Claire and I
Soooooo.... a lot has happened since my "New Beginning..." Blog.
I went to Baltimore and played in an Invitational Tournament at the Preakness, one of the 3 major horse races in America!!! It was so cool.
I played with Claire D'Amore. She did AWESOME! She played defense like a veteran and put the ball down with so much energy like a youngster should! ;) I t was great to get to know her better she is a really good girl and has a promising future!
Under Armour put all together for us and they were AMAZING hosts! We all got tons of gear, WHICH i have been wearing all the time since ;) and our players tent was full of delicious food and even a Smoothie corner with fresh fruits, yogurt, protein powder... Whatever you wanted, on demand! How some is this?
Ange and I back in the day! See how much fm she is?! :)
So now, the NEW PARTNERSHIP status...
Unfortunately, Carrie's knee isn't 100% as of right now. So she decided not to play in the next 3 tournaments and come back 100% sure that she is 100% ready! :) I also think this is a way better thing to do then coming back at 70% and then having an ongoing situation throughout the rest of the season!
Meanwhile, I got a new partner, or should I say and old partner back! ;)
ANGELA LEWIS! Reunited AGAIN!
For those who don't know, Angela and I played 4 seasons together (05-08) we grew as players and as women so much during that time! Together we climbed the rankings up to 9th in the nation without ever practicing together. I lived in Louisiana and she was here in Cali, so we accomplished what many couldn't while having their partners everyday at practices!
I am super excited, because not only her and I were always magical on the court, she has been always one of my bestest friends ever! So being able to travel with her again and see her everyday it's a treat to me!! I know we can do REALLY well, we have both improved soooooooooo much since a year and a half ago, plus our chemistry on the court... I CANNOT wait to step in Huntington and go to war with her!
This past weekend we went to Sun Valley in Idaho. It was Angela Lewis, Jenny Kropp, Meredith Miller (our strength trainer) and I. We went for an exhibition match at their charity event.
It was great, too bad our first flight was delayed so we missed the whole first day, but saturday we woke up, went have a great breakfast in town, then walked around and the girls did some shopping, went to a really cool gym/spa called Zenergy, then I joined the girls in some more shopping (Lulu Lemon stuff at 40% off, I couldn't resist!) :)
Then we went home, got ready and went to Sun Valley Resort for lunch and got ready for our match. Right when we were supposed to start, it starts raining and it never rains there!! How lucky are we?? hehehe
So we got to hang out inside of the main lodge, it was great to meet Ron Von Hagen (pic coming soon!) The whole thing was in honor of him! We also got to hang out with Sinjin Smith, who was kind enough to drive us 2 1/2 hours from Boise to Sun Valley! And was cool enough to tell us stories and play our car games with us, right Fonoles?? ;)
VIVO GS (Girls Sports) helped putting up the event, it is such a cool website for girls sports, bringing attention to all of the girls needs and helping them in every possible way you can think of! You should all check it out! :)
Meredith and I with Vivo scarfs, bc it got a little too cold there! :)
So for now this is it!
It's time for a lot of hard practices and workouts to be ready for Huntington this weekend!!
WHICH by the way, i want to see you all there to cheer us on!!! :) Positive energy and prayers are welcome too, and oh... be loud if you're there! WE LOVE IT! :)
AVP has started 2 tournaments ago, but to me AVP will start from NOW on!
I have some sad and some exciting news to give, my partnership with Tati is unfortunately over. Tati got a great offer coming from Ana Paula Henkel (former Conelly) and will play with her the remaining of the season.
I won't lie that I have been stressing about what in the world was I going to do... It has not been fun having to go to practices knowing that I would no longer play with such an amazing person and player, I LOVE TATI SOOOOOOO MUCH! Not playing with her breaks my heart, she taught me so much, on and off the court, she believed in me and she made me step up to the next level, I cannot be thankful enough!
And to make things a little harder, we start off the season with a 3rd place finish in Fort Lauderdale, we played so well, I feel like a whole new player! WOW!!! (You can know more about the tournament here)
Then we were playing just as well in Santa Barbara, even though we finished 7th, I know we would still have done just as well if it wouldn't be for Tati's stiff neck (I have never seen her being in so much pain!). So to finish our partnership this way wasn't so great, but we are way more than this, and we knew that! And I will never forget all the things we went through that not only made me a better player but also a better person, THANKS TATUI (Tatui is my nickname for Tati, it's sand crab in portuguese, because of her digs... )
Well, as I said, NOW it is all starting for me! I just shook hand yesterday with Carrie Dodd for the season! Carrie played with Tati for 2 seasons, i think, then she played with Diane Denecochea last year. Diane's trip to the final with Brittany Hochevar last weekend opened up this whole thing for me. Now that Carrie is free, we talked and closed the deal!
I am SO excited, Carrie is an absolute AMAZING player, I have learned so much just by watching her and cannot wait to experience playing with her. I think we will be BEASTS on the court together, oh... forgot to mention that Tati and Carrie are the BEST setters on the tour! How lucky am I??? :)
So now Carrie and I have this whole month to practice and get to know each other on the court and be ready to kick some butt in Huntington Beach Nivea Open. So be ready and come support my new team! I promise that FIIIIRE (like my friend Kari says) will be one of our biggest trait among other things!! I can't wait!!!!
See you at the beach! :)
Last weekend I went to Lima, Peru and represented Brazil in one of the stops of the South American Games. I played with a friend of mine Camila Bertozzi, who also plays the Brazilian Tour.
We arrived on friday afternoon, went straight to the hotel (Peru Pacifico), rested for a bit and went get a little practice in. Came back and ate dinner and went to sleep right away...
Next day we were supposed to play the 1st match but a player form Peru got hurt and we won by for-feit. Then we beat Argentina #2 in 2 sets and Ecuador also in 2 straight sets. That put us in quarter finals for the next day.
Next day we beat Uruguay #1 team in 2 straight sets, which put us in the semis. Since there's a rule that says that there cannot be two teams from the same country in the finals, we were put automatically against Brazil's #2 team of Pauline Alves and Mariana Pladema. The younger girls played well and actually were leading the whole 2nd set with a lot of fire after losing the 1st set by 2 points only. Camila and I cleaned-up our game and came back to win 21-19.
The other semi-final was played by Argentina #1 and Colombia #2 (who used to be #1 before). Colombia won 2-0 and came to play us after the brazilian young girls beat Argentina in 2 sets to get 3rd place!!! YAYYY!!!
Our final was a good game! We started both teams siding out well, but at half way through Colombia put a little more pressure but we hadled it well and cosed the set. The second set they started 5-2 and we switched to the "bad side" (the side where we stay and is against the wind, that helps them to use the wind more, making it harder for us to control the ball). But we were slowly closing the gap by the middle of the set. All of the sudden my jump serves "clicked" and i served 4-5 straight points, with aces and birthday balls!!! WOOOHOOO. With that we tied up the game and passed them right at the end to finish the match!!!
YAYYYYYYYY WE WON!!!! It was such a fun experience and it helped me even more to stay loose while playing!!! SOOO MUCH FUN! I would definitely do it again if i have the chance.
Here are some pics from the trip!
I just got home from our 3rd tourney...
We finished 5th!!!! YAY! Back where we want to be AT LEAST!!!! I took my lucky charm with me! My little brother!!! He was sooooooo cute, so star struck with the other athletes.
We beat an upcoming team (Agatha/Raquel, who i LOVE!) that has given tons of trouble to the other teams lately 2-0, then our next match was going to be against the #1 team Juliana/Larissa, but unfortunately we made a decision to withdraw from that match due to an injury i got from the previous match. My back was feeling super tight and I had radiating pain going down my legs. So after a few adjustments the PT backed me up and confirmed the injury. With that I was able to not play on friday but still be qualified for saturday.
I woke up feeling still tight, very sore from the adjustment, but no radianting pain thank goodness!!!!!
We started the day well, we won our 1st match to go to 9th 2-0, then we were supposed to play at 11am, and the team did not show up until after the 5 min delay they are aloud to, so it was supposed to be automatic WO, but the tournament director took the blame for a "mistake" they made earlier on the board and told us we were going to play.
I never saw Tati so angry! WOW! Now it makes me laugh... but i was angry too.. Oh well.... We won in 2-0, it wasnt all that easy but we did it!!!
In Brazil you go from 9th place straight to 5th place, so there we were, seating on 5th going to play the quater finals against... Juliana/Larissa.
Man, we matched up again!!! Bummer!!!!! Oh well, we kept a good posture and we worked on our things. They are an amazing team, all we need is more time to get used to play against them. They have a different rythm i think..
But we are glad that after all that happened with my back we still finished 5th!
OHHHHHHHH..... BIG NEWS!!!! I am going to compete in the South American Tournament representing Brazil this weekend in Peru. I am going with an old teammate of mine Camila Bertozzi, Tati will be resting this weekend... I cannot wait to post some pics!!!!
I must confess that I have forgotten how much the nation goes crazy about Carnaval here!!! It's non-stop!
Everyday there are "Blocos de Carnaval" on the streets, those are people from the local communities that get together to come up with music, lyrics, costumes, themes for their "Bloco" (kinda like a street band). When it's time to get on the streets with its components, everyone from all over their and other neighborhoods follow the Bloco as it travels on its made up route around the streets of Rio.
You hear old and new Samba songs sung by everyone, the band attracts everyone with its "paradinha" little stops during the song they make with a hip-hop/funk beat that makes everyone get crunk as my friends from Louisiana would say! :) There are dozens of Blocos registered in Rio, they all have their own route, police for security and keeping the peace (and now the pee, it is illegal to pee on the streets, and they will take you in for that!) and people dancing and singing non-stop for hours!
More than half of those people who follow the Blocos, usually go from one to another, making it a Bloco marathon that could take 12 hours or more in a day!!! Those people we call them SOLDIERS, bc only with a soldier training you can do that all 5 days of Carnaval.
There is also the Samba School parade, they have their own league, and it's much more like a professional parade. The Samba Schools are judged in many categories. Every year there is a theme they must follow. Every Samba School must have percussions aka Bateria, an opening act called "Comissao de Frente", 6-7 "Carros Alegoricos" (the floats) if I'm not mistaken, "Mestre Sala and Porta Bandeira (soon to be explained), "Rainha da Bateria" and some other things. They are all judged about their music, lyrics, performance, style, floats... so many categories... It's the real deal!!!!
I had the privilege to go watch the second day of the parades at the Sambrodomo (name of the place made JUST for this parade). I got a VIP pass to one of the Samba School's room. It was AWESOME! I was at Grande Rio's VIP with a fellow volleyball friend. We had so much fun! In there they have free drinks, free hot dogs, even free ice creams! WOW! Oh.. Also dinner, they served us some pasta and later on so fresh fruit salad, now that's what I am talking about!!!
My friend and I stayed til 6:30am when the last Samba School finished crossing the Sapucai (name of Sambodromo's Avenue). We HAD to watch Mangueira, the Samba School that I passionately cheer for. Oh... Have I mentioned that the Samba School parades is sorta like the musical soccer leagues??? Oh yeah! You cheer for a Samba School and you love their flag and their colors, just like soccer! The only difference is that you NEVER acknowledge another soccer team's good performance otherwise you are a traitor, but you may acknowledge another Samba School's performance, because it is all for the love of music at the end. ;)
I made a few videos so you guys can have a small idea of how HUGE this is, it's beautiful and so much fun, and it is DEFINITELY something you all should do one day in your life!
The "Rainha da Bateria" aka Percussion's Queen. She is the muse for their inspiration to play the instruments well. Her role is to introduce to "Bateria" (percussions) and to give them her best to represent the Samba School. More than often the Rainha da Bateria is a famous celebrity who loves samba and goes to all rehearsals and most of the time, she knows how to samba.
So i guess this would be a good time to start my blog.. I have a pretty exciting subject, well at least to me... I just played on my first final!!!! WOW!
I must confess that it really hasn't hit me all the way yet. Mostly yesterday when i was watching the match on AVPtv.com and i saw all the things i used to see showing, like the player's name, where they are from, where they live now, how tall they are, and i always dreamt about having my name on the screen with all the details.. When i saw myself there on the screen with the text box saying all that info about me, i got all teary!!!
I am a very emotional girl, so yes i did get teary eyes, i had then the goose bumps and i got so nervous, so emotional... WOW! WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!!!!!
Waiting for Geeter to announce me, you hear all those little yellow blow up thingys that i used to hate the noises they make, but this time was awesome, they sounded like harps in heaven, so perfect!!! hahahaha All the energy around us!! It was AWESOME!
And even though the first set wasn't what i would have like it to be, at least on the second set we showed everyone why we were there, we played better and most importantly Tati and I had so much fun! Even with EY and Nic bombing serves at us and playing so well, we really were enjoying the whole thing until the very end, and also when we took off SPRINTING out of the center court to shower off the sand and catch our flight that was leaving from Grand Rapids (about 1 hour away) in 1h 35min!
We had fans running over with us to the showers outside of the site to congratulate us and try to take pics, we had people talking to us while we were changing in the bathroom, they were telling us how much they wanted the match to go to three sets, and that they wanted us to win!!! I can only say WOW again!!!!! All the support and having all those people cheering for us, it was AMAZING!!!!
Then Tati and i had to rush to the airport and on our way we had this car going extremelly slow, like 15 mph, and i am not exaggerating.. Tati swerved to the right, the car did it too, she swerved to the left and the car did it too... Tati lost it and honked so much and then we had this little hand waving the signal to pass them up but we had a double yellow line, plus we were approaching the end of the road... Then we felt sorry, we thought: "-Oh maybe she is learning how to drive, poor woman...". Not even a second after we were done saying that i get a text message saying: "You guys in a hurry?". I replied: "Yes! Did u see us sprinting out of the site?? ha! We have a flight to catch!!!". And then i get a reply: "It's us! hahahahahahaha.". Us as in Anette Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan driving in front of us... We finally caught up to their side and they were laughing so hard at us because we were so stressed, that was funny, it definately helped Tati and I to relax throughout the rest of the ride...
So we finally made to our flight, we were the very last 2 people to get in the aircraft, woooooo... Time to relax!!! NOT, the flight was only 35 min until we got to our layover in Chicago. So we went eat and then we got on our last flight and relaxed, well at least for a little bit. The flight was long, we watched a movie and then we were both bored out of our minds!! hahaha
We made it home safe! Thank goodness, and another week of training has started, now it's time to focus on the next tournament! Chi-Town here we come!!!!!
(this is how us brazilians finish our conversations, sending kisses (beijos) to the other people we are talking to)
Welcome to my Blog!
I hope you guys enjoy my blogs. I just want to share a little this wonderful journey that i am living. :)