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UMBC VOLLEYBALL’S GREG GIOVANAZZI AND CHRISTINE SKALA TO REPRESENT USA SELECT TEAM AT EUROPEAN SPRING CUP
Sophomore Christine Skala will be heading to Brno, Czech Republic as part of the USA Select Team in the European Spring Cup.
Baltimore, Md. – UMBC’s Head Volleyball Coach Greg Giovanazzi and sophomore Christine Skala (Hinsdale, Ill./Hindsdale South) will be among three coaches and selected collegiate players on the USA Select Team heading to Brno, Czech Republic for the European Spring Cup from May 6-16, 2004. The USA Select team is recognized by the USAV (USA Volleyball) as part of their National team pipeline and organized by Bring It Promotions.
Giovanazzi, who enters his second year at UMBC in the fall of 2004, will coach along side one of his former players, Reed Sunahara. Sunahara, who currently is the head coach at the University of Cincinnati, played at UCLA while Giovanazzi was the first assistant coach from 1982-86. During that time the Bruins captured three NCAA titles. Also assisting will be Auburn University Volleyball Coach Matt Darling.
“One of the highlights of this opportunity is to be working with Reed who is a close and dear friend of mine,” said Giovanazzi. “I enjoy coaching on the international level and seeing not only the great competition, but watching what other teams do differently. In all it is a great experience to be a part of.”
Giovanazzi spent two years coaching for USA National Team and has remained active with the United States Volleyball Association and USA Volleyball as an instructor and clinician.
Skala is completing her sophomore year at UMBC and finished last season with a team-high 2.92 digs per game and 333 digs on the year. Skala is a third generation Czechoslovakian as her Grandfather and Great Grandmother were both born in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic, the same city the USA Select team will fly into before heading to Brno, Czech Republic for the tournament.
“The opportunity to play in the Czech Republic is going to be an amazing experience for me on and off the court,” said Skala. “With my family being from the Czech Republic, it has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit and to coincide that with playing for the USA Select Team will only enhance the experience. The knowledge, skills and experience I am going to gain from this opportunity will improve every aspect of my game because I get to play with great talent and get feedback from several coaches.”
The competition will feature 15 other European tames including: Czech Republic (A and B Teams), Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Turkey, Denmark, England, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Azerbijan, Belarus and Sweden. Azerbijan recently beat the USA National Team in the Yeltsin Tournament in Russia and is the Spring Cup favorite entering competition. Turkey is the reigning champion of the European Nationals.
Competition starts on May 6 with the USA Select Team in the same bracket as Slovakia, Denmark and Azerbijan.
Rachel VanMeter Illinois
Erin Virtue Illinois
Laura Hageman Ohio
Marin Weidner Wisconsin
Lindsay Stalzer Bradley
Kara Verwey Fresno Pacific
Lindsey Noll Missouri
Christine Skala UMBC
Julie Bosler Auburn
Erin Heffner Alabama
Brianna Balvin UAB
Sara Parks Missouri
Reed Sunahara Cincinnati
Greg Giovanazzi UMBC
Matt Darlin Auburn