No matter how long the travel time between events is, if you match the traveled time with time spent sleeping after arrival there’s no logical reason to complain. So I made it to Klagenfurt and as you can probably guess, I’m well rested. After a 6 hour nap shortly after arriving and tracking down some food I woke up in time to catch the medal games from the tournament I had just left, Long Beach. By the time Christian arrived it was around 10 o’clock and by the time the men’s final finished it was midnight and time for more shuteye – waking up at 9am, making for a solid 14 hours of sleep after arrival.
Long Beach was fun, but another 25th which isn’t. The weather was smoking hot, low to mid 30’s all week long. Our qualifier was unfortunately against another Canadian team, never a welcomed match as they are usually the trickiest ones to play (both teams knowing each others tendencies and all that). We walked away with a pretty convincing win in straight sets to qualify. In the Main Draw our first pool play match was against Latvia, but a different Latvian team, Smedins/Samoilovs. We went the distance, playing pretty well, but eventually losing in three sets 13-15. That was our only match for the day so I took the free time to hang with my mom and Jamie’s parents, who were down for the week, during Jamie’s second match of the day.
Day 2 saw us on center vs American’s Gibb/Patterson. They played real smooth, and us, not so much. They handily beat us in straight sets, which now meant we needed to win our last game to advance vs Australia. For the second match of pool play we found ourselves heading into a third set after losing the first 20-22, and winning the second 21-19. Thanks to the hardest hit in the face I’ve ever received, most of the third set details elude me now (Thanks McHugh). We lost the third 11-15 walking away with another sour 25th.
[View of the entire Long Beach GS site (Photo Credit: FIVB)]
Never before have I had to take a mandatory medical time out because of blood. While running up to the net I had to quickly throw a block up to stop a two-ball attack. The ball was hit right between my hands and hit me square between the eyes, breaking my shades, mashing the bridge of my nose causing blood to run down it. After it happened I turned around expecting to play the ball again but just heard Christian yelling “YOU, YOU, YOU”, meanwhile I’m looking around like an idiot having no idea what was happening then, “YEA!” Christian cheered. The ball had landed just on the other side of the net for a point, both McHugh (the Australian player) and I completely unaware of what had just happened (other than the fact I got absolutely mashed in the face of course…)
Unrelated to Volleyball, Long Beach provided a good opportunity to spend time with friends and family as a few of the Canadian’s players parents made their way down. The day after we were eliminated we jumped in the car and drove down to Huntington to take in some of the US Open of Surfing. Although it wasn’t starting till the following day, people were still everywhere and it was cool to see the set up; huge grand stands lined the shoreline facing the water, big stage set up for music acts, and many vendors.
That’s all for now. One hour till training here in Klagenfurt. I’ve heard nothing but amazing stories from this event. It’s my first time here, and we’re looking at two rounds of qualification in order to secure a spot in the Main Draw. Wish us luck.
PS. If anyone on flight AC872, Toronto-Frankfurt, found a phone lying around seat 33A feel free to let me know as it’s mine, and it would be amazing to get it back. Thanks.
Just the worst.