CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

The+CWU+Volleyball+team+mixed+business+with+pleasure.+Touring+the+historic+sites+of+Italy+by+day%2C+while+playing+volleyball+at+night+when+the+Italian+players+finished+their+jobs.
The CWU Volleyball team mixed business with pleasure. Touring the historic sites of Italy by day, while playing volleyball at night when the Italian players finished their jobs.

The CWU Volleyball team mixed business with pleasure. Touring the historic sites of Italy by day, while playing volleyball at night when the Italian players finished their jobs.

Caleb Dunlop - CWU Athletics

Caleb Dunlop - CWU Athletics

The CWU Volleyball team mixed business with pleasure. Touring the historic sites of Italy by day, while playing volleyball at night when the Italian players finished their jobs.

Natalie Hyland, Senior Sports Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Over Spring Break, the CWU Volleyball team went on the program’s first foreign tour to Italy. While overseas the team played three matches, visited landmarks, bonded, and indulged in authentic Italian food. The group of 43 included the team, their families and CWU alumni. Head coach Mario Andaya brought his wife with him to share the journey.

“The history of the country is amazing,” Andaya said. “To experience that with the players and their families was very memorable.”

The NCAA allows each team to participate in a foreign tour every four years, but this is the first trip of the kind for CWU Volleyball in all of Andaya’s 21 years as head coach.

“This was a tremendous experience for our first one, learning about that culture and also playing against those teams was something that we’ll always remember,” Andaya said. “I recommend [foreign tours] if teams have the chance to do that.”

Many of the players, including redshirt freshman Maggie McTaggart, had never been to another continent.

“I’ve been to Canada and Mexico, but nowhere overseas,” Cook said, “And when I have travelled it’s been with my family, not a big group like we had.”

During the daytime, the team went on sightseeing tours including Rome and Sienna—a favorite of many, including freshman Niki Cook.

“I liked Sienna because it was like picture-perfect [of] what you expect Italy to be,” Cook said. “There’s not a lot of people like there was in Rome.”

The Wildcats took to the courts at night, waiting until the Italian teams got off work. The Italian players ranged in age from 18 to 40-years-old and competed using a club system instead of the typical university programs seen in the United States.

“They were very good competition,” Andaya said of the Italians, “a lot of the women that we played could play at our level or at the division one level.”

In order to play professional Volleyball in Italy, players start at the bottom and worked their way up through the club levels.

“We played a player that was on the Russian national team who came over to play professionally in Italy, but she has to go through the club program to do that,” Andaya said.

CWU played three tough clubs while in Italy. The Wildcats faced Liberi & Forti 1914, Palovallo Nottolini, and PGS Pallavolo Senago- dropping all three matches, but winning individual sets which Andaya views as a different sort of victory. The Wildcats split their roster into groups made up of both their experienced players and redshirt freshmen, many of whom have never played in a college-level match.

“It was a great experience for [the younger players]. They didn’t win, but they were competing,” Andaya said. “For their first time competing in college, I was pretty proud of what they did.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freshman Maggie McTaggart took away a valuable lesson in the consistency of sports around the world.

“Sports are very universal,” McTaggart said. “It’s really cool that it’s the same everywhere and it’s something that we had in common.”

However, there were slight difference in the rules. For instance, not as many substitutions are allowed in international play.

Since returning to Ellensburg, the team has turned their focus to planning the program’s next foreign tour in 2020, even though most the team will have graduated.

“I would love to continue to tour Europe,” Andaya said, “I think that the quality of volleyball is very high, the level of volleyball is very high.”

The Wildcats have begun taking the things they learned in Italy and finding out how to best make those lessons translate into playing together next season.

“We bonded a lot,” Niki Cook said. “We’ll be able to play more together and have that unity we created [in Italy].”

While the team was bonding, Coach Andaya set his focus on the idea that being able to go switch from vacation to competition in a matter of hours may mean better performance at away games during the season.

“It’s very easy to let those distractions to affect your play,” Andaya said. “It will be very good for us knowing that we can travel that far, go on tours, meet new people, speak a different language and then all of a sudden go back to what we know.”

The universal lesson the team took from their journey abroad is how valuable it is for teams to travel together.

“I really hope we do another trip like this, maybe before I graduate,” Niki Cook said. “It was awesome and I really hope other sports take advantage of that.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    Sports

    Riding the water with 3000 horsepower

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    Scene

    Bend and Snap

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    Scene

    Japanese culture comes to CWU

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    News

    CWU faculty oversees election in Lebanon

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    News

    Keeping the Peace

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    News

    C-Store stocks up for spring spending spree

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    Sports

    Intramural softball in full swing at CWU

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    Scene

    The Voice of Music is Love

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    Showcase

    Film makers return to SOURCE

  • CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy

    Sports

    Softball gears up for GNAC tournament

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Reddit 0 Pin It Share 0 0 Flares ×
The student news site of Central Washington University
CWU women’s volleyball scores trip to Italy