Eurotrip 2015 With USC Sand Volleyball: Part II

    The Women of Troy are in Europe to see Italy, Slovenia, and Austria.

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    May 17, 2015

    The national champion USC women's sand volleyball team is on a two-week trip through Europe (Italy, Slovenia, Austria) to compete in tournaments and indulge in the culture. We will periodically chronicle the trip through the eyes of the players.


    Day Three (May 15): Sophomore Paige Hines. Paige and partner Alexa Stonish played inspired volleyball today, advancing to the quarterfinals of the loser's bracket before falling, 21-18, on a wet and windy day.

    Q--What's your impression of the Bibione Volleyball Marathon tournament?

    A--It's really a well done, well run, tournament. Considering the amount of teams in it (more than 1,000, including 256 women's pairs teams), it is very organized. It was fun for us to play a lot of teams from a lot of different countries and areas within Italy.

    Q--Critique your performance.

    A--Stony and I played pretty well, I thought. We stepped up to the challenge against some good teams, especially considering we did not know anything about our opponents coming in.

    Q--Did you notice any differences in how the game is played on the beaches of Italy?

    A--The style is very different. For instance, they play the ball over on 1s and 2s more so than in the States, it's not your typical three-contact style. That caught us off guard at first, so we had to make adjustments.

    Q--What are you hoping to get out of the remainder of this trip?

    A--I'm looking forward to experiencing all different cultures and meeting new friends, making contacts. I really want to explore all the cultures we will encounter.

    Day Four (May 16): Senior Eve Ettinger. Eve and partner Meg Norton stormed through the 256-team Bibione tournamentto win thebronze medals.

    Q--What was your strategy for this tournament?

    A--It was super windy both days, so we knew we had to take advantage of the good side of the court, and we had to take care of all the little things. We didn't know anything about the teams we'd be playing because we'd never seen them before, so we wanted to just play the best that we could.

    Q--Did you have any expectations coming into the tourney?

    A--I thought we'd do well. As we kept winning and movingthrough the bracket, I thought we might end up playing Sara and Kelly at some point. But I'm glad instead we got to play against the Italian Olympian (Greta Cicolari), even though we lost, 21-19. And it was fun to play on the main court for the bronze medal and have a big crowd around us.

    Q--How proud were you of your USC's performance, getting five teams to finishwithin the top 17 in a 256-team tournament?

    A--Everyone did really well, and I was so happy for how well everyone played, especially having just flown in from the U.S. and being a bit tired and jet-lagged.

    Q--What are you looking forward to for the rest of this trip?

    A--I'm looking forward to everything: the tournament we'll play in Slovenia; the sightseeing we'll do; and especially all the team bonding.