Last week, I was told that the Charlotte women's volleyball team was going to take a bus ride up to the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships. Knowing that I would be traveling with them to the tournament, I went into a brief panic. I don't regularly travel with volleyball for budgetary reasons, but I do go with baseball in the spring when they play road games. I also know that men's soccer made it a bus trip last week to Rhode Island for their conference tournament. I know they had a huge sleeper bus, but that's a long way to ride. At least the travel party for volleyball is about 20 so we all get to stretch out in our own seats.
The reason I panicked was because a nine-plus hour bus ride means I'll have to fill lots of time. I went out and bought a game for my Playstation Portable and hit the library for a couple of novels. I also got a pocket Sudoku game to keep my interest. We play hearts on the bus with baseball, so I don't fuss with entertaining myself on the bus with baseball. I am not a fan of getting on my computer while on the bus as it wears my eyes out quickly, but I will if I have to write a post-game story and release it to the media.
Unlike the players, I cannot sleep on moving vehicles easily. Planes and cars aren't good for me for sleeping, but I found I can sleep on trains with ease. I also brought the "Would You Rather" game in case the players wanted to go with that. Coach Correll brought Bunco and another dice game. I remembered on my trip with volleyball to Clemson last month that we did play "Catch Phrase" on the vans on the way back, so I know this is a gaming group.
The first hour of the trip (we left right before 1 p.m.) was spent trying to rig the wireless internet hub to work. Several of the girls had papers to turn in and homework to do, so we have to enhance the antenna on the back of the unit to get it to transmit to the back of the bus for everyone to use. Once that was enabled, it was fairly quiet as many players were on computers until the sun started going down around 5 p.m.
I noticed that typing on a moving vehicle makes you tired, as many of the players slept on pillows and blankets for the better part of the afternoon after homework was done.
Of course the bus had TVs and a DVD player, so several movies accompanied us up to Ohio. We watched "Up," "John Tucker Must Die" and "Out Cold" for the trip up. We started out well, but the movies got progressively worse. To find out more about these movies, hit one of my Top 10 favorite Web sites, IMDB.com. You should be able to tell by the casts which ones were good.
I passed between my PSP, the Sudoku and one of my novels. Stacy Hummer and assistant coach Casey Harris were buried in books for the majority of the trip. Team manager Colton Jacobs played Madden 07 on his laptop, while trainer Dan Jacobs (no relation) slept under his fleece blanky. Correll enjoyed the movies, as it appeared he was having nothing to do with reading a book.
We ended up stopping for dinner at the original Bob Evans near Point Pleasant, Ohio. All but two players had breakfast foods (lots of pancakes and one player has crepes), while the coaches and support staff had hearty meals (several salads, some turkey and chicken dishes).
I expect the trip back will be more game-oriented. This seemed more like a business trip on the way up since it appeared homework and the match ahead were on players' minds.
We pulled into the Dayton Marriott a little after 10 p.m. and went over our schedule for Thursday. Practice and a short trip to the Dayton Mall before more study time is on the docket before gameday Friday, which will take place at 5 p.m. against Xavier. Should Charlotte win that one, they would play host Dayton on Saturday at 5 p.m. Here's hoping for a good result for the girls in green. Stay tuned for the coverage at www.charlotte49ers.com.
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