Luft Ready for First Time Appearance in USA Volleyball HP Pipeline

By Deb Stadick | June 28, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

by Deb Stadick for USA Volleyball

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WNT A2 Roster and Schedule

Dallas (June 28, 2013) - While many of the 47 athletes participating in the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team A2 (WNTA2) program are veterans of the USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline, Kathleen Luft (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) will don her first Team USA jersey when she takes the court tomorrow with her Team Red squad.

The WNTA2 competition is being held June 30 to July 3 at the Dallas Convention Center in conjunction with the 2013 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.

Luft, an outside hitter entering her senior season at Loyola Marymount University, started her volleyball career eight years ago when a friend convinced her to try out for her school’s team.

“I don’t come from a volleyball family,” Luft said. “I was actually all about basketball for a long time.” Luft thanks her parents for her athletic tendency. Her father was a football player at the University of Southern California while her mother ran for the track team. They met in the weight room.

“My parents are both athletes,” Luft said. “They ended up with athletic kids. One of my brothers played football at Harvard. My other brother played everything in high school before getting injured.”

Luft epitomized an athlete, pursuing both basketball and volleyball for several years. A knee injury made her realize it was time to cut back and play just one sport.

“I picked volleyball and am so glad I did,” Luft said. “You get to be a beast on the court, and still be feminine. It is great.”

After three successful college campaigns, Luft loves her sport more than ever. International dreams after college prodded her to give the USA Volleyball pipeline a try.

“I’ve learned so much here,” Luft said. “The competition is awesome. That’s part of what I love about the sport is how competitive it is. It is why I went to Loyola Marymount. And here, it is a whole different level of competition even. All of us are on the same page and going hard and getting after it. It is so much fun.”

Luft and her Team Red squad will have a chance to unleash their competitive natures at 5:30 p.m. CT tomorrow as they face Team White in their first match of the WNTA2 tournament.

June 29
Gold vs. Blue, 3 p.m. CT
Red vs. White, 5:30 p.m. CT

June 30
Red vs. Blue, 3 p.m. CT
White vs. Gold, 5:30 p.m. CT

July 1
Red vs. Gold, 4:30 p.m. CT
Blue vs. White, 7 p.m. CT

July 2
2nd vs. 3rd, 1 p.m. CT
1st vs. 4th, 4 p.m. CT

July 3
Bronze-Medal, 3 p.m. CT
Gold-Medal, 5:30 p.m. CT

TEAM GOLD
Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
5-Mackenzie Bigbee (Opp, Iowa State University, Williamsburg, Iowa, 3, Six pack)
9-Annemarie Hickey (L/DS, University of Wisconsin, Oswego, Ill., 1, 1st Alliance)
10-Deedra Foss (S, Colorado State University, McKenna, Wash., 2, Kent Juniors)
16-Elizabeth Koberstein (S, Marquette University, Madison, Wis., 1, Capital)
17-Taylor Simpson (OH, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2, Colorado Juniors)
20-Veronica Lewis (L/DS, University of Arizona, San Jose, Calif., 2, Vision)
30-Maddy Klineman (OH, UCLA, Manhattan Beach, Calif., 3, Rockstar)
34- Alexis Mathews (MB, Michigan State University, Detroit, Mich., 1, The Victors)
36- Zoe Nightingale (MB, UCLA, Sacramento, Calif., 2, SynergyForce)
37-Morgan Odale (OH, University of Utah, Star, Idaho, 1, Idaho Stars)
45-Litara Keil (MB, Loyola Marymount University, Long Beach, Calif., 2, Sports Shack)
47- Nicole Walch (OH, Florida State University, Stuart, Fla., 3, Treasure Coast)
Coaches: Andy Banachowski, Linda Hampton

TEAM RED
Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
3-Caitlin Welch (L/DS, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky., 1, MAVA)
8-Casey Hinger (MB, Cal State Northridge, Fullerton, Calif., 2, Cal Juniors)
14- Hannah Johnson (S, University of New Mexico, Longview, Wash., 3, Cowlitz)
15-Kierra Jones (MB, Purdue University, Fishers, Ind., 2, Munciana)
21-Kori Moster (L/DS, Michigan State University, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2, Team Z)
23-Valerie Nichol (Opp, Purdue University, Normal, Ill, 2, Illini Elite)
24-Chelsey Schofield (OH, University of Utah, Provo, Utah, 2, Club Utah)
32- Kathleen Luft (OH, Loyola Marymount University, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 1, Santa Monica)
33- Tai Manu-Olevao (OH, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, 3, Asics Rainbows)
40- Mita Uiato (S, University of Hawaii, Long Beach, Calif., 1, Laguna Beach)
42-Courtney Windham (MB, University of North Texas, Houston, Texas, 1, Willowbrook)
44- Moneshia Simmons (Opp, Clemson University, Buford, Ga., 1, NFC Volleyball)
Coaches: Bill Neville and Ashley Allen

TEAM WHITE
Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
6- Whitney Billings (Opp, University of Kentucky, Helena, Ala., 1, Birmingham Volleyball)
7- Carly Cramer (L/DS, Purdue University, Martinsville, Ind., 1, Circle City)
11-Ashley Battle (Opp, Virginia Tech, Apex, N.C., 4, Club Red)
18- Hannah Kvitle (S, University of Louisville, Quincy, Ill., 2, STL CYC)
19-Kaitlyn Leary (OH, Ohio State University, Parma, Ohio, 1, CVC)
27- Ellen Chapman (OH, University of Wisconsin, Glenview, Ill., 2, Sky High)
31-Kathryn LeCheminant (MB, Brigham Young University, Layton, Utah, 1, Club V)
35-Brooke Mattingly (MB, University of Louisville, St. Henry, Ohio, 1, Team Atlantis)
38- DeLaina Sarden (MB, University of Central Florida, Lawrenceville, Ga., 2, A5 Mizuno)
39-Courtney Thomas (S, University of Wisconsin, DeKalb, Ill., 2, Mizuno SPVB)
41-Lauren Wicinski (OH, Michigan State University, Geneva, Ill., 1, Kane County)
Coaches: Mike Hebert and Marci Sanders

TEAM BLUE
Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
1- Kristen Hahn (L/DS, Iowa State University, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1, Six Pack)
2- Chantale Riddle (Opp, University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M., 2, N.A.)
12-Adreene Elliott (MB, University of Maryland, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2, Set Point)
13-Kimberly Dahl (OH, Brigham Young University, Pleasant Grove, Utah, 3, Club Utah)
22- Ellen Mullins (L/DS, University of Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn., 1, Nashville One)
25- Mackenzie Dagostino (S, University of Maryland, Tampa, Fla., 3, Tampa Bay Juniors)
26- Simone Antwi (MB, University of Florida, Fairfax Station, Va., 3, Virginia Elite)
28-Annie Drews (Opp, Purdue University, Elkhart, Ind., 3, NIVA Juniors)
29-Victoria Hurtt (OH, Iowa State University, Kansas City, Mo., 3, KC Extreme)
43-Ashley Wittman (OH, University of Minnesota, Shakopee, Minn., 1, Northern Lights)
46-Hannah Tedrow (S, Loyola Marymount University, Foothill Ranch, Calif., 3, Surf City)
48-Ariana Williams (MB, University of Oregon, Riverside, Calif., 1, Club West)
Coaches: Ruth Nelson and Mike Gawlik

*Technical coaches with all WNTA2 teams are Jay Van Vark, Ted Wade and Nicki Holmes

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