All-Star tour: Team proud of performance despite loss in first match

The Pac-12 volleyball all-star team -- comprised of 13 conference players and three coaches -- is on a two-week playing tour in China. The Pac-12 Post will have an inside look at the team's experience throughout the trip, including photos, guest posts from members of the team and recaps of each match.

From USC libero Natalie Hagglund:

Hello America and fans!!!

Today we played our first match in Huaian. We did lose (22-25, 18-25, 14-25), but the score makes it seem much worse than it really was. We actually played quite well for our first international game versus such a developed Chinese team, the Zhejiang team. We passed well, served aggressively and attacked fiercely, but made too many errors and were tentative on defense. Regardless of those negative aspects, I actually was extremely proud of our team for fighting back to 20 in every game. We were told prior to the game that the team we played was one of the best teams in all of China and had been playing together for a few years, so we were proud of what we did. Regardless, I think we can beat them next time!!

[Related: Shanghai provides scenic backdrop for start of tour]

After our match we walked around the town, hit up the mall and got some Starbucks. Eating in China has personally been a little rough for me so being able to drink something familiar and tasty was delightful and perhaps the best thing I have consumed so far. The best part of the night was our taxi home. We flagged down a Chinese taxi (a bike with two seats in the back) and cruised down the bike lane, enjoying the beautiful lights and the massive cluster of people.

Tomorrow we are going sightseeing and have another match at 2 p.m.!

Until next time!!!

Natalie Hagglund

[Related: Pac-12 volleyball 2013 schedule, TV info released]

Game notes:

Stanford's Inky Ajanaku and Arizona State's Macey Gardner led the team in the match with 10 kills each.

The Pac-12 will play a scrimmage against a local Huaian team Thursday and play the hometown Jiangsu team on local television Friday.

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