Holy Vatican

imageHello all.
The time has come, the broncos said to talk of many things. Of smelly shoes and sweaty shirts of emperors and kings.
We conquered the metro to begin our journey to St. Angel’s castel. From there we met up with Marta from our Rome tour yesterday to help guide us through the Vatican. On our way there our lovely tour guide gave us a fast pass to the front and we made it right on through to security. While being checked one of the girls had to check her mug in at the front. No mugs in the Vatican! We toured through, Marta gave us history of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and artwork within. The tour was absolutely gorgeous! The artwork within the Chapel and the museum was so detailed and well restored that you could really see the facial expressions of each person on the ceiling and walls. After we exited we had to wait for a teammate to go grab her mug from the front. While Marta and the teammate left for the front, we were able to go look around outside the buildings.

Later that night we traveled to the gym for our last match of our long trip. While warming up Michael was warming up with with some other staff and jump set a ball and sprained his ankle. But who cares, when in Rome!
The game began and we started to work together and really flow. It was great to see the team starting to really come together. What was exceptional of our play is that many people stepped up to positions which they may have not played.
We played the Italian team for five sets again and we won the last game.

As our journey ends, we will continue to improve. Seeing the competition in Europe is a real eye opener for us. We can still improve, we can still get better, and we can always work to represent our school. Thank you to everyone that helped us get to where we are today. This trip really challenged the team. We are so grateful for all our supporters. Thanks for following our Bronco journey in Europe. Until next time. Go broncos!

-lishfish #6

 

Oh Roma!

Day 9 of our European adventure, and I have yet to know what day it is. After an early morning breakfast, us Broncos jumped on the super crowded metro to head for the Colosseo! Upon arriving we began the search for our tour guide Marta, who ended up making our own Izzy Porada look tall! We tried our best to keep an eye on Marta in the big crowds, while we toured around the incredible coliseum. Once we parted ways with Marta, we continued walking around the streets of Rome, passing many ancient ruins along the way. We made one last stop at the Pantheon before heading back to the hotel to prepare for our match. We ended up losing a very close match in the fifth set to an Italian club team, which only makes us hungrier for a win against them tomorrow in the last match of our trip. We finished off the night with some Italian cuisine, complete with bread, salad, pizza, pasta AND beef stew. It’s safe to say that our bellies are full, and we’re going to sleep well tonight.

Mikaela Ryshytylo #24 image

Roma

On our first day in Rome we traveled from our hotel to see the Spanish steps which unfortunately were under construction.  Unlucky for us we were unprepared when a thunderstorm hit and soaked our clothes.   Kyle refused to buy an umbrella from a street vendor repeating “It’s too late I’m already soaked.”  While running through town to find a cafe we stopped in every store to get out of the rain.  Along the way Bailey, Mary, Hannah, and I discovered pants that would have been too long for a giraffe. As the sky cleared up we made our way to the Trevi Fountain to take numerous selfies and group pictures. Everyone followed the tradition and kissed a coin to make a wish.  We tossed the coins over our left shoulders into the fountain and making a promise to return to the fountain.  For dinner there was a four course meal of brushetta, pasta, tortellini and chicken with potatoes… Delicious! With full bellies we made our way back to the hotel. I know that everyone is hoping to come back with news of a win over the great competition here in Rome!

Olivia Kofie #1

 

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Ciao!!

Ciao! WMU Volleyball is coming at you live from Venice, Italy today. After a long 5 hour bus ride from Maribor (although it didn’t seem so long to Lish courtesy of our driver Tomo), we arrived in Venice ready to soak up some Italian sun & drown ourselves in spaghetti sauce. Sarah left us to begin our journey through the city built on water with the advice, “you’re not doing Venice right if you’re not lost” and boy was she right. Every single group took a different way and everyone was lost between the numerous tourist shops and singing men on gondolas. But, I think we all came to the conclusion that there’s no better place to be lost in than Venice. The views alone could have you entertained for hours and don’t even get me started on the food and shopping… lemme just say I’m sorry dad for the future credit card bill you will be receiving🙂. Not only did half the team get over their fear of touching pigeons, but Lish moved on from her romance with the bus driver to a fine Italian ice cream man, while Bailey was breaking crucifixes in the local store.
After a long day of being lost Americans, we sat down together as a team for our first Italian feast. They say, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and even though majority of us are girls, I think we can all agree that we left that restaurant wishing we could wife that chef up.
With a belly full of spaghetti, we wondered our way through Venice one more time in search of the train station. 19,000 steps and a few credit card swipes later (sorry again dad), we finally found the station and happily popped a squat on the steps to wait. As a proud Fitbit owner I want to say 19,000 steps was worth it, but my feet have me feeling some type of way after a day like today.
Only a one hour train ride stands between us and the spa at our hotel, and lemme tell you I think we’ll be taking full advantage of spa treatment after a week of being tourists/ volleyball players.
Well, that’s all I have for today. Ciao for now and see ya real soon Venice, stay beautiful and thank you for taking all of my money :) image

Slovenia

Hello, Bronco volleyball fans! Izzy Porada here writing to you from Maribor, Slovenia after another adventurous day. Fortunately, the weather was perfect today and the Bronco volleyball team was finally able to explore the Maribor giant, the Pohorje mountain. For two days now I have been glancing at this gigantic green monster outside of my hotel room. I would often wonder how people have the courage to ski down that thing in the winter, let alone hike it in the summer months. Fun fact: while majority of the Bronco squad partnered up and rode the ski lift up to the restaurant we ate lunch at, Colleen and Kyle decided to hike up it! I’m not going to lie to you avid blog readers, but it was quite amusing to see this from my comfortable ski lift chair because I could only imagine the burning sensation their calves felt! After we ate a delicious lunch outdoors, it was time for the hilarious toboggan rides down the mountain. Personally, I’m really afraid of heights but it was a comforting feeling knowing that all of my teammates and coaching staff would be riding this thing as well. We’re all in this together, right? I’m not sure about the rest of the Bronco fam, but as I was flying down the mountain in my toboggan, I managed to kill about three bugs with my forehead and had one smeared across my cheek. In other words, the toboggan rides were unpredictably fast and AWESOME. I’m not sure if this counts for anything but the Bronco volleyball players did draw some attention from a group of Swedish tennis players during our wait for the toboggan ride. I’m pretty sure they were about 12 years old but people still think we are awesome no matter their age or what country they are from. For dinner, we were told to wear our nicest clothes. Hearing that is music to any athlete’s ears considering we are always sweaty and not exactly looking our finest when training. The Bronco fam definitely cleans up well that’s for sure! After a twenty-minute bus ride, we arrived at our dinner destination. The House of Wine Doppler personally opened their winery up for us to explore and eat a tasty dinner. This dinner experience was unlike any other dinner experience I have ever had before. Not only was the food great, but the location of this hilly, green vineyard was breathtaking. It’s been beautiful, Maribor. However, I’m ready to explore Italy tomorrow!

-Izzy Porada #5

 

 

A Day in Maribor

Hey Broncos and bronco fans!
It’s your ginger reporting from Maribor. Today Ryan and I got to celebrate our 20th birthdays 4,000 miles from Kalamazoo! It was our first full day in Maribor, Slovenia. We ate breakfast as a team and practiced right in the hotel so there was no need to take any public transport… phewww! (Since we’ve been in Europe I’ve been “separated” from the group a few times). Due to rainy weather we changed our afternoon plans from exploring the mountain behind the hotel to driving to the city center and shopping the small boutiques downtown. My teammates and I ate lunch together in the city and walked along the stone-paved streets crowded with umbrellas. Throughout the day we could see glimpses of the mountain through the foggy mist. Though Michael Page’s natural “fog” has been following us around all trip, this was the first time we’ve experienced any real cloudy weather. I think my sleeping schedule has finally adjusted to European time, as I didn’t wake up at 1:30am last night hungry for dinner. The food has been fantastic so far, we’ve eaten a variety of local dishes grilled by some new Slovenian friends right at the base of the mountain! Sadly today was our last day with our Slovenian tour guide Ke-Ke (pronounced Key-Key). Though she said she had a wonderful time traveling and sight-seeing with us, she definitely verified the stereotype that Americans are loud. We talk a lot…and I mean A LOT compared to the people we’ve met here.

Here are some words I learned today:
Volleyball: odbojka
Icecream: sladoled
Thank you: Hvala
Goodnight: Lahko noč
Happy Birthday: Vse najboljše

My heart is so happy to be surrounded my teammates and friends today, beyond blessed on this adventure overseas.

Adijo!!
Syd LeMay #10
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Travel Day!

Today we are leaving Hotel Roma in Prague and taking a bus to Vienna, Austria! In Vienna we walked around the city and went shopping.  We walked by this beautiful building that was the Sisi museum! It was probably one of the biggest museums I’ve ever seen! We kept walking through the beautiful city and there was the St. Stephens Cathedral! Inside there was a choir singing and it sounded so peaceful. After that we roamed the city for a couple hours and got lunch. I had pizza and it was so good! The sauce was a little sweeter than I’m used to in the U.S and I loved the thin crust! We strolled back to the bus and it took us 4 hours on the bus to get to Slovenia. Slovenia is much different than Prague and Vienna. In Slovenia we are in a more rural area. Our tour guide said we wouldn’t have to go far to get to the gym here and she was right! The volleyball court is literally in our hotel, how cool is that?? I can’t wait to see what the competition brings us at our game tomorrow! Go Broncos

 

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Hannah Landis #20