Unfortunately, our team lost our very last match in the regular season, and that loss took us out of our playoff hopes. I was really disappointed because our goal for this season was to make playoffs and it really did come down to our last match.
We had a lot of ups and downs and more than our fair of close calls, nail biters, and should-a would-a could-a moments, but it just wasn’t meant to be. On the bright side, I overall very much enjoyed my time in Nantes. Learning French, being able to drive a manual, and having an oven were 3 big things that allowed me to spread my wings 🙂
I was very lucky that the staff and my team at NVF was so kinda and supportive with everything that I could ask for. I have heard that it is not often like that in Europe and I’ve been spoiled by feeling respected and liked by my club.
Nantes as a city was also so very enjoyable. Lots of different shops and restaurants and sporting events (Handball!) kept me busy outside of practice and the gym, and that definitely kept me sane. I think it’s really important to be able to get away from volley (especially if things aren’t going as well as you’d like) to stay grounded and remind myself that I am a person, not just a volleyball player.
Overrall I’m coming back with a pretty awesome outlook on France. I didn’t mean any people that weren’t kind and welcoming and relatively sympathetic with my English (although I did start most of my conversations with French and a smile). The food was BOMB (bread, wine, cheese, pastries FOR THE WIN). There’s plenty of culture, lots of style, and beautiful architecture which I’m a sucker for. I don’t know if or when I’ll be back in France but I look forward to the day- and hopefully I don’t forget all my basic French that I learned (Big thanks to Agnes, my instructor!).
I have some other big news to add- although I was very disappointed by ending our season prematurely, I was pretty stoked because right around then I was invited to train back with Team USA for some of the summer. Playing for my country is one of my biggest dreams and I didn’t know if I would get another shot at it, but it was pretty hard to stop my excitement when I got that call back. So as one chapter ended, another new and exciting chapter popped up sooner than I had expected.