July 21, 2008
Entry #3: 7/22/08
We traveled to Ljubljana to play against the Danish Jr National Team. We played four sets and won all four. The team played well and continued to bond.
We ate dinner at a four star hotel with four other teams after the match before we left for Pula. The drive was about 2 hours and though it was at night, there were nice views of the coastline.
Sunday midday we had our final scrimmage vs. a top club team from Russia. The head coach of the club is Nikolay Karpol, the most famous volleyball coach in the world. Some of you might have heard of Karch Kiraly or more recently Kerri Walsh and Misty May. Karpol has won more championships than any other coach in the world. I was fortunate to meet him and take a picture together (see pic). Pretty much a lifetime highlight for me! We won all for sets, and played pretty well.
Sunday night was the opening ceremony. We met all of the teams and it was a lot of fun. It helped get the players ready for the tournament.
Monday we played and defeated a team from Montenegro. We started off a little slow, but played better as the match went on. Up until this point we had not lost a set.
Monday night the bubble burst as we were defeated by a team from Slovenia. They played really well, and we couldn't get the breaks that we needed to win. We're playing an Italian team tomorrow, hoping to finish second in the pool heading into the challenge round.
I hope to have a report on the city of Pula in the next update.