U.S. Women's National Training Team and Invitation-Only Tryouts Start Jan. 7

Jan. 03, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 3, 2008) – USA Volleyball has invited 14 athletes to an invitation-only U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team tryout to be held Jan. 7-12, 2008, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Four other athletes have already been invited to train with the U.S. Women’s National Team that runs concurrently with the tryout.

Based on past performances with the U.S. Women’s National Team, Nebraska middle blocker Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.), Stanford middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) and Florida setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) will begin training full-time with Team USA on Jan. 7, while Stanford outside hitter Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) will join the team in March 2008.

The tryout invitee list includes Stanford’s Bryn Kehoe (Setter, North Bend, Ohio) and Alix Klineman (Outside Hitter, Manhattan Beach, Calif.); Texas’ Juliann Faucette (Outside Hitter, San Diego, Calif.), Destinee Hooker (Outside Hitter, San Antonio, Texas) and Lauren Paolini (Middle Blocker, Ann Arbor, Mich.); UCLA’s Nana Meriwether (Middle Blocker, Potomac, Md.), Nellie Spicer (Setter, Barrington, Ill.) and Rachell Johnson (Opposite, San Diego, Calif.); California’s Angela Pressey (Outside Hitter, Heathrow, Fla.) and Morgan Beck (Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker, Coto De Caza, Calif.); Cal Poly’s Kylie Atherstone (Opposite, Chico, Calif.); Long Beach State’s Alexis Crimes (Middle Blocker, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Washington’s Alesha Deesing (Middle Blocker, Aumsville, Ore.) and Loyola Marymount's Heather Hughes (Opposite, Fallbrook, Calif.).

The tryout group includes two setters, four middle blockers, four outside hitters, three opposites and one outside hitter/middle blocker. Participants include two current collegiate freshmen, one collegiate sophomore, three collegiate juniors, six players ending their college careers this fall and one player who exhausted college eligibility after the 2006 season.

Although most of the U.S. Women’s National Team members are overseas playing professional volleyball, several veterans will be back in Colorado Springs starting Jan. 7 to train full time concurrently with the week-long tryout under the direction of U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach “Jenny” Lang Ping. In addition to Akinradewo, McGinnis and Stalls, national team members returning to train this month are Cassie Busse (Opposite, Prior Lake, Minn.), Lindsey Hunter (Setter, Papillion, Neb.) and Katie Wilkins (Outside Hitter, Lakeside, Calif.). Wilkins plans to arrive on Jan. 14 and Busse is expected to return to training on Jan. 20. The rest of the training team will be in Colorado Springs starting Jan. 7. The national team players currently competing overseas will reconvene training in Colorado Springs by early May 2008.

Selected players from the invitation-only tryout will be invited to train with the U.S. Women’s National Team this spring and compete for tournament roster spots in the summer. Team USA earned its berth into the 2008 Olympic Games by finishing third at the FIVB World Cup in November 2007.

In addition, the USA Women’s National Team will hold its annual “Open Tryout” at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 22-24. This tryout will be used to identify possible candidates for the U.S. National and Olympic Team, as well as the A2 program which is planning to train in Atlanta from approximately May 19-28, 2008. This time frame includes competing in the 2008 U.S. Open Championships at the Atlanta Convention Center from May 24-27. Registration closes Jan, 15, 2008, but may close early as space is limited. Late registrants will be taken on a space available basis after Jan. 15. To download the “Open Tryout” application, go to http://www.usavolleyball.org/media/national/08WTryout.pdf.

U.S. Women’s National Training Team
Foluke Akinradewo (MB, Plantation, Fla.) * currently junior at Stanford University
Cynthia Barboza (OH, Long Beach, Calif.) * currently junior at Stanford University
Cassie Busse (OPP, Prior Lake, Minn.)
Lindsey Hunter (S, Papillion, Neb.)
Angie McGinnis (S, Fraser, Mich.)
Tracy Stalls (MB, Denver, Colo.)
Katie Wilkins (OH, Lakeside, Calif.)

Invited USA National Team Tryout Participants
Kylie Atherstone (OPP, Jr., Cal Poly, Chico, Calif.)
Morgan Beck (OH/MB, Jr., California, Coto De Caza, Calif.)
Alexis Crimes (MB, Sr., Long Beach State, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)
Alesha Deesing (MB, Sr., Washington, Aumsville, Ore.)
Juliann Faucette (OH, Fr., Texas, San Diego, Calif.)
Destinee Hooker (OH, So., Texas, San Antonio, Texas)
Heather Hughes (OPP, Sr., Loyola Marymount, Fallbrook, Calif.)
Rachell Johnson (OPP, Sr., UCLA, San Diego, Calif.)
Bryn Kehoe (S, Sr., Stanford, North Bend, Ohio)
Alix Klineman (OH, Fr., Stanford, Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Nana Meriwether (MB, formerly of UCLA, Potomac, Md.)
Lauren Paolini (MB, Jr., Texas, Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Angela Pressey (OH, Sr., California, Heathrow, Fla.)
Nellie Spicer (S, Jr., UCLA, Barrington, Ill.)

Quick Bios on Invited Tryout Players and Added U.S. Women’s National Training Team Members

Foluke Akinradewo (Middle Blocker, Plantation, Fla., Stanford University)
Akinradewo, who hit a team-high .513 for the U.S. Women’s National Team this summer at the Pan American Games, helped Stanford win the Pac-10 title outright and NCAA runnerup trophy as a junior in 2007. She hit .499 for the Cardinal this season, while averaging 4.11 kills and 1.21 blocks per game. Akinradewo earned the 2007 AVCA Player of the Year award.

Kylie Atherstone (Opposite, Chico, Calif., Cal Poly)
Atherstone, a 2007 U.S. National A2 selection and two-time Big West Conference Player of the Year, led the Big West Conference in 2006 for kills per game, total kills and placed third in aces per game as a sophomore in 2006. She currently averages 4.70 kills, 2.58 digs and 0.69 blocks per set in 2007. Atherstone, a 2007 AVCA All-America Third Team pick, helped Cal Poly clinch its second straight Big West title.

Cynthia Barboza (Outside Hitter, Long Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
Barboza, an AVCA All-America First-Team selection in 2006 and 2007, averaged 2.79 points per set while starting for the U.S. National Team at the Pan American Cup and Pan American Games this past summer. As a junior at Stanford this year, she averaged 4.50 points and 3.25 digs per game. Barboza, a first alternate for Team USA at the 2004 Olympic Games, has 1,237 kills and 883 digs at Stanford.

Morgan Beck (Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker, Coto De Caza, Calif., University of California-Berkeley)
Beck helped the California to its first-ever NCAA Championship semifinal appearance in 2007 as she averaged 3.14 points, 2.39 kills, 1.03 blocks and 1.66 digs per game. She has earned All-Pac 10 honorable mention the past two seasons. Beck has 913 kills and 296 blocks through her junior season.

Alexis Crimes (Middle Blocker, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Long Beach State University)
Crimes, a three-time AVCA All-America honorable mention, averages 4.48 kills, 1.30 blocks and 1.78 digs for Long Beach State in 2007. She holds 1,756-career kills and 598-career blocks. Crimes has eight 20-plus kill matches as a senior.

Alesha Deesing (Middle Blocker, Aumsville, Ore., University of Washington)
Deesing, a 2006 AVCA All-America Second-Team selection as a junior, averaged 1.28 blocks per game for Washington as a senior in 2007. She turned in a .345 attack percentage with 2.02 kills per game. As a sophomore in 2005, Deesing started all 32 matches as the Huskies captured their first NCAA title.

Juliann Faucette (Outside Hitter, San Diego, Calif., University of Texas)
Faucette, the 2007 AVCA National Freshman of the Year and AVCA All-America First-Team pick, has burst onto the college scene starting 29 of 30 matches. She ranks among the top three the Big 12 in kills per game with a 4.47 average. Faucette, who played a major role on the gold-medal winning U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the 2006 NORCECA Continental Championship, made the jump to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the Azteca TV Cup in September 2006.

Destinee Hooker (Outside Hitter, San Antonio, Texas, University of Texas)
As a sophomore, Hooker averaged 5.51 points per set for Texas while hitting at a .347 percentage leading to an AVCA All-America honor. A multi-sport standout with two NCAA Division I outdoor high jump championship titles, she ranks among the top three in the Big 12 in kills per game at 4.55 in 2007. As a freshman, she was named to the AVCA All-America Honorable Mention Team.

Heather Hughes (Opposite, Fallbrook, Calif., Loyola Marymount)
Hughes earned AVCA All-Pacific Region honorable mention and All-West Coast Conference First Team honors in her final season at Loyola Marymount. She finished first in the WCC in kills and points with 5.00 and 5.56 per game, respectively. Hughes led the nation in kills per game from September 10 to November 4, a span of eight weeks. She holds school career records for aces (157), second in kills (1,679) and digs (1,261), and fourth in kill average (3.83).

Rachell Johnson (Opposite, San Diego, Calif., UCLA)
Johnson averages 1.17 blocks and 3.27 kills per game for UCLA in 2007. She has eight matches this season with at least five blocks. Johnson tallied a personal-high 11 block versus Arizona State on Sept. 21.

Bryn Kehoe (Setter, North Bend, Ohio, Stanford University)
Kehoe, a three-time AVCA All-American, has been a four-year starting setter for Stanford. As a senior in 2007, she topped the NCAA in assist average helping Stanford to a NCAA fifth-place ranking in team attack percentage. Kehoe was a member of the 2005 U.S. National Team that competed at the Montreux Masters.

Alix Klineman (Outside Hitter, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Stanford University)
Klineman, the 2006 National Gatorade Player of the Year in high school sports, averages 4.86 points and 2.69 digs per set in her first season at Stanford. She has scored double-digit kills in 24 of 28 Cardinal matches. Klineman, an AVCA All-America Second Team selection in 2007, averaged 4.88 points per set to lead the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team to a fourth-place finish at the FIVB Junior World Championship.

Angie McGinnis (Setter, Fraser, Mich., University of Florida)
McGinnis, a two-time SEC Player of the Year and only setter to ever receive the honor, has set Florida to a league-high .310 hitting percentage in 2007. She is averaging a career-best 13.74 assists per game as a senior and is the first Gator setter to reach 1,000-career digs. McGinnis, a two-time AVCA All-American, competed for the U.S. National Team in 2005 as part of the Pan American Cup roster.

Nana Meriwether (Middle Blocker, Potomac, Md., UCLA graduate)
Meriwether, who completed her collegiate eligibility at UCLA in 2006, led the NCAA Division I with a .448 season attack percentage and a 1.95 blocks per-game average as a senior, becoming the first player in NCAA Division I history to lead the final national statistical standings in two different categories for the same season. She helped the Bruins to a 33-4 record in 2006 and their first NCAA Tournament semifinal appearance since 1994.

Lauren Paolini (Middle Blocker, Ann Arbor, Mich., University of Texas)
Paolini, a 2007 U.S. National A2 selection, finished this past season second in blocking at Texas with a 1.28 average this season. In addition, she has produced a team-leading .415 attack percentage in helping the Longhorns to a third-place ranking in the final regular season CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.

Angie Pressey (Outside Hitter, Heathrow, Fla., University of California-Berkeley)
Pressey, a 2007 U.S. National A2 selection, is a two-time AVCA All-American Second-Team pick. She is the first Cal player to be named All-Pac 10 three years in a row. In 2007, Pressey helped the Bears to the NCAA Championship semifinals by averaging 4.19 kills, 2.82 digs and 0.89 blocks per game. She finished her career with 1,710 kills.

Tracy Stalls (Middle Blocker, Denver, Colo., University of Nebraska)
Stalls, who has trained and competed with the U.S. Women’s National Team before attending Nebraska and as recently as this summer, ranks third nationally in attack percentage (.473) and adds 2.83 kills and 1.13 blocks per game. She earned her second consecutive AVCA All-America Second-Team recognition after the 2007 season. Stalls hit .615 with a 2.25 kill average while playing with the U.S. National Team this summer at the Pan America Cup.

Nellie Spicer (Setter, Barrington, Ill., UCLA)
Spicer earned her second consecutive AVCA All-America First-Team honor in 2007. A first-team All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 selection, she averaged 12.92 asists and 3.07 digs as the Bruins reached the NCAA Region Final round. Spicer had 22 double-doubles on the year, producing at least 50 assists in a match 14 times.