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Volleyball - Tue, Aug. 8, 2017
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Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic - The Marian volleyball team wrapped up their first full day in the Dominican Republic Tuesday evening, a day filled with activities keeping everyone busy. The morning started with ministry work at Freedom Christian School, followed up by a match against the Dominican Junior National Volleyball Club in the afternoon. 

The primary location that the Knights will be doing their ministry work while in the Dominican Republic will take place at the Freedom Christian School, located in San Pedro de MacorÍs. The school currently enrolls 240 students, with students in grades PreK-3 through 4th Grade, with goal to one day be able to hold 1,800 students. The school has been around for six years now, expanding one grade level each year. The students that attend Freedom Christian School are of either Dominican or Haitian descent, coming from the surrounding villages.

To begin the morning off, director Jason Hilgeman took the team on a tour of the facilities, telling the story of how he came to found the school. The tour included a trip through the pre-kindergarten classrooms, as well as a two ladder trip to the roof, showing the Knights a bird's-eye view of the grounds. The tour concluded with a look inside the multi-purpose room, and then it was time work. Today the group was assigend to the PreK-3 class, playing games and activites with the kids in a chaotic but organized style. Each player took one or two students, and went around the classroom playing games, working on crafts, reading, and other various activities throughout the morning. The girls all had a humbling experience working with the kids this morning, and are eager to continue going back to the school as the week goes on. 

In the afternoon, the Knights shifted gears and got on to the court, taking on the Dominican Junior National Team. The contest was played on the grounds of the Dominican Republic Volleyball Federation, in Santo Domingo. Being the fifth day together as a unit this season, the Knights showed some rust and communication issues in the early stages of the afternoon. That didn't last long, as the Knights dominated on the court, displaying mental toughness all afternoon. Marian won the match 3-0, winning 25-21, 25-23, and 25-18. Everyone played for coach Ashlee Pritchard's squad today, working on different rotations and groupings that will be helpful for when the season begins in just two weeks. The team had a great time, and after the contest was over, the girls shared their theme of "Scale The Wall" with the Dominican club.

Tomorrow the team will have a similar schedule as today, heading to Freedom Christian School in the morning and playing late in the afternoon.

For the rest of the week, a nightly post will be made recapping the day's action, from ministry to on court. Daily photo galleries from the games and the service work will be posted as well, with a video package coming later in the week.  

To view pictures from today's game action, click here.

To learn more about Freedom Christian School and how you may be able to get involved, click here.

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