Byrnes to Compete in Global Challenge Volleyball Tournament in Croatia Next Week

Alexia Byrnes (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Alexia Byrnes (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Youngstown State sophomore setter Alexia Byrnes will compete in the 15th Annual Global Challenge tournament in Pula, Croatia, from July 15-19 as part of the Bring It Promotions East Coast team.

Byrnes is one of nine players on the BIP East Coast squad that will compete in the U23 Brijuni Division at the tournament. The BIP East Coast team is one of four American teams in the U23 Division, along with teams from Iran, Cina, Hungary, Croatia, Finland and Japan in the division.

Byrnes and her American teammates will play four matches in group play to determine seeding for the championship rounds. BIP East Coast’s first match will be on July 16 at 7 p.m. Eastern against Firestar Turku from Finland. BIP EC will then play the Beijing BAIC Motor Team from China at 7 p.m. Eastern and another American squad at 10 p.m. on July 17. Byrnes’ team’s last match in group play will be at 5 p.m. on July 18 versus Hungary Select.

Links to live streams of matches at the Global Challenge are available at

In addition to competing at the Global Challenge in Croatia, Byrnes and her teammates will also spend time in Finland and Italy before returning to the United States.

Byrnes traveled to North Carolina on July 6 to meet her teammates for the tournament, and the group spent two days practicing at the Piedmont Volleyball Club’s facility. Byrnes then traveled to Helsinki, Finland, and will tour the city on July 10. The next three days will be spent in Turku, Finland, where Byrnes’ group will be the guests of a local club team and will practice, compete and sightsee. On July 14, Byrnes and her teammates will fly to Pula, Croatia, to prepare for the Global Challenge tournament that will be July 15-19. The group will then have a short time to sightsee in Venice before returning home on July 20.

The team is coached by Ryan Meek, the head coach at High Point, and Kyle Milborn, the director and president of the Piedmont Volleyball Club.