Women's Basketball Blog | August 2014

Final game and a little sightseeing

Aug 25, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 6:47 pm | Updated: August 25, 2014 7:11 pm | Permalink

(Monday, Aug. 25, 2014)

Barcelona, Spain

Blog #10

This is the team's final day in Spain. On the day's schedule was some final sightseeing and shopping in Barcelona, and then it was off to the team's final game vs. Femeni Sant Adria (FSA).

Today's blogs are from Hannah Packard who has the information on the activities for the day. Then, Alohi Robins-Hardy will have the game summary from a player's perspective.

What did you do and see today?
Today we woke up and went to the beach for a couple of hours. We went swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, got a couple of volleyball games in and some paddle ball games too. It was lots of fun.

What's your favorite place in Barcelona and what do you like most?
I think my favorite thing in Barcelona was going to the Gaudi cathedral yesterday. It was incredible! All the pictures I took don't even do it justice in showing how big it is. I really like Barcelona. There is a completely different feel here compared to the other cities we have visited.

Are you ready to go home, or would you like to stay for a few more days?
This is the longest trip that I've ever been on, so I'm a little ready to go home. But, I've loved every second of this trip. I've had so much fun touring Spain with my teammates and everyone else. So in that sense I don't want it to be over.

Did you do any shopping and have you bought any souvenirs?
I did a little bit of shopping! I got a couple of little gifts for my friends and family and a souvenir for me that will always remind me of this trip. Oh, and I definitely bought some chocolate to take home with me. European chocolate is just better than the stuff back home.

Alohi Robins-Hardy summarizes our final game in Spain.

Tell us about the game vs. FSA?
I think our team did well. Femeni Sant Adria (FSA) was a pretty well-rounded team.

How were their players and their skill level?
They had a lot of good shooters and their ball handlers weren’t too bad. They also had a couple of players that were able to post up, unlike the other team’s we’ve played.

Where did we play, how was the facility?
The one thing I do know is that it was extremely hot. It was literally like a sauna in there, probably the hottest gym anyone has ever played in.

As a team, how did we play?
We had our highs and our lows, but I think that overall we did really well. I believe we were able to handle the ball a lot better in this game.

Did we get together with the team and/or exchange gifts?
We did not exchange jerseys because no one wanted to.

In Bilbao for sightseeing and third game. Blog #7

Aug 22, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 7:35 pm | Updated: August 22, 2014 8:39 pm | Permalink

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bilbao, Spain Blog #7

Today the Cougar women’s basketball team spent part of the day sightseeing, touring the Guggenheim Museum and then played its third game in Spain.

Head coach Jeff Judkins provides the day’s blog. Maddy Ziering-Smith will give us a summary of tonight’s game.

BYU beat EUS 69-50. The Federation that has been hosting us did an awesome job preparing for the game. The team that we played was very well coached.

What did the team do today?
Today the Basketball Federation was so kind and planned a guided excursion for us on a boat stationed in the harbor. Our team and the EUS team both went on the boat tour. Bilbao has the most modern harbor in Spain. Early on it was known as being very safe. You can apparently swim in the water, but I don’t think anyone will try that soon. This harbor took 15 years to redo and is known as the heart of the city. The first transporter bridge in the world is in this harbor. It was fun to see. It carries (like a gondola) cars, freight, people, etc.

After the boat tour, our team spent some time in the Guggenheim Museum that is here in Bilbao. It was built in 1997 and is made with three things – stone, glass and titanium. One of the highlights for the team was the spider art form called Mother and the Wishing Tree. At night, the Guggenheim’s five fountains in the front all light up with dancing fire. We all also enjoyed the Huge Dog statue made with flowers.

What did you eat today? We had breakfast in the hotel and then for lunch I had a veggie sandwich and two éclairs. After the game, we ate dinner at the hotel as a team. It was the first time that I’ve ever had rice, egg, and tomato sauce for an appetizer. Then we were served salads that we shared. Then we had tuna and white potatoes and warm water from a bottle. So many courses!!!

Maddy Ziering-Smith has tonight’s game summary from a player’s perspective.
We played EUS (Basque National Team) for the second time.

Did they do anything different against us?
The biggest difference was that they switched from man-to-man defense to a zone defense.

Did we do anything differently?
We wanted to come out more aggressively and set the tone for the game. Also, the first game they were successful at pressing so we fixed getting better catches and pushing the ball up the court.

Defensively we switched defensive strategies and lastly we didn’t have any technical fouls or back-court violations:)

Did you play any differently, how did you match up with their players in the second game?
Played more aggressive and forced the guards left. We also ended the game squeezing on pick on balls.

How did we play?
We played a great game and really focused on working on the adjustments. We were successful and won by 19, 69-50

Did we get together with the team afterwards? Any gift exchanges?
After the game we traded jerseys with them and took a group photo wearing them. We became pretty good friends with the National Team and we really enjoyed the experience.

Did you get to have a conversation with a player? What did you talk about?
Prior to the game we were able to go on a boat ride with them. It was a lot of fun getting to know them and talking about our different ways of life. They were fascinated with our currency and I gave them $1 to have for the time when they come to the United States.

Did you find out anything unique or interesting about the players?
They range in age from 21 to 30 years old and their schooling is separate from basketball so it takes them longer to finish their education. They are professional athletes and (are paid approximately 1,00 Euros a month) and only 12 players are allowed on each team.

Game day, team's second game

Aug 21, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 8:27 pm | Updated: August 21, 2014 8:40 pm | Permalink

San Sebastian, Spain (Thursday, August 21, 2014)

Today was game day for BYU women's basketball. They played their second of four games on their 10-day tour of Spain. The team was the Basque National Team, Euskady (EUS) and the contest was played in San Sebastian.

Blog #6 Makenzie Nielson, the team manager provides us with a report on the day’s events. A summary of the game from a player's perspective is given by Micaelee Orton

What did you do and see today?
After breakfast and our shootaround, we saw the Spanish countryside as we traveled from Bilbao to San Sebastian. It is beautiful and so green.

How does San Sebastian compare with Bilbao and Madrid?
It is nothing like Madrid. It is super green and looks like it could be in Portland. Madrid looks like Las Vegas. They are very different.

What is unique about San Sebastian?
San Sebastian is unique because it has the most expensive real estate in Spain. It is an extremely beautiful city.

Did you buy any souvenirs?
We bought a game that is similar to ping-pong. It has paddles and a ball and you hit the ball back and forth to try and keep it from hitting the ground.

What were your meals like? What did you eat?
Today for lunch a lot of us were really hungry and we wanted to eat something that was familiar so we went to McDonald’s. Then we had a delicious dinner after our game. We had salad, rice and chicken and yogurt and fruit for dessert.

What was the itinerary for today?
Today was a really relaxed day. The team woke up and went to shootaround. Then we went to San Sebastian, ate lunch and then played on the beach for a couple of hours. After the beach we went to our game and then straight to dinner. Then finally we rode the bus back to Bilbao to sleep.

More on the game vs. the Basque National Team, Euskadi, from Micaelee Orton

What was this game like?
We come out strong right form the tip. I think we were ahead the entire game. The starters really set the tone and executed very well. Our defense was really good as well. I think we surprised the other team.

Tell us about this team …
This team was definitely better than the first team we played. It’s their national team so they executed much better and were more organized, the skill level of the girls individually was much better and they were also a lot taller. I think the difference between our first game and this one was that we were just more ready to play.

Did you have to make any adjustments to the game/format, etc.?
This game was a little different because we only had a 24-second shot clock and only eight seconds to get across half-court. We played four 10-minute quarters, which was different also. It kind of made the game feel like it went by faster. After five fouls we went into the bonus, shooting two shots, so that was new as well. It’s kind of weird that we can’t yell when the other team is shooting. I’m so used to yelling “shot!” when they shoot. I even did yell it a couple of times when I was playing because I forgot, but luckily I didn’t get a technical.

Where did we play, what was the facility like?
The facility was definitely the nicest one we’ve been to here. We also had a pretty decent-sized crowd, and our BYU fans were awesome and good in numbers as well.

How did we play?
We played great and had fun. Morgan Bailey came out in beast-mode right from the start and just dominated. Kylie handled the ball and set the pace very well too. We seemed more relaxed and more focused. We wanted to beat these girls.

Did we get together with the team afterwards? Gift exchange?
We got with them before and after the game. Before the game, we gave them t-shirts and they gave us a small decorative flag and t-shirts as well. After the game, we all got together on the court and took a group picture.

Did you get to have a conversation with a player or two?
I didn’t have the opportunity to talk with any of the players. Everything was happening kind of fast. But it was okay because I was saved from the embarrassment of my poor Spanish-speaking skills! I have none.

Did you find out anything unique or interesting about the players?
I thought it was very cool that they are the national team. Not many teams get the opportunity to not only represent their university, but their country as well. When they played our national anthem at the beginning of our game for us, I felt very honored and fortunate to be here and play their national team while representing our country at the same time.

BYU women in San Sebastian, Spain Blog #5

Aug 20, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 4:35 pm | Updated: August 20, 2014 5:41 pm | Permalink

San Sebastian, Spain (Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014)

Blog #5

Now in their sixth day in Spain, the BYU women's basketball team left Bilbao in the morning and traveled by bus about 90-minutes away to do some sightseeing in San Sebastian. The Cougar women are scheduled to play a game vs. National Team Pais Basque there Thursday night.

The day as seen by Savannah Irwin

How was the bus ride to San Sebastian?
The view from the bus was breathtaking!! For miles (or rather, kilometers) all you could see was lush greenery, foliage on rolling hills until suddenly a tiny town with high-rise buildings in orange, green or another bright color would appear out of nowhere. It was something else.

What did you see along the way?
I saw many vibrant buildings and high-rises and tons of trees and greenery. Along the way, I talked with everyone sitting around me and enjoyed some laughs.

What did you see in San Sebastian that you liked or disliked?
The best part of the entire day was when we first arrived in San Sebastian and went to an overlook which had a tiny amusement park and fantastic view of the entire city. You could see everything from there. Several of us got to enjoy the bumper cars at the amusement park and that was so fun.

What about lunch and dinner?
I actually ended up eating lunch and dinner at the same place and ordered an old reliable pizza. However, the kind of pizza was something I’d never had outside of Spain. It had spinach, bacon, onion and cream on it. It was delicious!

What customs have you observed, how are the Spanish people?
Smoking is definitely way more common in Spain. Almost everyone outside, young and old do it. The people overall have been very kind and patient. They listen to my broken Spanish and try to help me the best they can. Also, tipping in Spain is optional, although we still do it.

Have you been able to do some shopping, got any souvenirs?
I got some bracelets for my family and me that say “San Sebastian” on them. Also, while we were on the beach, I collected seashells and filled a cup with sand that I’ll put in a glass bottle and keep as a souvenir. I also bought some clothes because my luggage was lost and won’t be here until tomorrow.

What else did you do today?
Going to the beach was definitely an awesome experience. The water was beautiful and just warm enough to enjoy the time there even thought the sun was hiding. The only complaint I have, which is a silly one to say the least, was that there was only a short board for Maddy to teach me to surf on. On the bus ride back to Bilbao and our hotel, several of my teammates and coaches, including our associate athletic director Brian Santiago, entertained us with some karaoke.

Travel day to Bilbao

Aug 19, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 5:04 pm | Updated: August 19, 2014 5:18 pm | Permalink

Bilbao, Spain (Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014)

Blog #4

After picking up a 94-93 win last night in their first game while in Spain, the BYU women's basketball team traveled by bus to Bilbao, Spain, arriving in the city around 4 p.m.

Freshman Amanda Wayment provides today's team blog.

How was the bus ride to Bilbao? What did you see along the way?
The bus ride was four hours long, but surprisingly it went by fast. I slept almost the whole time along with the rest of the team. I was asleep most of the way, but whenever I was awake there wasn’t much to see. We did see some sunflower fields that were really pretty though! The countryside started off as dry, but as we got closer to Bilbao, more trees and mountains appeared until we got to the city. We took a bathroom break and then stopped a little later again to have lunch in a restaurant that served different varieties of sandwiches.

What did you have for dinner?
For dinner we literally could not find anything to eat so we walked around for almost three hours until we found a pizza place down the street from our hotel. The city is very beautiful with a big river across from our hotel.

What’s been your favorite food/meal so far on the trip?
My favorite food so far has been the steak and pasta we ate right after our game on Monday night in Madrid.

Did you do any shopping, or get any souvenirs?
The only shopping I’ve done is buying little helicopter toys in the town square in Madrid for my nephews.

Is there anything else you saw, did or experienced today?
We saw a huge tent with a big projection screen of the soccer game tonight and everyone was trying to catch a glimpse of the game. It is obvious they take their soccer very serious here.

Game day, team's first game

Aug 18, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 6:00 pm | Updated: August 18, 2014 6:18 pm | Permalink

Madrid, Spain - (Aug. 18, 2014)

Blog #3
The BYU women's basketball team spent its final day in Madrid doing some sightseeing and then prepared to play its first of four games on their 10-day tour through Spain.

A summary of the day from Cassie Broadhead 
What did you go see and what did you learn today?
We went on a walking tour around Madrid. We saw the Almudera Cathedral and the Royal Palace. We had fun and took pictures in front of the Palace as a team.

During our walking tour we stopped at the Puerta del Sol. Our tour guide Brooke pointed out that the bell on one of the buildings rings 12 times on New Year’s Eve. Many people come to hear the bell and they bring grapes because tradition state that if you put a grape in your mouth for each of the 12 month’s of the year and you eat them all at once, you are promised success in the upcoming year.

We didn’t do a lot of walking, but we were able to do enough and see many interesting things and see another part of Madrid. After the tour was over, my family along with coach Judkins,his wife Mary Kay and Kristine Fuller went to a pizza place called Pizza Emporium. The pizzas were all thin crust and maybe the closest pizza to New York style pizza (my favorite kind of pizza).

We were also able to do some shopping and I bought some Aladdin pants. The pants scrunch at the bottom and come in really cool patterns, which makes them unique. Tonight we played our first game and we won!!

More on the game from Ashley Garfield
Tell us about the game, the players and the facility …
Our first game was honestly one of the most interesting games I have ever been a part of. It’s the club’s offseason right now so many of their players were out of town so we ended up playing against three boys and four girls.

The boys were really good and fast, but the girls’ level of play wasn’t as high. The facility was really hot and the floors were slick, it was like playing on an ice skating ring. It sure made you feel like you were burning calories with how hot it was!!

Were there different rules that you had to adjust to?
Yes! Apparently, there is a shot clock for just the last minute of the game. Also, you can’t scream when someone is shooting a layup and you can only have three players at the free throw line.

How did our team play?
You could definitely tell that we had some first game jitters and our first half was sloppy, but we did see some really good things from our younger players who were able to get some valuable experience. After the game was over, a few of us traded jerseys with their players and we were able to take a picture with all of us together.

How was the communications with the players? Refs?
We couldn’t understand each other at all. We even had a hard time conversing with the refs to understand what they were calling.

Was there anything else that you learned about your opponent?
No. I thought it was interesting though, to not only see the gender difference, but also the age difference in the players. We also learned on the way there that in Spain they don’t have school sports (high school, college) like we do in the U.S., which I found interesting.

Sunday in Madrid, Blog #2

Aug 17, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 5:14 pm | Updated: August 17, 2014 5:27 pm | Permalink

Sunday, Aug. 17 in Madrid with the women’s basketball team

Blog #2
In the team’s second full day in Madrid, the team attended church meetings in the chapel next to the Temple. Afterwards, the group heard from associate athletic director Brian Santiago who summarized the three talks given in Sacrament Meeting for those who did not understand Spanish.Two sister missionaries then took the group on a tour of the temple grounds while explaining several gospel principles regarding families, baptism and preparing to attend the temple. 

The team then had lunch where they enjoyed a traditional Spanish rice dish, paella. They had a choice of seafood, vegetable or meat paella.

In the evening, the group experienced a Spanish custom by attending a bullfight.

More on the day from Carly Stratton 
What was your experience attending Church services in Madrid?
The congregation was pretty small and we doubled their attendance when all of us arrived. It was different singing hymns in Spanish because you knew the tune but didn't comprehend the words very well. After Sacrament Meeting we took a tour of the temple grounds with two sister missionaries. We were able to see a lot of missionaries and a couple from Idaho Falls that was serving a mission as well. It was really cool to go to Church over here and to see how strong the gospel is worldwide. 

What did you do in the afternoon and evening?
After Church we ate lunch and had some rice dishes authentic to Spain. Then we went to see a bullfight. It was definitely a different experience. For dinner we needed something familiar to us so the group of girls I was with went to get McDonald's.

Women's basketball, Blog 1 from Madrid, Spain

Aug 16, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 3:13 pm | Updated: August 17, 2014 4:02 pm | Permalink

Madrid, Spain (Aug. 15 & 16, 2014)

Blog One
The BYU women’s basketball team arrived in Madrid, Spain at 9 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 16. The Cougars flew from Salt Lake International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport, then onto Madrid.

A bus took the group from the airport to the hotel. Once the luggage was left in a secure room, the group went on a walk to a market for a sampling of Spanish food. Two tour guides met us there and took us on an hour and half walking tour through parts of Madrid.

Then it was off to practice at the multipurpose gym of the Polideportivo Municipal de Torrelodones basketball club, the team the Cougars play on Monday evening.

Here’s more from Kristine Fuller and Xojian Harry on our travel day and first full day in Madrid.

Kristine Fuller
What was the flight/travel getting to Spain like?
The two flights were long but luckily no delays and our six-hour flight to Madrid had individual TV’s. It was really weird leaving early Friday and arriving Saturday morning.

Did you meet any interesting people on the plane?
I sat next to teammates both times. We laughed a lot and played games. Monopoly Deal is the game of choice.

What did you do to occupy your time on the plane to NYC and then on to Madrid?
In NYC tried connecting to WiFi to watch Netflix, but it didn’t work, so ended up watching Bourne Supremacy and playing Monopoly Deal. On the flight to Madrid I watched two movies—Draft Day and Moulin Rouge. I sang along to Moulin Rouge, slept a lot and Ashley and I had a competition to see who can keep a spoon on one’s nose the longest. All of us slept, watched movies and snacked a lot.

Did you meet our tour guides? What are they like?
We have two tour guides – Brooke and Corey. Both are great! We got to take a two-hour walking tour around Madrid. We’ve had two different buses and drivers so far. The drivers are nice and the buses are smooth and clean.

What are you most looking forward to doing/seeing while in Spain?
I’m looking forward to trying new food!

Xojian Harry
What was the first thing you saw/noticed when we arrived in Madrid?
The first thing we saw was a big cemetery with thousands of tombstones and that was really cool. We also noticed as soon as we got off the plane there were a lot of weird smells.

What was the weather like?
At first the weather was a bit chilly, but then it got really hot, really fast.

What’s the hotel like?
The hotel is really small in comparison to U.S., hotels. There are two beds in the rooms but they are twin size and are really close together. We had a few struggles trying to figure out how to turn on the lights and the shower. Also, we found out that the drinks are not served cold and the showers aren’t exactly hot.

What places did you get to see on Saturday in Madrid?
We walked around the heart of Madrid and saw the restaurant Sobrino de Botin Horno de Asar, which is the oldest restaurant in the world. We went to El Mercado de San Miguel, which is a food market where you can get a variety of food, fruits, pastries and drinks. We saw a convent on Calle del Codo, which means Elbow Street.

What were your impressions of Madrid after a full day in the city?
It has sort of a small town feel. There are some really beautiful buildings with gorgeous architecture. It is kind of sad though because a lot of the buildings have graffiti all over them.

Did you get to meet or see anyone interesting?
We saw two men run out of a McDonald’s with big bags over their shoulders and they got chased by the police. We also saw a middle-aged couple fighting and the wife was smacking her husband and he was trying to run away pushing his cart.

Was it hard to communicate with the Spanish people?
For the most part, a lot of the Spanish people knew English, so communicating wasn't too bad.

What was the first Spanish food you ate?   Was it hard to order/communicate with waiter/waitress?
The first Spanish food I ate was rice and chorizo tapas. It wasn’t hard to communicate with the lady at the market because she knew Spanish. At our evening dinner, they brought us steaks that were seared on each side and raw in the middle. We were all confused and then they brought out hot plates to cook the meat to our liking. It was cool and delicious.  The steaks came with French fries. The restaurant was called Fatigas del Querer and it was a short walk from our hotel.

Tell us anything else about the day?
Today was kind of hard for all of us because of the jetlag and fatigue we had to deal with. Everyone was exhausted on our walking tour but after practice everyone felt a lot better. We will all definitely sleep well tonight.

Did you do any shopping?  Get any souvenirs?
We didn’t get to do any shopping today, but we saw a few little shops that we want to stop by to look around in when we have a chance.

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