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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State volleyball program will embark upon an 11-day trip to China from May 31-June 10 that includes elements of education, cultural experience and competition. Destinations of the trip include Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing.

The Hornets will depart for Shanghai on May 31, and will play five matches during their stay in China. The team will spend its first three days in Shanghai, followed by three days in Nanjing, and the rest of the trip will take place in Beijing.

The Hornets will play their first match at the Shanghai Training Center on June 2 against a Shanghai Juniors Team, followed by a pair of matchups in Nanjing on June 3-4 against Nanjing Dong Nan University and Nanjing University, respectively. Sacramento State's final matches will take place in Beijing against Beijing Sports University on June 8, and Beihang University on June 9.

Not only does this mark the program's first trip to China, it will also be the first trip abroad for Sacramento State volleyball. The entire Hornet squad from this past fall as well as the coaching staff will be on the trip.

Also joining the Hornets will be former longtime Sacramento State assistant coach Weidi Zhang, who spent 23 years with the program from 1987-2009. Zhang still attends every Sacramento State home volleyball match as a fan. He was the starting setter and team captain during his playing career (1961-75) for the Chinese National Team and professional teams in Shanghai. He also had international coaching stops with the Chinese National Team, as well as with the men's and women's professional teams in Shanghai.

Each of the Hornets' five matches will be played using international rules. The biggest difference between international and collegiate rules are the substitutions. International rules allow just six substitutions per set while collegiate rules allow 15 subs per set. Screening the server is also allowed, and occurs frequently.

The Hornets will receive an extra week of unlimited practice time before departing for the trip, as well as practice and game time they accrue in China. Most collegiate teams do not start practicing until early August.

Other highlights of the trip include interacting with children at a school in Nanjing, and visits to the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.

Information on how you can help support Sacramento State's trip to China can be found by clicking here.

Sacramento State will open the 2017 season on Aug. 25-26 when the team competes at a four-match tournament hosted by St. John's in Queens, N.Y.