Volleyball Team Plans August Tour to Nicaragua
The women’s varsity and junior varsity volleyball teams will take their first team tour this August when they visit Nicaragua, where they will compete against the country’s national teams.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association permits an athletic team to take an international tour every four years. While many Division III schools have taken advantage of this, Alma College has not been among them—until now.
“I want to give the team an experience that they won’t get at any other school,” says Cheyenne Luzynski, head coach of volleyball. “Many of the girls don’t have a passport, so I wanted to add a different dynamic to the trip by coupling it with a cultural experience.”
The volleyball team, with Coach Cheyenne Luzynski on the far left, front row.
In addition to volleyball, the nine-day trip also will focus on team bonding and service learning.
Because the team is already active in service learning, Luzynski says the trip would not be fulfilling without opportunities to continue this trend. They will work in an orphanage and elementary school and participate in other service activities while in Nicaragua.
“We’re very capable of giving our time and energy, so why not?” says Luzynski. “I really believe in our mission at Alma. I think it’s important to teach leadership skills and put students into situations of growth. That’s my goal.”
Constantine sophomore Andria Baker, an elementary education major, says she is particularly excited to visit the orphanage.
“I can’t wait to interact with the children there and see what they’re like, so I can apply the skills I’ve learned at Alma to another country,” she says.
Baker says she also is excited to interact with the Nicaraguan volleyball players, so she can see what their lifestyle is like compared to her own.
“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to play against girls who live in an entirely different cultural setting but share our passion for volleyball,” she says. “I feel like experiencing another country with my teammates will be rewarding and beneficial to our team chemistry.”
Alanson junior Hannah Hewitt also is looking forward to bonding with her teammates during the trip.
“Traveling to another country is an awesome opportunity, but to be able to do it as a team is even more unbelievable,” she says. “I hope it will help us come together in ways we could have never imagined.”
Luzynski says the volleyball program is not only powered by the love of the sport but also by this team bond.
“I care a lot about this team, and they care a lot about each other,” she says. “One of my underlying philosophies is that you don’t come to Alma to be average, so it is my hope that we can continue these tours.”
Posted: Thu, July 22nd, 2010 at 8:50AM