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A Player’s Perspective: Maribor – Day One

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On top of the mountain near our hotel, where the ropes course was located.

After a great night of sleep in our super comfy beds in Maribor, we woke up early for an adventurous day. Our hotel is also a ski resort in the winter, backing into a mountain. We took a ski lift up to a plateau, where there was a ropes course and “swing.” The view overlooked the town and the mountains. We split into two groups after getting our harnesses on. My group started on the swing. The swing consisted of getting clipped into a rope, getting pulled up fairly high (I’m guessing about 50 feet high?) and then pulling a cord to let you swing back and forth. I was the third person in my group to go and once I was at the top, I put my feet on the rope, causing me to be upside down. I pulled the cord and immediately dropped. It was so exhilarating and was such a cool view. If I get the chance, I would love to do something similar again. (Director of Operations David) Rawles’s swing probably had the most style, but Russell’s (Dorn – Media Relations) was my favorite. Even though he is afraid of heights, he seemed fearless as he let go and his arms and legs flailed around.

Next, my group went to a climbing pole. There were pegs on each side of the pole that one by one we would climb up. Once again we were harnessed in. We climbed to the top of the pole (35 feet??) and had to stand on our own, turn 180 degrees and trust that our teammates were holding on to the rope as we jumped off, or as my group liked to do, swan dive off. The closer to the top, the more the pole shook. Not having the greatest balancing skills, I was fairly nervous, but was assured by my teammates that I would be fine. All members of my group were able to make it to the top and stand on the pole – even Missy (Conboy – Senior Deputy Athletics Director)!

After our activities we had lunch at a cabin right next to the ropes course. They served fresh lettuce with tomatoes and carrots, a sausage like meat (a specialty of Slovenia that is a combination of pork and beef), watermelon and bread. After this, it was time to make it back down the mountain. Instead of going down the Alpine Slope by walking or the ski lift, we rode down in carts. It was almost like a roller coaster. Each person got their own cart that controlled the speed; there were sharp turns and drops that led you into the forest and down the slope. Most of us were at full speed the entire time, but Missy was definitely not. As we watched people go down the hill, we could tell Missy slowed down quite a bit (no judging).

We were able to have over two hours of down time, which I napped during, before our match. The match was competitive and although we did not come up with the win, we gave the Slovenian National Team a run for their money, taking them to five sets. They hit harder and were better at defense than the other foreign teams we have played so far. Erin Klosterman had a couple great aces in the match! I think the team is hungry for revenge tomorrow when we will get a second shot at them.

After we showered, we went to dinner on the top of the mountain. We took gondolas up to the top and ate at a cute place that overlooked the entire town of Maribor.

Unfortunately it was pouring rain so we could not see it before we ran inside. For dinner there were a variety of meats and beans that really hit the spot after the match. There were also blankets inside the restaurant, which was clutch since it was chilly outside. By the time we were done with our delicious meal, the weather had cleared up and we could see the bottom on the mountain. It was such a great view! I can’t believe the trip is halfway over!

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