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Team USA Select experience in China

Team USA Select experience in China

Check back for updates from head coach Robert Pulliza and senior-to-be Jasmine Norton as they tour China with Team USA Select for the 2nd Annual China-USA Challenge Invitational. For more updates, also follow Pulliza on Twitter. Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Fayetteville.

Team USA Select vs. Tianjin – July 6

THURSDAY, JULY 12, 2012 – from Coach Pulliza

Our last match was last night followed by a closing ceremony banquet. Unfortunately, we did not play well in our last outing. The banquet was cool but we did not get to eat until about 10:30 p.m. so the night started feeling long.

We are heading out this morning. It is a long way back, and I am ready to get back to Fayetteville to see my family and team, so hopefully there are no travel complications.

I will do one last post with an in-depth look at the trip and pictures.

Go USA and Go HOGS!!!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012 – from Coach Pulliza

Last night, we played Shanghai tough but came up short. Unforced errors at crucial times cost us the match. On a good note, Jasmine was named player of the game with 16 points and 10 kills.

Today we went to Tiananmen Square and to the Pearl Market. The square is the largest city square in the world. It can hold up to 1 million people at once. The Pearl Market is a four-story market where you can wheel-and-deal for cool stuff.

Tonight we play Beijing in our last match of the trip. Hopefully we can come home with a win!!!

Go USA and Go HOGS!!!

TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012 – from Jasmine Norton

Today we went to the Forbidden City in Beijing. It was really remarkable to be able to see where the emperor lived. Our tour guide told us there were a total of 9,855 rooms in the Forbidden City. It is really unbelievable to think they built such a place for just one person. After seeing the Forbidden City, we had a match at four. We lost to Shanghai (20-25, 22-25, 22-25) but we played the best match we have had here in China. At the end of the match, I was awarded the Most Valuable Player award.

Finally, after showering and getting ready for dinner, we left and headed to one of the main markets. We were all eager to get to the market to shop yet the traffic was horrible. When we finally got to the market, it was raining cats and dogs outside. We all had to sprint to get inside. We were soaked from head to toe but that didn’t stop us from shopping. A lot of the girls purchased electronics, purses and accessories. Tomorrow, we are supposed to be going to another market so we can buy a lot more gifts. Can’t wait to buy more things!!

TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012 – from Coach Pulliza

Since we got to Beijing, we have been going non stop! First was the Great Wall. It is impossible to describe with the words the magnitude and beauty of it. It is for sure one of the most amazing things I have ever seen!

On the second day, we trained and then played the Beijing team. We started strong but could not maintain. Jasmine had two solid sets with eight total kills.

Today we went to the Forbidden City. I never realized the magnitude of it. It was absolutely beautiful. From the architecture, to the art and gardens…it was fascinating. For sure a must-see for anyone that is in Beijing.

The amount of people and cars here in Beijing is overwhelming. There are some really cool things to do and see in this city but it takes you a while to get from place to place. The trip continues to be great and I am grateful for this experience.

Go USA and Go HOGS!!!

WEEKEND UPDATE – from Jasmine Norton

Today, we went on our sightseeing outing. We started off by going to Starbucks which was very nice because it made us feel as if we were back in the U.S. A few of the girls on the team bought some sweet coffee mugs that had "China" on them which will make good souvenir gifts.
After we got done with our coffees, we went to the Exhibition Hall where it showed us the whole city of Tianjin in exact miniature replica. We weren’t allowed to take photographs in this building, but I wish we were able to because the exhibit was amazing. Our tour guide told us it took 20 years to build all the miniature replicas of the city. Also, we found out there were buildings in the miniature replica that weren’t built yet and they didn’t paint those buildings because they were in construction.
After we left the exhibit, we walked around "Little Italian" where we looked around at the shops for a while until the bus came and picked us up. Little Italian was very pretty and we saw two couples that were taking their wedding photographs. No one bought anything at the shops though because everyone is saving their money for Beijing.

SUNDAY, JULY 8, 2012 – from Coach Pulliza

We just got to Beijing and finally have email access again. We are heading to the Great Wall in a bit so we are super excited.

On the volleyball side of things, we struggled in the last two matches and were not able to come up with a W. The good news for the Razorback Nation is that Jasmine had a match-high 15 kills in our last match against Shanghai. She is starting to get more comfortable and is doing some good things.

The hotel we are in here in Beijing is super cool so I am looking forward to a great stay.

Go USA and Go HOGS!!!

FRIDAY, JULY 6, 2012 – from Coach Pulliza

We are going into our second day of competition today against Tianjin. We played Shanghai yesterday. Last night, we came out tight and did not play the way we had been training so hopefully, we can play more relaxed today. Overall, the trip has been great! We have seen two countries in South Korea on our layover when we had to switch airports and now we’re in China. The city of Tianjin where we are staying on our first stop has 12 million people. It is a combination of a new modern city and an old city. Everywhere we go, there is new construction. At times, it feels like a country is being built from the ground up.

The people here have been super nice! No one really speaks English so communication around the city is pretty much impossible but with our host, we get by. Lots of cars, crazy traffic, bikes all around and people walking through all of it. Somehow it works. One thing that caught my eye is the amount of landscaping and trees they plant along the roads. Hundreds of miles landscaped.

Off to practice! GO USA AND GO HOGS!


BIP/USA Select Team (USA Red)

# Player Pos. Affiliation
1 Morgan O’Neill L Virginia Tech
3 Jasmine Norton OH Arkansas
4 Britney Brown S Lindesberg Volley, Sweden 2012-13
5 Kamryn Sherman S Clemson
6 Katherine Harms OPP Minnesota
7 Alexa Rand MB Clemson
8 Carly Edwards OPP Villanova
10 Mary Kurisch MB Northern Illinois
11 Chelsea Bilger OH Ohio
12 Kelly Lamberti OH Ohio
13 Dana Knudsen MB Minnesota
14 Allison Mayfield (C) OH Clamart, France 2012-13
Robert Pulliza HC Arkansas, head coach
Liz Kritza AC Colorado, head coach

Sports Category : Volleyball (W)