Hynes in historic national GP team

Eliza Karley Hynes

Eliza Karley Hynes

SMASH: Eliza Karley Hynes in action for OrPo. Picture: JYRI KIVIMAKI

SMASH: Eliza Karley Hynes in action for OrPo. Picture: JYRI KIVIMAKI

VOLLEYBALLER Eliza Karley Hynes is bound for eastern Europe as part of a history-making tour with the Australian national women's team.

The so-called Women's Volleyroos are set to make their World Grand Prix debut in Kazakhstan and Croatia this month.

Bendigo-raised Hynes, 22, was named in the 12-member squad after a successful professional season with Finnish club OrPo, where she was the second-highest point scorer in that country's national league competition.

Hynes helped OrPo to finish runner-up in the championship race before returning to Australia in April.

The Australian women have been warming up for their first Grand Prix appearance at a week-long training camp in Thailand.

They flew to Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

Hynes and her team-mates will play the host nation on July 25, then the Czech Republic and Croatia in what will be one of the biggest events for women’s volleyball in Australia since the Sydney Olympics.

They later head to Porec in Croatia for matches against  Bulgaria, Croatia and Kenya in the first week of August.

Twenty-eight nations are taking part in the World Grand Prix, headed by the number one ranked Brazilians and second seeded Americans.

Australia is ranked 100 in the world but has been invited to compete as part of the Oceania development program.

Hynes, from Maiden Gully, represented her country at indoor volleyball and schoolgirl netball as a junior before switching to beach volleyball in her late teens.

She won bronze at the world youth beach volleyball championships in 2009 with Taliqua Clancy but returned to the indoor game in 2013.

The talented outside hitter made an immediate impression, earning selection in her first Australian senior team and touring Vietnam.

Follow her squad’s fortunes at www.facebook.com/womensvolleyroos

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