Tales From Europe: Day 6
Rachel Davis stands atop a pole after climbing it, one of two challenges the team completed in Maribor on Day 6.

May 18, 2013

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MARIBOR, Slovenia - Day 6 of the Purdue Volleyball team's European Tour saw the team face challenges on a ropes course and on the court against the Croatian National Team. Senior Rachel Davis offers her take on the day.

Hey Boiler Nation,

We are in the process of wrapping up an absolutely incredible day. We are staying in apartments that are nestled into the green hills outside of Maribor, Slovenia. This morning we woke up to eat breakfast and then began our adrenaline filled day. To start the day we took a hike up the side of a mountain. We were told that this would be a gradual slope and nothing more than a little rolling hill, but let me tell you my hamstrings do not agree with that statement. It was a long steep hike up a mountain, but it was worth every step! There were waterfalls, rushing streams, and so many beautiful views of the trees and hills on the way up.

After the long hike up (which all of the staff members made as well) the players got strapped into our harnesses and the ropes course fun began. There were two parts to the course; the first was my favorite, a massive bungee swing. I got hooked up to a long cable and the other girls took off running away from the swing to pull me up to the top of the swing. Once I got to the top, the view was even more stunning. I didn't focus on the view for too long though because the instructor counted down and then I had to pull a rope which dropped me straight down and then I swung out over the edge of the mountain. It was such a rush of adrenaline and definitely one of those moments I will remember forever. I am sure there will be pictures of the view, but they don't even begin to capture the immense beauty that we got to see today.

The second part to the ropes course was a tall wooden pole with small handles stuck in the side. The goal was to climb to the top of the pole and then stand on the top of it. In order to stand up on top of it you have to completely let go of everything and do a single leg squat up. It was extremely intense, but I am happy to report that every single one of the girls got to the top of the pole and at least attempted to get on top of it. I was joking with (athletic trainer) Kara (Kessens) that all of the rehab I have done with her paid off when I was single leg balancing on the top of the pole. It was crazy how much the pole shook while you were standing up there! After all of the girls had completed both parts of the course it was the coaches turn. Watching the staff fall and swing out on the death drop was just as much fun as actually doing it myself! They were hilarious!

Next it was time for lunch at the top of the hill which consisted of bread, salad, and sausage. It was delicious just like all the other meals have been here in Europe. You may be wondering how we got down this massive hill...well, we definitely didn't walk. The best way to describe it would be a roller coaster that twisted and turned all the way down the front of the mountain (also known as an alpine slide). Each person got their own cart and was sent down an awesome track which had drops and blind turns that would get anyone's heart beating fast.

We came back to the apartments and napped for the rest of the afternoon before we headed to the gym which is conveniently located right down the street. Today we played the Croatian national team and it was such an awesome experience. The level of volleyball being played was extremely high and as a team we competed which made it very fun. We ended up splitting two games a piece with them and unfortunately didn't play a deciding fifth game. I would definitely say we took a step forward today as a team and are maturing more and more each day!

This evening we rode a ski lift up to the top of the mountain for dinner with the Croatian national team and then got gelato to top off the day. Phew, that was a lot to recap but the point of the story is that we had an amazing day! I hope that gives you a good look at today's adventures. Have a good night everyone!

-Rachel #1




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