TOP 3 NEWS:
- 2nd place in the Banco do Brasil Estadual Nacional Tourney in Salvador
- 1st place in the Banco do Brasil Estadual nacional Tourney in Recife
- Two 5th places in the Banco do Brasil Open in Salvador and Recife.
Hi there everyone!!!
So much has passed since the last blog!
Let’s start from the beginning…
I went to Brasilia to practice with Izabel before our 1st tournament for a week. We went play the Banco do Brasil Estadual Nacional Tourney which only the teams who go to the finals qualify to play in the Open the very next weekend! YIKES! It’s so hard here now!
For those who do not know; this year our Confederation came up with a new system where only 7 teams are ranked, they have 3 Wild Cards to give to anybody they want as many times they want and only 2 teams come form a full tournament qualifier which is held the weekend before the Open.
We had to gather some team rhythm in a few days and go play. We were the number 1 team ranked in that tourney. We got to the semifinals undefeated and were playing a great team who always gives everyone a hard time to win. In fact we won our first set well. Then because of a few errors we lost our second set. At the tiebreak Josi/Leize were ahead of us 12-7. We made our side-out; 12-8. Izabel served TWO net serves and both of they dropped right in front of me but on the other side of the court; 12-10. They sided-out; 13-10. We sided-out; 13-11. I went and jumped served TWO aces; 13-13. Then I served and we were able to dig 2 more balls and put it away to finish 13-15 and BAM! We were in the FINALS; therefore we were qualified for the first Open tournament of the year! We ended up losing in the Finals 1X2 to Thati/Erica.
So we went back to Brasilia to practice another week and then go back to Salvador to play in the Open tourney. Izabel coach and his staff received me with open arms and gave us more confidence to go out there as a stronger team and play hard. We got to Salvador and played Raquel/Karim and beat them 2x1. Then we played Agatha/Barbara and lost 2x0, it was windy and we lost to a team with better rhythm than us. The next day we played Juliana/Larissa to go to the semis, but unfortunately we lost 2x0 but as a new team we played really well.
So back to Rio to keep training with my coaching staff and my friends that I love so much! Let me tell you about them a little bit… I know I am getting a little off-track form the tournaments, but hey, that’s so me right? HA! I am having one of the best year of training so far! Tie Santana is an enlightened guy and great coach. He is WITH YOU everyday, every step of the way. He listens, he yells, he challenges you, he compliments you, and he pushes you to your limits, mentally and physically and in every other possible way. Along with Tie, there is our conditioning coach; Julio Pastore who has the best conditioning sand circuit that I’ve done and Fartlecks and runs we do every week. I’ve never felt so prepared physically in my whole life, and I KNOW I am still way behind other players, but this fells great. I also do not want to forget to thank Meredith Miller from Level 10 Fitness, she is my strength coach; ULTIMATELY without her work and planning I would not be strong enough to be able to handle everything that my body has been asked to do. I feel so blessed and I am so thankful for having the opportunity to work with such amazing people.
Have I mentioned the people I get to practice with? My practice partner is Natasha Valente, a young player, 23 years old, who works super hard and has been growing as a player everyday and have been handling me and my not so good traits on the court with a great attitude. I want to congratulate her and tell everyone of how proud I am and we all are of her hard work that she puts in everyday. And I want to thank her publically, because I do it already, for putting up with me on a daily basis. On the other side of the net there are two teams: Michelle Carvalho and Chell and Elize and Renata. I’ve known Michelle for at least 10 years I believe and Chell for 2, but I love those two just about equally. And they have been pushing me daily to become a better player, with their incredible tough serves, Chell’s deceiving blocks and Michelle’s amazing defense. Then I have Elize (who just joined out training center this year and we all took her under our wings with so much love), she pushes me just as much as the others do, with her I gotta go higher when I hit I gotta dig deeper to defend her. And last but definitely not least I have Renata, my BFF! She is an amazing player; she challenges me as a hitter, as a blocker and especially as a defender because of her immense hitting repertoire. Besides all those challenges, we are all there wanting the best for each one of us. We all help each other; I have never been around such a great, sincere, and loyal group in my life. I want to thank each one of those girls for this great support system that we all created.
Well, let’s get back on track again…
Izabel went to Rio to train with me the week before our third tournament, the Estadual Nacional in Olinda, Recife. We had a few days to practice together but it is always good to get a few days together before we go battle. ;)
We had a great, but hard fought tournament. We won all of our matches 2x1 except the quarter finals that we won 2x0 against Luiza Ameila/Cris, where my jump serve had finally gotten some great sequences leading us up on the score. The semis we played against my friends Michelle Carvalho/Chell with whom I practice with almost daily. Some may say that this makes it easier to play against people who you practice against or with. Some may say it’s harder… I say BOTH! Easier because you know their tendencies, harder because they know yours too. Easier because you know their weaknesses, harder because they know yours too. You have to become in a matter of seconds a better player when playing in this situation. You have to change for the better so you can do things that your “friends” do not know about you. As it was expected, they served me the entire game, since they knew me better than Izabel. They won the 1st set very easily I must say. They served really well. Then, we won the 2nd set just as easily, bc this time we were the team that served really well. We ended up winning the 3rd set, putting us in the finals against Josi/Thais, who we had played before in our bracket earlier in that tourney. Just as it was before, it was a very hard match. They started winning the 1st set suddenly, we were ahead and made silly mistakes that took us the lead and made us lose, of course they are entitled of having credits for playing well. Then on the 3rd set it was just as hard: 5-5, 8-8, 10-10, 12-12, 14-14… until we closed on 17-15! CHAMPIONS!! YAY! And once again qualified for the Open tournament.
I went back to Rio and Izabel to Brasilia. We met up in Recife once again the very next weekend! We had the very same bracket and we had the same result as the last Open tourney also. Finishing up in 5th place, losing to Juliana/Larissa.
I had another week of training in Rio, then I got in a plane and came to Brasilia where I am right now… This time we are having 2 full weeks of training because with our 1st place in the last Estadual Nacional, we were given a Wild Card straight to the Open tournament. So I took this opportunity to come and practice with Izabel until then. It’s been great for the team. We have been fixing a lot of details that we needed and gaining a lot of rhythm as a team. I knew it would be worthy my time to come here and work hard WITH Izabel, for our team! This reminds me to thank my coach Tie for trusting me as an athlete and being so cool about me leaving our training center in Rio to come here for a full 2 weeks.
Besides volleyball, I have been getting a lot of family time here in Brasilia. I have two uncles and six cousins here. It’s been fun. One of my uncles watches Big Brother Brasil daily and almost for the whole day! I have been laughing non-stop with him. I just had to say that because I think it is hilarious.
For now this is it. We still have half week of training before we go to the Open tourney in Joao Pessoa and hopefully we will do greater than before.
I want to thank all of you who emailed me, facebook me, twitter me and are following me and cheering for me all this time. Thanks so very much!
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. :)