Jayhawks in Europe: Kayla Cheadle
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. Kayla Cheadle broke it down on Wednesday.
Table side at Tom Pouce Cafe
(Photo courtesy of Kayla Cheadle)Day 10 – Toulouse, France
We started the day off by visiting La Garonne, a river in France and Spain with beautiful views. Then it was time to go our separate ways and explore the other parts of Toulouse. We decided to try something other than McDonald’s for lunch today (lol)! We switched it up and went to a small cafe on the side streets of Toulouse called Tom Pouce Café. The food was delicious, especially after a long day of shopping and sightseeing.
This evening, we had the opportunity to play the French Federation Youth Team once again. We won in five sets, a little longer than our first match against them. We swept yesterday.
After sharing another appetizing meal with their team, getting to gather and talk – we exchanged jerseys! That was a great and fun experience which both teams enjoyed. It was a very long and eventful day, but was a great end to our stay in France!
Coming up on day 11: Anna Church
Associate athletic director Jim Marchiony, the volleyball senior administrator on the trip, added another historical trip to the recount of the day’s events.
Historical Spotlight – Les Jacobins Monastery
A few of us walked to Les Jacobins Monastery, a Dominican monastery built in 1229. For many years, classes of the first university in Toulouse (1229) took place in this and other monasteries in Toulouse. The bell at the top of the tall tower of Les Jacobins marked the times for classes. Guess they didn’t have steam engines and whistles back then!
The remains of the eminent Dominican thinker, St. Thomas Aquinas, rest under the altar of this monastery. St. Thomas was born in Italy, and entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1244. He wrote the Summary of Theology, in which the faith is presented in the form of a debate. The pope at the time recognized the novelty and potential of Thomas’ thinking, and later ensured his relics were given to the community of Toulouse. I was struck by the architecture of the high columns, which branch off at the top, looking somewhat like palm trees. Again, we marvel at how they managed to construct these magnificent structures so many centuries ago.
Inside the Match – At a Glance
Kansas chalked up its second victory against the French Federation Youth Team (24-26, 25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 15-7) inside the Federation’s national center in Toulouse to moved to 5-1 on its European tour. Service errors caught up to the Jayhawks in the opening frame, forcing them to fall behind 8-3 and again, 15-9. Janae Hall and Tayler Soucie combined for six kills. KU kicked into gear in the second set, getting six total kills from Soucie and Madison Rigdon to tie the match.
Five more kills from Soucie in the third set couldn’t hold off the French, who reclaimed the lead with a 25-20 win, forcing KU to win the next two. The Jayhawks did exactly that. Tiana Dockery pounded out five kills in the fourth, setting the table for a fifth and final set. With Maggie Anderson at the serving line and Rigdon with four kills, the Jayhawks finished the match on a 6-1 run.
Shaking hands after the five-set win.
(Photo courtesy of Kayla Cheadle)Inside the Match – Quotes
Head coach Ray Bechard on the win:
“France did a great job of making adjustments, especially defensively and who they were trying to serve. They game planned well and made those adjustments. They also played much better – very low error – tonight, which was good. It resembled a competitive Big 12 match.”
Bechard on what he noticed from his team:
“We were having a little trouble with their block, so we started mixing up not only the tempo of the set, but the spacing. When we did that in the fourth set and fifth set, Rigdon and Dockery were much better. I thought Cassie Wait was once again solid, and Maggie was a good spark off the bench. I think we take for granted the job that Ainise Havili does many times, but she was very good again tonight.”
Maggie Anderson on the team’s performance:
“We did well on our serve receive plays and didn’t let the other team get on any big runs, which help us control the tempo.”
Anderson on what the team did differently in the final two sets:
“Our energy levels rose, and our serving got better. We also really stepped it up with our serve receive.”
Anderson the trip thus far:
“This trip has been really fun, spending time with the girls. It seems like it’s been a short amount of time, even though it’s actually been almost two weeks. I think we’re all ready to get home, too. We’re getting a little homesick.”