Tough Ride in Polland

What a random spot for a beach volleyball event. 3 hours drive from Warsaw within the grounds of a lakeside resort and spa. Population of the town 300 and the grandstands are full. (5000 spectators come from all over the region). Hotel Anders was the host of the US$600,000 (for both men and women) Grand Slam. We were back in the qualifier this week. No more wild cards.

Our draw was not very inspiring. First round Japan. Who we matched up really well against. Our power and height was just too much for the Japanese girls to tackle. That advanced us to the next match against Brasil again. The same team we lost to first round in Korea. Oh no. We started great. Point for point up until 13-13 and then the wheels fell off. Their tough serving put my passing under pressure and we just couldn’t recover. Losing in 2 sets.

This was disheartening, especially after some great matches last week. So we were out of the event. This means that for the rest of the week we train a lot. On the volleyball court, in the gym and in the pool. And all around the matches going on in the main draw. So trainings were often early morning. 7am. YUK! And we would meet another Brasilian team out on the courts to train. Often it is a race to get the courts first in the morning. As there are many teams wanting to train and a limited number of courts. And at am they start preparing them for the tournament. So the earlier the better if you want a court.

Bec and Lou our other Aussie team played great this week. Finishing 9th and beating 2 USA teams along the way. We have 2 men’s teams on tour too and it is great to watch and cheer the other Aussies on.

We often ventured into the little town and mixed it with the locals. The sunsets were amazing and the hospitality and food great. I even had a full conversation with a taxi drive. He spoke fluent Polish at me and I fluent English at him the whole way home. (10 mins) It was very funny.

Getting tired of training. Want to compete more. Roll onto Kristiansand in Norway.

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