PictureQuiroga ignited the fans, time after time.
He went hard and he went sharp but I was there and this will always be with me, my introduction to the Super League here in Brazil.

My arms absorbed what felt like each panel of the ball and time was lost for a moment as the ball was on a mission to the top of the dome. Time eventually caught back up as the ball found Ricardo’s hands, delivering a frozen rope overhead to Lorena and the point was ours.  It felt like championship point with the crowd’s response and just like that, I was ignited with every ounce of passion that was inside trapped inside our gym.

The game slowed down, the ball stopped rotating and every time the ball crossed the net it was coming to me, this feeling of being so engulfed by the moment was such an amazing feeling and the thrill was exemplified knowing 4,000 people wanted us to succeed with every inch of their body.

http://instagram.com/p/dnxJdNSss8/  (Video of what it looked and sounded like inside the dome)

The final ball of the match went off the block and into the stands after my failed pursuit of it, another step and we could have had a chance to even the score. It was disappointing but the overwhelming feeling was of confidence and pride. We had worked so hard leading up to the match and I know the team has worked so hard before my arrival preparing for that night, the return of Super League volleyball to Maringa. There were questions about how large the support would be but the city packed the gym, fully committing themselves to each play as if it was the last, so much so that my hearing was partially impaired at the end of the 4th set.

After the match it was an overflow of love, even though we lost in 4, I was able to stay and meet so many amazing fans, all with smiles ear to ear. I was able to speak with some and I hope by the end of the year my tongue will be much more cultured. Besides having the opportunity to train and play at such a high level, I am so excited about absorbing as much as I can with the culture here while doing my best to learn Portuguese. With the week winding to an end, I can’t help feel restless and anxious for Monday to come around and to once again have the opportunity to get better and prepare for the next time the lights come on in Chico Neto Gymnasium. 

The atmosphere was amazing, I love the passion!

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