European Experience Upcoming for Women

Coach Karen Lamb will lead the Cougars on their 2004 tour of Europe. BYU will depart April 26 for its 15-day trip. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- In an occurrence as rare as a Summer Olympic Games, the BYU women's volleyball team will embark on a 15-day European Tour, departing Provo April 26.

Due to the NCAA's Intuitional Foreign-Tour Limitations policy (17.30.2.1), Division I teams in every sport are only able to conduct a foreign tour once every four years.

The trip will mark the team's seventh foreign tour, stretching back to 1978, and sixth to Europe. BYU's last foreign tour was in the spring of 1999, when it traveled through Europe and Israel.

This year's tour will take the Cougars through five countries: Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany. The team will spend six days in Italy, three in Slovenia, one in Austria, three in Czech Republic and one in Germany, sandwiched by a pair of travel days.

"This trip will be a huge bonding experience for us," BYU coach Karen Lamb said. "It will be culturally and spiritually enriching."

As an assistant coach, Lamb traveled to Europe with BYU in 1999, and as a volunteer assistant she toured Europe with the team in 1995. This will mark her third foreign trip with the Cougars and first as head coach.

BYU will use its time to match-up against various European squads and sightsee. The Cougars' playing schedule will include various professional and national teams, but will be limited to 10 matches (30.7.5).

"From a competition standpoint, it will be extremely challenging, as we'll face professional and national teams," Lamb said. "We've never experienced the speed at which they play in Europe and their toughness of serving. We're going to win, but there are other factors to consider.

"Most importantly, this experience will show us what we can become and what level we can reach. It's situations like this that greatness steps forward in players."

Coming off a 24-9 campaign in 2003, Lamb, entering her third year as head coach, oversees a team that graduated four players, but is set to return eight letterwinners, including five starters.

The Cougars will also welcome 2003 redshirt freshmen Erica Lott and Catherine Parker into the fold. Both 6-foot-2, Lott was a Volleyball Magazine "Fab 50" high school recruit, who is projected as a rightside hitter. Parker is a highly regarded middle blocker, who should figure into the Cougars' regular rotation in 2004.

"It's an experience with teammates that you can't replicate," Lamb said. "It's an opportunity to see teammates at their worst and their best. And it allows us to see each person in situations we would rarely see them.

"It will expand our horizons like nothing else."

Updated itinerary information will be added to the schedule below as it becomes available.

Itinerary for 2004 BYU Women's Volleyball European Tour

Updated April 26

Day 0 (April 26): Depart Salt Lake City

Day 1 (April 27): Arrive in Rome, Italy

Match or training upon arrival. Dinner in the city with some sightseeing.

Day 2 (April 28): Rome, Italy

A full day in the city with group sightseeing including visits to the

Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, etc.

Match No. 1

Match vs. Siram Roma, 4-7 (enter hall @ 4)

Palazetto dello Sport, Viale Titzianno

Day 3 (April 29): Depart for Marche, Italy

Spend two nights on the beach near Pesaro or in the hills of Urbino. Marche is

a beautiful region where volleyball.

Match No. 2

Match vs. Grottazzolina (Ascoli Piceno) in the Palestra at VIA MONTOTTONESE SUD

The match will start at 7:30pm with a 7:00pm warm-up time

Day 4 (April 30): Marche, Italy

Day 5 (May 1): Venice, Italy.

After a three to four hour drive from Marche, the team will arrive in Venezia

to spend a free afternoon and evening for sightseeing, which will include use

of the canal buses and St. Marks Square.

Day 6 (May 2): Venice, Italy

All day to relax, attend church service and church activities.

Church from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Day 7 (May 3): Koper or Ljubljana, Slovenia

Match No. 3

Hall GIB

Drenikova Street

Ljubljana

Enter the hall at 5:00 pm/match around 5:45 pm

Day 8 (May 4): Koper/Ljubljana or Maribor, Slovenia

Maribor is a gorgeous city on the Eastern side of the Alps. Nearby Pohorje

Mountain hosts a World Cup ski race and the team will have a picnic on top.

Day 9 (May 5): Maribor, Slovenia

Match No. 4

Sportni Center Pohorje- Hotel Arena

Mladinska Ulica 29

2000 Maribor-Pot k Mlinu 57

tel: +386 02 61 40 979

Day 10 (May 6): Vienna, Austria

This will be reserved as a sightseeing day for the team.

Hotel Quisisana

Windmuhlgasse 6

Vienna A- 1060

Austria

011-43-1-587-3341

Day 11 (May 7): Brno or Prague, Czech Republic

There will be 12-plus European National teams in the area for the Spring Cup,

and BYU will play today and tomorrow against some of the teams.

Match 5 (Probably against the Czech National Team)

Day 12 (May 8): Brno and/or Prague, Czech Republic

The team will sleep in Prague.

Match 6 and 7 (Probably against the Finnish and Austrian National teams)

Day 13 (May 9): Prague, Czech Republic

All day to relax, attend church service and church activities.

Church from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Day 14 (May 10): Munich, Germany

Day 15 (May 11): Depart Munich Germany and arrive in Salt Lake City

Previous BYU Women's Volleyball Team Foreign Tours

Spring of 1999 Coach Elaine Michaelis

Israel, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and

Switzerland

Spring of 1995 Coach Elaine Michaelis

Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Lithuania,

Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and

Austria

Spring of 1991 Coach Elaine Michaelis

Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Belgium, and

Switzerland

Summer of 1987 Coach Elaine Michaelis

Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia

Summer of 1983 Coach Elaine Michaelis

Germany, Austria, Italy, and Yugoslavia

Fall of 1978 Coach Elaine Michaelis

Japan - Traveled with BYU football team

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