Feb. 26 Notebook for U.S. Women's Open Tryouts

Feb. 26, 2011, 11:28 p.m. (ET)

Becky Murdy
Media Relations and Publications Assistant
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: becky.murdy@usav.org

Wopat Twins Feed Off Each Other at Tryouts

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 26, 2011) - For twins Sam and Carly Wopat athletics are not a hobby, but a family tradition and volleyball is more than their sport, but a sister act. The two have competed on the same court since they were 12 and continue the custom at the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Open Tryouts being held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“We love the competitiveness out here,” Sam said. “It is exciting to get a break from school and play with the level of talent out here on the courts. Being twins in this sport is cool because we get the opportunity to sometimes intimidate our opponents as well.”

“It is fun sometimes to play on opposite sides of the net though,” Carly added on being on different teams and playing each other in tryouts. “We can watch what each other does and make ourselves better from it.”

For the complete feature story, visit usavolleyball.org/news/article/41139.

Black, Barker Reunite with Desire to Play Together, Again

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 26, 2011) – For setter Brianne Barker and outside hitter Kelsey Black, this weekend’s U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Open Tryouts being held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs seem like a reunion of sorts for the childhood friends who grew up together on the volleyball courts of Amarillo, Texas.

The pair was nearly inseparable on the volleyball court as pre-teenagers before going their separate ways at college – Barker to University of Oklahoma and Black to Texas A&M. Black and Barker guided Amarillo High School to consecutive Texas Class 5A state championships in 2006 and 2007, becoming the first team in Texas Class 5A to repeat in over 20 years. During their three years together with the Amarillo High Sandies program, the duo scored an impressive 129 victories in 134 matches for a .963 winning percentage with Barker’s mother, Jan, as the head coach of the program.

“It was a definite blessing to be coached by my mom,” Barker said. “It had its hard times and brought on some drama, but I would not want it any other way. It was a special bond to have my mom as the coach.”

Yet, the bond between Black and Barker started well before high school. They had been on the same youth volleyball club starting in 2001 playing for High Plains 12s. Their last year competing together in club was with Amarillo Elite 17s.

For the complete feature story, visit usavolleyball.org/news/article/41137.

U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts Photo Galleries
Gallery 5 - Feb. 26 Waves 8 and 9
Gallery 4 - Feb. 26 Wave 7 (Exclusively U.S. Women's Junior National Team Eligible Athletes)
Gallery 3 - Feb. 26 Waves 4, 5 and 6

For the most up-to-date information on the 2011 U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts, click here.