Aug. 22, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - When the University of Georgia volleyball team begins its season this weekend will have the unique opportunity to play against an international team
As well as welcoming Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Troy to the Ramsey Student Center for the Benson's Hospitality Bulldog Invitational, the Bulldogs will be the first of three U.S. schools to host the Slovenian National Team.
In preparation for the qualification tournament for the 2013 European Championships, Slovenia will play against every team in the Bulldog Invitational before heading to South Carolina to face the South Carolina Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers.
The women's volleyball European Championships are held every two years with 12 national teams from a possible 35 qualifying for the championships.
After returning from the U.S., Slovenia will return home to face France, Belgium and Montenegro for a place in the European Championships. Play in the qualification round begins on September 6.
Georgia head coach Lizzy Stemke said that the presence of Slovenia adds a different dynamic to the Bulldog Invitational.
"We will host a Slovenian professional team in our home opening tournament along with Troy, Georgia Southern, and Georgia State," Stemke said. "This will give us a great blend of regional competition as well as an international flair."
The Bulldog Invitational begins on Friday when Troy faces Georgia State at 1 p.m., at the Ramsey Center. Slovenia plays its first game at 4 p.m., against Troy while the Bulldogs begin their season against Georgia Southern at 7 p.m. The Slovenian National Team will also be on hand following the Sunday night match against Georgia to sign autographs.