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

Monday, July 14, 2008

Piestany Pressure

I'd researched some hotels and smaller places (called Pensions) to crash in. The few alongside the center court were pricey or full, so we grabbed a taxi. Over the next 90 minutes, we had popped into over a dozen places, finding them either pricey or full. We ended up getting dropped off exactly where we'd hailed the cab, which the driver found pretty amusing. We checked into a pricey hotel for the night, and had reserved a nice Pension a lovely 5-minute walk across the river from the main court for the following three nights. The town of Piestany is world-famous for its thermal mud, spas, massage -- we were going to stick around regardless of performance. And the dollar goes further in Slovakia than even in Czech Republic.

We didn't talk much about our prospects in the qualifier. There wasn't much point: if we lost again in the qualifier there'd be no reason to even find out what prize money we'd missed out on. The Tournament Director Shaff picked us up the following morning and drove us 10 minutes to an abandoned cross between a Medevil Times restaurant and a prairy farm house. After the meeting, held in Slovak, we again got in the car and headed to a different site to our court. Three out of twenty teams in the Qualifier would advance. Since our location had only one court, our bracket of eight teams would only produce one Qualifier. Yikes.

In our first game we were as focused as could be -- I hardly realized until after the match that our opponants were high school aged and not super strong. We badly needed the vic.

Our second opponants were two big guys who obviously played quite a bit. Probably more indoor, but it was an overcast still day -- not many beach elements to deal with. Jack and I sided out well and were at 7-all in the first game when I had a terrible, or great thought creeping into my head: 'We could lose to this team.' This team was stronger than the one we'd lost to in Pnov. We could be eliminated in the qualifier of two small land-locked countries without long histories in beach volleyball. And losing this early would mean not even getting a workout in for the day.

I decided to whack a few jump serves, and the difference between my usual fluff serve and the whacking seemed to set them off kilter. So did Jack running off the court and onto the grass to set a dig of mine. We got a couple point lead and held 'em off to take the first game.

Normally Jack serves first for us but I began game two at the service line. We got up two-nil at which point I drilled a serve into the net. But the seed was sown -- they were arguing about whose ball was whose on serve receive, and Jack took full advantage. He floated the dominant player some serves practically down the middle. With that player now crowding the middle, Jack mixed in one down the now-vacant sideline, which was foul-tipped into the not-so-nearby hedge. An earned 2-0 vic for me and Jack. No Airstream, but we were getting rolling...


Blogger konhEm said...

Where did you finally stay? It is good idea to check accommodation before your journey, if possible..

1:52 AM  

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