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USA A2 Red Wins USA Adult Open Championships in Women’s Open Division

May 28, 2008, 1:48 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 27, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s National A2 Red Team captured the Open Division of the USA Adult Open Volleyball Championships held in Atlanta. The tournament, which started May 24, continues through May 31 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

The USA A2 Red Team defeated Huskies VBC, University of Washington’s collegiate team, in the gold medal match. The U.S. won the first two sets before the Huskies rallied to win the third set. Behind the defense of libero Elena Martinez (New Orleans, La.) in the back row and Am’ra Solomon’s (Los Angeles) net play, the U.S. recovered to win the fourth set.

USA A2 Red Team’s Ellen Herman (Toledo, Ohio), a 2008 junior outside hitter at Ohio University, was named the Women’s Open Division most valuable player. She was joined on the all-tournament team by Red teammates Callie Rivers (Winter Park, Fla.) and Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.). The USA A2 Red Team was led by Cathy George, who also serves as the head coach of the Michigan State University women's volleyball program.

Rivers contributed a team-leading 17 points the championship match, including 16 kills on 31 attacks and one block. Herman totaled 11 points in the gold-medal match, all on kills coming from 34 swings. She recorded 34 of the Red Team's 71 service reception attempts with just two errors. Solomon added seven kills and a team-best six blocks in the title match. Martinez handled 22 service receptions with just one error and a 59 positive percent.

USA A2 Blue finished with the bronze medal during the tournament. USA A2 Blue Team’s Sydney Anderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) was selected to the all-tournament team, as well as Washington’s Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawai’i).

The USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline A2 Teams have been competing in the Open Division since 2003. Its only other championship in the event was in 2004. The USA A2 Program is the only team with more than one Women’s Open Division title in the last eight years.

The U.S. Women’s National Training Team finished second to The Exterminators in its first Open competition in 2003, then rebounded to win the gold in 2004 in a rematch of the previous year’s championship. In 2006, the USA Blue A2 finished second to The Exterminators at New Orleans. Last year, USA Red finished with the silver medal after falling to Westwood VBC (UCLA) in the finals.

Team Paul Mitchell came back through the loser’s bracket to claim the Men’s Open Division title with a victory over TPC Beavers in the gold medal match. Robert Tarr earned the most valuable player in the Men’s Open Division. Team Paul Mitchell has now won six of the Men’s Open Division titles in this century and seven overall open championships since 1994. Team Paul Mitchell has also secured five silver medals in the Open Division since winning its first championship in 1994.

USA Volleyball has showcased its USA Adult Open Volleyball Championships for 79 years since the organization’s founding in 1928. Except for 1943 and 1944 during the height of World War II, the Open has been a mainstay celebrating adult volleyball nationally.

The event is one of the largest national championships in any sport in the United States, and the Open has featured the sport of volleyball from coast-to-coast.

More details on the Open Division championships will be provided later this week. Additional information on the tournament can be found at http://www.usavolleyball.org/Adults/.

USA A2 Red Team
1 - Jessica Nyrop (S, Senior in 2008, University of San Diego, Harrison, Idaho)
2 - Lauren Williams (MB, Redshirt Freshman in 2008, University of Southern California, Houston, Texas)
3 - Kelsey Bowers (MB, Senior in 2008, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.)
4 - Kimmee Roleder (OH, Sophomore in 2008, University of Southern California, Pasadena, Calif.)
5 - Am’ra Solomon (OPP, Junior in 2008, University of California-Berkeley, Los Angeles, Calif.)
6 - Callie Rivers (OH, Sophomore in 2008, University of Florida, Winter Park, Fla.)
7 - Elena Martinez (L, Senior in 2008, Louisiana State University, New Orleans, La.)
9 - Carli Lloyd (S, Sophomore in 2008, University of California-Berkeley, Bonsall, Calif.)
11 - Ellen Herman (OH, Junior in 2008, Ohio University, Toledo, Ohio)
15 - Brittnee Cooper (MB, Junior in 2008, Louisiana State University, Houston, Texas)
Head Coach: Cathy George (Michigan State University)
Assistant Coach: Ben Bedipo-Memba (Georgia Tech)

USA A2 Blue Team
1 - Dominique Olowolafe (MB, Sophomore in 2008, Cal Poly, Lansing, Mich.)
2 - Lori Baird (MB, Senior in 2008, University of Utah, Murray, Utah)
3 - Jamie Houston (OH, Senior in 2008, University of Hawai’i, Huntsville, Ala.)
4 - Talisa Kellogg (OH, Senior in 2008, Georgia Tech, Westerville, Ohio)
5 - Sarah Ammerman (OH, Junior in 2008, Texas A&M University, Parker, Colo.)
6 - Alli Hillgren (L, Junior in 2008, University of Southern California, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
7 - Sydney Anderson (S, Sophomore in 2008, University of Nebraska, Salt Lake City, Utah)
9 - Maria Taylor (OPP, Senior in 2008, University of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga.)
10 - Nicole Vargas (S, Senior in 2008, Long Beach State University, Seal Beach, Calif.)
11 - Kristy Jaeckel (OH/OPP, Redshirt Freshman in 2008, University of Florida, Littleton, Colo.)
15 - Zoe Garrett (MB, Sophomore in 2008, University of Southern California, Laguna Beach, Calif.)
Head Coach: Jerritt Elliott (University of Texas)
Assistant Coach: Brook Coulter (Denver University)

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