Finished the Summer with 2nd Place in Strasbourg and looking Forward to the Start of the Club Season
It has been a busy summer for me! As soon as the water polo season finished with Kaposvari VK, I immediately returned to the US to begin preparations with the Senior National team.
When I arrived back in the US at the beginning of May I joined the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) to compete in the Fisher Cup. The Fisher cup is one of my favorite tournaments because it brings me back home to San Diego where my water polo career first began. We played 4 games at UC San Diego and unfortunately finished 2nd, losing to the Olympic Club in the final match.
After the Fisher Cup, I made the short journey up to Los Angeles and began summer preparations with the Senior National team. Here I was part of a larger group of Americans as we trained for three weeks to prepare for the summer national team calendar.
After this US training camp, the team was cut down to a smaller group of 17 as we departed for Germany. We arrived in Duisburg to play a friendly match against the German national team. We won this friendly match 12-10. After the match we stayed in Germany and continued to have common trainings throughout the week.
Next, we were off to Serbia where we had our final preparations before the World Championships in Hungary. In Serbia we had common trainings with the Serbian, Montenegrin, and Georgian national teams.
When we finished our week in Serbia, it was time for the World Championships to begin. Unfortunately, I did not make the roster for the World Championships, so I returned home to train until the national team returned to the US for further summer trainings. At the World Championships, the US had a notable win against Hungary in a shootout and finished the tournament 6th.
After the World Championships, I played in the US Senior Nationals representing NYAC, where we finished 4th, a downgrade from our earlier success in the Fisher Cup.
Afterwards, I rejoined the National team as we trained with Italy in California. Not only did we have common training with the Italians, but we also hosted three friendly matches. All the matches were televised on ESPNU and had amazing home crowds. We won two of the three matches against Italy, foreshadowing the start of a bigger series against them this summer.
Finally, we set off for Strasbourg for our last international competition of the summer. We started off with a tough match against France that we lost in a penalty shoot out. We then won the next two group stage games against Canada (15-13) and Italy (13-9). In the quarter final we beat Australia (12-11), and then in the Semis we beat France (16-15). In the Finals we met Italy once again, making it the fifth match with them in a two week period. Unfortunately, we lost to Italy in the Final (9-13) and finished the tournament 2nd.
Here is a link to the national team schedule for more info about each of our games
Below are some of the photos from our trainings and matches this summer.
Now looking forward to the club season, I will be returning to Kaposvar for the next year. Last season we just missed out on the top 8 playoff and played in the bottom 8. However, we won all our matches in the playoffs with 2 wins against UVSE and then 2 wins against Eger to finish 9th in the league.
This year we brought back much of the core team; however, there were some individual departures and they will be replaced by new players. I will dive deeper into these details as the season approaches. This year we hope that we can build up our team to be stronger than last year and strive for a better finish.
During the summer I also got to spend some time with friends and family during my travels.
First, I returned to the US where I got to meet up with many of my friends from home as well as my Dad. Playing most of the year in Europe means that I don't get much time to see my friends, we always try to make the most of our time together.
While we were training in Germany and Serbia we had some off-days where we got to see the city and enjoy a dinner out.
Before returning home during the World Championships, I was able to make a stop in Switzerland for the weekend to visit my sister and her newest addition. I got to see my Nephew for the first time and we went up for a day in the mountains (Mt. Rigi) to escape the heat.
When we were playing in Strasbourg, my family from Switzerland came to watch some of the games and afterwards we were able to enjoy the city life.
After Strasbourg, I had a short break before I had to return to Kaposvar. First I took the short train from Strasbourg to Paris with a couple teammates where we spent 3 days enjoying the Parisian lifestyle and sights.
I followed my trip to France with a few days in Split for a more relaxed vacation with my mom, where we explored Diocletian's Palace, visited some Islands and enjoyed the many beaches.
I finished off my Eurotrip with a trip to Wroclaw, my parents hometown in Poland, to visit my Grandma and eat as many pierogi as I could in the few days that I had.
Finally I had to get to Frankfurt for my return flight to the US. I decided to take the train from Poland and make a stop in Berlin. What a summer it has been!!