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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Popik, Weeg discuss cultural differences


YEAR/POSITION Junior student assistant (came to IU in 2007 as outside hitter but suffered shoulder injury)

HOMETOWN Bielsko-Biala, Poland

IDS: How did you find out about IU?

MP: I was recruited by the guy named Bill, and he’s recruiting for all the United States, travelling around Europe. He sent information about me to the colleges and schools contacted me, and one of them was IU.

IDS: Is volleyball big in Poland?

MP: It’s huge. Men’s volleyball just won the European championship a couple of weeks ago, and the women got third place, so it’s pretty big. And I’m from a volleyball family. My dad is a coach in a professional league, and my brother plays.

IDS: Was it an adjustment first coming to America?

MP: It took me about two months to adjust to the new language and different culture and people. It was different, but now I love it.

IDS: You were the first international player in IU volleyball history. What did that mean to you?

MP: I didn’t know before coming here that I was the first international player, so I felt a little bit special because, you know, I made history, and maybe I opened the door for other international players.


YEAR/POSITION Sophomore outside hitter

HOMETOWN Cincinnati (born in Belgium)

IDS: You were born in Belgium. How long did you actually live there?

JW: Just for a year. We moved to Cincinnati on my first birthday.

IDS: Have you gone back to visit?

JW: Yeah. We go, not every year, but we try to go every year. I went there this past summer, and we’re going back this next summer. We try to go back because my mom’s whole family is there.

IDS: How has your Belgian heritage shaped you?

JW: I’ve grown up traveling, so that’s never been something really new for me. And I’m a little more used to people with accents. My mom’s always had an accent, so it’s not weird for me to be around.

IDS: Do they play volleyball in Belgium?

JW: I would assume so, but it’s not a very tall country.

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