ADRIAN, Mich.--Members of the Adrian College men's volleyball team will be spending part of their summer honing their court skills against international competition and taking in the sights of the beautiful country of Italy. Bulldogs head coach Zak Krug and student-athletes Michael Burkhardt, Joseph Campana and Noah Marcinkowski will be part of a Beyond Sports team that will tour six cities from Sunday through Tuesday, June 10-19, and play local amateur clubs while experiencing the cultural opportunities that the country provides.
"This is such a great experience for our student-athletes. Not many individuals get the opportunity to travel overseas, let alone compete against top international competition," said Krug, who in his first season at the helm led Adrian to its best record since being elevated to NCAA Division III varsity status in 2016. "I'm excited to be a small part of this experience and can't wait to learn from other coaches and athletes on the tour."
Junior-to-be Joseph Campana (Los Angeles, Calif./Cathedral High School) added: "I'm excited to see the competition out there and seeing the difference between the (level of) volleyball here in the U.S. compared to Italy."
Beyond Sports is scheduled to visit Rome, Tuscany, Florence, Venice, Lake Como and Milan.
"This trip to Italy is an amazing opportunity to go explore the world as well as play the sport I love," said Marcinkowski, who is a junior-to-be from Menifee, Calif. (Heritage HS). "Not many people get the chance to say I was able to play overseas, so I'm excited to see where I stand compared to others around the world. To have family from AC going, I think, will make for a great trip to enjoy the sights, food and of course the game we all love!"
The trio of Burkhardt, Campana and Marcinkowski were instrumental during the Bulldogs historic season that saw them set a school record for victories (doubling the total in 2017) and their best record in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League as a NCAA program. Marcinkowski became the first-ever Bulldog selected to the All-MCVL Second Team and Burkhardt (March 14) and Marcinkowski (April 6) are the first two Bulldogs named offensive player of the week in the conference. Marcinkowski set a school record with 281 kills in 2018 and is the school's career leader with 514. Burkhardt posted his best season in which he put down 146 kills (more than his previous two years combined) and set a school mark with a .315 hitting percentage--good for eighth in the MCVL. Campana is Adrian's all-time assists leader with 1,418.
Burkhardt, a senior-to-be in 2019 out of Whitehall, Pa., summarized his expectations for the trip: "It's definitely an amazing opportunity to learn and play with not only some of my teammates, but also other athletes from all over the U.S. I can't wait to travel all over Italy with these guys."
For more information on Beyond Sports, please visit their website.
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