The college men’s volleyball preseason will open with UC Irvine going up against international teams from China and Brazil.
UC Irvine announced during the weekend that it will play host to SADA Cruziro and Shanghi Tang Dynasty as part of an on-campus exhibition series.
The Anteaters’ match against the Chinese team Shanghi Tang Dynasty will be closed to the public. In addition, UC Irvine will close-out the preseason event with a match open to the public against Brazil’s SADA Cruzeiro at 1 p.m. Saturday.
This will be the third time in the last four years that the Anteaters have played international teams as part of their preseason schedule. UC Irvine competed at the World Challenge Cup in Argentina in 2012 and played host to the Irvine International Volleyball Tournament in the fall of 2011.
The Anteaters coming off of winning the 2013 NCAA championship finished last season in sixth place in the MPSF and reached conference tournament quarterfinals.
The team returns a majority of starters from last year, including All-American libero Michael Brinkley. Both Brinkley and opposite Zack La Cavera also gained international experience during the off-season as helped lead the United States to a silver medal at the Pan American Cup in August.