Wednesday, 10 July 2019 22:13

Griffin heading to Croatia for 15th annual Global Challenge volleyball tournament

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Altman Griffin will represent the United States in the 15th annual Global Challenge volleyball tournament in Pula, Croatia. Altman Griffin will represent the United States in the 15th annual Global Challenge volleyball tournament in Pula, Croatia. Contributed photo from UNC-Wilmington. Artwork by Deon Cranford.

WILMINGTON — A text message from a former assistant coach opened up a whole new world for former Richmond Senior High School volleyball player Altman Griffin.


The current UNC-Wilmington rising sophomore is headed to Europe for a 12-day excursion where she’ll be representing the United States in the 15th annual Global Challenge volleyball tournament in Pula, Croatia.

“I got a text message from Daniel Magnusson asking if I wanted to play,” Griffin explained of the former UNCW assistant who is now at USF. “One of the girls on the team got hurt and he said it would be a great opportunity. I talked with my parents and we all thought it would be a good experience so I just went for it.”

According to the Global Challenge’s website, the annual tournament “provides teams with international playing experience and exposure.” Griffin, who red-shirted as a freshman last fall, will be on the BIP 18U team, while former Seahawk Maddy Kline will play on the BIP SE U23 squad.

Other countries that will be represented in this year’s affair include Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia and the Netherlands, among others.

Griffin left for Italy Wednesday, where she will meet up with her team for its first practice in Milan. After sightseeing the Italian city known best for its fashion and design and visiting Lake Como, the U18 team will play a friendly match ahead of leaving for Padova, Italy, for another friendly on July 14.

The 18U American team will arrive in Pula, Croatia, which is located on the Istrian Peninsula along the country’s western coast and the Adriatic Sea, on July 16. That day marks the first of four days of competition, where Griffin and company will play two days of match play before the tournament transitions to consolation and championship brackets.

Once the Global Challenge wraps up, Griffin will head west across the Adriatic Sea back to Italy, where she’ll spend two days in Venice before returning stateside on July 21.

“I haven’t played in a game since high school, so I think the game experience is going to help me a lot,” Griffin said. “That’s what I’m most excited about. I’ve missed getting to play (regularly) so I’m ready to get out there and see what I can do.

“The sightseeing is going to be really cool, too,” she added. “I’ve never been to Europe, and I heard it’s really pretty.”

With her sophomore season at UNCW just 45 days away, Griffin is hoping her trans-Atlantic voyage will help get her ready to do battle with the Seahawks this fall.

“I think playing in this tournament will be really good practice for me,” Griffin shared. “I’ll be learning new skills and have a different coach, so the whole situation will make me a better player.

“I’m looking forward to getting the experience of playing with and against other high-level college players,” she closed.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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