her teeth the whole time : Well, It is time for bed now. Headed off to
Falcanara tomorrow! Very excited to see the countryside. Goodbye form Rome!
from Day 3
|April 5 - Rome to Venice and Falconara
|By: Ashley Peper
|Ciao! We had a rough night of sleep last night but are somehow not tired
yet. We had breakfast at eight am. People had a variety of cornflakes,
beverages and bread. The orange juice tasted a tad spiked, but it was delicious
all the same. We then took our bags and rolled them through the streets of Rome
to catch the train to Florence. We received many awkward stares from the
locals. We waited about 15 minutes for our train at the Metro Station and then
hopped on. Curt bought everyone apples and bananas that were top notch. Thanks
The train was about an hour and a half. Most people took a power nap. Once we
were off the train we all got into some taxis to take us to the next train
station. Some taxi drivers hit pedestrians and others were texting on two
phones, all while swerving around vespas and buses. You should be happy your
daughter is alive.
Once we were at the next train station we dropped off our bags and went to see
the streets of Florence! We took off on a brisk walk and had a brief meeting at
the Duimo. It was beautiful! Then, we were allowed to run around on our own for
two hours. We were all given 10 euro for lunch. We stopped in cafés and
bought either sandwhiches or pizza. There were many cute shops and vendors that
we purchased shirts or presents at. There was a river just a few blocks away
from the Duimo as well. After our two hours of freedom we got back on the train
to take us to Venice. It's about a two hour train ride and most people took a
nap, including Curt.
Once we were off the train we rolled our bags around some more, made a few
wrong turns, but made it to the hotel. Some of the rooms have balcony's and the
rooms are good quality over all. After about 30 minutes we were off to another
train to go tour around the Grand Canal of Venice. It was a little cloudy out
but still beautiful scenery. We broke off into groups and were given some time
to have fun and eventually make it to the Rialto Bridge and the San Marco
Plaza. Some of us took gondola rides, toured the back roads and alleys, shopped
and looked like tourists taking photos of every inch. Two hours later, we all
met back up and went to dinner. It was a cute place where we were served
spaghetti and chicken with french fries. After, Curt bought us all gelato.
Thanks again to Curt! Then Lindsey Ryan and myself led the group on a brisk and
winding journey through winding alleys to get back to the train station. We had
missed a train by about two minutes, so we just sat around by the water for a
bit. Then we hopped back on the train and almost fell asleep!
Everyone is currently packing up and getting ready to pass out. Tomorrow the 18
1 team will be heading to Pordenone to start their tournament and the 18 black
team will be heading to Milan!! We will also be going back to Venice and the
Grand Canal for about an hour or two tomorrow morning to get one last look.
from Day 4
talks about Florence
bells in Florence
S and Ashley H by the church in San Marco Plaza
|April 6 - Venice to Milan 18 Black
|Venice to Pordenone 181
|Falconara Tournament 182
|By: Natalee Johnson & Aly Johnson
|Ciao! Last night we spent wandering around Venice. When we first grot
there, we got settled in our rooms and all got ready to go out on the town. We
took a quick train ride and arrived at the Grand Canal. We broke off into
smaller groups and got to roam around the city. We took about three hundred
pictures on the Rialto Bridge it was unreal. Everywhere we went it looked like
we were on a postcard the buildings were so beautiful! Becca, Paige, Aly and I
were the first to go on a Gondala in the canal. Our gondola guides name was
Luca. He told us some history about the city of Venice and it was interesting
top hear about some of the secrets of the city. We went out to dinner in the
heart of Venice and our first course was spaghetti and after we had some good
old America chicken and fries, which were amazing. To top the night off Curt
took all of us out for Gelato, which was my third gelato of the day no one can
ever have too much gelato! After gelato we actually sprinted through the alleys
and side streets of Venice to get back to the train station. We went through so
many alleys off the beaten path to get to the train station and then went back
to the hotel and all decided we wanted to spend some time in Venice the next
This morning, we got up early had breakfast, finished packing up our bags and
headed back to Venice to walk around some more and see some of the city we
didn't get to see yesterday. Paige, Aly, Becca and I went to a smoothie shop
and had out of this world smoothie. We just walked around and enjoyed the city
and the views. The bridges were so pretty just to look at, there were so many
different bridges it was nice to see that they were all different. We saw a
market that had all fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables. Then along the same way
things started to get fishy, there was fresh seafood on the streets it was so
fresh. I like how there markets are so fresh the food is here. For lunch we
stopped and got some pizza to go and headed back to the train station, and were
on our way to Milan.
Once we got to Milan, we got to Hotel Ibis and changed and went out on the
town. We went to the Duomo church in the center of Milan. It was an amazing
church. The ceilings were super high and it had a lot of detail. After we went
through the church we broke off into groups and went shopping. There were a ton
of designer shops and high end stores. Becca got a super cute jacket, Paige,
Kayla and I got really cute bags from Zara and we found tons of stores that
they have here that we don't have in America that we fell in love with. Milan
was a fun place to shop and it felt like we were in New York. After shopping we
went out to dinner at the Calafuria Unione where we could either have pizza,
pasta or risotto. It was a cute place to eat and had splendid food! We also had
a variety of authentic Italian deserts like tiramisu, a pastry like cake, and
chocolate cream puffs, everything was delicious! Overall Milan was a fun,
upbeat city to be in and it was a blast!
|Editor's note on 181 & 182:
182: Yesterday the they 182 team won both of their matches in their tournament
pool. Today they won their match in the morning which put them in 1st in their
pool and they moved onto the quarter finals as a top seed. They won the Quarter
final match and are now going to play in the semi finals on Saturday morning.
They like their little bungalows and have even been doing wash and hanging it
outside on the laundry lines they have. The restaurant where they eat most of
their meals is located over the water and they said it's neat to hear the waves
crashing into the shore below as they eat.
181: They played a friendly match against a very good Slovenian Jr National
team. We lost all 3 sets, but they played fairly well. Tonight they did their
opening ceremonies and were a big hit with all the boy's teams. They will start
their official tournament tomorrow morning and play 2-3 matches. The 181 team
is staying in the same hotel as the Dutch Jr National team which has the same
girls on it that stayed with us last winter in Minnesota/Omaha. They are having
a good time talking with them again.
from Day 5
short Gondola ride
& Rebecca in Milan
|Saturday April 7
|Milan - Darfo Boario Terme - 18 Black
|Pordenone - 181
|182 Summary by Kelley & Emilee
|Ciao Bella from Falconara (with a thick Italian accent and flamboyant hand
gestures). Here is your much needed and much anticipated update from the 18-2s.
For the past three days, we have been getting into all sorts of adventures
*cough, cough, trouble.* Thursday we arrived in beautiful Ancona on the train,
hopped into Mercedes mini vans with two Italian guys who did not speak a stitch
of English; little did we know that at the end of our stint we would be hugging
them goodbye after our 30 minute drive. We arrived at the Natural Village and
we're instantly spotted as foreigners....maybe the blonde and red hair gave it
away. We played two matches that night in some dome-like structures. The second
match (Jesolo, Italy-near Venice) was especially intense but we pulled it out
in the third.
Sweaty and coming down from our adrenaline high, we found ourselves coming back
to a hoppin dance party and dinner. When we hit the floor we quickly found out
they have a choreographed dance to everything. Unfortunately we didn't pick up
the dance moves that easily....a lot of awkward hip thrusting. When we
requested an American song, we cleared out the dance floor. And, if that didn't
have all the Italians running for the door, our karaoke sure did the trick. I
think we have beautiful voices, actually.
The next morning we played around 10am...honestly....don't really remember the
match. Our next match was at 6pm, so we went back to our cabanas with one thing
in mind-the beach.
For a couple of hours we lounged in the sun on the beach and waded in the
water. After we played ping pong with Mr. VanWinkle and Duy (Maggie's
boyfriend), Emilee stepped on a nail...don't worry, her tetanus is up to date.
The second match we handled well and headed back for another dance party.
Little did we know there were going to be a few boys teams there that night.
But, I won't tell you about the rest of the night-because what happens in
Falconara, stays in Falconara.
This morning, against the Serbians, We came into the match undefeated. They
played a little different than the Italians but we pulled it out in two, which
put us in the championship match. We had a few hours to relax before the match
and had a rousing match of ping pong.
We arrived at the Rossellini complex in Ancona and were surprised at the size
of it-similar to the milkhouse in Orlando...but bigger. After quite a lengthy
introduction by the announcer who was violently yelling into the mic a
centimeter from his mouth, the match started as we played in front of hundreds.
There was a little section in the nose bleeds that chanted "USA" for
us occasionally, which was enough for us along with our three biggest fans (Mr
and Mrs VanWinkle and Duy).
We ended it in two and are now international champions! After the awards
ceremony we had a bite to eat and are hanging out in the cabanas. Can't wait to
go to the Italian mass and San Marino tomorrow! Happy Easter and Ciao. Your
Editor's Note: Emilee Gutzmeyer was selected for the All Tournament team. The
18-2 team is the first NL team to win one of these Easter Tournaments in Italy.
Congratulations to them!
|18-Black Summary by: Paige Smith
|Today we woke up in Milan and had a custard full breakfast. Then got on a
private bus and headed off to Boario Terme. We arrived about three hours later
to a beautiful town full of Mountains and pretty buildings. First thing we did
was have a three coarse lunch which was very filling. Then all of us girls and
some parents walked around and bought some fresh fruit. After walking around we
got on the bus and went to the gym to play our match against an Italian team.
We won all four games and played pretty good. Then we went and got some more
fruit from a local store. Then went back to our hotel were we had three course
meal for dinner and the dessert was to die for and then we went to bed.
Everyone misses their family and says Happy Easter !
|Editor's Note about 181
181 played the English Jr National team today and won in 3 sets the last one
being 27-25. They then played an Italian team which they beat in 2 sets. Their
last match of the day was against the Dutch Jr National team which we lost in 3
sets. They are 2nd in their pool and advance to the top 8 in the tournament.
from Day 6
playing a friendly match
P talks about Darfo Boario Terme
|Sunday April 8
|Pordenone - 181
|San Marino - 182
|Darfo Boario Terme - 18 Black
|18-Black Summary by: Lindsey Ryan & Melissa VanBenthuysen
18-Black started out the day fantastic by sleeping in until 9, and receiving a
surprise gift of chocolates from the Easter bunny, (wink wink nudge
nudge-Curt). Then we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of carbs, carbs, and more
After eating, Aly, Paige, Kathy, and Lynne walked to a church for a beautiful,
Italian, Catholic Easter service. Meanwhile, the rest of the girls lounged
around in their rooms and on the balcony with a view of the mountains. Lunch
was at 12:30, where we ate salad, pasta, chicken, and peaches.
Next we headed off to the gym in full warm-ups, looking pretty intimidating for
our 3:30 match. The gym was large with only one court and lots of room for
fans. We found out very quickly that the refs here are very strict on doubles
yikes. First we played an Italian team that we should have beat
.no comment. Then we played another Italian team that was much bigger
and stronger. We fought hard, and it was a close and fun match, but ended with
a frustrating loss.
After a quick meeting at the hotel, we had an hour or so to get ready for
dinner. All of the girls got dressed up very cute for our last night on the
town. The restaurant at Albergo Aprica served us salad, lasagna, French fries,
pork, and tiramisu with acqua naturale.
Apparently the four course meal did not fill our stomachs enough because
afterwards we went to a small gelato shop in town, compliments of Curt. Thanks
Curt!! Now we're all getting ready for bed so we can be well-rested for our
9:00 match tomorrow morning and our last full day in Italy. Wish us luck, and
see you soon!
|Editor's Note about 181
The 181 team won their first match of day which was the quarter finals against
a Swedish team. It was a close 5 set match. This advanced them to the Semi
Finals against the Slovenian Jr National team who they had scrimmaged on
Friday. The match was a very emotional one. We won the first, lost the second
& third, won the fourth 28-26, and won the fifth 21-19. Dave said they had
an opportunity for 7 match points before Abby Wolpern had a huge block against
the Slovenian #1 outside hitter. They will now being playing in the finals on
Monday against the Dutch Jr National team, the team we hosted last year, and
who beat us in pool play earlier. It's going to be a big reunion! Tonight they
have the player's party
.should be interesting.
|Editor's Note about 182
The 18-2's woke up today and headed off to an Easter church service. After the
service they went via bus to San Marino. Jackie said it was really beautiful
but unfortunately it was cold and raining so that was disappointing. But the
team still had fun, and Maggie's boyfriend proposed to her in San
from Day 7
& Steph at the Gelato shop
|181 Pordenone - playing in finals
|182 touring Venice
|183 Boario Terme - playing
|18-Black Summary by: Alex Berger
Today was unfortunately our last day ): We had a bright and early start at what
felt like the crack of dawn. But really it was 7:00. We had the usual, carb
breakfast with a coffee on the side. As all of us were enjoying the lovely
food, we realized Aly and Lindsey were absent because they set their alarm for
the PM not the AM. After breakfast we bolted into our rooms to change because
we had about 5 minutes before we were going to go play. We loaded up our buses,
and were on our way.
When we got the gym, all of us felt like we took a polar plunge into the arena.
As we started to serve and pass, we realized how bloody cold the gym was. We
proceeded to warm up, and at 8:40, we realized that there wasn't a team there.
We kept warming up and when the team showed up, they didn't have balls. So we
graciously lent the team half of our volleyballs. The start of the match was
rough. I mean.. rough. We won, but it was a win where you really didn't feel
like you won, but you did. The next game was better. Still probably not up to
our par, but we got the job done. After we won the match, we gathered up our
gear and headed back to the hotel to relax because we had five and a half hours
Some of us, took naps and others did some homework and just relaxed. While
relaxing before lunch, we realized that the power went out. Not just
electricity, but water too. As we made our way down for lunch at 12:30, we
nervously waited to hear, if the food would be prepared for us to have even
without electricity. The owner of the hotel graciously headed us towards the
main dining room where we ate in a no lighted room (thank goodness it wasn't a
cloudy day outside or we wouldn't have been able to see our food). We ate a big
salad, spaghetti, and then mashed potatoes and turkey. It was all pretty
delicious. But desert trumped it all. Vanilla gelato with a berry sauce over
It was delicious. We asked for seconds but Ro wouldn't let us get it.
After lunch we went back to our rooms and hung out some more before we played.
Just like earlier, some slept, others did homework, and some just hung out.
At three twenty, we were all abruptly packing our things because since the
power was out, we were just going to leave early and not stay to shower. We
loaded all of our bags into our Mercedes Benz bus and were on our way to play
the Austrian team. When we arrived, there was another match going on so we just
warmed up on the sidelines. Once our match was up, we were eager and ready to
play. We felt like we had a lot to prove, and we did. We came out aggressive
and ready to play. They were very good though. The first game we pulled a win
out but still felt like we had more to prove. The second game we laid it all
out on the court. We finally played how we know we can play and won with
confidence and pride. After the game, we got to trade shirts with the Austrian
team! They were pretty cool people. The oldest player on the team was
As we were ready to head out, we were halted because the teams that we had
played today wanted to take a picture with us and get our information to add us
on facebook. After all of the pictures they had a cute little award ceremony
for us four teams. As each team went up one by one the others clapped and
cheered. Once we went up, it was really neat because they started to cheer USA
and it made us all feel pretty special. We got some pretty neat stuff. We got a
book about local things and neat pictures, some tea and a bunch of snacks,
water bottles, and sweet t-shirts. After taking one massive picture with all
four teams, we sprinted into the locker room to shower before we got on the
We all took literally three minute showers and dried ourselves off with a
t-shirt or our jerseys since we couldn't take a towel from the hotel. After we
changed and got ready to hit the bus, we chowed down on some crackers and iced
tea. Then we loaded up the bus and were on our way. We stopped at this
delicious pizzeria where we had a full pizza to ourselves and it was made in
roughly 90 seconds. It was absolutely amazing. After dinner, we loaded up the
bus and got on our way back to Venice where we are staying for the night.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say this is the best experience that
has happened to us! It is unforgettable and a once in a lifetime opportunity!
|Editor's Note about 181:
The 181 team was in the finals of their tournament today. They played the Dutch
Jr National Team in the big arena. They ended up losing 3-0 in a 5 set match.
Cory said it was a good match and the Dutch were just bigger and stronger. This
is the 3rd time we have been in the finals of this tournament, and the 3rd time
we have placed 2nd
..maybe next year. Julianne Blomberg was named Miss
Tournament and Taylor Lockett was named best blocker.
|Editor's Note about 182:
The 18-2's got up early and took a train from their tournament location in
Ancona to Venice. Along the way they dropped off their luggage with the hotel
and then zipped into Venice. There they shopped for about 5 hours and then had
a final team dinner. They had a great time.
from Day 8