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UK VB in Europe: Rome

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The Kentucky volleyball team is on a two-week trip to Europe as a part of the Bring It program. The Wildcats will have the opportunity to play seven matches against teams ranging from European professionals to junior national teams while experiencing the culture of five different countries. UK volleyball manager Ryan Suckow is sending in photos, blog entries, and video about their experiences while in Europe. 

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Hey Wildcat fans and family,

We have reached our final destination in our 12 day long European Tour and we are excited that you have tracked our paw prints throughout each of our journeys. You know we had to save one of the best cities for last, Rome, Italy! After the train ride from the beautiful city of Venice to Rome we quickly put down our bags and got to sightseeing. We truly had the opportunity to get 'lost' in the city and found ourselves hopping from the Trivi Fountain to the Pantheon and everywhere in between. We had to rest up for Saturday's to-do list which started with a bright and early wakeup call of 6:30am... off to the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel we went and what an amazing spectacle it was. The early alarm paid off and us Wildcats had the ability to 'ohhhh' and 'ahhh' over the many works of art which still left us astounded at just how impeccable each mural was put together.

With souvenirs and cameras still in hand we were let loose to explore the city again before heading off to the Italia Olympic Training Center. While there we encountered many Italia teams that were currently training as well as many FIVB pro beach players that were in town for a current tournament that we will be attending Sunday night. It is definitely a cool experience getting to have your pregame meal at their training table as well as getting to interact with the other athletes.

Our girls had an hour to rest up after lunch before taking on the Italia Junior National A2 team. It was a 5 game thriller that went point for point each set until the end when the Cats completely dominated the Italia team in set 5 by having a set high 7 aces and finishing them off 15-8. This match tested our ability to stay focused after long rallies as well as finish the job when we had the opportunity. For those of you that attend our fall matches you too will be very impressed with our new found aggressive 'international serving game'.

We wrapped up the evening with a tasty team dinner at a local restaurant around the corner with all of the delights of Italian cuisine. Pizza is still a crowd favorite, but I think our girls are starting to explore all their options. We turned in early though as we want to save the best for last with a tour of the Coliseum in the morning followed by our finale match of the tour against the Italian Junior National team. We all feel that a win here would give us the confidence to rip through the summer and on to GREAT things in the fall 2010 season. Be sure to check out the remainder of our videos from the trip as well as our final video of our arrival back to BIG BLUE NATION!!!

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