Yale’s Brittani Steinberg competes against some of world’s best volleyball players

Brittani Steinberg in Italy earlier this summer (Photo: Yale Athletics).
Brittani Steinberg in Italy earlier this summer (Photo: Yale Athletics).

All-Ivy Outside Hitter Competes Against Some of World’s Best

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale outside hitter Brittani Steinberg this summer competed against some of the world’s best volleyball players at the 2015 Global Challenge in Croatia.

Steinberg, entering her junior year at Yale, played for an all-star team of collegiate players and took her swings against numerous high-level competitive teams from Europe.

“The competition was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before,” Steinberg said. “We played against the Italian, Israeli, and Hungarian national teams, to name a few. These girls practice every day together for hours on end, and it clearly showed. The girls on these teams hail from across their entire nation, so they were all very big, powerful, and physical.”

The tournament was held in Pula, Croatia, and set up by Bring It Promotions, which organizes international volleyball tours for all levels and ages. Steinberg played for the U-22 Midwest team.

For Steinberg, it was a chance to represent the United States and Yale at an international level. It was a unique opportunity that the Glenview, Ill., native had always wanted.

“It was such an honor to represent both the U.S. and Yale,” said Steinberg, who earned All-Ivy status as a freshman at Yale. “I had always dreamed about playing at the international level. Finally achieving that goal was so exciting for me. The fact that I was able to represent my school and country which I love so much made the experience so much better.”

The trip tested Steinberg’s ability to adapt to new teammates playing in unfamiliar surroundings. Her team included student-athletes from schools that play in the ACC, SEC and Pac-12.

“It was such a unique experience to play with girls from all over the country,” Steinberg said. “To be put in such a highly competitive tournament after only 3 hours of practicing together is an experience that is nearly impossible to find and replicate. It really tests your ability to quickly adapt to a new situation and adjust to make the team as best as possible. Luckily we all clicked right from the beginning, which definitely contributed to our success.”

When Steinberg wasn’t playing, she took advantage of her free time.

“When we had the opportunity to travel around, we went to beaches and swam,” Steinberg said. “We also toured the city of Pula, which has a coliseum from the Roman Empire located in the middle of it. My favorite part of Croatia was the cliffs in Kamenjak. My team and I swam in caves and jumped off of 50-foot tall cliffs into the Adriatic Sea.”

The tournament also gave Steinberg the chance to get some extra playing time after missing most of last season due to injury. Steinberg said the competition will be beneficial when it’s time to go back to Yale and get on the court.

“I think this tournament was the perfect way to prepare me for this upcoming season,” Steinberg said. “Because my injury had me sidelined from such an early point in the season last year, I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in some genuine competition. After a year of getting back in shape and training, the European Global Challenge was the ideal way to cap off the process. It has made me so excited for this upcoming season, and I can’t wait to get back to Yale and get in the gym to play with my teammates.”

Report filed by Ernie Bertothy, Yale Sports Publicity

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