VOLLEYBALL USES OFF DAY TO TRAVEL TO BEIJING; DAY 7 PLAYER BLOGS

VOLLEYBALL USES OFF DAY TO TRAVEL TO BEIJING; DAY 7 PLAYER BLOGS

DAY 7 PHOTO GALLERY

More information/schedule of the Hornets' trip

After playing four matches in four days, the Hornets took the first of two consecutive days off, traveling by bullet train to Beijing.

Once in Beijing, the team travelled to the Beijing Silk Market for a few hours of shopping and dinner.

Tomorrow, the Hornets will visit the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square.

Sacramento State has four days remaining on its 11-day tour of China, including two more matches. The Hornets will play Beijing Sports University on June 8, followed by a matchup with Beihang University on June 9. Other stops during the next few days include the Great Wall of China, and visits to Nanluoguoxiang and other Hutongs.

DAY 7 PLAYER BLOGS

Sophomore Lana Brown

Today began with an assortment of unusual breakfast items that I have come quite fond of during our stay in China. Plenty of dumplings, fruits, bacon and foods I don't know the name of find their way to my plate as we eat breakfast while overlooking the city of Nanjing. After breakfast, we prepared to board the bullet train for our four hour trip to Beijing. The only problem was we had only two minutes to board the train. Thankfully no one got left behind and everyone found their way to a seat.

The majority of this day was spent traveling, which allowed me to reflect on the time spent here. The highly anticipated shopping ventures and competition from the foreign teams have been fantastic, but the memories I've made in China outshine any deal or success on the court.

At the most unexpected times, I've made encounters that will be forever in my heart. The first was a shy young girl I met after a dinner in Nanjing. After performing with Julia on stage, I put on the song Baby by Justin Bieber. I casually sat next to a little girl sitting all by herself at a table near the stage. I started singing to her, and although she didn't know any English, she knew a little bit of the chorus and shyly began singing along. I got her to come on stage with me and we finished the song together even though she didn't know the majority of the words. Seeing her have fun and sharing a moment like that with a sweet young girl made my trip even more incredible than I imagined.

The second encounter was playing the piano with a young elementary school girl from Nanjing. Not knowing any English, the little girl didn't say a word. However, when it was her turn to play the piano in front of our team, I was the one left speechless. For such a young girl, she played so beautifully. When all the girls finished performing their talent show for us, I asked if she wanted to play with me and motioned to the piano. Although we didn't speak the same language, we could relate to each other with music. That is also why I feel so blessed to play volleyball. I have been able to relate and share the same love for the game with women and girls who are oceans away. As we continue our adventure in China, I look forward to every new experience and hope to make many more memories.

Sophomore Brie Gathright

Waking up at 6:45 a.m. was how we started our last day in the city of Nanjing. Packing is usually very stressful for me, but I did most of it the night before. Leaving my luggage in my room, I went to experience the amazing buffet that our hotel offered. It's not every day you have the choice of eating both Western and Eastern foods at the same time!

When I was finished eating and pestering (assistant coach) Aven, I went back to my hotel room to pick up my luggage and head to the lobby. We were told to meet as a group at 7:40 a.m. and leave on a bus at 7:50 a.m. It seems on this trip we are striving to do the opposite of being punctual as there has not been a single trip where our group has left on time. I find this to be very humorous as I'm usually one of the players who arrives last to the meeting area. So far during this trip, I have not been late once! I believe that I deserve a pat on the back.

Today, we were traveling from Nanjing to the city of Beijing. I was excited because we would be stopping at the Silk Market. According to our tour guide, Chris, this is one of the places we wanted to save our money to spend. Before we could get to that though, we had to travel for an hour by bus and then travel by train for three and a half hours. The ride on the train didn't seem long because I sat next to Chris, Kennedy, Ruben, Carter and Mark. They were very funny and kept me laughing.

Eventually we got off the train, and headed out of the station. We had quite a long walk (it felt like) from the station to the bus, and by the end of that walk, I was sweating. When we reached the bus, I noticed that I was struggling with one of my luggage bags. I looked at it and realized that one of my wheels was pretty much ripped off! I had been dragging it from the station to the bus! The good news is that when we got to the Silk Market, I got to buy a whole new luggage piece that rolls around on four wheels. For me, that is an UPGRADE!

The rest of my experience at the Silk Market was fun since I like bargaining for cheaper prices. A theory of mine is that the vendors believe that we don't know the products are knockoffs. Why else would they originally charge so much? It's really ridiculous but it sort of brings a funny twist to shopping. The person who sold me my luggage was originally trying to charge me 1600 yen, although when Mikaela and I gave him our max offer, he lowered it to 500. Other than purchasing a few more trinkets, I'm DONE with shopping.

We left the Silk Market by bus and reached the JW Marriott Hotel around 9ish (at this point, I wasn't keeping track of time). The hotel is really nice and I appreciate this experience in China a great deal. I'm ending another day happy, especially because I feel like I got a great deal on the luggage!

Day 6 Recap/Player Blog

Day 5 Recap/Player Blogs

Day 4 Recap/Player Blogs

Day 3 Recap/Player Blog

Day 1-2 Recap/Player Blogs