May 14, 2012

 

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MARIBOR, Slovenia – The Miami University volleyball team spent its final day in Maribor giving back to the community as it held a couple of clinics for the local youth. The team also had a final day to explore the city and got to participate in a wine tasting. To talk about Sunday’s activities, here are sophomores Meg Riley and Tori Clifford.

Hello from Slovenia!

This is Meg and Tori, today was more of a laid back day to recover from all the activity we have had the past two days. Some of us went to church. The church was old and built in the 1600s. It was a very neat place to have mass. After church we stopped by a little café where we had espresso and lattes as we waited for the taxi. After that we held two one-hour youth clinics. The first clinic was for ages 8-12. We started out with a fun warm-up, circle the wagon, that the kids really got into it and so did we. Then we split them into groups and had stations that included serving, passing and defense, hitting, and setting. The little girls were really excited to learn and despite the language barrier we were still able to communicate with them through demonstrations. Most of them knew at least a little English and those that knew English better than others would translate what we were saying. Their coach would also come over and help when necessary. The second group was ages 13-16. They were more skilled and able to do advanced drills. At the end of the clinic they scrimmaged and there were many great rallies and plays. They seemed very appreciative and even taught us some of their language. At the setting station we played rock paper scissors while setting to work on seeing things other than the ball while setting and the girls told us how to say the words in their language. Sadly, I do not know how to spell them. We also learned good job, hurry, mine and many other words. After the clinic the girls wanted to trade shirts, so we scurried around finding Miami volleyball shirts to trade with them, and they all seemed thrilled to get a shirt. Many of the little girls also wanted autographs. The whole experience was great for everyone involved.

In the afternoon, we had free time. We went to downtown Maribor and explored. Most of the shops were closed, but it was still awesome just to see the area. We walked down to the river and saw a synagogue that’s earliest written recording is from 1402. There were also pictures in the center of the square from the 1930s, and it appears as if nothing has changed except instead of horse-drawn carriages there are cars.

For dinner we went to a winery on the top of a mountain. The view was spectacular with a 360-degree view. The wine tasting was fantastic. The winery is a third generation family owned business. They described to us how they make their wine and their specific technology. We just happened to have a wine maker with us, who told us how impressive and first class the wine system was.  It was a once in a lifetime experience.  All in all another great day on the Miami volleyball trip to Europe trip.