WVB EuroTrip 2017: Day 6 - Maribor, Slovenia

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    May 24, 2017

    The USC women's volleyball team is in Europe from May 18-30 for seven international exhibition matches and a taste of European culture and sightseeing. On Day 6, the Women of Troy visited the city center of Maribor, Slovenia. The team got to explore and experience the city itself before an afternoon match with the world's 79th-ranked team Austria. The Trojans fought hard, but fell in five sets, 25-20, 20-25, 20-25, 29-27, 15-13. Senior outside hitter Niki Withers blogs about the team's sixth day abroad.

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    This morning, we took a bus ride into downtown Maribor. It was raining and quite gloomy, but we were all given the chance to walk on our own and explore the city. Me and a couple of my teammates ended up at the mall across the bridge. We walked around the mall for a while and saw some familiar stores in there like an Adidas store and a Champion store. Then, we stopped by McDonald's to get some ice cream.

    The mall in Maribor was different only because the signs for the stores seemed to be more plain than they are in America. They don't catch your eye and aren't as intriguing as signs in malls in the U.S. Of course, they weren't in English, so we didn't know what a lot of the brands were until we went into the stores.

    At the McDonald's, I got a nine-piece chicken nuggets, some French fries, and an apple juice. It all tasted like the McDonalds' at home, so it was kind of comforting. I've also gone to a McDonald's in China where the food and the menu was completely different. I really miss American food. The food here is fine, but we've just been served a lot of meats and a lot of sausage and stuff, so it was refreshing to get something that I was familiar with.

    In the afternoon, we returned to the gym to play Austria's national team. It was a five-set match and we played tough the whole way, but lost, 3-2, with a 15-13 loss in the final set.

    In the evening, we went to this pretty cool pizza place. Everything was brought out to the table when we arrived, and the pizzas were pretty big so they gave us scissors to cut them. We all had a good time. They had really good desserts to choose from between a panna cotta and Tiramisu. We just hung out as a team and bonded.

    I honestly didn't expect the pizza in Maribor to be that good. Something interesting that's a little different from our pizza in America, is that they call their salami pepperoni. So when they bring you a pepperoni pizza, it's actually got salami on it. Then they have another type of pizza that actually has real American pepperoni on it. The pizza was pretty good though, and it was so nice to have two meals that gave me a piece of home today.

    Slovenia is nice, but something that I've definitely learned on this trip is that home will always be home, but it's good to experience something new. Fight On!