June 11, 2011
Assistant volleyball coach Kathy Jewell, junior libero Carly Cramer and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Catherine Rebarchak will be providing updates and photos throughout their two week trip to Anahiem and China for the USA-China Challenge tournament.
Cramer provided the first update after their two-day stay and training in Anaheim, Calif.
In Anaheim, we stayed at a nice hotel called Peacock Suites that was in a great location. It was about a 7 or 8 minute walk from the gym we trained at and a couple blocks away from The Garden Walk. The Garden Walk had lots of shops and restaurants and this is where the teams ate lunch. We were also very close to Disneyland. Although we weren't able to go, it was really neat to see other people all dressed up and ready to see all of the Disney characters.
The first training session was more of a getting to know each other session. We split into teams and I was on the blue team. Our team went around and introduced ourselves and told a special fact that most people don't know about you. We went through several drills where the main key was communication. You could tell everyone was a little timid and shy at first but this soon changed. We were all rusty at the beginning, but we became more comfortable playing with each before long. This session went well and helped everybody get better acquainted. That night we all went to a restaurant in Anaheim called The White House. This place was incredibly nice and the food was exceptional. We all ate a passion fruit salad to begin our meal that was delicious. For my entree I decided on the red trout which also came with a bread tower that was very impressive. To finish, we ended our meal with some crème puffs as dessert. We were all very happy with the decision of going to The White House.
The next day we had two training sessions. At the beginning of the first session we were told that for the second half of practice we would be watching the Women's National Team play, which was really exciting news. Part of this session the teams were combined and we did more team play. We played some 4-on-4 and some 3-on-3. In both of these drills the winner would stay on and the loser would shag, therefore no one wanted to lose and competitive spirits were high. With these drills there was a lot more communication and you could definitely see personalities coming out more. Watching the National Team play was really inspiring for all of us and we all enjoyed watching them.
Both teams, red and blue, went to lunch down at The Garden Walk. The blue team went to the Cheesecake Factory, and the red team went to Johnny Rockets. We had a couple of hours until practice, so the teams hung out with and just got to know each other better. The next session we did a lot of team play and this was our best practice by far. We played multiple games to twenty-five points and then a couple to fifteen. They tried to work us really hard so that we would be knocked out for the plane ride and it worked. After showering and packing up, we headed for dinner in Manhattan Beach. I had never been there before and it was really pretty. There were shops and restaurants everywhere. We decided to eat at a restaurant called The Kettle and I loved the atmosphere. The weather was really nice so we sat outside and there was music playing for us the entire time. They had a lot of good food and everyone was satisfied with their meal. After dinner we were off to the LAX Airport, ready for our 12-hour flight.