The game we played on Monday was a fantastic one and we are excited about the progressions we are making every set we play together. As I mentioned in the last post, we met against Guto and Oscar who are a top 10 Brazilian team. They are both 6'6 six, solid athletes who tear on their jump serves. The Brazilian tour ball is smaller, heavier and bouncier so the locals crush their serves and spikes harder than in the international leagues making it more challenging for us to play with a new ball. Ray and I lost the first set, won the second, lost the third and in a super close fourth, lost in overtime. Regardless of the final more heated loss, we were pleased with our aggressive service and sideout play. Our coach has been focusing on improving our confidence and our new and elevated posture won us a few intense rallies and pushed us closer to the team we are capable of being.
With Ray quazi bed ridden since Tuesday morning, we were unable to play against the top swiss team and had to deal with the complications of being removed from an international tournament roster. To add to the complexity, our coach had given the local government the thumbs up to go into the area close to our court to resolve some profound sewage problems in the sand. This means our court is currently half dug up by a massive excavator. The court should be fixed by Monday, but in the mean time I am peaking with my weight lifting program and running the most intense sand intervals of my life. With two months of periodized strength and power conditioning, I am the leanest and quickest I have ever been and I feel my playing style is far more explosive. The time it takes for me to recover from high intensity exercises is impressively shorter than when I started, so long rallies and running up to the net to block every game is a far more simple task. The more games we play, the easier it is for us to make points and cohere on our quicker more varied offense. Come April 20th in Brazilia, we will be a very forceful team.
Lastly, I am pleased to share that after speaking with Lululemon's team apparel program, w will now be sporting a full array of Lulu gear. I have also been working with Adil Amlani (my trusted designer for everything) and we have come up with logo's for our team apparel. We just printed a test pair of game shorts here in Brazil and the outcome is incredible. We will be committing to printing our entire game and training wardrobe shortly and then will be working with a professional photographer next week for team shots. I will post the photos as quickly as possible!!
Thanks for all the support!