June 2, 2013
Jennifer Cross pens the second blog in a series that will outline U-M's 13-day tour of Brazil and Argentina, which will include nine matches across the two South American countries.
Day two of our trip!!
Today was a very long day filled with a lot of excitement and new experiences for everyone. The 11-hour flight from Newark was made much more comfortable because of the amazing plane we took. We had access to hundreds of free movies and TV shows! Once we made it off the plane, we got to meet our new assistant coach Kyle!
This was a new experience for everyone. We are so excited for Kyle to join our Michigan family. We can't wait to get to know him better and a 13-day trip to South America is a great way for that to happen.
Once we got through customs, we also got to meet our tour guide Kelly! She has been amazing so far and has made our day go as smooth as possible. We were then picked up via our team bus and dropped off our luggage at the hotel and headed to lunch! By this point in the day, we were starting to hit a wall. Traveling for that long will cause a little insanity to occur ... especially with this team. We also discovered that we had all developed massive cankles ... for KG this was no different than any other day
The hotel is very nice, however there are certain European influences including a bidet in the bathroom! Unfortunately for my roommates Molly Toon and Ally Davis ... I accidentally caused a flood in our bathroom when I decided to see if the bidet was working ... it was.
After recovering from the flood and figuring out how to actually turn on our lights in our room, the team headed to sleep for a much needed nap before our first game tonight! After 11 hours of travel we were not exactly sure what to expect, however it actually felt great to get moving and break off the rust.
We played Universidad Nacional de la Matanza on its campus! It was the first experience for many of us to play internationally and the rules and customs are a little different than what we were used to. But, thanks to Kelly, we figured most of it out. Our hosts were also amazing. They made sure we had everything we need and we could tell how important this series of games was to them.
Now it was finally time to play! After so much training and so much planning for this trip, it seemed so surreal to actually be playing a game in Argentina! Our competitors varied in age from 18-35! They were a great passing team and very scrappy. We dropped the first set 23-25, making too many unforced errors but made some changes for set two which resulted in us winning 25-13. We finished off the next two sets 25-17 and 25-14 to win our first international game 3-1!!
After the conclusion of the game, we took some pictures with the other team and some fans. We then headed to dinner which was actually an annual party the university was holding! They had authentic Argentina dances, traditional food and Molly Toon even got to tango with a local. It was great to learn and see some of the Argentinian culture and food (which was delicious).
Overall today was an amazing day; we got to meet our new coach Kyle, got our first international win as a team and learned a little more about this amazing culture. All this and its only day two! Even more to come tomorrow ...
Jen signing off!