|BIP/USA Development Team
Journal Entry #1: Days 1-2, July 15 and 16
By Elyse Glab, Northwestern University
Hello from Switzerland! After meeting in the Zurich airport, our new team took a 1 hour and 17 minute train ride (the Swiss are very precise with time) to Solothurn where we will be training and practicing until we leave for Croatia. The facility is actually in Zuchwil, but this is basically a suburb of Solothurn.
Our first practice in Switzerland was a good one despite nearly everyone being jet-lagged from overseas flights. We started off with four on four back court, serve receive passing, and hitting lines. Since we have never played as a team before, we focused on team communication to make up for our lack of experience together. As a setter, it was fun to work with new hitters on tempo and timing. We were definitely more cohesive as a team and more comfortable together on the court by the end of practice.
Our interactions with other teams here have been fun so far. We watched a boys floor hockey team warm up by playing shoe hockey. They took of one shoe and used it as a hockey stick. While we were walking back from dinner, young soccer boys tired to get our attention by yelling ³America!² MT heard one yell, ³America, get back here!² as we walked past; I guess they¹re not very shy.
Day 2 started off with a morning practice that focused on our offense. We played a 6 on 6 drill called "Moneyball" to work on rotations and then we scrimmaged against the A2 team. We lost in 3 games, but overall, I think we played well as a team and will only get better over the next few days. Our second practice focused on defense. We worked on blocking schemes and defense behind the block.
After practice, we took a 45 minute walk into the town of Solothurn. It was hot out, but it was a scenic walk along the river. Solothurn is really nice with cobblestone streets and outdoor restaurants. We visited a beautiful church and some of us got ice cream. It was really yummy from what Alison said. Abby and Megan ate in Solothurn. Abby got pasta, which she said was good, but Megan was surprised by her "chicken parmesan." She showed us a picture and it did not look like chicken parmesan.
Overall, our first two days in Switzerland have been a lot of fun. We¹re all enjoying playing competitive volleyball and making new friends!