Jayhawks in Europe: Janae Hall

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. Janae Hall did the talking on Friday.
Day 5 – Mondovi, Italy
It’s been a long day, but we’re finally settled in to our beautiful hotel in quiet Mondovi, Italy.Today we had a little bit of an early start as we left Milan and sat on a bus for two hours to go visit Turin, Italy. Coincidentally, Turin is the birthplace of cinema, as we know it today, and fittingly enough the film major gets the blog for the day were visiting!
 Magicians in Turin 
(photo courtesy of Janae Hall)Some of Turin’s other star attractions are its historic cafes and open air markets, and with just three hours to sightsee, that’s what I – and a few others – decided to tackle for the day. The Crema Caffe at El Fiorio, a cafe which has been around since 1780, was to die for. I found a steal at the open air markets in a fashionable pair of light pants for just 5 Euros.
After a few hours in Turin, it was time to pile back on a bus for another short hour drive to our hotel for the night in Mondovi. The rooms at this new hotel are very spacious and have a nice balcony. Maggie (Anderson) and I are utilizing as I type and we wait to leave for our match tonight, which should be a good one, as I hear there will be a lot of spectators in attendance.
Last night, Maggie was kind enough to share a photo on Facebook of me washing clothes – in a bidet. It’s clean! The sink was too small and there were too many things around it that could get splashed. I don’t think this will last the whole trip, we just couldn’t find a laundromat close to us.
So far the trip has been great. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us the next few days!
Coming up on day six: Madison Rigdon
Historical Spotlight – The Shroud of Turin
Associate athletic director Jim Marchiony, the volleyball senior administrator on the trip, added another historical trip to the recount of Friday’s events. 

Tayler Soucie had the foresight to make reservations to see the Shroud of Turin, the cloth shroud in which Catholics believe Jesus was wrapped after his crucifixion. So, many of us went to see The Shroud, which is only displayed for a few months each year inside The St. John Baptist Cathedral. Security is tight within several blocks of the cathedral, so it’s about a half-mile walk from the city square.
Once inside, we waited just a few minutes before watching a three-minute video about The Shroud. We then waited about five more minutes, after which we were ushered in to see The Shroud. I’d say they let about 75 people in at a time, and they split us into three levels, all very close to one another. The Shroud is encased and elevated, like a painting on a wall; we were about 20 feet from it. The group stood there, viewing it for about five minutes, and then they cleared us out for the next group. The entire process is very orderly, and it’s amazing that it’s free. A powerful experience.
Inside the Match – At a Glance
Kansas defeated LPM Mondavi in four sets (25-15, 25-15, 18-25, 25-21). The Jayhawks roared out to a quick lead after Kelsie Payne rattled off five kills in the first set, helping the Jayhawks win six of seven points and cruise to a 1-0 lead. She and Madison Rigdon tallied four kills apiece in the second set to record another sizable win and go up two sets to none. After dropping set three, Kansas came back from an 11-10 deficit in the fourth frame thanks to another five kills from Payne.
Inside the Match – Quotes
Head coach Ray Bechard on the win:
“The atmosphere was fun in here. Artificial noisemakers are legal when you go over the water, so that was fun. The community did a great job of getting people out here. They played our anthem, they played their anthem and made it a neat event for our kids.”
Bechard on what caught his attention:
“The first two sets, we were really good. We cut down on our unforced errors, mainly service errors, and we hit for a high number. As volleyball goes, it seems like everything is easy… then the third set became a bit of a struggle when the momentum went to their side, but our response was good in the fourth set.”
Kelsie Payne on the atmosphere in the gym:
“It was a lot different than yesterday. Yesterday there was no crowd, and today there were a lot of really excited fans of all ages. It was really fun.”
Payne on how the team played today:
“I thought we played really well. The first two sets were really strong. We kind of lost focus in the third, but definitely got it back together in the fourth set.”
Payne on how today’s performance differed from yesterday:
“Our defense was a lot better. We let a lot fewer balls drop off, and we played a lot more balls up.”