First off we want to say that we are deeply sorry for the lack of updates on this blog. This summer has been one of the busiest and hectic summers we’ve had in a while. That coupled with a lack of internet access does not make blogging very easy.
Let’s dive into a whole summer of updates!
Gstaad, Switzerland: This was our first FIVB event of the season and in true Mauritian fashion we like to dive into our season head first, straight into a Grand Slam tournament. Similar to our previous tournaments, due to our lack of points, we met up with the top team in the qualification bracket. The team we ended up drawing we were actually familiar with and had encountered them last year at the A1 Grand Slam. In our second show down they still proved to be a power house to contend with and we lost 12-21, 9-21.
Marseilles, France: Since we have been practicing in France this tournament was a relatively short drive away. Of all the places, this should have been like home court advantage. Unfortunately the advantage was not ours. Actually there was an interesting string of events that happened during this tournament. Usually the technical meeting is the night before of the competition to figure out which teams showed up. It is also a time when we figure out who and when we play the next day. So leaving the technical meeting we saw that we had the first match of the day at 9am against Poland.The day of the competition we get there and have a great warm-up. Do the usual coin toss and everything is under-way as usual. Just was we are about to start the game, the technical director comes to stop all the games starting at 9am to tell us that they have to re-do the whole seeding and game scheduling due to two teams that was late and should have been included in the tournament.
It took a while to get it all sorted out and had to wait another 30 mins until we find out that we are playing Sweden. By this time we have already cooled down and need to warm up again. That’s when your adapting skills come in handy. The ability to adapt to all the changes and uncertainties that come your way is really what separates the good from the great. This is definitely a skill we still need to work on and from each tournament. With some good rallying and tough serving, Sweden took us 2-0 sets.
Klagenfurt, Austria: This has to be my most favourite place to play so far. The tournament site and organization is unreal. You honestly feel very special in this town. I’ve mentioned this before but it really needs to be said again, the people here are uber nice. The family we met last year even helped us with a place to stay and even lent us bikes to be able to get to the tournament site.
During this tournament we went head to head with Spain. Klagenfurt was also our best showing so far in terms of the way we played even if the score (15-21, 10-21) was not indicative of how we felt after the match. We had more aces and construction of plays than ever before.
Stare Jablonski, Poland: This tournament is renown for being hosted in small town Poland. This year it received the nod to be considered a Grand Slam. The head to head match here in the first round of the qualifications was Mauritius vs. Russia. There were some tricky plays on both sides and some long rallies. The final score was 13-21 and 12-21.
Poland rounds off our 2010 season. It is unfortunate that we could not play in the open tournaments which would also help with getting more experience. The honest fact is that we could not afford to do any more.
There have been some improvements this season and even more things to work on. Our long term goal is to be ready for Africa which we are still waiting to find out when the tournaments will be held.