May 13, 2005
Notre Dame’s official athletic website, www.und.com, will be the place to follow the University of Notre Dame women’s volleyball team, as it ventures on a four-country tour of central and southern Europe from May 13-26. The Irish will visit the Czech Republic (Prague), Austria (Vienna), Slovenia (Maribor), and Italy (Venice, Pesaro, Falconara, and Rome), doing sightseeing and playing six matches. Frequent updates from the road – including photo galleries and diaries in the words of the student-athletes – will be posted on und.com over the next two weeks.
After completing final exams last week, the nine members of the Irish slated to return for the 2005 season, as well as the coaches, reconvened on Friday, May 13. The travel party – which numbers 14 initially, but will grow to be 18 – will fly from South Bend to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, then on to London Heathrow Airport, and finally into Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The team will play two matches there (May 15 and 16) against the Czech National Team before making the four-hour trip to Vienna, Austria on May 17.
The following day it will be on to Maribor, Slovenia, nestled on the eastern side of the Alps, where the party will stay at the base of the ski resort on Pohorje Mountain that annually plays host to a World Cup ski race. Matches #3 (May 19) and #4 (May 20) – both against the Slovenian National Team – will take place there, before the Irish enter Italy, arriving in Venice on May 21. There, they will visit St. Mark’s Square and navigate the city’s famed waterways on canal “buses.”
A day later it is on to the coastal beach towns of Pesaro and Falconara, where the team will be based for two days, playing matches on May 22 and 23 in the hotbed of Italian volleyball. The 24th will see the Irish arrive at its final destination, Rome. There the team will visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Vatican City. The Irish will then return to the United States on May 26 and head to their respective homes for the summer.