Argentina - May 3 & Match 1

The picturesque district of La Boca.

May 3 by sophomore Christie Carpenter

HOLA! Well then, today was a totally awesome day in Argentina. This morning we woke up nice and early for our trip to La Boca. We took taxi cabs...this was my first time in a taxi....super fun. Anyway, we arrived at La Boca around 10 a.m. and we all split up into groups. This place was soooooo cool! There were little shops all around with people outside their stores selling things on the cute little cobblestone streets. I was having the time of my life! I would have bought something from everyone if I could've. When we sat down for lunch we were entertained by a sexy tango dance....es muy bien. ?

After that we came back to the hotel and got ready for the game. We all got on a double-decker bus (by the way it was my first time on one of these too) and drove for about four hours to the gym. So of course by the time we got there, we were all ready to pee our pants. There was only one stall in the locker room so the entire team was lined up, and it took about a half hour to get everyone through.

Then we played our game, and something funny happened. About two points in the lights went out!! EVERY light went out so it was completely pitch black! So then we had to wait 15 min. while the lights warmed up again. The only bad part of this day was that we lost. ?

Our whole crowd consisted of little girls from the age of about 11-15 that played volleyball on clubs and such. After the game they all ran up to us and got autographs and pictures. They LOVED Janvier Beaumont's hair!! She was famous! I don't think they had ever seen a girl that blonde before, and they all just attacked her after the game!

We then all went into a different room for dinner. The whole crowd that came to watch us came too. They eat a lot of meat here. Every meal that we've had so far has been meat, lots of meat. I like that. But the portions were like the size of a silver dollar. I didn't like that. During dinner all the girls started singing songs...so we sang songs back to them. We even taught them the "we got spirit how 'bout you" cheer. They were so cute! They started doing dances as well, so Christy Paine and I got up and did the solja boi dance for them.

Chelsea Goodman and I then went to the bathroom. (just FYI you need to bring your own toilet paper in Argentina) On our way back from the bathroom we went through a different room that had a different party going on. They stopped us and had us dance with them - that was a blast. They must have had a good laugh at my feeble attempt at the tango. Argentinians are so fun because they just love to dance and have a good time, and our team is all about that, so we fit right in!

Now we are back on the double-decker bus for another four-hour drive back to the hotel. And that was our second day in Argentina. Ciao!

Match 1 by Jen Connery

JUNIN -- In front of a roaring crowd of youthful volleyball enthusiasts, the BYU women's volleyball team dropped the first match of its 13-day tour of Argentina, 3-0, to Banco Nacion en Ramallo, the nation's top club team.

"This was obviously a great international experience," said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. "We played the toughest team first, which will give us good experience for the rest of our trip. We learned a lot tonight and got better as the night progressed, so we're excited for our next four matches."

Playing in front of a packed house in just their second day in Argentina, the Cougars battled hard in their first taste of international competition. Senior Bryn Porter recorded the first kill of BYU's excursion as she put down a shot through the seam to get the Cougars on the scoreboard in set one. With BYU trailing 4-2 early, both teams got a surprise when the lights in the gym went out. Dozens of cell phone "flashlights" appeared in the crowd as the fans kept the atmosphere energized with chants and cheers. However, BYU struggled to find a rhythm once play resumed, allowing the locals to go on a 9-1 run to take a 15-5 lead. The advantage would stretch to a 25-16 victory for Banco Nacion en Ramallo.

Set two began with an early 5-1 lead for the Cougars thanks in part to back-to-back aces from sophomore Christina Measom and a third from fellow sophomore Christie Carpenter. However, after leading 7-3, BYU allowed the locals to make a comeback with an 8-1 run. Down 11-8, the Cougars could not recover from the deficit, falling 25-16.

BYU again came out firing in set three, taking an early lead. However, a repeat performance from the more experienced squad of 18- to 30-year olds quickly had the home team leading 9-5. But this time the Cougars stormed back with a 6-1 run of their own to knot the score at 16-16. Banco Nacion en Ramallo quickly pushed the lead back to 20-17, but BYU showed typical American resilience in scoring four of the next five points, including a throwdown from junior Ashton Hansen and a block by Measom. With the score tied at 21-21, the Argentinian squad took the lead on a long BYU swing, but the Cougars hung in the match point for point, tying the score once again at 23-23 with a tremendous kill from Porter. However, in the end, Porter would score both the first and last points of the night for BYU as Banco Nacion en Ramallo posted the 25-23 victory.

Inside the Buenos Aires of district, known for its brightly painted buildings and incredible tango shows.

BYU head coacdh Shay Goulding tries to escape the gaucho or Argentine cowboy.

Soccer is the national pasttime of Argentina.

Kiana Rogers (left) and Christy Payne ride in style.

The Cougars shared a bus with their opponents on the way to their first match in Junin.

The BYU women's volleyball team after its first match in Argentina.

Cougar Stephanie Lau has already found a fan club!

Mmmmm, time for dinner!

The gang's all here, now where's the meat?

Kiana Rogers (left) and Rachel Dyer exchange songs and cheers with their new fans.

Two young Cougar fans show off their presents, gum and hotel lotion!