Greetings all! The team is back in Japan and getting ready for World Cup, the first attempt at Olympic qualification. We came to Japan a little bit early in order to acclimate ourselves with time change, climate change, etc. We trained and competed hard against each other in order to prepare for the tough schedule ahead. This will be our last venture together as a team before we head to our professional teams. We first stayed in a beautiful city called Otsu. Our hotel overlooks the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa. Although we prepared ourselves for a colder climate than Southern California, we found this place to be sunny and beautiful for the time we were there.
Our next destination is Nagano, Japan. It’s supposed to be a little colder than the last place. It’s also a 5+ hour drive from the last city we were in. The bus was pretty quiet, everyone was either tuned into their ipods, watching a movie on their laptop, or reading. It was my goal of the trip to finish my book. I was reading, “Long Walk To Freedom”, by Nelson Mandela. It’s a wonderfully inspiring book that I recommend to all. It also had taken me quite a long time to read, so it was nice to accomplish my goal.
It’s November 2nd, and we play on the fourth against Brazil. It’s going to be a tough start to play such a strong team right off the bat, and we also face Serbia and Korea, so there won’t be much of a let up. It is World Cup, there isn’t really such a thing as a weak team at this point! Our practices have been really competitive and we’re playing high level volleyball on a consistent basis. I see no reason for that not to continue throughout this tournament.
Keep us in your thoughts as we represent our country and we work to secure a trip to London in 2012. We’ll take all the support we can get! Thanks!