WRITTEN BY ABBY AREND
My name is Abby Arend and I'm an incoming freshman at Ohio University. This has been an amazing 20 days to begin my college career. We're now in Maribor, Slovenia, a place I knew not a whole lot about not long ago.
Maribor is the heart of the Slovenian wine growing region, and the oldest vine in the world is located in town. Something we have learned during our trip is that Europeans take the production of wine very seriously. There are universities where you can actually study wine.
On June 12th, we arrived in Maribor. After a long day of travel, our Ohio White team played against the Maribor Club Team. This team was the toughest serving team we have seen so far on our European Tour. We dropped the first three sets but finished with a strong win in the fourth set. Dinner that night was spent outside looking out at the sunset.
The next day we took the ski lift up to the top of a mountain that was just feet away from our hotel and rode the alpine slide down. This was a part of the trip I was looking forward to since we received the itinerary. It was so fun to see the team go down the slide! On the little cart you would sit in, there was a lever that you would pull to slow down or stop and push to go faster. The challenge was to go down without using your brake. I have to admit I wasn't one of the girls who went without braking - don't worry it was safe if you didn't brake.
After a tough loss the night before, the white team ended with a 4-0 victory against the same Maribor Club team. The green team battled against the U20 Polish National team in four sets but fell short. That night's dinner was by far my favorite yet. We rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain and enjoyed a big buffet style dinner. Not only was the food incredible, but the view was as well. Out of all the views we have seen, this one truly took my breath away!
Friday- our last day in Maribor - was a busy one. We took a nine mile bike ride, played against the U20 Polish National team again and spent the evening at the Doppler Winery. My favorite part of that night was watching the sunset over the vineyard, another breathtaking view!
Maribor is definitely somewhere I would never have thought about visiting before this trip but now I want to bring my family here! Maribor's location amidst the wine growing hills has created a sense of awe in every single player, coach, and parent. Our view from dinner on the mountain, the winery, and even the hotel have far surpassed anything I've ever seen before.
As an incoming freshmen, this has been an incredible opportunity to grow closer with my class as well as the upperclassmen and coaches. Not that many freshmen get the opportunity Ohio Volleyball has given us. I am so thankful to experience something as amazing as this. The bond my teammates and I already share will only grow from here. Thank you to every single person who made it possible for us to travel the world together. This will be something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Now the Bobcats are off to our last stop; Prague. We are looking forward to what's to come, we are so thankful for what we've already experienced, and we are loving every second of the journey.
In just a few days we will be home sharing all of our amazing stories. So until then, number 11 is signing off. Thank you for following our journey and go Bobcats!