A5 Europe Diary Entry #8

December 6, 2014 - Final reflections from all the players:

Riley Fischer: I had so much fun on the Europe trip! I enjoyed playing against the experienced teams and visiting all of the beautiful cities and shops. The girls were the best! Being younger, I wasn't sure if they would like me, but they ended up being super sweet and funny. One of my favorite places was Milan because of the shopping and how pretty it was. This trip made me even more excited for this club season because of all of the new friends I made!! 

Zahria Graham: The trip to Europe was a very fun and well worth it trip! I enjoyed being able to play volleyball, site see, and shop while being with some of my good friends. I loved getting to see how another country operates and experience the different culture. I couldn't ask for a better trip during thankgiving. 

Lydia Morris: In Europe I loved getting to know people I didn't know before and I loved getting closer with the friends I already had. I was a great way to play high level teams that we don't usually play. It also was a fun way to tour Europe with my friends.

Mason Rooney: I have never been on such an amazing trip. I have never been to Europe before, and getting to sightsee with friends and play volleyball all in one trip was absolutely amazing. I loved being able to experience different cultures, while getting to explore a completey different country with close friends. I really hope that one day I will be able to go back to Europe, but I know it will never be as amazing as this trip was!

Alyssa Munlyn: My experience in Europe will be one I will never forget. Each country was special in its own way, and that made the trip extremely fun! Playing in the different countries made it even better because we were able to interact with different people from different places during and after the matches. I loved the beautiful cities, the amazing food, and the friendly people. I hope that someday I am able to go back and experience these things again! 

Ashley Miller: I never would have thought that I would be traveling the world to play the sport I love the most. It was truly a blessing to have this opportunity. I learned so much over the past week in regards of how people live and the different cultures. I think the best part of the trip was the food and playing some of my best friends. I hope one day that I will have an opportunity to do this again. 

Caroline Welsh: My international adventure with the A5 crew was life changing! Experiencing the culture and the high level of play in the different countries help widen and enhance my views on what volleyball and life in general is like in the different countries. My favorite match was when we played the Italian Youth National Team. The atmosphere on the court was amazing and so much fun. I had a blast getting to know everyone on the trip and can't wait to build on those relationships in the years to come. We became sisters.

Ceci Wu: This trip was such an amazing experience! Austria and Italy were so beautiful, and a lot of the foods in all three countries were delicious! I had never tried traditional European food and enjoyed it quite a bit. Sightseeing was so much fun and I loved both the beautiful historical and modern architecture. The teams we played in Slovenia and Italy were amazing and I am glad I got to experience a different level of competition. The European culture is definitely different than American culture, but I loved it and hope that I can go back sometime soon!

Cassidy Cason: I'm so thankful for this experience to combine my two favorite things into one trip, traveling and volleyball. I had the opportunity to bond with other girls in A5 of various ages, which can be difficult when changing clubs. I was so happy to spend my first time in Europe with my teammates.  It was incredible exploring Europe, meeting new people, and celebrating their culture with them. I was surprised how easy it was to travel throughout Europe, most of the people that I spoke to knew English. The trip inspired me to learn more languages because I realized how difficult it would be for one of those teams to travel here if they did not know English. Overall, the competition was phenomenal and the places we visited were beautiful and unique in their own way. 

Harley Sebastian: Our trip to Europe opened my eyes to the international level of play. Besides the beautiful sightseeing, the countries we went to had some of the best volleyball players I have ever seen. Their high skills at such a young age has really changed my mindset and makes me want to work harder in order to be like these girls that we have played. I am so thankful that I was able to spend my thanksgiving in Europe with a great team and coaches!! 

Ashley Dean: My trip to Italy was an amazing experience. I not only got the chance to tour Italy, but I had the chance to experience good volleyball competition. Although I missed thanksgiving with my family, I made a new family with the girls on the trip. We bonded on and off the court. I think the trip was a great way to start my senior finale.

Sarah Jane Lynch: Italy was a really fun time to explore Europe and watch some really talented players. All of the places that we went to were really fun. Shopping with the girls was one of my favorite parts. My experience in Italy was different that everyone else’s trip when it came to playing. The one big difference was that I couldn’t play. When I first found out that I had to get surgery on my knee, I was really discouraged because my first thought was that I wouldn’t be able to play in Italy, and the practices hadn’teven started yet. I felt disconnected from the other girls at the start, but the girls accepted me and it was still really cool to be in the presence of the high level that the girls brought to the table. Italy brought the opportunity to become closer to my teammates. Some of the girls who were on the team I had looked up to in the past and meeting and getting to know them was amazing. It was awesome to be able to travel with these girls, watch them play, and have fun with them.

Amber MacDonald: Being able to travel to Europe with such an amazing and talented group of girls is something I will always be grateful for. The way we came together as one unit with such short time practicing together was truly incredible to experience. Europe is a beautiful place with so much history and culture. It was a treat to be able to sight see and play the game we are all so passionate about oversees. Playing against such strong competition all week definitely made me a better player and I'm excited to see how our experience to Europe effects my game back in the US. 

Alex Mills: Going to Europe and being able to play volleyball was one of the best experiences of my life. We got to face woman who were much older than us and had more experience. We didn't let the age or better talent get to us. No matter what we pushed when it was close, we gave it all we had on the court, and we were able to take some sets off of them. There was no greater feeling than being able to all come together and strive for that one goal which was to improve our play. I definitely believe that we reached our goal. The trip as a whole was priceless. Being able to to eat real authentic food was the best part for me! Oh and of course the shopping! All in all the trip was a huge success! 

Leila King: Going to the Europe was one of the best experiences I've ever had. This trip developed me as a person and as a player in incredible ways. The girls on the trip became like my family, on and off the court. Broadening your horizons like we did on this trip isn't easy but it really gave you a sense of the culture these people live in. if I could do it again I would do it the same exact way.

A5 Volleyball Club: Teaching life lessons through the sport of volleyball.

In 2015, each one of our 1 teams qualified for USAV Nationals at the highest competitive level offered (Open for 13s and above and National for 12s), an accomplishment replicated by only one other club in the country.

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