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Gilleland To Compete In 2014 European Global Challenge

Gilleland earned both MAC Player of the Year and MAC Setter of the Year honors in 2013.

July 1, 2014

ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio University All-America setter Abby Gilleland has been selected to compete for the BIP Adidas Midwest U-22 Team during the 2014 European Global Challenge this summer in Croatia.

The Bull Valley, Ill., native is one of 10 U.S. student-athletes on the team that will match up against teams from the United States, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Russia in the annual tournament July 13-17 in Pula, Croatia. The tournament includes the USA Volleyball College National Team, which features fellow Ohio All-American Kelly Lamberti.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to play with student-athletes from other conferences that are used to different styles of volleyball,” Gilleland said. “All of us have different skill sets and I think it will be beneficial to combine them all and be exposed to a variety of approaches to the game.”

The BIP Team will sightsee and train in Croatia and Montenegro July 9-12 before heading to Pula for the Global Challenge on the Adriatic Coast. From there, the team will wrap up the trip July 18-19 in Venice, Italy.

“I’m really excited to see another part of the world,” Gilleland said. “I’ve always loved traveling and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the teams and interacting and getting to know the international players.”

Gilleland recently wrapped up an outstanding sophomore campaign in which she earned AVCA All-Region honors and became the first student-athlete in Ohio history to be named both MAC Player of the Year and MAC Setter of the Year.

A three-time MAC East Offensive Player of the Week, Gilleland commanded the league's most efficient offense, which ranked in the top-25 nationally in hitting percentage. She ranked third in the MAC in assists/set (10.79) and hitting percentage (.347) in conference matches and hit a solid .343 against nationally ranked teams in 2013.

During the pre-season, the Bull Valley, Ill., native was named the Oregon Classic MVP and also garnered Michigan Invitational All-Tournament honors. She posted 11 double-doubles on the year.

“With both Kelly and I going overseas to play this summer, we can bring some skills back to our team and help the Ohio program grow moving forward,” Gilleland said. “If we can build these international networks and give some of our other players opportunities in the future, it provides a great way for our team to represent Ohio University on an international level.”

BIP Adidas Midwest U-22 Team
Abby Gilleland, Ohio University
Caitlin Brauneis, Georgetown University
Mary Grace Kelly, Northern Illinois University
Meghan Niski, James Madison University
Kendra Cunningham, University of Northern Colorado
Libby Bresser, Loyola University Chicago
Amelia Anderson, Indiana University
Ashley Rosch, Illinois State University
Annie Kunes, University of Texas-San Antonio