3rd, 5th, 3rd... Those are my results from the last three tournaments. Let's start in Huntington Beach. It was so nice to be back home, even if it was only for a very short week. Playing in a tournament where you get to sleep in your own bed feels very strange yet comforting.
Huntington Beach was great. We played some very good volleyball and beat some great teams. However, we did not quite have it when it came to Kessy/Ross and Misty/Nicole. Those two teams have established themselves at the top and now we have got to figure out a way to knock them off. We came up against both those teams again in Virginia Beach and did not find the answer. Despite all that, I am not discouraged. It is a long season and there will be many more opportunities.
Moscow was perhaps the most challenging tournament for me, to date. Having played so many matches in Huntington Beach and then immediately jumping on an airplane bound for Russia (a 17-hour journey) does not do the body good. Add an 11-hour time change on top of that and you have a recipe for feeling wacky. We had one day to acclimate and then the tournament started.
We battled every match there. We went 3-0 in our pool which gave us a good seed and a first round bye in the single elimination round, plus a day off. My body was never as thankful as it was then.
Our first match in the elimination round was against Greece. We had a battle with them, each set determined by two points, the third set 20-18. After it was over, I exhaled the biggest sigh of relief. Next up was the Olympic Silver Medal winning team from China. We hung in there, but lost in 2 sets to finish in 5th place overall. My body was toast.
The next day, we hopped back on a plane to Virginia Beach. We stayed out East for the week to help with jet lag. We had a nice week catching up on rest, laundry, shopping, eating, World Cup Soccer, and a little volleyball. It was good to be in the heat and humidity for the week leading up to the tournament. I think it helped us out tremendously. The heat was never an issue for us through out the tournament. Players were dropping like flies from body cramps, dehydration, etc. but we felt great all weekend long.
The event in Virginia Beach just may have taken over my number 1 spot as Favorite AVP tournament. The location was perfect! The sand was incredibly nice, the weather was fantastic, the people were so friendly and supportive, and there is a Trader Joe's within 5 miles! I really hope that this tournament sticks around. I know I will really look forward to going there again next year.
I am on Day 2 of my 4 day trip home. We are off to Belmar next and then travel to Norway and Switzerland after that. I have already racked up over 75,000 miles on United and we still have plenty more flying to do! I think I may break 125,000 this year. We shall see!
Adios and I hope to see you somewhere on a beach!