Flying the Really Friendly Skies

Sept. 25, 2009, 12:06 p.m. (ET)

USA vs. Brazil Match #2 September 24, 2009

Chris Jackson. Photo by Julian Baum/USAVNight No. 2 in Montes Claros on paper looked like a sweep to anyone who saw the box score; but what the score doesn’t tell you is that in Set 2, we had a swing to tie the match up 1-1 against Brazil with Giba on the floor.

Our young guys showed a ton of heart the way they battled back in the second set, trading blows with the high-powered offense of Brazil. We had some new faces on the court for Team USA, Brian Thornton as setter, and Alfee Reft at libero. As I explained in my last blog, I can’t tell you enough how great of an opportunity this is for us to be here with a younger team playing against Brazil in this kind of atmosphere. Our guys showed a ton of heart and composure so far. I don’t want to sit here and make excuses for us being 0-2. I really think with how much experience gained from each match, we can make the adjustments needed to win some matches down here. Heck, we still have 3 more to go!    

I think we are all really getting used to the treatment shown to us down here in Brazil. The Brazil Volleyball Federation has been great for us on this trip and made every sacrifice to make sure our needs are met. Can’t say enough how amazing they have been for us.

Today was a travel day for both teams; we left from Montes Claros to Uberlandia mid afternoon on our own chartered jet…. yep that’s right, our OWN chartered jet. Brazil traveled earlier than us and was flown the hour to Uberlandia then the jet returned back to the airport to pick us up. We really didn’t know what to expect for the flight, but none of us expected to be driven onto the runway where we waited for the jet to pick us up. We got off the bus and walked right up and onto the jet and within 10 minutes of it touching down we were off to Uberlandia!

A one-hour flight later we arrived in Uberlandia where we walked off the jet and right into the bus and drove to the hotel. We ate a quick lunch and headed off to practice! We are really enjoying this day off in Brazil and trying to soak up each minute and learn from every opportunity – both players and new staff.

Until tomorrow…