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A Player’s Perspective: Maribor – Day Two

May 27, 2013, 4:14 PM EST

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Me (right) and fellow senior Andrea McHugh.

Hello my fellow Irish fans! Wow, what a wonderful day in Maribor, Slovenia! The day started with the team getting up around 8 a.m. and heading over for a hearty breakfast including eggs, vegetables, yogurt and toast!

After breakfast we headed to town. Every Saturday here in Maribor, there is a market that is popular to many Europeans. It was quite the happening place! There was music and venders selling food and many cool products. During my time in the town, I strolled around with Andrea McHugh and Erin Klosterman. We visited many of the local stores and actually made a few purchases for our loved ones back in the states! A popular purchase for many of the girls here in Europe has been the pumpkin oil. While here, we have had it on our salads and it is wonderful! Very unique but so delicious! It was a rainy day here in Maribor, but of course the Irish made it fun and another great experience!

Once we lived the life of a Maribor native on a Saturday morning, we headed back to our apartments to get ready for our match. Around 11:30 a.m. we went to the gym to have a little snack, including different fruits, yogurt and granola bars (called a fig newton in the states). Once we were refueled, we went to the court and started to warm-up.

The match started at 1 p.m., and it got off to a great start! The first two sets we took against the Slovenian National Team and were going into the third set up 2-0. Unfortunately, they came back with full force and we ended up losing the fifth set, 15-9. Although the outcome was not ideal, the team felt excited and positive about how we played. These past two days have been such a gift for us as a team because we proved to ourselves that we are good, and can be great! We competed hard both days, and even though we didn’t get the win, we learned a lot and grew closer as a team!

After the match, we ate lunch and then headed back to our apartments to relax before dinner! During my time off, I watched “The Lucky One,” while my roomie, Jeni Houser, slept for nearly 3 hours! After her great play, she needed her rest!

Around 6:30 p.m., we all headed downstairs dressed in our nicest clothes (something other than Lulus and a t-shirt) and started our adventure to the winery! The trip was about 25 minutes, but wow was it quite the site! The view was full of beautiful hills and the greenest of green fields! Once we arrived, we were all in awe! Of course, everyone was snapping photos from every angle, but it was a view that could not be justified through a camera. Once we settled down from the shock of where we were, we headed down to the wine cellar to begin our wine tasting, get a tour of how the wine making process works, and then had dinner. The night was full of great stories and laughter from every table. It was a breathe-taking night, and at some points I had to stop and really soak in where I was and what I was doing.

Our night at the winery came to an end, and we headed back to our apartments. I came back, packed up my bag and prepared myself for the next adventure, ITALY! We all are so excited to head out to Venice tomorrow, but will obviously miss Maribor and will remember all of the cool things we got to experience.

All for now Irish fans! Keep in touch because more fun is to come when we reach the wonderful land of Italia!

GO IRISH!

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