Jayhawks in Europe: Addison Barry
From May 18-30, Kansas volleyball is embarking on a European training trip aimed at combining cultural education with intense practices and competition. The team will play six matches, sandwiched between training sessions and travel destinations in Italy, France and Spain. The Jayhawks have graciously accepted the task of keeping their fans, family and KU volleyball supporters in the loop on what the team is up to on a daily basis. Check back each day of the trip to hear a different player’s perspective.
The historic Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy
(photo courtesy of Addison Barry)Day 4 – Milan, Italy
What a crazy day! To start it off, the crew headed to see the Sforza Castle, which was absolutely beautiful! Everybody was in complete awe of its beauty and the amount of history that lies within its walls. After many laughs, pictures and memories made at the castle, we headed back to downtown Milan to continue some good eating and shopping.
All of us have loved the delicious food and unique stores that all greatly express the rich, traditional culture of Italy – no doubt about it! I love the traditional spaghetti here. I mean, it’s my favorite meal, but it feels so much more authentic here. Converting our money has been interesting, and the majority of us girls have agreed that we have spent more money here than we usually do in the U.S. because it feels like Monopoly money – haha!
Following many spent Euros and full bellies from spaghetti and paninis, it’s game time. We headed back to the Italian Training Center to play against the Italian National Youth Team. After a challenging five-set match, your Jayhawks came out on top! Great way to finish off the day, that’s for sure. Well, along with the quick gelato stop we made on the way home.
Ciao from the Jayhawks Crew!
Coming up on day five: Janae Hall
Inside the Match – At a Glance
Kansas defeated the Italian Federation Youth Team in five sets (23-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-14, 15-4). Momentum completely shifted when, with a 15-13 lead in the fourth set, KU ripped off eight-straight points highlighted by two aces from libero Cassie Wait. In the fifth set alone, Kansas tallied four aces, including defensive specialist Tori Miller for match point.
Inside the Match – Quotes
Head coach Ray Bechard on the win:
“Our opponent tonight, when they got on a little run, would keep pressure on us by serving tough and in. Then we’d get on a little run and let them off the hook with a service error. We got that issue squared away in the fourth and fifth sets, the result of which was pretty good. Overall, we were pretty pleased. We played a quality opponent tonight and learned a little bit more about our team in the process.”
Bechard on what stood out to him:
“Midway through the match when we were being a little bit predictable offensively, Ainise Havili started mixing it up and got (Kayla) Cheadle, (Tayler) Soucie and (Kelsie) Payne much more involved. (Madison) Rigdon and (Tiana) Dockery were taking way too many swings at one point, so Havili started taking more risks and got Payne and Soucie going, especially. I thought that was the difference when we became more balanced in our offense.”
Outside hitter Tiana Dockery on how the team played:
“I thought everyone played pretty well today versus yesterday. Yesterday was our first time out here, getting used to playing against different styles of players. Today, we were more prepared. I thought everyone did awesome, whether coming off the bench or starting. Our serving was also much better today than it was yesterday. As we move on to each stop on this trip, we will get better and better.”
Dockery on the trip itself:
“The weather hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t stopped us at all – especially since we’re girls and we all go into department stores and shop. Going to the different places and trying different types of food, seeing different types of clothing and their culture – it’s expensive, but it’s really nice. The museum we went to today was awesome and the buildings here all belong on a picture. Everyone is really enjoying themselves.”