Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 16, 2013 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 93 of 106

ND Sports Euro Trip Brings Irish Volleyball Team Closer Together The Notre Dame volleyball team — including (from left to right) Sammie Brown, Hanna Muzzonigro, Jeni Houser and Nicole Smith, seen here on a mountainside in Maribor, Slovenia — took an 11-day trip through Europe in May. Photo courtesy Notre Dame media relations By Dan Murphy W ith 10 returning upperclassmen and only two new faces on the roster, there wasn't much that Notre Dame's volleyball players didn't know about one another. But any tidbits left to learn were likely uncovered during the team's 11-day bonding trip through Europe. The Irish spent nearly two weeks at the end of May touring the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia and Italy. They rode gondolas in Venice, shopped in Milan, roamed the streets of Prague on Segways and flew off the side of a mountain while strapped to a rope swing in Slovenia. They also mixed in a day full of team-building exercises and several matches with the national clubs in most of those countries. "It was a phenomenal trip in every way," head coach Debbie Brown said. "We got to go to some great cities and see some wonderful sights. We played six matches as well and played at a very high level. That helped carry us into the season with a really good feeling." Notre Dame won two of the six matches it played against those teams, which compete at a higher level than the Irish expect to see back on American soil this year. Playing against stiff competition helped the team pick up a few pointers to bring back to the college level this season. Competing against teams that didn't speak the same

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