PHOTO GALLERY FROM DAY 6
More information/schedule of the Hornets' trip
Monday marked the final full day for the Sacramento State Volleyball team in Nanjing. Despite a steady rain that turned into a downpour at times, the day did not disappoint.
The Hornets were set for an off-day on Monday, but an opportunity for an extra scrimmage was too good to pass up. The team made an early morning trip to the Jiangsu Provincial Training Center to take on the region's junior women's volleyball club.
Potentially the most talented team the Hornets have faced thus far, Jiangsu won the match, 3-1 (25-20, 27-29, 25-10, 25-15).
Seniors Morgan Stanley and Madeline Cannon led the offense, notching 12 and seven kills, respectively. Sophomore Brie Gathright was efficient in the middle, hitting .667 (four kills) for the match and senior Courtney Dietrich added five kills and a .429 hitting percentage. Libero Lexie Skalbeck had two of the Hornets' three aces.
The highlight of the day, however, was a visit to Nanjing Lang Ya Road Primary School for a volleyball clinic. After a warm welcome by the students and a presentation of gifts between school administrators and head coach Ruben Volta, the Hornets hosted a clinic for an hour with dozens of primary school students.
The evening was highlighted by dinner, singing, dancing and a calligraphy performance by the students of the school following the clinic.
Editor's note: The 'smallest' of the three cities during the Hornets' trip, Nanjing has a metropolitan population of just over 8 million (roughly the population of New York) and a total of 34 million citizens in the greater Nanjing region.
Despite its immense population base, the city is far from a concrete jungle. Located in a temperate region that receives roughly 40 inches of rain a year, the city is green and lush with vegetation, trees, lakes and the Yangtze River. Like Shanghai, the city skyline lights up at night with video and colors illuminating the evening sky.
The Hornets' travel party of 27 had no singular concept of what they would see when arriving in China, but it is clear the trip, thus far, has been a series of wonderful surprises around every corner.
DAY 6 PLAYER BLOG
Senior Courtney Dietrich
It was a very early morning for the Hornets on our last full day Nanjing. We had a quick breakfast and then hit the road to play against a Chinese youth professional team, which was a little over an hour drive from our hotel. We got to the gym and began our usual game warm up. Then we exchanged gifts with the other team, handing out Sacramento State Volleyball t-shirts.
It was a really exciting game that we played against the Chinese youth pro team. Ruben (Volta) started all four seniors and it was very memorable to be on the floor with the girls who have been by my side the past four years. We fell short the first set, bounced back to beat them, 29-27, in the second, but lost the last two sets. They were one of the top youth professional teams in China and very talented. A funny highlight of the match happened when Lana jumped up to block a ball that went through her hands, bounced off her forehead and shot out of bounds! Although we didn't get the point, we all got a good laugh at the moment. The girl that hit it felt terrible and repeatedly apologized to Lana.
Later that day, the Hornets visited Nanjing Lang Ya Primary school and put on a volleyball clinic for the children. We walked into the gym with children on both sides of us waving their school flag and singing in Chinese. The atmosphere in the gym was unbelievable and filled with so much joy, not only from the children, but their parents as well. The players split up into small groups and worked with the children on their passing, setting and defense. They were between 7 and 12 years old and very talented.
We began playing Queen of the Court and each player paired with two children. They all laughed when Maddie couldn't quite dig a ball so she kicked it up and over the net! They couldn't believe their eyes and the place got insanely loud from the 40-plus children in the gym. After we were done playing, the children were very generous handing out gifts to all the players. The children were running around handing out suckers, bags and flags with their school logo on it. We eventually managed to calm things down and took a photo with the kids. Soon enough, the gym was loud again with the children running from player to player asking for our autographs. Their excitement had all of us grinning from ear to ear.
We then headed to a different part of their school to have dinner with kids. We enjoyed pizza and had small talk with them, although most of the kids didn't speak a lot of English. We then enjoyed watching performances from the children. Some of them sang, danced, played the piano and drew amazing Chinese artwork. Our team particularly enjoyed when one of the little girls started dancing to a hip-hop song. Brie was in the corner bobbing her head to the song, and she eventually was convinced by the girl's Mom to go out there and dance alongside her daughter. For those of you who don't know, Brie is one of the best dancers on the team. Although, tonight, Brie couldn't keep up with the girl and opted out 15 seconds later.
All of the parents and kids got a good laugh, but applauded Brie's attempt. Things began to wind down and we signed some more autographs and eventually parted ways. These children welcomed us with open hearts and made us feel at home. Needless to say, we are going to sleep with full and happy hearts tonight.
I want to thank everyone who contributed to our program and made this trip possible! We couldn't have done it without you! This trip has already been one of the most amazing experiences, and we're only halfway done. Thank you so much and Go Hornets!
Day 5 Recap/Player Blogs
Day 4 Recap/Player Blogs
Day 3 Recap/Player Blog
Day 1-2 Recap/Player Blogs
September 20, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS BIG SKY PLAY THIS WEEK WITH TWO MATCHES
September 16, 2017 VOLLEYBALL CONCLUDES NEVADA TOURNAMENT WITH 3-2 NAIL BITING LOSS TO MISSOURI
September 15, 2017 VOLLEYBALL HAS WINNING STREAK SNAPPED IN LOSS TO PEPPERDINE
September 14, 2017 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO RENO FOR THREE MATCHES, BEGINNING THURSDAY AT NEVADA
September 14, 2017 WINNING STREAK AT 6 STRAIGHT! VOLLEYBALL DOWNS NEVADA ON THE ROAD, 3-1
September 12, 2017 FIVE WINS IN A ROW! VOLLEYBALL DOWNS SAN FRANCISCO, 3-1
September 11, 2017 KURTZ AND MURDOCK SWEEP THE BIG SKY VOLLEYBALL WEEKLY AWARDS
September 9, 2017 VOLLEYBALL WINS 3RD STRAIGHT, BEATS NORTHERN KENTUCKY, 3-1
September 9, 2017 VOLLEYBALL BEATS SEATTLE, 3-1, COMPLETES PERFECT TOURNAMENT
September 8, 2017 ANOTHER COMEBACK WIN FOR VOLLEYBALL, THIS TIME OVER BOWLING GREEN, 3-2
September 5, 2017 VOLLEYBALL STORMS BACK, KNOCKS OFF UC DAVIS ON THE ROAD, 3-2
September 2, 2017 VOLLEYBALL FALLS TO 10TH-RANKED BYU
September 1, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS BOISE TOURNAMENT WITH 3-1 LOSS TO MISSOURI
September 1, 2017 VOLLEYBALL DROPS HEARTBREAKING 3-2 ROAD DECISION AT BOISE STATE
August 31, 2017 VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO BOISE FOR THREE MATCHES IN TWO DAYS
August 30, 2017 VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN HOME OPENER TO PACIFIC, 3-1
August 28, 2017 LANA BROWN NAMED BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
August 25, 2017 VOLLEYBALL OPENS SEASON WITH 3-2 VICTORY OVER UCONN
August 7, 2017 VOLLEYBALL SEASON ON THE HORIZON; PRACTICES BEGIN AUG. 8
June 10, 2017 VOLLEYBALL’S FINAL DAY IN CHINA; TWO MORE BLOGS
May 19, 2017 VOLLEYBALL RELEASES ITS 2017 SCHEDULE