Thursday, January 24, 2008

Volleyball's European Vacation

The Jacksonville State volleyball team’s European Vacation is getting closer to becoming a reality. As close as it can be without actually having tickets in hand.

That’s the next step.

The Gamecocks’ trip of a lifetime has them visiting six cities in four countries over 13 days in May. They are scheduled to visit Prague; Vienna; Maribor, Slovenia; and three cities in Italy, including Venice and Rome.

"We’ve very close," JSU coach Rick Nold said. "I’m getting ready to buy the tickets; once you get them, you’re going.

"We’ve still got a ways to go to get it the absolute right way. If you’re doing it one time, you want to do it right. It’s just a matter of getting the final piece of the puzzle together." But they're going."

The trip is a reward for the program’s two straight OVC regular-season titles and two NCAA Tournament appearances.

It will be part volleyball, part life experience and part career planning. All-American Abbey Breit and Rebekah Nichols (Oxford) both are interested in playing professionally in Europe, and if the Gamecocks can put together the right package, trip organizers can get them in front of more of the right people.

"I'm kind of excited," said Nichols, who has international experience having played before in Australia. "I'm really interested to see how all the younger ones do."

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