Scrimmage from the weekend vs Concordia and Stamford - click here
I have been in America for nearly 11 weeks now and through all the ups and down it has certainly been the time of my life so far. Through all the Volleyball, school work, parties and meeting lots of amazing people, it has definitely been the experience of a lifetime.
It all started when i flew in to Sacramento airport on the 18th of August to meet with coach Wortmann and getting to the university itself was all a little surreal. walking in to this small, empty room with 2 beds and 2 desks was a a little confronting that i would have to make this my home for the next 8 months but have soon come to love my room with the inclusion of photos of family and friends, a few posters and most importantly an Australian flag (my roommate is planning on getting an american flag to balance things out). The campus itself is beautiful, something i have realized helps me love this place even more- so many flowers, trees and open spaces with the greenest grace i have ever seen! but definitely my favorite part of campus are the fraternity and sorority houses- waking up the first morning to see them outside my window made me feel like i was still dreaming or in a movie. Just out the front of 3 of these houses, in the car park, is where the annual "bloc party" is held. Basically a huge party thrown by the school to celebrate the beginning of a new year and it certainly gave me a taste for what college had to offer!
The high that i was on quickly came crashing down during the second week being here. An emergency meeting was called for our whole team and we had no idea what it was about but as soon as the athletics director walked in we could tell it would be grim. We were told that he was proposing that the Mens volleyball program be discontinued after the 2013/2014 season, i huge blow to a team of 22, with 20 of them being freshmen or sophmores. Our team rallied the decisions with support from everyone one campus, and thousands off- over 7,000 people signed the online petition within a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, however, our efforts were not enough with President Eibech handing down her decision 2 weeks ago. Pacific mens volleyball will officially be cut after the 2013/2014 season. It hadn't even been a wee when coach David Kniffin of the University of California Irvine contacted me expressing his interest and had me and another teammate flown out that weekend to experience all that UCI is all about. Certainly an amazing atmosphere- certainly one i could see myself becoming part of and after some conversations with mum about finances I officially committed. An unbelievable opportunity coming from such grim circumstances.
Such news could have destroyed a team, but not ours. We have banded together and it is obvious in our practices and recent scrimmages. We are playing with nothing to lose and that is something special- the potential to make this an historic season.
I am absolutely loving the opportunity to play volleyball 5 times a week, 3 hours a day wit
weights on top of that. Certainly what i made the decision to move to America to do and it is not letting down. I can feel myself improving everyday- even if i am in constant pain, i love it.This weekend just gone we had a little tournament round-robin against UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach, Pepperdine and UC Mercede. We went 3-1, only losing to Pepperdine which was certainly a good outcome for the weekend! (The highlights are already up on Youtube.) This weekend we are travelling down to University of Southern California for another tournament. This time we will be playing a few different teams, including Grand Canyon University- Where Gerrard Lipscombe goes. I am definitely excited to play against him!
So far college has been the most amazing experience of my life and i have certainly made friends that i will have for the rest of my life, regardless of which university i end up for the next 3 years or where we end up after that. It is certainly something i didn't think about coming to college but it has made the experience that much more amazing.
If anyone has questions on what college is like, don't hesitate to ask. Just comment on the blog and I will get back to you as soon as i can.
I look forward to writing again about my adventures in the States,