Reina, Nelson Compete with USA D-3 Volleyball Team

Andrew Reina and Grant Nelson (left to right) compete with the USA D-3 Volleyball Team in the 2019 Brazil Tour.
Andrew Reina and Grant Nelson (left to right) compete with the USA D-3 Volleyball Team in the 2019 Brazil Tour.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Kingsmen volleyball players Grant Nelson and Andrew Reina were both selected to the USA D-3 Volleyball Team and competed in the 2019 Brazil Tour.

"I thought the Brazil tour was a great experience for both Grant and I," said Reina. "We were able to see what the competition around the country is like and we got to represent Cal Lutheran and United States." 

The team was comprised of players recognized as All-Americans, All-Region and All-Conference. The 10 players hailed from seven different schools and nine home states. 

"I think this is a huge stepping stone for the men's program here at Cal Lutheran," said Reina. "We've had previous female players such as Hope Stewart be invited on this trip and represent Cal Lutheran but as for the men's side, Grant and I are the first two. 

"I think that this will help Kingsmen volleyball gain some respect around the country in the eyes of other coaches as well as the NCAA."

"This is an outstanding group of young men," said Ron Smith of USA Sports Tours & Events. "Many of the players on this year's USA/Brazil Tour team had great individual seasons and led their teams into post season play. This tour is designed to expose players to a great volleyball experience while providing a once in a lifetime opportunity for educational, cultural and social growth."

The USA D-3 Volleyball tour ran from June 10-19. The teams began with orientation in Orlando, Fla., on June 10thbefore the team flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil, that evening. The team practiced on the 11thand had matches on the 12thand 13thin the cities of Jundiai and Campinas (in the state of Sao Paulo). The team then traveled to Rio de Janeiro and competed in the Marina Barra Clube "International Challenge".  The International Challenge consisted of three matches, each versus top U22 club teams, in the state of Rio de Janeiro 

While in Brazil the teams experienced educational, cultural and social aspects of Brazilian life through city, school and sports club visits. While in Rio, the team stayed on the famous Copacabana Beach and toured the Christ the Redeemer Statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain, two of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.  

"This trip really showed me that we can compete with the best from around the country as well as around the world," said Reina. "I'm looking forward to this next season and I think it will be a confidence boost for me. We learned a lot from this trip, from being a player on this great team, being coached from a different perspective and learning training habits and tricks from the Brazilians on what they do." 

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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director