May 16, 2009
Editor’s note: During the Notre Dame women’s basketball team’s 10-day foreign tour of Europe, senior guard Melissa Lechlitner will file a daily diary after talking by phone with the South Bend Tribune’s Curt Rallo. Following are Lechlitner’s thoughts on the trip.
Buonanotte! Today we played against a team in Rome, and it was probably the least competitive game on the tour. We won by about 50 points (94-39). We got to watch the guys game before us, and that was interesting.
We really played well on the tour. We’ve been working hard in the off-season on our defense. It’s good for us to finally see what it looks like in a real game-like situation. It’s good to see the hard work we’ve been doing pay off. We’re taking a whole new mindset for the season. Our focus is on defense. We can see how much it’s helped us with this tour. Granted, the season is far away, but it’s going to be an exciting season.
Today, we started out in Florence. We woke up, had breakfast, and a few of us went and saw the statue of David. It’s right in the middle of town.
We actually didn’t see the real statue of David. The real one was moved indoors, because of the acid rain, it was starting to deteriorate. So they have a replica outside, but we’re like, OK, we’re going to tell everybody we saw the real one.
The statue of David is surrounded by a bunch of other statues, most of them reference to wars. It’s awesome. It’s really exciting. I love seeing statues, architecture and paintings, things that are world renowned, seeing them in person.
I can’t wait to see (the movie) “Angels and Demons”. When they show all those places in Rome, I’ll be saying, `Been there, done that.’ It’ll be fun. When we were in the Louvre, (Irish assistant coach Angie Barber) tried to find all the things from the Da Vinci Code.
Going from Florence to Rome was another four or five-hour bus ride. This one was a little more exciting.
The bus stopped for gas, and the front of the bus, the coaches and staff, they all got out to go to the restroom. While they were gone, Brittany Mallory and Becca Bruszewski were talking, and then Brittany started tapping Becca to mess with her, and then I started egging them on. Before you know it, they started wrestling. It was totally friendly, but it was intense. We got it on film. It was quite entertaining. We even did post-match interviews. Brittany surprisingly won. The fiesty underdog came in with the headlock. She’s flexing right now. I don’t think her wrestling moves will fly in a game, but maybe we can call WWE and set something up for her there.
We’re on the outskirts of Rome. It was still light when we came in, but we didn’t see much. We went straight to the gym. Tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday, we’ll see all the sights of the city, the Vatican, the Colosseum. I can’t wait.