Another exciting 5-set victory! Let me backtrack…
Last week, we travelled up to Verona for our second match of the season (our first match being the week prior, at home against Perugia. We beat Perugia 3-0 in a somewhat unexciting fashion). In Verona, we controlled the first set easily, got sloppy and lost a close second set, then took control again and won the third set, then got sloppy AGAIN and lost a close fourth set. All of this leading to a very exciting 5th set (the crowd in Verona as REALLY into the match at this point), where we trailed 11-10 and then scored 5 straight to take the match with a 15-11 score in the 5th. Pretty exciting stuff. (Disclaimer: I would have made a blog post about this trip, but I didn’t really take any pictures so it would have been aesthetically boring… my bad on that one.) Anyways, bringing me back to this week…
Another exciting 5-set victory! This time at the hands of San Giustino, home to none other than my good buddy Riley McKibbin, pictured above. Riley didn’t get to play however because he strained some ligaments in his shoulder this week in practice (hence the polo and little bit of tape showing on his left arm). So, I will begin from the beginning…
The Bus Ride
Front of the bus
Back of the bus. Jeroen with the thumbs up. Bravo Jeroen.
The journey begins with a lovely 4 hour bus ride to San Giustino. Which is actually our shortest bus trip of the season. Last week to Verona for example, 8 hours. Woof. So four isn’t too bad. The bus isn’t exactly luxurious, but I can lean my seat back and mostly fit my legs under the seat in front of me. So I’ll take it. One of the things that some of our teammates do to pass the time… play poker.
Vincenzo. Fisioterapista and poker mafioso.
Me, on the other hand, spent some time with my good ol’ friends from Pawnee, Indiana and watched some Parks and Rec.
So the drive actually went by relatively fast. We did make one pit stop, for everyone to stretch their legs, empty their bladders, and of course have a coffee. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but there was some really pretty scenery.
Getting ready to re-board the bus.
So then we finished our trip, just about an hour more. We caught some more great views as the sun went down.
So finally we got to our hotel, and had a team dinner the night before the match. After, I got to go see Riley for a little bit before heading off to bed. Got to catch up on a few things and have a real American conversation. Good stuff.
Next morning, wake up, and here’s our schedule for the day:
830- Wake up and eat breakfast. Some yogurt, salami and croissant, apple, and a cappuccino.
915- Head to the gym for a light practice
1130- Head back to the hotel, and go over our scouting report while we watch some video on the other team.
1245- Lunch. Pasta with tomato sauce, chicken breast, and some fruits and veggies.
2- Nap. Lights out.
4- Snack before the game. Sandwich, yogurt and another cappuccino.
445- Leave for the game!
Our hotel we stayed in was pretty nice. Just about 5 minutes from the gym, and my room on the fifth floor had a pretty nice view of the town.
Another thing I forgot to mention. Our bus driver who comes with us on all of our road trips also makes his own olive oil. It’s incredible. I put a little extra on my plate after I was finished eating just so I could get a picture of the color. It’s way greener than most olive oil, with an amazing fresh taste.
Anyways, like I began saying before, we won in five sets. It was a little scary because we started up 2-0, but then hit a wall in the third and fourth, and San Giustino played really well. The fifth was really tight, and we trailed 10-8 before coming back to win 15-12. We need to stop having such close games.
After the game I got to see Riley again, and his mom was there too. It felt like being back at SC again. Then we headed back to the hotel for one more meal, and hit the road again. We didn’t get back til around 2 in the morning, and I was exhausted. Morning off today, but weights in the afternoon, and we leave tomorrow morning (at 6) to play in our first CEV Cup match in Sofia, Bulgaria. Never stops!