South America Blog -- Ally Sabol

June 12, 2013

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Ally Sabol pens the latest blog in a series that will outline U-M's 13-day tour of Brazil and Argentina, which will include nearly a dozen matches across the two South American countries.

Today we finished off our last full day of the South America tour here in Brazil with a day full of competition against the Brazilian Youth National team. With our first match scheduled to start at 11 a.m., we woke up early to eat breakfast at the food court here at the Brazilian Volleyball Olympic Center, which is conveniently located just across from our rooms and right next to the gym. As everything starts a little later here in South America, we ended up having a pretty long warm up, which was helpful due to having an early match and our extreme soreness.

After having already played each other last night, both teams knew more about how each other played, which made for better competition. After winning the first two sets in the first match, we dropped the second two and eventually lost in the fifth after a hard battle, but it was obvious that fatigue was setting in after having so many matches in a pretty short period of time. Our next match wasn´t until 7 p.m., so we were told to rest until then and to stay out of the sun so we didn´t get too drained before our next match. This was more difficult for some of us than others as it cut into our tanning time; however it was worth it to get the W for our second match!

After our naps and coffee, everyone was ready to go for the second match, but since we got to the gym a little early we watched some of the Brazilian men's teams scrimmaging each other, which was cool to see since we don´t see much men`s volleyball in the Midwest. Mike warmed us up again, and after a much shorter warm up we were ready for our last match of the trip. We knew the end was in sight so we put our fatigue aside and put it all out there for two games (this match was only 2 out of 3), which worked out well because we won! The first game we handled pretty easily, but the second game was a nailbiter as the score went back and forth with the Brazilians up most of the set. We ended up winning 25-21, clinching our last victory of the trip! After our win, we celebrated with a team chug of our waters, took a couple of team pictures documenting our last full day here in Brazil and headed off to dinner.

After dinner we had a team meeting wrapping up the trip by the pool, and Mark had everyone say their favorite parts about the trip. Some of these memories included watching people (Jen Cross and Ally Davis specifically), getting rocked by the waves in Rio, riding the tram at Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and staying in Saquarema and experiencing the life of an Olympic gold medalist here at the Training Facility.

After "Going Blue" all over South America, it is safe to say that we are ready to get back to our normal routines, while at the same time getting excited and preparing for our fall season! Tomorrow night we fly back to Michigan and you will hear more about our final day in Brazil from Brittany Lee!


For more on U-M's tour of Brazil and Argentina, including game results, blogs, photos and video, visit our Michigan Volleyball in South America page.

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