WVB EuroTrip 2017: Day 9 - Prague, Czech Republic

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    May 27, 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 9, the Trojans traveled from Vienna, Austria, across the boarder to Prague in the Czech Republic. The Women of Troy spent the rest of their day sightseeing and enjoying the majestic views in old Europe. Sophomore setter Cindy Marina and freshman opposite hitter Brooke Botkin share their stories on the team's ninth day abroad.

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    Brooke Botkin, Fr.
    We woke up and had breakfast in Vienna this morning, and then we got on a bus to make the near four-hour drive to Prague, Czech Republic. Once we arrived, we had lunch first. There were a bunch of choices within a block's walking distance from our hotel so I went for the easy option and had pizza and fries. The fries were good, but the pizza was kind of bland.

    After lunch, we went to Old Prague and got to see a lot of the old architecture and learned about the history of the city from our tour guide. He explained many cool stories about kings and queens, and of people who are now considered saints in the Catholic Church.

    My favorite part of sightseeing today was the cathedral at the Prague Castle. I loved the architecture inside the church. It had this authentic feel to it and it reminded me a lot of my grandma, who recently passed away, because she loved visiting cathedrals whenever we'd travel anywhere. That part was really cool for me.

    Today, I also got to meet Asia Kaczor, who was an All-American outside hitter for our team. She is a really cool person. She played overseas, which is potentially something I would like to do and shared a lot about her perspective on the culture of other countries and about the amazing bonds and relationships she made with teammates and the new languages she picked up on. She also said a lot about her love for the game of volleyball, having recently retired from her professional career, and also about her love for USC; so in some ways, she reminded me a lot of myself. That was cool.

    CINDY MARINA, So.
    In the evening, after all of our sightseeing, we went to the Vltava River and had a team dinner overlooking the water on a beautiful boat. It was really cool to experience that with all of my new teammates. Everyone has been very welcoming, which is really nice, since I'm still so new to the team after transferring from Duke. It's really been a really easy transition.

    I feel super lucky that I was able to join the team for this trip before school even starts. I think it's a great way for me to get to know the girls before we have to just dive right into double days when the season comes around in August. I'm really excited that I've been able to get to know people and their personalities better, and I think it'll help really flow onto the court when season starts.

    Prague is really beautiful. I thought it was really cool that we were able to take the city's public transportation up to the Prague Castle earlier in the day. This place is definitely quite different from some of the other cities we've been in during this trip. What I think is awesome about Prague is that there are so many different layers to it, from the big churches and cathedrals to the beautiful river and all of the bridges that cross it. I've been to Europe before, so it's cool for me to see a new city and different aspects of it and be able to dive deeper into Europe.