Tania and I spontaneously decided to drive up to Rochester to watch the 2nd NCAA volleyball finals. Unfortunately, last year we weren’t able to enjoy that pleasure since we lost to Springfield in the semifinals. We patiently waited for the quarterfinals and semifinals to be over. Tania and I were both surprised that Baruch took Springfield to 5 sets. That’s great considering they lost to them in 3 sets last year in the quarterfinals.
The trip began at 3:15 at Tania’s house. Once we met we walked over to Dollar-Rent-A-Car to pick up our Ford Focus Se. Probably one of the best rentals we’ve had so far. We left the rental at around 4:00am to begin our trip. We headed over the George Washington Bridge and headed north towards Ithica. We planned to have breakfast in Ithica first. It was close to the half way point. We stopped by Collegetown Bagels next to Cornell University. Best bagel ever! Trying to take advantage of the location, we drove to explore some of the finger lakes. The best point we thought was the gorge at Watkins Glen. We first arrived at the southern side of the water trail, but decided to try the northern side since the trail was locked from the south. Unfortunately, the trail was locked on the northern side as well. It appears that they reopen in May since the weather would not be a threat to visitors in the Gorge. Oh well.
Next stop was John’s Tex Mex in Rochester. Yelp advised this to be a good stop, and it surely was. Good atmosphere and decent food. The neighborhood was a bit strange though. I had a huge burrito while Tania ate a Mexican assorted dish. After seeing the burrito my doubt about being unsatisfied had walked out the restaurant.
Shortly after lunch we headed over to Nazareth University to watch the game which started at 4pm. As planned, we arrived about 1 hour early. We waited in line and purchased tickets. We weren’t in front of the line, but still managed to get good seats while watching the game. One of our neighboring fans told us that there were in excess of 900 tickets sold. Wow! Though it was crowded, we were lucky to have ample leg room in the bottom most row.
The game was over quicker than either of us had expected. The veteran Springfield team beat Nazareth in 3 sets. It was a bit sad watching since this game was played in Naz’s home court. Considering Naz had 3/4 of the gym filled, their fans remained quiet as the remaining 1/4 of the gym cheered for Springfield. It was strange. Whenever I had come in contact with a volleyball attraction in the past I was immediately desperate to play. This was not the case. I feel as though I might have grown out of it. Of course, I would have loved to play, but I did not feel the urge to pepper or even participate (though I could not). This could also be due to the fact that I was not around familiar faces. Nonetheless, It was very exciting to be able to understand the game. Reading/predicting plays before they occur is quite the feeling.
A trip well done. We arrived back around 2:00am. Tania did a total of 14 hours of driving that day. Kudos! If the location of next years game is also in the east cost then maybe we will travel to it as well. Between food, volleyball and transportation the trip was quite inexpensive.