July 16, 2008
Loyola Assistant Women's Basketball Coach Erin Brady is playing professionally for the South West Metro Pirates in Calamvale, Australia. She will share some of experiences from her time 'Down Under' on loyolagreyhounds.com. This is the third installment of her 'Down Under Diaries.'
I am now a firm believer in the old phrase, "Time flies when you're having fun." I didn't realize how quickly the last few weeks have gone by until I looked at a calendar and realized that I have less than a month left and noticed that it has been quite some time since my last update.
Basketball has been going very well for the Lady Pirates! We have continued to further our winning streak, which has since improved to 11 games in a row, leaving us with an overall record of 12 - 3. Unfortunately we are still not in the top of our division, but we are in very good shape to win the rest of our games if we continue playing at the same level we have performed at over the past few weeks. I feel very good about the rest of the season, and our momentum should lead us into a playoff spot.
Over the last month or so we have had our share of varied competition. We had two separate road trips up north, a few local away match-ups, as well as important home games. Our toughest match-ups fell on the same away weekend. It was a doubleheader road trip to the north to play Mackay and Rockhampton.
Mackay was on a similar winning streak to us, and we barely came away with a win. I personally could not buy a basket that night, but I managed to make a high percentage of my foul shots, which was pretty important being that we ended up winning by only three points in the end. We were down nearly the whole game until the last few minutes when we made our run.
The following day began with a 5 a.m. wake up call before a four-hour drive to the next gym for a noon game. Rockhampton was also a tough team, and it didn't help that we were tired from playing the night before and traveling that morning. All we could do was come out as hard as we could and go from there. I think we surprised them from the get go and they couldn't quite recover, leaving us with a near 30-point victory.
This past weekend we had a similar road trip up north, but not quite as far. We played against a team from Bundaberg and then traveled to Gladstone to play on the following day. Again, it was a tiring trip that ended well for us. We came away with a 30-something win Saturday evening and then ended up winning by 57 points on Sunday. It was a great feeling to go away both weekends and come home with impressive wins both times.
When you travel you really get to know each other which helps build confidence off the court and playing well has really helped bring us together on the court. I don't want to jinx us in any way, shape, or form, but things are looking pretty good for us at the moment (knock on wood).
In between all of the basketball I have been able to make a few tourist destinations become realities. So far, I made my way down to Sydney and Melbourne and have a trip planned for Cairns (up near the Great Barrier Reef) for next week. Ezy (the other American on our team) came down to Sydney with me, and my friend Shannon Kelleher (a Loyola College Basketball Alumni) came over to visit and made the trip to Melbourne with me.
I didn't know what to expect from either city, but we quickly made our way to all of the tourist destinations. Interestingly enough, I honestly felt like I was in Baltimore while I was in Sydney. They have a nice downtown area with shops, a harbor with an aquarium (that doesn't hold a candle to Baltimore's aquarium), a small zoo just outside of the city, different areas near downtown that would be similar to Canton and Federal Hill, and plenty of tourists. It may not have been identical, but I did feel very much at home there.
Melbourne was a different experience. Shannon and I were pretty excited to head down south to a new city, but we were not overly excited about the weather (because their winter actually feels like winter). It was rainy, windy, and cold for nearly the entire time we were down south. One of the most impressive days there took place as we drove along the Great Ocean Road. It did take us close to 8 hours (one-way) to complete the journey, but it was well worth it because we were able to take some beautiful pictures along the coast. Melbourne itself is a much bigger city, and I think we could have stayed another week down there and not run out of things to do. Melbourne is known to have a very intense passion for their sports and one of the biggest downfalls was that we didn't get to take in any sporting events while there. I guess that is one of the many reasons why I will have to make a trip back.
We have three more regular season games that will determine if we make playoffs and who we will be playing when we do. The next few weeks will be overwhelming with emotions as the season winds down. Keep your fingers crossed that the Lady Pirates can keep this streak up for a few more games! I have a few more tourist stops to make over here, and then I will be right back into the swing of things at Loyola.