The University of Minnesota volleyball team was well represented at the 2014 USA Volleyball Tryouts, held Feb. 21-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Five of the Gophers flew out of Minneapolis/St. Paul earlier on Friday, while Adrianna Nora flew out later in the day, due to class schedule. Four of the Gophers returned on Sunday night, followed by two on Monday morning, Feb. 24.
The Gophers were six among a record-number 248 athletes that competed at the event. The University of Minnesota was one of 106 schools represented as all were trying to make a spot on the United States National Team. Individuals who do not make the U.S. National Team, have a chance to make the Collegiate National Team, formerly called the Senior A2 Team. Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women's National Team staff led the tryout process.
"It was amazing to compete at such a high level all weekend with a gym full of talented athletes," Gopher outside hitter Sarah Wilhite said.
Selected athletes will be notified by early March. USA Volleyball will announce the selections by the end of March once all roster spots are accepted and confirmed. USA Volleyball will have one U.S. Collegiate National Team of 12 athletes and two coaches travel to China June 13-27, 2014, for a series of training sessions and matches in conjunction with a separate team representing the PAC 12 Conference.
The second option for the selected U.S. Collegiate National Team is training and participation at the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships (GJNC) held in Minneapolis. A projected 36 athletes will be invited to participate in the program with training beginning on June 22, 2014, followed by the competition portion June 26-30. U.S. Collegiate National Teams will compete against each other while serving as inspiration for junior athletes competing in the GJNC on what the next level of competition is like in college.
I had a blast at tryouts," Hannah Tapp said. "It was amazing just to be playing around so many great players. One of my favorite parts was getting to play on the same side of the net as the others in the B1G! I got to know some really great girls that I'm excited to face next year in season. Overall I had an incredible time competing at such a high level and will be able to take away many things in just this short weekend in Colorado Springs."