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Mar 07 USA Volleyball announces Selections for 2008 U.S. Women's National A2 Program

March 27, 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. (March 27, 2008) – USA Volleyball is proud to announce the selection of 22 athletes to the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 National Team program, according to USAV Managing Director of High Performance Indoor Programs Tom Pingel.

The 22 players, all with remaining collegiate eligibility, will be split into two 11-member squads during training sessions prior to competing in the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships May 24-31 in Atlanta. The competition will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center Hall B. Additional information on the tournament can be found at http://www.usavolleyball.org/Adults/.

“We are very pleased to able to field two teams of such a high caliber at the U.S. Open Championships,” Pingel said. “We have expanded the A2 program from 20 to 22 players, and we feel this will be a workable number given the level of talent at the tryout. Not only is the USA Volleyball staff looking forward to seeing this up-and-coming group of athletes train and compete in Atlanta in May, judging by the feedback from the athletes, they are anxiously looking forward to it as well.”

USA Volleyball held two tryouts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to assist in the selection of the A2 Team. The first tryout session was an invitation-only event Jan. 7-11, while the second tryout was an open event held Feb. 22-24. Both tryouts doubled as evaluation periods for the A2 program as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team which will compete at the Olympic Games.

The 2008 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team includes four setters, seven outside hitters, six middles, three opposites and two liberos. The players come from 14 different collegiate programs. Three players are repeat participants in the program from 2007: Sydney Anderson (Setter, Salt Lake City, Utah), Kylie Atherstone (Opposite, Chico, Calif.) and Jamie Houston (Outside Hitter, Huntsville, Ala.).

In addition, USA Volleyball has announced the coaching staff for the U.S. Women’s National A2 Teams. University of Texas Head Coach Jerritt Elliott and Michigan State University Head Coach Cathy George will serve as head coaches for the program, while University of Virginia Assistant Coach Jill Pape-Kramer and Georgia Tech Assistant Coach Ben Bodipo-Memba will serve as assistant coaches.

2008 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Selections
Sarah Ammerman (Outside Hitter, Junior in 2008, Texas A&M University, Parker, Colo.)
Sydney Anderson (Setter, Sophomore in 2008, University of Nebraska, Salt Lake City, Utah)
Kylie Atherstone (Opposite, Senior in 2008, Cal Poly, Chico, Calif.)
Lori Baird (Middle Blocker, Senior in 2008, University of Utah, Murray, Utah)
Kelsey Bowers (Middle Blocker, Senior in 2008, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.)
Brittnee Cooper (Middle Blocker, Junior in 2008, Louisiana State University, Houston, Texas)
Zoe Garrett (Middle Blocker, Sophomore in 2008, University of Southern California, Laguna Beach, Calif.)
Ellen Herman (Outside Hitter, Junior in 2008, Ohio University, Toledo, Ohio)
Alli Hillgren (Libero, Junior in 2008, University of Southern California, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
Jamie Houston (Outside Hitter, Senior in 2008, University of Hawai’i, Huntsville, Ala.)
Kristy Jaeckel (Outside Hitter, Redshirt Freshman in 2008, University of Florida, Littleton, Colo.)
Talisa Kellogg (Outside Hitter, Senior in 2008, Georgia Tech, Westerville, Ohio)
Carli Lloyd (Setter, Sophomore in 2008, University of California-Berkeley, Bonsall, Calif.)
Elena Martinez (Libero, Senior in 2008, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, La.)
Jessica Nyrop (Setter, Senior in 2008, University of San Diego, Harrison, Idaho)
Dominique Olowolafe (Middle Blocker, Sophomore in 2008, Cal Poly, Lansing, Mich.)
Callie Rivers (Outside Hitter, Sophomore in 2008, University of Florida, Winter Park, Fla.)
Kimmee Roleder (Outside Hitter, Sophomore in 2008, University of Southern California, Pasadena, Calif.)
Am’ra Solomon (Opposite, Junior in 2008, University of California-Berkeley, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Maria Taylor (Opposite, Senior in 2008, University of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga.)
Nicole Vargas (Setter, Senior in 2008, Long Beach State University, Seal Beach, Calif.)
Lauren Williams (Middle Blocker, Redshirt Freshman in 2008, University of Southern California, Houston, Texas)

2008 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Coaching Staff
Head Coaches: Jerritt Elliott (University of Texas) and Cathy George (Michigan State University)
Assistant Coaches: Jill Pape-Kramer (University of Virginia) and Ben Bedipo-Memba (Georgia Tech)

Player Sketches Sorted by College Attending

California

Carli Lloyd (Setter, Sophomore in 2008, University of California-Berkeley, Bonsall, Calif.)
Lloyd finished her freshman season with multiple postseason honors including being named to the 2007 Pacific 10 All-Freshman Team and all-tournament for the NCAA Wisconsin Regional. Her 1,550 assists was only five shy of the single-season school record. Lloyd was also third on the team in digs with a 1.93 average per set.

Am’ra Solomon (Opposite, Junior in 2008, University of California-Berkeley, Los Angeles, Calif.)
As an outside for California, Solomon provided a .245 attack percentage in 31 games played for the Bears. She averaged 2.58 kills and 0.65 blocks per set as she totaled 93 points in 2007 as a sophomore.

Cal Poly

Kylie Atherstone (Opposite, Senior in 2008, Cal Poly, Chico, Calif.)
Atherstone, who was selected to the 2007 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team, is an AVCA All-America Third-Team pick in 2007 after earning Big West Conference Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007. She led all Big West Conference players in kills (531) and kills per set (4.70). Atherstone’s kill average for 2007 ranks second all-time in school history. She helped Cal Poly reach the NCAA regional round for the first time since 1985.

Dominique Olowolafe (Middle Blocker, Sophomore in 2008, Cal Poly, Lansing, Mich.)
Olowolafe, the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year in 2007, finished her initial collegiate season ranked seventh in block average with 1.23 per set. She started 25 of the Mustangs’ 31 matches and compiled a .287 attack percentage on 1.71 kills per set.

Florida

Kelsey Bowers (Middle Blocker, Senior in 2008, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.)
Bowers, a second-team All-SEC pick in 2007, ranked second in the conference with a .361 hitting percentage, while her .402 clip in league play topped the SEC. She also averaged a team-best 1.31 blocks per game, tying for the third-best average by a junior in program history.

Kristy Jaeckel (Outside Hitter, Redshirt Freshman in 2008, University of Florida, Littleton, Colo.)
Jaeckel, who redshirted the 2007 season at Florida, played on the 2007 U.S. Junior National A2 Team that competed at the European Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia.

Callie Rivers (Outside Hitter, Sophomore in 2008, University of Florida, Winter Park, Fla.)
Rivers earned a spot on the 2007 SEC All-Freshman Team in 2007 after compiling season averages of 2.71 kills and 3.29 points per set. She established a school record for freshman outside hitters with a 0.51 block average. Rivers was part of the U.S. Junior National A2 Team in 2006.

Georgia

Maria Taylor (Opposite, Senior in 2008, University of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga.)
Taylor, an All-SEC Second-Team pick in 2007, led the conference with 4.65 kills per set while her 498 overall kills topped the Bulldogs. She recorded the second triple-double (29 kills, 11 digs, 10 blocks versus Arkansas) at Georgia in the last 10 years. Taylor tallied two 30-plus kill matches in 2007, including a career-high 33 versus Georgia Tech. She enters the 2008 season needing 316 kills to break into the top five all-time at Georgia.

Georgia Tech

Talisa Kellogg (Outside Hitter, Senior in 2008, Georgia Tech, Westerville, Ohio)
Kellogg earned AVCA All-America honorable mention and all-ACC first team honors as a junior in 2007. She led the Jackets in kills (449) and kills per game (3.96) as a junior. Through her first three seasons, she ranks among the top 10 on Georgia Tech’s career kills (1,396) and solo blocks (53) lists while her career 3.88 kill average ranks third in school history.

Hawai’i

Jamie Houston (Outside Hitter, Senior in 2008, University of Hawai’i, Huntsville, Ala.)
Houston, a 2006 AVCA All-America Third-Team pick and 2007 AVCA All-America honorable mention, ranked second in the nation in kill average at 5.51 per set. She added 0.77 blocks and 2.56 digs per set while hitting .260. Houston was a 2007 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team selection. She also participated on the 2005 U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team.

Long Beach State

Nicole Vargas (Setter, Senior in 2008, Long Beach State University, Seal Beach, Calif.)
Vargas, an All-Big West Conference honorable mention pick in 2007, ranked fourth in the conference in assists with 11.85 per set leading the 49ers to a league-leading .262 team attack percentage. She added 1.12 kills, 0.33 aces, 2.55 digs and 0.63 blocks per set as a junior. Vargas was a member of the 2004 U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team and on the 2005 U.S. Women’s Junior National A2 Team.

LSU

Brittnee Cooper (Middle Blocker, Junior in 2008, Louisiana State University, Houston, Texas)
Cooper ranked fourth in the SEC and 31st in the nation in blocks per game during her sophomore season in 2007. On four occasions, she recorded double-doubles, including a career-high 13 blocks against Notre Dame. Cooper ranks among the top 10 at LSU in single-season blocks per game and ranks fifth in single-season block assists.

Elena Martinez (Libero, Senior in 2008, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, La.)
Martinez, the 2007 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and AVCA All-America honorable mention selection, broke the 21-year-old SEC record for digs in a single season and recorded the 11th most digs in a single season in NCAA history. She averaged 5.61 digs per set to lead the conference. Martinez tallied 21 or more digs in 30 of LSU’s matches in 2007, including a school-record 43 digs versus Alabama.

Nebraska

Sydney Anderson (Setter, Sophomore in 2008, University of Nebraska, Salt Lake City, Utah)
Anderson, who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team during the summer of 2007 after sitting out the collegiate season, signed with the University of Nebraska after playing her freshman season at University of Utah in 2006. She averaged 12.45 assists, 2.77 digs and 0.76 blocks to lead the Utes to a 28-4 record and NCAA second-round appearance. Anderson, a 2007 U.S. Women’s National A2 Selection, was tabbed the AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year and Mountain West Conference Setter of the Year.

Ohio

Ellen Herman (Outside Hitter, Junior in 2008, Ohio University, Toledo, Ohio)
Herman, a 2007 AVCA All-Mideast Region honorable mention, posted 4.07 kills per set with a .243 attack percentage as a sophomore. She earned All-Mid American Conference First Team for the second consecutive season. Herman compiled a 4.49 point average for the season, in addition to a 1.31 dig average.

San Diego

Jessica Nyrop (Setter, Senior in 2008, University of San Diego, Harrison, Idaho)
As part of a 6-2 offense, Nyrop averaged 8.90 assists per set in helping the Toreros to a .245 team attack percentage. She added set averages of 2.02 digs, 0.15 aces and 0.25 kills per set. San Diego finished the season with a 21-8 record.

Southern California

Zoe Garrett (Middle Blocker, Sophomore in 2008, University of Southern California, Laguna Beach, Calif.)
Garrett was named to the 2007 All-Pac 10 Freshman Team as she started 29 of 34 matches for the Trojans. She averaged 2.60 points per set, including a 1.02 block average. She helped the 2007 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team to a fourth place finish at the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship as she finished second among all players in block average. Garrett was part of the gold-medal winning U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the 2006 NORCECA Continental Championship.

Alli Hillgren (Libero, Junior in 2008, University of Southern California, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
Hillgren played in 116 of 128 games for the Trojans as a sophomore in 2007. She averaged 4.38 digs per set for fifth best in the Pac-10. Hillgren helped USC to a 29-5 record and spot in the NCAA Division Tournament semifinals.

Kimmee Roleder (Outside Hitter, Sophomore in 2008, University of Southern California, Pasadena, Calif.)
Roleder started 24 matches as afreshman for the Trojans in 2007 compiling averages of 2.71 kills, 1.64 digs and 0.56 blocks per set. As a member of the 2007 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, she helped Team USA to a fourth-place finish at the 2007 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship. Roleder earned 76 points at the FIVB World Championship for seventh-best among all players.

Lauren Williams (Middle Blocker, Redshirt Freshman in 2008, University of Southern California, Houston, Texas)
Williams, who redshirted at University of Southern California during the 2007 season, helped the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team to a gold medal the 2004 NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championship and a fourth-place finish at the 2005 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championship. Williams was also selected for the 2007 U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team.

Texas A&M

Sarah Ammerman (Outside Hitter, Junior in 2008, Texas A&M University, Parker, Colo.)
As a sophomore in 2007, Ammerman paced Texas A&M to a 21-10 record. She led the team and ranked fifth in the Big 12 with 5.07 points and 4.43 kills per game. Ammerman also led the Aggies and ranked fourth in the league with 0.36 aces per game.

Utah

Lori Baird (Middle Blocker, Senior in 2008, University of Utah, Murray, Utah)
Baird earned AVCA All-West Region honorable mention in 2006 and 2007. She ranked second in the Mountain West Conference and among the top 20 nationally in blocks per set at 1.53. Baird ranked fourth in the league in hitting percentage (.316) while finished third for the Utes in kills per set (2.93).

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