Monday, March 7, 2011

First away match

Yesterday I returned from my first away match experience in Russia. Our team traveled to Surgut, which is about a 3 hour flight east, northeast from Moscow which equates to roughly 1300 miles. It was a long day getting there because the Moscow has the nearest airport to Yaroslavl and that's about a 5 hour drive. We arrived in Surgut at 1am on Friday morning with our match being on Saturday evening @ 6pm. On Friday we didn't have practice until 6pm, so I decided I wouldn't just sit around all day in our medium hotel room. Obviously I'm not familiar with this city at all, but assumed that there would be something to see within a 30 minute walking distance....yeah, not so much. I walked for about 45 minutes, trying to find anything that struck my eye as interesting and nothing happened. I decided it would be best to turn around because a) I couldn't feel my face any more, and b) I wasn't making any progress.

Looking out of our hotel...pretty bleak
 Practice went well that evening and it seemed like we were ready to play our match the following night at 100%. Right now there is a lot of stress on our team to perform because there isn't much separating us as the 7th place team and the 10th place team (only the top 8 make it to playoffs). This team was in 10th place and we just needed to win for our standing and our confidence. Well, it didn't work out that way. We ended up losing in 3 sets and we were only competitive in the 2nd set which went 28-26. It had to be one of the sloppiest and half-hearted efforts I've seen in a long while. I was really embarrassed to be on my team and it wasn't a great feeling in that locker room afterward.

Practice at the gym that night...they had a really nice gym
Although I didn't play, I'm still very determined to keep training at the highest level possible because I know if I don't, I'd be cheating myself and my teammates. I want to continue to get as much out of this experience in Russia as I can. So we'll see what happens on the 16th when we play at home against the last place team...I'm praying for a victory!
Walking with the team into the arena...gotta win on the 16th!

On to the next one...

k + a

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