By Alex Vigilante
When KU junior Audrey Stringer got a call asking to play volleyball in Italy, she was in. On behalf of AIST (American International Sports Teams) she will represent the U.S. and take the journey across the pond to compete.
Stringer will leave for Italy on May 23 and stay until June 3, a two-week tour through Italy. She will head to Rome, Florence,
Montecatini, San Marino, Bellagio, Milan and Lake Como. During her stay, she will be paired with other PSAC volleyball players and will compete against international teams as well as teams from Italy.
The US team will play five matches and compete in a tournament during their two-week tour, but there will also be free time for athletes to explore the cities.
Gannon coach Matt Darling will be the head coach for the U.S. team. Stringer was on his list of must haves as he hand selected his team from PSAC athletes to represent the U.S. and play for AIST.
“My coach at Kutztown mentioned that I might have the opportunity to go to Europe to play volleyball, but I didn’t know for what or where, and when I got the invite to Italy, instantly I thought it would be cool to go there.”
This is a big step for Stringer, who has competed in the Division 2 level for the past three years. Overseas, she will be playing with more experienced players, which will add to her own skill set.
“I’m a little nervous to go play over there, but I am looking forward to getting better before my senior season.”
The invitation to play overseas comes only five years after she did not even know if she wanted to play volleyball.At first, Stringer was more interested in soccer and the conflicting seasons made it hard for her to choose.
“I owe it all to Coach Paulsen in high school. He was the one who convinced me to tryout, and I’m glad I did. I fell in love with the game and I can’t thank him enough for pushing me to be the best I can be.”
While at KU, Stringer was named the MVP for the volleyball team in 2013 and is a 3X All-PSAC athlete. In her freshman year she started 24 games and led the team in kills, cementing her spot as one of the best young talents in the PSAC.