June 14, 2006
USF Volleyball head coach Jeff Nelson announced that four team members have joined the "Bring It USA" 2006 Summer Tours in Argentina and Italy. Junior Kristin Hasselberg and sophomore Carly Babin are now playing in Argentina. At the end of June, sophomores Darcy Carroll and Alix Gombos fly to Italy to join the Volleyhut.com team. Freshman Anna Berger is competing in the Netherlands while junior Jamie Kartchner and sophomore Tiffany Woo are going to Slovenia in July.
"This is a great opportunity for the players to improve their skills, broaden their exposure to different styles of play and cultures, and expand their friendships," Nelson said. "The tours are also a valuable tool for promoting USF's volleyball program."
In late May, Hasselberg, who played in Italy last summer, and Babin landed in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Hasselberg is on the USA (Senior) Select team and Babin is on the All-True-Freshman USA Select team. The teams will be sparring with the ARG National Team and Junior National team. The 10-day summer schedule features matches in several Argentine cities including Mendoza, Freyre, Novoya, Villaguay, Diamante, and Ramallo.
Three days into the trip, Babin emailed, "I think that the highlights of the trip have been meeting all of the locals, taking pictures, and signing autographs. It has been an overall great experience."
USF players will also participate in the Annual Sibillini tournament in Comunanza, Italy. The tour, which runs June 29 to July 9, features 8 top tier under 20 teams from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy. Carroll and Gombos look forward to the trip.
"I have never been overseas before so I'm very excited about the opportunity to meet people who love the game as much as I do," Carroll said. "I spoke to several Dons who have previously participated in the tours, and they said they loved it. I am looking forward to the challenge and having a new experience."
"I can't wait to go," Gombos said. "I am looking forward to traveling with my fellow Dons and learning how volleyball is played in other countries."
In the last five years, six Dons have participated in the "Bring it Tour." These include "USF Legend of the Hilltop" Brittanie Budinger, who just returned to the states after playing professionally in Europe and Scandinavia, current junior libero Brynn Maurer, Caroline Skacel and Jencie Lejeune among others.