Murrey Leads USA A2 Blue to Open Title

May 31, 2011, 11:38 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800

Women's Open Division DataVolley Stats: First Title Match - Second Final Golden Set

DALLAS (May 31, 2011) – The USA A2 Blue squad defeated USA A2 Red 26-24 in the double final title match of the 2011 USA Volleyball Open National Championships Women's Open Division to complete a comeback through the consolation round on Tuesday evening at the Dallas Convention Center.

USA A2 Blue, who lost to USA A2 Red earlier on Tuesday in semifinal round, gained revenge in the first title match with a 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23 victory to force the Golden Set playoff in the double-elimination format. In the do-or-die set, USA A2 Blue came back from a 24-22 deficit to win 26-24 on four unanswered points.

The Women’s Open Division was one of 11 championship brackets decided on Tuesday, while the Special Olympics competition finished on May 29. The USA Volleyball Open National Championships continues through June 4 with 14 brackets starting competition on Wednesday morning.

In the Men’s Open Division, Creole of the Garden Empire Region held off Team GoNation of the New England Region by scores 25-22, 25-22, 24-26, 18-25, 15-11 on Tuesday evening. Other bracket winners on Tuesday included Made in the 1980s (Women’s BB), Team Rambo (Men’s BB), Killer Spikes (Women’s B), Team Hollywood (Men’s B), Corinthians Brasil 40 (Women’s 40+), Western States Laguna (Men’s 50+), Mavericks 50 (Women’s 50+), Kings Mountain Fog 60 (Men’s 60+), Brasil Mix-60 Sampa (Women’s 60+) and Mac Magic 70 (Men’s 70+). Bad Pack won the Special Olympics division on Sunday.

In the full Women’s Open title match, Tarah Murrey (El Cerrito, Calif., California) scored a match-high 20 points with 14 kills, four aces and two blocks while holding a 59 positive reception on 17 attempts. Ashley Bannister (Sugar Land, Texas, Texas) knocked down 14 points, while Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill., Illinois) matched her 14 points that included five blocks to go with a 62 positive reception percent on 13 attempts. Ashley Rhoades (Rio Rancho, N.M., New Mexico) tacked on 12 points with a match-high six blocks. Brianne Barker (Amarillo, Texas, Oklahoma) set USA A2 Red to a 35 kill percent in the match. Jennifer Bonilla (Reseda, Calif., Illinois) charted 25 receptions as part of a team-high 64 positive percent.

Madison Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz., Arizona), who was the only player in the 2011 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team pipeline to have played high school volleyball last fall, led USA A2 Red with 16 points in the first final, including 15 kills on a 48 kill percent. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill., Florida) added 15 points, while Correy Johnson (Winter Park, Fla., California) contributed 12 points with a match-high six blocks.

During the Golden Set, Murrey scored six kills, a block and an ace for eight of her team’s 26 points. Rhoades added six points in the set, while Gwen Rucker (Lexington, Ky., Louisville), Barker and Bannister each collected four points in the deciding set. USA A2 Blue scored seven aces and six blocks in the Golden Set. Kristy Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo., Florida) and Murphy pocketed six points each for USA A2 Red in the deciding set.

Murrey was named the tournament’s Open Division Most Valuable Player and was joined on the All-Tournament by Barker and Bannister on the USA A2 Blue Team, Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif., Southern California) and Kingdon on USA A2 Red, and USA A2 White’s Colleen Ward (Naperville, Ill., Illinois).

“This feels awesome,” Murrey said after the championship. “When we lost to the Red Team in the first final, I was talking to Ashley (Bannister) and told her we have to win this. We worked so hard to get to this point. I couldn’t have asked for more. I loved playing with my teammates this week.”

Murrey, one of only two players to have been part of the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program four times, has now won the gold medal at back-to-back USA Volleyball Open National Championships as she helped her squad to the title in 2010. Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Texas), who won bronze at this year’s event with USA A2 White, earned her second medal in the event as she and Murrey won gold last year. Murphy, who earned a bronze in last year’s event, now has a silver medal with USA A2 Red’s second-place finish in 2011. Monique Mead (Newnan, Ga., Georgia Tech) and Kelsey Black (Amarillo, Texas, Texas A&M), members of USA A2 White in 2011, have now won bronze medals in consecutive tournaments.

USA A2 Blue finished the tournament with a 7-1 record, while USA A2 Red finished with the silver medal and a 5-2 record. Both of USA A2 Red’s losses were to USA A2 Blue. USA A2 White, 4-4 during the tournament, completed the medal stand sweep by finishing in third place.

The 36 players on the USA A2 Blue, Red and White were part U.S. Women’s National A2 Program, which started training at University of Texas-Dallas on May 23 before beginning the USA Volleyball Open National Championships on May 28.

For more information on the USA Volleyball Open National Championships, visit For results and detailed schedules for each bracket, click here.

USA Volleyball Open National Championships Bracket Results

Open and Club Brackets (Skill Level)
Open Women: Gold – USA A2 Blue def. USA A2 Red 26-24 in Golden Set after USA A2 Blue won first title match 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23
Open Men: Gold – Creole (Garden Empire) def. Team GoNation (New England) 25-22, 25-22, 24-26, 18-25, 15-11
Women’s BB: Gold – Made in the 80’s (North Texas) def. Dallas Thunder (North Texas) 25-17, 25-19
Men’s BB: Gold – Team Rambo (Keystone) def. BC2 Ultimate (Great Lakes) 25-21 in Golden Set after BC2 Ultimate won first final match 25-16, 25-19
Women’s B: Gold – Killer Spikes (Southern California) def. HiLife (Aloha) 25-17 in Golden Set after HiLife won first title match 25-23, 26-24
Men’s B: Gold – Team Hollywood (Iowa) def. Molten Hawaii (Aloha) 25-22 in Golden Set after Team Hollywood won first title match 22-25, 25-21, 17-15

Masters and Seniors (Age Divisions)
Women’s 40+: Gold – Corinthians Brasil 40 (Brazil) def. Kashi (Southern California) 25-21 in Golden Set after Kashi won first title match 25-17, 25-18
Men’s 50+: Gold – Western States Laguna (Southern California) def. Team RBC Life (Heartland of America) 25-22, 25-23
Women’s 50+: Gold – Maverick’s 50 (Southern California) def. Fog Canada Masters 50 (Canada) 25-22 in Golden Set after Maverick’s 50 first won title match 18-25, 25-15, 15-11
Men’s 60+: Gold – Kings Mountain Fog 60 (NC) def. Sao Paulo Masters 60 (Brazil) 25-11 in Golden Set after Sao Paulo Masters 60 first won title match 25-18, 25-22
Women’s 60+: Gold - Brasil Mix-60 Sampa (Brazil) def. Mavericks 60s Just VB (Southern California) 25-8, 25-10
Men’s 70+: Gold – Mac Magic 70 (Chesapeake) def. Outback Steakhouse 70 (Puget Sound) 28-26, 18-25, 15-12

Special Olympics Unified: Gold – Bad-Pack def. Allen Spikers 25-17, 25-14

Brackets for June 1-4
Women’s AA
Men’s AA
Women’s A
Men’s A
Men’s 45+
Women’s 45+
Men’s 55+
Women’s 55+
Men’s 65+
Women’s 65+
Men’s 75+
Coed Reverse BB/B
Coed Regular BB/B
Women’s U-Volley (Under 5-9)

USA A2 Red
Jersey – Name (School, Position, Ht, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown)
5 - Kelli Fiegen (South Dakota State, MB, 6-3, 2, Parkston, S.D.)
8 - Kelsey Robinson (Tennessee, L, 6-2, 3, Bartlett, Ill.)
12 - Madison Kingdon (Arizona, OH, 6-0, 4, Phoenix, Ariz.)
13 - Correy Johnson (California, MB, 6-4, 2, Winter Park, Fla.)
14 - Kayla Jeter (Tennessee, OH, 5-11, 1, Solon, Ohio)
16 - Natalie Hagglund (Southern California, L, 5-9, 3, Encinitas, Calif.)
22 - Rachel Krabacher (Dayton, OH, 6-4, 2, Cincinnati, Ohio)
23 - Kelly Murphy (Florida, S, 6-2, 1, Wilmington, Ill.)
24 - Alexis Mathews (Michigan State, MB, 6-4, 3, Detroit, Mich.)
25 - Kristy Jaeckel (Florida, OH, 6-2, 1, Littleton, Colo.)
32 - Lauren Plum (Oregon, S, 5-9, 3, Poway, Calif.)
35 - Allegra Wells (Mississippi, OPP, 6-1, 2, Garland, Texas)
Head Coach: Geoff Carlston (Ohio State University)
Assistant Coaches: Kim Jagd and Ben Lee (Arizona State)

USA A2 White
Jersey – Name (School, Position, Ht, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown)
1 - Carly Cramer (Purdue, L, 5-6, 2, Martinsville, Ind.)
3 - Carly Thomas (Missouri State, S, 5-11, 3, Swansea, Ill.)
6 - Ashley Frazier (Kentucky, OH, 6-1, 2, Oregon, Ohio)
10 - Monique Mead (Georgia Tech, OPP, 5-9, 2, Newnan, Ga.)
11 - Michelle Kocher (Texas, S, 5-10, 1, Wheaton, Ill.)
15 - Cursty Jackson (Arizona, MB, 6-1, 1, Los Angeles, Calif.)
18 - Kelsey Black (Texas A&M, OH, 5-11, 1, Amarillo, Texas)
19 - Rachael Adams (Texas, MB, 6-2, 1, Cincinnati, Ohio)
20 - Carli Weiler (Michigan State, L, 5-4, 1, Oak Lawn, Ill.)
21 - Colleen Ward (Illinois, OH, 6-3, 1, Naperville, Ill.)
28 - Alaina Bergsma (Oregon, OH, 6-3, 2, Chandler, Ariz.)
31 - Cassandra Anderson (Florida, MB, 6-1, 1, Bakersfield, Calif.)
Head Coach: Kelly Sheffield (University of Dayton)
Assistant Coaches: Michelle Chatman (Central Florida) and Daniel Jones (Utah)

USA A2 Blue
Jersey – Name (School, Position, Ht, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown)
2 - Francesca Silva (Notre Dame, L, 5-3, 1, Laguna Nigel, Calif.)
4 - Taylor Brauneis (Louisville, S, 5-10, 3, Crystal Lake, Ill.)
7 - Gwen Rucker (Louisville, MB, 6-2, 1, Lexington, Ky.)
9 - Ashley Rhoades (New Mexico, MB, 5-11, 1, Rio Rancho, N.M.)
17- Jennifer Bonilla (Illinois, L, 5-9, 3, Reseda, Calif.)
26 - Morgan Broekhuis (Nebraska, OPP, 6-5, 3, Colorado Springs, Colo.)
27 - Brittney Brimmage (Missouri, MB, 6-3, 1, East St. Louis, Ill.)
29 - Brianne Barker (Oklahoma, S, 5-9, 1, Amarillo, Texas)
30 - Ashley Bannister (Texas, OH, 6-1, 3, Sugar Land, Texas)
33 - Michelle Bartsch (Illinois, OPP, 6-4, 1, Maryville, Ill.)
34 - Ariel Turner (Purdue, OH, 6-1, 2, Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
36 - Tarah Murrey (California, OH, 6-3, 1, El Cerrito, Calif.)
Head Coach: Fran Flory (LSU)
Assistant Coaches: Brian Hosfeld and Diego Castaneda (North Texas)