Gophers Participating with USA Volleyball This Summer

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Two members of the Gopher volleyball team are currently training with USA Volleyball prior to the 2013 season. Tori Dixon is training with the USA Volleyball for its summer training session in California, while Ashley Wittman is competing with the A2 program in Dallas, Texas.

Dixon was selected to partake in a two-week, short term training session, invited by USA Volleyball national team coach Karch Kiraly. Dixon left on June 22nd and returns to Minnesota on July 4th, competing at the American Sports Center in Anaheim. She and former Gopher Lauren Gibbemeyer have been back in the gym together the last few weeks. Gibbemeyer, who helped Team USA win the Pan Am Cup, was recently named to Preliminary roster of USA's Volleyball Cup roster that will take on Japan, 10-13.

Wittman is competing with USA Volleyball's A2 program, while former Gopher coach Mike Hebert is also there in attendance as Team White's coach. With Team Blue, Wittman started competition on June 29th and continues through July 3 in the bronze and gold medal matches. In the June 30th match against Team Red, Wittman recorded 14 kills. The athletes were selected via the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 22-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryout attracted a record 240 participants, 33 more than the previous best mark set in 2012. Athletes selected to both the A2 program and the U.S. Women's Junior National Volleyball Team (WJNT) could only participate in the WJNT program with the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women's Junior World Championship as the priority event.

Both Dixon and Wittman enter their final year as a Golden Gopher. Wittman was Minnesota's 2012 team captain and a honorable mention All-American. Dixon received second-team All-America honors last season and was a First-Team All-Big Ten selection. Dixon and Wittman are two of 10 student-athletes returning from last year's Elite Eight team. Minnesota begins its season on Aug. 30-31st at the UAB/Samford Tourney in Birmingham, Ala.

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