Foreign exchange student, Marta Noriega lives in a city called Pozuelo de Alarcon, and attends the Aquinas school in Madrid. She in on the PA C-team for volleyball this year and likes how she gets to see and learn new things in America. In Madrid, sports teams seem to be conducted differently. She says that since her school is relatively new, they don’t have very serious practices. Compared to one year at Aquinas and one year at her old school for PE class, Marta says that PA volleyball is, “harder and practice’s are more serious; there is a huge difference.”

At PA, the volleyball team seems to have an average amount of girls interested in the sport every year. However, when girls enter high school, it seems that fewer people stick to playing volleyball and continue to play another sport. When Marta was asked how interested in volleyball girls in Madrid are, she said that “The school is really small and there are not many girls in my grade. There are 30 of us more or less and 10 of them are girls. Only about six or seven girls play volleyball.” Since Aquinas is a fairly new school she believes that the number of girls interested in playing volleyball will increase over the years.

At Aquinas the girls are offered basketball, soccer, and volleyball. One day per week they get to go to a sports club near the school, where you can participate in horseback riding, skating, swimming, hockey, or tennis.” .In Spain, if girls don’t choose to be on a sports team, they go into study hall for one hour then to another class like yearbook, and art. As far as practices and games in Spain versus America go, PA  plays against competitive teams from other schools in conferences and have practice every day after school. In Spain, players have different practices. “Here they are more intense when we play against another team but it is the same game,” Noriega said.  At Aquinas, the sports teams “don’t have matches with other schools for now, except for soccer.”

Asked if there were any other sports that she played and if any were ones we don’t have in America, Marta replied, “Yes, I have played a lot of sports in my life, but the one back home I would like to continue is tennis, I like it and would like to be able to win against my brother in a match.” Beating siblings in games and being competitive against one another seems to be something shared by both Marta’s family and a lot of families in America.

Marta says she is interested in learning more about other American sports.  “I would love to watch a football game, I have already seen a baseball game but these sports are not very common in Madrid from what I have seen.” Being curious to see if there were any sports she has played or seen in Madrid that we don’t have here, Marta says that they have a game called Padel which is, ”kind of like tennis but you play with walls,” which is a sport that she has played for a long time. Watch for Marta the next time the Lady Lions volleyball team takes the court.

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