Tuesday, September 28, 2010

USA outlast Argentina in Pool D decider | FIVB - Press release

USA outlast Argentina in Pool D decider | FIVB - Press release: "An Example Description"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

      Here are a couple pic's from the scrimmage last night via Brett...


    Here are a few photos from the Iraklis football match we went to this evening as well..

                                 Spotted a TOM HOFF jersey in the crowd!

USA vs Mex went to five sets. After losing the first two sets team USA seemed to pull their sh*t together and clean it up. And we all know that anything can happen in the fifth set...proud of the guys for keeping their heads up and pulling it out. I wasn't able to watch it online as the feed was messed up but I was able to watch the live scoring on FIVB.ORG. Not the same but sufficient enough. From what I hear Roo and Clay both played well.

On another note our team had a scrimmage match last night against another team from here in Thessaloniki. We also had a five game thriller ;) with a crowd attendance of 40+. After the match we stuck around the gym with both teams for a small BBQ and beer. Its always nice to meet players from other teams to build your opinion of them in a different manor other than that of in a competitive environment. See them with their wives and children.

Brett and I decided to call it an early night like the old couple we are. It was really nice just to lay in bed and watch the Bama vs Ark game on our slingbox...thanks to Damien Scott for letting us hook it up to his TV back in Hermosa. For those of you who don't know about a slingbox it is a must have for playing oversea's. It allows you to watch live TV from your computer anywhere in the world. You just need to set it up to a TV which is not frequently used and has paid cable. Its still not that great as it gets choppy and you need a good internet connection but it still gives you something to enjoy.

Today has been a lazy day as Brett and I opened the double doors to our patio and enjoyed a nice breeze through our house as we each took up a spot on the either couch to read our book. We have both been reading "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and are pretty into it. Now we are packed up and heading out the door to check out the Iraklis football/soccer match! Hella Iraklis!!! They are in first place after 3 games as of now.

Will try to take some pics and post later.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Getting excited to follow the USA team compete in Italy for the world championships. They are in a pool with Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina. Should be a breeze but our team has a fresh look from 08 and a new coach. Really looking forward to watching Roo establish himself as one of the best OH's in the world...He can really turn it on when he wants to. I've never seen someone so athletic that understands sports so well. Not just volleyball but if you ever have the chance to watch baseball, basketball or golf with him he will point out tactics that you never even thought of. And you've never seen anyone dominate a Rubik's Cube like him either. Hands down the best in the world at "Wheels of Fortune" as well. He could stop playing volleyball and be the next Ken Jennings...although I did see someone beat Ken's single day winnings a little over a week ago.

I really hope Clay brings his A game to this tourney as well. When he is on the game is over. Just be glad he is an American and not a Canadian where he was born! (that was for you Steam...if you are reading this).

I'm sure I will be following through Volleywood on facebook as Ace really does have the best coverage of what is going on. If you don't know about it yet go ahead and add Volleywood on facebook. It really does have a good connection for players and fans!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Brett runs her own blog with her day to day activities.  I suggest you all check it out from time to time...she is becoming quite the artist and chef!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plain White T's - Rhythm Of Love

Matt Hillier, a good friend of mine, just emailed me this picture he found from Time Magazines website from when Chris Icaza and I won our final match of the day of the Hermosa Beach qualifier.  
There is one thing I do NOT understand about Greece.  Why is it so hard to find a place that serves lunch at noon?  And when we do find a place we are the ONLY people there and feel as if we are disturbing the waiter/s?  Every area Brett and I have visited for lunch has people sitting around the cafe's drinking coffee at all times of the days.  Its rare to see someone eating lunch however.  Boggles my mind...
morning world.  another rough wake up.  Every time I step out of bed in the morning I curse my muscles for being sore...especially the bottom of my feet.  Time to get some new shoes but for those of you who have played in Europe we all know how hard it is to find a good pair of playing shoes.

Really looking forward to getting home for one of my best friends weddings on Oct 2nd.  I actually set Peter and Annie up our freshman year at USC.  I can't tell you how honored and excited I am that I was asked to be in the wedding party.  This is the first time that I will be able to be home for such an honor.  I have been to plenty of summer weddings and have been invited to be in some weddings but they never worked out.  I couldn't be happier for my two friends and Brett and I are so excited to celebrate their special day with them.

8 days till come and counting!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Its been an adventurous couple weeks.  Firstly Brett has really excelled in her new hobby of cooking.  I can't explain in words how nice it is to come home to some really good home cooked meals.  She has made me some pretty amazing, not to mention difficult, treats.  A peach tart which I indulged in on a daily basis until they were gone...sometimes three of them per day :/  A baked rigatoni with mini meatballs and a cream sauce which came out looking exactly like the picture on the website she found it on.  Tasted like mom's home cooking.  This is not an easy thing to have while living oversea's so it means that much more to me.  We bought a BBQ from the market here but its more like an electric grill where it has coils that get real hot and cook the meat from below.  Nothing special but it works.  Made some really good BBQ'd chicken along with Brett's green beans and rice the other night.  Felt like we were back in Hermosa for the night.  On top of all the cooking Brett and I have been eating dinner out on the balcony overlooking the neighborhood and all the lights of the airport.  Its really pretty...surprisingly enough we don't hear the airplanes at all.

Volleyball has been moving in a positive direction.  The team is training really hard both in the weight room as well as in the gym.  We got our two national team players this past week.  They were still with the national team trying to earn a spot in the 2011 European Championships for next summer but unfortunately they lost to Turkey home and away...but fortunate for us that they are back and with the team.  They both start for the national team as one of them is a setter and the other plays middle.  Already we have bonded like they have been here with us for the entire time of training.  Its nice to have two good setters in the gym so we have a more competitive training.

Last week we finally started playing some friendly matches.  We started with the team of Kalamaria which is not five minutes away from our home gym.  Our team won 4-0 as we played 4 sets no matter what.  We played with a mixture of all our players just to see some different line ups.  They team played pretty well for the most part.  I was mostly impressed with how well our team did at passing the ball.  Our libero did a great job as well our Cuban/Italian (He's Cuban but defected to Italy and has an Italian passport now).  On a personal note I was pretty off on my attacks and was not pleased with my overall performance.  Thought I blocked and played defense well but it could all have been better.

This past weekend, 17th-19th, we traveled to Patras.  This was a 7 hr bus ride across Greece.  I don't mind the bus so much except that it is hard on the body.  You can never get comfortable even if you have your own row to lay across.  At least I had my Ipad with a good book and some entertaining games.

The hotel in Patras was amazing.  It was a quite hotel right outside the city but my balcony was overlooking the Sea.  The beaches in Patras were a lot different then those of the ones in Halkidiki where Brett and I like to spend our days off.  They didn't have sand but little pebbles.  On Sat before the match I went with a couple friends to a place called Blue Bay for coffee...walking distance from the hotel.  We sat at a little cafe along the ridge of the water where little boats were tied to buoy's.  The water was aqua and there were a few local people swimming around.  It was very peaceful and relaxing.

The matches in Patras were a little more hyped from our one against Kalamaria as Patras is supposed to be one of the better teams in the league this season.  We came out strong in the first set but after that our team hit a self destruct button and started leaving all our tactics.  Missing serves or serving the wrong person, making errors in our block and attack, and plenty of mistakes on our defense and reception.  We lost the next three sets but not that bad and at the end of the match we all noted that if we were that close and played that bad we could easily beat that team.

After breakfast the following day we watched some video of the night before.  Coach made some notes of what we needed to do as well as some individual notes for some players.  Iraklis adjusted well and came out beating Patras 3-0.  There is not a lot to note regarding the match except that we followed our game plan and took care of what we needed on our side of the net.  It made the bus ride home a whole lot better.

Had today off and spent most of the day in bed off my legs.  Brett and I watched some movies and while I'm writing this she is back in the kitchen making us some steak tacos.  Smells so good in here!

Hope everyone is well!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sept 11th

Brett and I poured one out to those who lost their lives or loved ones on this tragic day 9 years ago.  Mom called me and woke me up to turn on the tv.  Such a sad day!


After a long morning practice with lots of jumping Brett and I decided to get out of the house and start the weekend.  We drove over to Cosmos, our local mall, to watch a movie.  Watched "Going the Distance" and have to say it was pretty funny and entertaining.  Was pretty fired up to get home to some pizza and college football but after trying to watch Georgia vs South Carolina on Slingbox I gave up because technology is still not that great when trying to stream live tv on to your computer.  Had a great alternative in the USA vs Lithuania semi final game of the FIBA Championships though.  Lamar Odom was a beast on the lower block!  Glad to see someone on the LAKERS represent.