July 28, 2008
Entry #4: 7/27/08
The final update:
Wednesday we played in the championship bracket semi-final vs. host club Pula. They have a player that competes in the Italian top division (the top professional league in the world). We started off slow losing the first two sets by scores of 22-25 and 23-25. We were able to roar back to win the next two sets by solid margins. We weren't able to keep the momentum in the deciding set, losing an exciting and hard fought match.
We still had a chance to medal. We played against the pre-tournament favorite Italian Youth National Team. They had players at 6'8, 6'7 and 6'6 on their roster! This match was played best of three and again we started off slow, but were tied after two sets. We played another tight set but came up short in the end. We finished 4th losing to the three teams above us.
Friday we traveled to Venice to have an afternoon of walking around one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I met a couple from Chicago at a cafe where we exchanged Europe stories for a couple hours. I was able to arrive home Sunday to see my family and the USA for the first time in almost two weeks.
Again, I would like to thank all those involved in allowing me to take part in this experience. I was able to coach, train, recruit and develop as an NIU volleyball coach in such a wonderful setting.