Young Mead Making Strides with U.S. Women's A2

May 30, 2010, 3:22 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 30, 2010) – Monique Mead (Newnan, Ga.) has not shied away from her role as the youngest player within the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program for 2010.

Mead and the other 23-members of the A2 program are competing this week at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in Phoenix. The program, divided into a Blue and Red Team, are competing in the Women’s Open Division that started on May 29 and concludes on June 2. The tournament continues through June 5.

Mead, who will be a sophomore at Georgia Tech this coming fall, has used the USA Volleyball Open National Championships as a learning experience despite being one of the youngest players competing in the tournament.

“This tournament has really showed me how many good players are out there,” Mead said. “I am trying to better myself, and by working hard around other better players is making myself better.”

On the first day of the tournament, Mead’s USA Red Team won its two matches with four-set victories over Team Minnesota and The Exterminators. Tournament results can be found by clicking here.

All 24 players on the U.S. Women’s National A2 Teams have needed to make some adjustments in coaching techniques and styles as the two head coaches for the Teams – Beth Launiere (University of Utah) for the Red Team and Mark Rosen (University of Michigan) for the Blue Team – do not have any players from their respective colleges on their teams.

“The coaching staff has been good with different input,” Mead said. “They have been helping me with different shot selections and passing. With the A2 Teams, we are using a lot faster, quicker tempo offense than what I am accustomed to playing and seeing. We play pin-to-pin and use the middles more often. When I go back to Georgia Tech, I will have more experience with a faster offense to make myself better.”

Mead, a 5-10 opposite hitter, helped Georgia Tech to a 21-10 overall record in her freshman season in 2009. She averaged 3.07 kills, 0.78 blocks, 1.97 digs and 0.26 aces per set in her first collegiate season. Mead was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year and was an All-ACC First-Team pick.

Coming into the A2 training camp held May 24-28 and the USA Volleyball Open National Championships, Mead not only wanted to better herself as a player, but to create some lasting friendships.

“I came here to make some new friends from across the country,” Mead said. “At the same time, I am getting better as a player and seeing different styles of play.”

Mead has enjoyed her experience in Phoenix and the tournament so much that she is not hesitant to say this will not be her last time playing in the USA Volleyball Open National Championships.

“The tournament has been really exciting,” Mead said. “I definitely want to come back in future years, not only with the A2 program but after my college career is over. This will not be my last time here.”