Tyanna Roy checks in with more from the Global Challenge in Croatio. She is in Europe with the Mountain West Global Challenge All-Star team. Here is her blog from the tournament.
Today we arrived in Croatia, no practice, just opening ceremonies and quick shopping. Opening ceremonies were held in the middle of what seemed to be their downtown with beautiful architectural buildings. The amphitheater was not too far away. They called up all of the teams for pictures, and afterwards, we got to go shopping in all of the cool shops downtown.
Pool play began with us playing Israel's Junior National Team, a team from Hungary and a team from Italy. We won all three matches in pool play, only dropping one set to Israel's Junior National Team. Playing these teams is so incredibly fun and learning their different styles of play. Our team had to learn and adjust quickly because we are used to fast volleyball with quicker sets. Once we got a hang of it, our team was blocking teams a lot more, and it felt good to finally be competing the way that we should with these teams. Bracket play starts Thursday, and we play Hungary in the first match.
Today we beat Hungary and moved on to play a team from Croatia. We had watched Croatia play earlier and saw some things that we would need to stop them from doing for us to be successful. We ended the day on a good note by beating them and moving on to the semifinals. Great wins today and can't wait to continue the journey tomorrow!
Semifinal match against the U.S. Junior National Team - This team has some very talented young girls on the team, and we were so excited to play them. Although they are the junior national team, we think there are a few things we can use against them to pick them apart and give us a win...
After a hard fought match, we lost. I wish we could have had more time together before this tournament to play and grow as a team. If we had the same amount of time together as the junior national team did, or even just one more week together, I believe we would have won hands down.
With the loss, we played the Midwest BIP team for third place. Although they had good players and were a bunch of All-Star college players like us, we handled our business and won. We didn't go all the way out to Europe not to place! ;)
So there it is! 10 Days in Europe, a Bronze medal, and a great group of girls who I can now call my teammates and friends.
We have one last full day in Venice together to create our last memories as an official team before its time to say goodbye until we play each other in Mountain West games.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to play volleyball in such beautiful countries and against other great teams with such an amazing group of players and coaches. Special thanks to everyone who helped me get here. This is a once in a lifetime experience where I learned so much about the game to help my level of play. Thanks for a trip that I will never forget!