Regis Volleyball Team Prepares for European Tour

May 28, 2014

Summer vacation for the Regis University volleyball team will have to start a little later this year – "it was weird coming back to campus after just 10 days," says junior Rebecca Sponcil. "We are really excited though to be going on this trip for our summer vacation. Our motto for the tour is "Roll with the Punches."

Sponcil and the Rangers will have to do just that as they embark on a 12-day trip through Italy, Austria and Slovenia. "Our tour goal is to enhance our team by experiencing different cultures," states Regis Head Coach Frank Lavrisha. The Rangers, who left on Memorial Day, will begin their tour in Italy where they will make stops in Rome, Florence, Padua, and Venice.

This trip isn't just a cultural adventure, but a chance for the Rangers to play against international teams that will test them on the court. Sponcil says, "We will learn a lot playing against the international teams. The volleyball is different overseas, it is a faster paced game and will test our serve receive and defense."

The Rangers will play two games against the Volleypro Club in Rome, Italy on May 28 and 29. On May 30, they will take on Monselice Volleyball Club Euganea in Padua, Italy before heading to Slovenia. On June 2, they play OK Kamnik before playing their toughest competitors on June 3-4. The Rangers will take on the Slovenian, French and Chinese Junior National Teams in Maribor, Slovenia.

The time spent in Europe will be a pilgrimage of sorts for Coach Lavrisha. Lavrisha's parents were born and raised in and around the capital city of Ljubljana. His parents immigrated to the United States and raised Frank and his seven brothers and sisters in Cleveland, Ohio. "I am excited to go back to Slovenia and show our team the heritage and culture of my ancestors," adds Lavrisha.

While in Slovenia, the team will spend time at Lake Bled and in Maribor, before heading to Vienna, Austria. Lavrisha exclaims, "We are excited to carry the Regis "flag" overseas and have the ability to promote our great University!"

Caitie Breaux says, "I think it will help create a closer bond for the team. I am excited to see parts of the world that I have never been to and to experience it with my good friends." Sponcil adds, "We want to get better and I believe that with level of play we will have to be at in the six matches in Europe, it will only help us in the fall."