"I am excited and proud to be part of this tour,” Aird said. “The volleyball will be elite and we will be pushed by some of the best teams in the world. I am certain that our students will represent the Big Ten Conference the right way. I would like to thank the University of Maryland and the Big Ten Conference for their support and for the opportunity."
Student-athletes from all 14 conference institutions will travel to the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Italy and Austria from June 17-28. Aird will be the squad's head coach for the tour.
Drechsel enrolled at Maryland in January as a key piece of the Terps' strongest recruiting class to date. A native of Bothell, Wash., Drechsel is the No. 23 player in her class and was a 2016 Under Armour First Team All-American.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Sam to gain experience alongside Big Ten athletes and international players,” Aird said. “I think she's a talented young player, and she'll be able to learn with elite athletes. Sam will represent Maryland and the Big Ten very well.”
In addition to competition on the court, the 14 students in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in community service initiatives, study foreign languages with local students and visit some of Europe's most historic cities, including Vienna, Austria, Maribor, Slovenia, and Venice and Milan in Italy.
Alexandra Dunphy (Minnesota) will serve as the tour's director of operations while athletic trainer Scott Campbell (Penn State) will travel as well.
The first Big Ten Foreign Tour took place in June 2015 with rising senior middle blocker Hailey Murray representing the Terps.