Kiki Jones and the Boilers got used to a new ball and new court during their first practice on Monday.
May 14, 2013
PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Each day throughout the Purdue volleyball team's European Tour a different player will write a journal entry to go with the day's activities. On Day 2, sophomore Kiki Jones talks about what the team did once arriving in Prague after a full day of travel.
Today has potentially been the longest day of my life! I'm not mad about it at all because we are here in the lovely city of Prague. We got here around 9 a.m. and some of us have not been asleep since 9 a.m. the previous day, but that is not stopping us. We took a bus/train ride through the city to our hotel then dropped off all of our luggage and went back out to check out all of the really cool and unique architecture. We had a good 4 ½ hours in between checking in and when we needed to be back for practice, so we all went our separate ways in little groups to eat lunch and explore.
While walking around my travel buddy, Val, and I noticed how much we stuck out! The people of Prague were not dressed like us and seemed to instantly know who did not fit into the picture. Val and I decided to have good ole McDonald's for lunch. We know it wasn't too adventurous, but we really wanted to eat a big meal that was cheap and fast so we could have more time to explore and to hold us over for 8 ½ hours until our next meal. We saw a lot of second-hand stores that had interesting styles, but none that caught our eye, so we decided to explore the outsides and see cool building styles that we don't have over in the states.
We quickly realized that our bodies were fighting our minds to get some rest before an important practice later. We decided that we should take a short nap so that we could have a good practice. Slowly but surely the team trickled into the hotel for a much needed break and/or nap. Once our alarms woke us back up we could not think how we could have tried to stay up and sight see until practice. When we all met in the lobby, the travel day could be seen on everyone's faces with either a yarm or the slow blinks they had to try to wake back up.
Once we got to the gym though, the energy picked right back up after a couple of
drills of getting used to the court and the ball. The ball seems lighter and smaller than the ones we use in the USA. The amount of float the ball has off a serve and how quickly it drops to the floor after an attack is crazy different. It was so great to have a day before competitions started to help us get acquainted with the new ball.
Though the beginning of practice was a little "off", you would have never guessed it by the way we finished with the last drill. Everyone was playing very well and adjusting their play to what will work in our new situation and that takes a little more pressure/concern off our back for what to expect in our upcoming games.
After practice we all hopped on the train/bus back to the hotel and got cleaned up so we could go have a traditional Czech meal for dinner. The food was delicious. It was very filling because every course had lots and lots of bread in it. During diner we all got to tell each other about what we experienced and great places to take pics, shopping, etc. We all dragged our full, tired and happy bodies to our hotel rooms where we are about to have no problem falling asleep.