Aug. 9, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Hi Nova Nation!
The trip continued as we prepared for more travel. Once in the airport we all bought what turned out to be the last of any American snacks and boarded the two-decker Korean Air plane to South Korea. I wound up in a middle seat and was comforted by how fast the plane ride went. Having time to watch two movies, eat two meals and nap we were all ready to go catch our next flight to Beijing, China. From Beijing we drove the two hours north to Tianjin where our first tournament was to be held.
By the time we reached Tianjin I had experienced food poisoning, dehydration and just plain exhaustion from the trip. The total travel itself added up to about 24 hours and once we found ourselves in Tianjin our bodies had no idea what time or day it was. After much rest and recuperation I was able to rejoin the group on the second half of the first full day in the afternoon for practice.
Peoples Arena is the facility where we played the first three of our matches. It is a sweet arena that is used primarily for volleyball. The facility holds one court and is surrounded by stadium seating. It truly created a unique atmosphere for international play.
Once in practice we focused on adjusting to the gym and understanding that for our matches the facility would be packed with the people of Tianjin. Volleyball is a popular sport in China, especially in Tianjin and many people come out to support their home professional team. We ran through rotations and got our competitive juices flowing through a scrimmage against the All Star Team. We are all so excited to be playing volleyball in a foreign country and anxiously anticipate the start of our first match tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more on our first match against the Chinese and the opening ceremonies which had our group of Americans very entertained.