Brunswick, Ga. – The College of Coastal Georgia women's volleyball team is currently raising money to help support its trip this fall to play in the Bill Marshall Invitational in Grand Island, Neb.

The tournament, which is held in conjunction with the Nebraska State Fair, is slated for Aug. 25-26. It is hosted by Hastings College, which won the 2016 NAIA national championship, and will feature several other nationally-ranked teams.

"Having the opportunity to play in the Bill Marshall tournament will garner national attention and test our team in ways no other tournament can," said Coastal Georgia coach Leah Mihm.

The Mariners have won the Southern States Athletic Conference regular-season championship in two of the last three years and won the SSAC tournament championship each of the last three seasons. Coastal Georgia has played in the NAIA national tournament each of the last three years. The team won first-round matches all three years at home to reach the final site of the tournament in Sioux City, Iowa.

This past season, the Mariners defeated Georgetown (Ky.), a perennial power which was ranked No. 11 in the country, in pool play at the final site. The win was the first for the Mariners at the final site in their three appearances there.

"This tournament will definitely prepare us for nationals," said rising junior Hannah Mitchell when asked about playing in the Bill Marshall event. "It will show us exactly what it takes to win multiple games at the national tournament. I'm super excited for what's to come."

Added Coastal Georgia rising junior Kyra White: "Going to Nebraska will benefit this aspiring CCGA program and help us build on our previous accomplishments. It will be a great experience for us."

Said Alexis Downey, another rising junior on the team: "Facing challenging competitors early like Hastings, the reigning national champions, will set the tone for our season and enable us to find our rhythm as a team. I am looking forward to the experience."

The estimated cost for the Mariners to make the trip to Nebraska to compete is $17,000, according to Mihm. This includes travel to and from Grand Island, hotel stay, transportation while at the tournament and meals for 20 players and coaches.

"Our current budget supports a portion of these costs, but we are asking each player to raise money for her plane ticket, estimated at $550 a player," Mihm noted. "Your sponsorship will help our team reach its fundraising goal."

There are several ways to provide a gift for anyone interested.  To make an online gift, visit www.ccga.edu/give. You can designate the gift to Women's Volleyball.

You can also mail gifts by check to College of Coastal Georgia Foundation, One College Drive, Brunswick, Ga., 31520. Please designate the gift to Volleyball, Athletic Department, in the memo line of your check.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call 912-279-5925.