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A Player’s Perspective: Wrapping Up The European Journey

Jun 1, 2013, 9:45 AM EST

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Toni Alugbue (right) and I were all set for the ropes course in Maribor, Slovenia!

Hey Irish Fans!

Wow, what an unbelievable trip it has been! Sitting in the airport and thinking back to all the cities, matches and memories that were made during these past 10 days seems like a dream!

The trip started off in Prague with our wonderful tour guide Jirka. We visited the castle, immersed ourselves into Prague food (beef goulash), toured the city on Segway’s and won two great matches against the Olymp Praha Club Teams.

Our journey to Vienna was quick but nonetheless enjoyable. A lot of us experienced Vienna’s famous bratwurst and iced coffee, and Maggie (Brindock) and I made sure to try their famous apple strudel!! After our time in the city, we headed 10 minutes away to a tour of the summer palace, which topped off our short stay in Vienna.

Next stop…Maribor!!!

Maribor was personally my favorite city we visited. We were surrounded by lush trees, quaint hillsides, all the while staying in a beautiful ski resort at the bottom of the mountain. The ropes course, giant swing, gondola ride and alpine slide made our visit in Maribor exciting and memorable.

After a couple days in Maribor we headed to Venice by bus and train. Eight hours later (it was an exhausting day of travel) I was surrounded by people, canals, pigeons (eww) and gondolas…what a beautiful place! The Notre Dame Monogram Club was very generous and paid for everyone to go on the ever-popular gondolas! According to Andie Olsen, “if you don’t go on a gondola, it’s like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower,” so we made sure to go on a gondola ride. I ventured around Venice with Maggie (Brindock), Erin (Klosterman), and Kathleen (Severyn). We had about five scoops of gelato and probably THE BEST pizza we have ever had! (You might think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not…it was bomb)!

The next morning we headed to the train station and to our next city…Milan (the fashion capital of the world!) Milan is home to one of the biggest cathedrals (the Duomo) and a very impressive castle that is encompassed with a variety of stores, cafes and restaurants. After spending two days in the fashion capital of the world, we traveled to Lake Como (home to George Clooney and my favorite gelato place of the whole trip)!!. I spent my time in Lake Como shopping in the stores and walking around with Maggie (Brindock), Nicole (Smith), and Toni (Alugbue). It was peaceful, beautiful, but slightly chilly, which was problematic because Deb (Head coach Debbie Brown) wanted us to take ice baths (brrrr)…my lips turn blue just thinking about it! Luckily, our kind and reasonable coach decided we didn’t have to take ice baths (hallelujah), which made my teammates and I very happy!

Now to the volleyball part! While, we concluded the trip with a 2-4 record, I consider it to be a step in the right direction. We played at a high level of volleyball throughout the entire trip and were challenged as a team. Sammie (Brown), Maggie (Brindock), and Nicole (Smith) played solid throughout the entire tour, so proud of the senior class! The trip could not have come at a better time. We are playing better volleyball than we were during spring, growing closer and developing into our roles each and every game.

Sadly, our European tour ends, but the beginning of our next season begins! So long…small coffee drinks, expensive water at restaurants and pricey bathroom trips!

Six bus rides, two train rides, 20 cappuccinos, 11 scoops of gelato, three caprese salads, countless margherita pizzas, tons of bread, 12 players, three coaches, 10 days in Europe and coming back one (four..oops!) pant sizes bigger, while having the trip of a lifetime = priceless.

Ciao!

Go Irish!

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