COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 24, 2016) – Intensity and hustle filled the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as 225 athletes representing 88 colleges participated in the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout Feb. 19-21.
The athletes were looking for spots on either the U.S. Women’s National Team or one of three U.S. Collegiate National Team programs involving 60 athletes with collegiate eligibility remaining. Selections for the U.S. Collegiate National Teams will be made by the end of March as all invitations for a particular team are confirmed.
U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff directed the tryout process. Selected athletes for the U.S. Women’s National Team may begin their training in Anaheim, Calif., as early as the spring of 2016, or when an athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded.
“The 2016 Open Tryout had another quality group of people, people who played hard and did their best to elevate the play of those around them,” Kiraly said. “Representing USA is a unique honor and privilege, and everyone paid tribute to that with their immense effort, players and staff alike.”
The U.S. Collegiate National Team program has three competition options:
- Tour of China (12 athletes): June 18-July 1
- Tour of Europe (12 athletes): July 5-16
- USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (projected 36 athletes): June 21-30 in Indianapolis
Lianna Sybeldon, who completed her collegiate career at the University of Washington last fall as a 2015 AVCA All-America First-Team middle blocker, came into the tryout expecting one thing, but walked away pleasantly surprised.
“It was more fun than what I was expecting,” Sybeldon said. “I thought it would be more like block drill, more of a grind. I had a lot of fun and was pleasantly surprised.”
Sybeldon was one of 19 players selected to have a USA style training session on Feb. 21 with Kiraly and the U.S. Women’s National Team staff.
“Obviously every little volleyball player growing up idolizes Karch,” Sybeldon said. “It was really cool to finally meet him and work with him.”
As she is about to graduate from Washington, training with the U.S. Women’s National Team would be one option – but Sybeldon has yet to set a plan for her future.
“Not sure (what I will be doing), trying to figure it all out,” Sybeldon said.
Links to National Team Open Tryout Articles:
- Jayhawks' Kelsie Payne Feels at Home at Open Tryout
- Behind the ‘Angel Wall’ – Sisters Back together for WNT Open Tryout
- Inside the Numbers
- Top Tryout Moments from Past 10 Year
- Clemson’s Arenson Embodies Tryout Dreams
The event had over 84 cumulative hours of live video (21 hours on four courts). USA Volleyball also debuted its Snapchat account for the tryout, along with pushing content to its established social media platforms of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.