The University of Minnesota volleyball team left Prague in the morning around 8:30 a.m. to head to Brno, Czech Republic to start the fifth day of the tour. Before the team left the entire traveling party gathered together in the front of the hotel to take a picture.
Following the picture, the Golden Gophers went back to a familiar process in an unfamiliar country, as they bussed about three hours to Brno. Minnesota often busses from one Big Ten city to another during the course of conference play. However, rarely do the Golden Gophers play their opponent right when they get off the bus.
Minnesota arrived in Brno, where it will stay the next couple of days. The Golden Gophers played the best team on paper that it has faced in the tour thus far in OK Brno. To go along with the fact that it was the best team, it was also probably the best facility that Minnesota had played in during the tour. OK Brno was the Czech League champion last year, and according to the tour organizer has started to surpass Olymp Praha as the most consistently successful team year in and year out in the Czech League. In fact, their coach is also the Slovenian National Team Coach.
The Golden Gophers lost in four games to OK Brno by scores of 26-24, 20-25, 25-19, 25-16. The teams played one more game following that, which Minnesota won 25-17. Minnesota is now 1-2 on the tour so far.
Following the game, the team checked in at the hotel and grabbed lunch in the hotel restaurant. After the meal, everyone had free time until about 7:30 p.m. to do what ever they wanted to do. Some players walked around the city, while others used the time to rest.
The team went to dinner at a Czech restaurant a couple blocks from the hotel. Following the dinner, they had free time to rest or walk around the city. The first four days of the tour were nonstop matches, meals and sightseeing. Following the conclusion of the Brno match the team has some down time over the next day or so. They will not play a match until Monday when the Golden Gophers play in Maribor against the Croatian Junior National team.
On Saturday, Minnesota will have its first full day without a match since they have arrived in the Czech Republic. The Golden Gophers will take a tour around Brno in the afternoon. Brno is definitely a city with a different look then Prague. It is the second biggest city in the Czech Republic, but it has more of Czech feel to it. In Prague, there were a lot of tourists (including our traveling party) throughout the city. Most of the people that we encounter in Brno are Czech Republic residents. Currently Brno is undergoing a lot of construction, as there are many additions to the city that are taking place.
After Saturday, Minnesota will head to Vienna, Austria where the Golden Gophers will stay for a day before they head to Maribor, Slovenia. Minnesota will stay in Maribor until the final day when they wrap up the trip in Venice, Italy for a day.
The Minnesota volleyball team lost to the defending Czech Republic League champions, OK Brno, in four games by scores of 26-24, 20-25, 25-19, 25-16 on Friday, June 16 in Brno, Czech Republic. The two teams also agreed to play fifth game, which Minnesota won 25-17.
Minnesota jumped out to an early 11-8 lead in the first game, but OK Brno battled back to tie it at 13. The Golden Gophers rattled off four of the next five points to take a 17-14 lead. OK Brno cut it to 17-16, but back-to-back kills from Meghan Cumpston (Red Bluff, Calif.) gave Minnesota a 19-16 lead.
The Golden Gophers maintained that lead at 21-18, before OK Brno scored the four points to take its first lead of the game at 22-21. OK Brno pushed the lead to 24-22 to make it game point. However, the Golden Gophers scored the next two points to tie the game at 24. OK Brno claimed game one 26-24 by scoring consecutive points to close it out.
Minnesota took an early 10-9 lead in game two, but OK Brno scored five of the next six points to take a 14-11 lead. OK Brno moved ahead 16-13, before the Golden Gophers scored the next three points to tie the game at 16. With the game tied at 18, Minnesota went on a 6-2 run to push it to game point at 24-20. Jessy Jones (Naperville, Ill.) and Kelly Bowman (Maple Grove, Minn.) combined on a block to give the Golden Gophers the game to tie the match at one game apiece.
The Golden Gophers fell behind 10-9 early in the third game. OK Brno scored five of the next six points to extend its lead to 15-10. With the score at 18 -14, Minnesota scored the next three points to cut it to 18-17 punctuated by a kill from Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Ill.). Minnesota trailed 20-19, before OK Brno scored the final five points to close out the game to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In game four, OK Brno jumped out to a 20-10 lead on the Golden Gophers. Minnesota scored six of the next nine points to cut it to 23-16, before OK Brno scored the final two points to claim the game 25-16 over the Golden Gophers.
Minnesota won a fifth game in similar fashion by a scored of 25-17. The Golden Gophers jumped out to 20-9 lead. OK Brno cut it to 21-16, but Minnesota scored four of the final five points of the game for a the 25-17 game-five victory.
The Golden Gophers next match will be on Monday, June 19 when it faces the Croatian National Team in Maribor, Slovenia.
Krista Chin's Diary:
This morning we headed south to Brno. It is one of the larger cities in the Czech Republic, yet a smaller tourist city. Immediately after getting on the bus, each player fell asleep for the two hour drive. Upon arriving to Brno, we headed straight to the gym for a noon match. OK Brno beat us in four games, but we ended up playing a fifth game, which we won. Katie Vatterrodt really played a great match today.
This afternoon we had the opportunity to walk around and do some shopping. Many of the girls fell in love with a clothing store called Zara. They all found pants that were not long enough; I luckily don’t need to worry about that! The shopping area in Brno is not as big compared to Prague so some of us stayed in the hotel to rest.
For dinner we enjoyed a typical American meal of chicken and fries. Tomorrow we will get the chance to sightsee and have a day off from volleyball.