Saturday, May 12, 2012

ETSU's Sander Gille Day Two: Enjoying a Bit of Columbus

Friday, May 11
Today, we had a relatively early breakfast at 8:30 to get the day started. Since we would only leave for lunch at 11:30, we spent the next few hours hanging out in each others’ rooms, stringing rackets, and playing pranks on our freshmen (toothpaste and water buckets seem to be our favorite prank supplies) to create a “memorable” first trip.
At noon, we set course for one of the local malls, where we would get lunch and have some time to look around in the stores. Robin, Juan, and I passed on the shopping, and went to the Ohio State University Golf Course instead, as one of the ETSU golf girls, Gabriella Wahl, was playing as an individual in the NCAA Regional. Being just a freshman, this is a huge accomplishment for Gab and our golf program, so we decided to go support her. Unfortunately, we could only watch her first six holes (for which she stayed on par), before heading to the tennis courts for our own practice.

Last year when we were here we had seen the plans for their new facility, but it was nice to see the actual realization this year. They have rebuilt 10 courts, four practice courts, and six main courts. Aluminum bleachers to accommodate spectators are stretched over the length of all six courts. The surface has been made a little slower compared to last year, which is in the advantage of most players in our team. It is also extremely hot and humid here in Columbus at this time of the year, but similar conditions in Johnson City these past few weeks have prepared us well to deal with this weather. A team picture was taken before we started our warm up. After two sets of singles and one set of doubles with high intensity, and our goal in mind, we left the courts with a great feeling.

A short shower stop at the hotel was needed before going back to famous “Buca Di Beppo." The restaurant is located downtown, next to the Nationwide Arena, which is the home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Since there was a waiting time of almost 45 minutes, we decided to go for a walk. There were numerous bars, with tons of people and music performances. The liveliness created an attractive and contagious atmosphere. Seeing close to 25 bikes in front of one of the bars was pretty impressive. Just as seeing six police men walk out of the bar, back to their bicycles, which they had locked to the railing with their own handcuffs.

After another great dinner, we only got back to the hotel past 10:00 p.m. We watched the second half of the Grizzlies/Clippers game, and then set our alarms for 8:30 a.m. before getting some vital sleep.

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