Start to a New Week

Well, today is Monday. And its looking to be a great week. But back to the last one.

Saturday night we played at Cuneo. It was a 9.5 hour drive north from Latina. The drives there are never as bad as the ones home. Slept for a few hours, stopped for lunch halfway through, watched a couple episodes of Dexter on my laptop, and even got some good reading done (the Kindle is a great travelling companion). We got in around 8 at night.

Our hotel was very nice. It was not at all new or fancy, but it felt very home-y, the staff were very personable and welcoming, and the food was phenomenal. And to make the food even better, our bus driver brought for us some bottles of home-made olive oil. It was delicious! And as someone on our team said, extra-extra virgin olive oil.

The town was very small, but with pretty Mediterranean buildings and one very old church up on a hill. The Fall weather was great — cool and crisp, with some reds and yellows starting to emerge from the trees. But enought about all that, onto the game!

So, I’ll get right to it — we lost. It was a really tough one because 1) we were so close to a win and 2) they are a great team and it would have made a huge difference for us in the standings. I am reminded of how a team like UCSD must have felt when they came very close to beating us at SC (in a game they mostly deserved to win), only to have us rally at the end of the fifth and win. Brutal.

I started the game on the bench, but ended up making it in at the end of the second set and staying in the whole time. We stole the first set from them: down 22-19 and got a couple blocks and digs to turn the tide and squeak out a win. They came back and won the second, but in the start of the third, we jumped out to a huge lead, and were able to hold them off til the end. During the third, their setter and their best outside hitter got subbed out because we were blocking them so much. But they came back in the fourth. It was back and forth the whole time, I think tied at 20-20, but they ran together a couple points and edged us out.

The fifth set was a heartbreaker. We were up 9-7 and a bad call went their way to make it 9-8 (if only it had gone to 10-7). They put a string of points together, and after it being 10-10, they get 3 straight aces, turn another point and the rest is history. I hit a ball out of bounds to seal the deal at 15-10 and the crowd goes nuts. By the way, the crowd was nuts. 3500 people and they were one of the loudest crowds I have played in front of. I remember going back to serve at 23-23 in game 3 and they were so loud I could feel my chest vibrating.

But anyways, it was a tough one to walk away from. We went back to the hotel, had a great dinner, and a miserable ride home.

But now it is a new week! We had the morning off, so last night a few of us drove up to Rome to go to a club (don’t worry, our driver wasn’t drinking). It was really fun, and the city looked really pretty at night. I will now have to go back during the day.

And finally, the Cardinals! I can’t believe they’re in the World Series. Its gonna be really fun to watch, and I might not get a lot of sleep this week. Bring it on Texas (Kshu)!

Ok, I think that is enough for now. Ciao friends and family!

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