The Volley Trolley Tour

What started as Jack and Dave's volleyball Tour in '04 has grown into VolleyTrolley Enterprises. We play beach volleyball and cruise around in a 1983 Airstream RV. It ain't terrible.

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Location: Venice Beach, California, United States

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Slovak Elite Tour

We weren't feeling so elite after a couple early losses in the Czech Republic. Such losses can make a team wonder why they're in Europe playing events for six weeks. Aside from one fluke win in Pnov (we were down 14-11 in the third) we were o-for-everything in the meaningful events of the past couple weeks.

Most countries guard their national tours from foreigners. Czech Republic had been a strong exception the past two weeks, and their organizers pulled some strings to get me and Jack into a Slovak Elite Tour event. It had been on our calendar, but without the personal assist, we probably couldn't have found the event, let alone properly signed up for it.

All we knew was that the event took place in Piestany. We took a remarkably inexpensive 2-hour train from Brno and began walking towards town to find a Slovak ATM.

There was a sand volleyball court in the town center alongside a river, but the slight drizzle kept it empty. We dodged the heavy rain in a Chinese restaurant, then set about looking for a tournament. We looked more closely at the court for any signage or players, but found nothing. A block away, Jack noticed some construction and said we were there. Good sized bleachers and a temporary court held together with railroad ties were being put up on a parking lot, AVP-style. The bleachers weren't quite as substantial, but they weren't small. Definitely bigger than we expected.

The tournament director was working and greeted us warmly. We were told to meet there the following morning for a ride to the Qualifier. We didn't have a place to stay yet, but there was plenty of daylight in which to look around. At least we knew we'd get a chance to compete.


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