MC volleyball team travels, competes in Europe

MC volleyball team travels, competes in Europe

June 14, 2019 

The Maryville College volleyball team recently had the opportunity to compete in Europe.

The itinerary for the international travel experience included Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Maribor, Slovenia; Pula, Croatia; Trieste, Italy; and Venice, Italy. While abroad, the 12 team members played in four matches against club teams in four different countries.

Kandis Schram ’85, MC athletic director and head volleyball coach, said the team experienced rich culture and history while visiting a part of Europe that is less traveled.

“Providing our student-athletes the opportunity to see different parts of our world through the lens of a common game allows them to experience different cultures as well as find out just how similar we all are,” Schram said. “Many of our athletes traveled abroad for the first time. It was a fantastic trip.”

Allison Botts ’20, who has traveled abroad once before (with the Maryville College softball team to Costa Rica), said she not only gained “useful historical and religious insight on life in Europe,” but she also learned about the life of young athletes in Europe.

“Playing abroad was such an amazing and eye-opening experience,” said Botts, who is from Cleveland, Tenn. “All of the athletes were extremely talented, no matter what age they were. They were also very competitive, while being incredibly thankful for the opportunities they were given.”

She said that the most memorable parts of the trip included bonding with her teammates and exploring each city - particularly Prague and its architecture. She also got to cross something off of her bucket list: a gondola ride in Venice, Italy.

For Kelley Wandell ’20, who had never traveled abroad before, the experience allowed her to get out of her comfort zone, and the trip taught her “to embrace the discomfort and grow.”

“We learned so much about the countries while building strong relationships with one another,” said Wandell, who is from Clinton, Tenn. “Competing abroad was an amazing experience! The rules were different, and we played girls from all ages. It was amazing to see how good some of the girls were already, even though they were young. We all were able to have fun while playing tough matches and getting better.”

She said the most memorable parts of the trip included the views she was able to see with her teammates.

“We did hikes, climbed towers and ate on the top of mountains, where we were able to see the cities around us and just take in the beauty all together,” Wandell said. “Another memorable part of the trip for me was being able to explore each city and take in each culture with my teammates. This trip has definitely opened me up to traveling abroad more and revisiting the places that I loved! Pula, Maribor and Vienna are definitely on my list to visit again!”


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.