The Lady Dons volleyball team will be sending senior middle blocker Carly Babin, junior libero Haley Carroll, red shirt junior middle blocker Anna Berger and sophomore opposite hitter Sarah Mandala to the USA Women’s Volleyball National Team tryouts. The tryouts will help the USA Women’s Volleyball team to determine prospective athletes for various national volleyball teams; the teams include the USA Women’s Volleyball National Team Program, the USA Women’s World University Games Team and the USA Women’s Senior A2 Teams. The USA Volleyball National Team tryouts will take place from February 20th to February 22nd at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Gilad Doran, the head volleyball coach, told the USF athletics’ website that the USA Volleyball National Team tryout is a “great opportunity for these young ladies to spend a weekend competing with the best collegiate volleyball players in the country.” He hopes that the girls “return re-motivated and demanding more of themselves and their teammates here at USF.” This would also be a great opportunity to expose the nation to USF’s successful volleyball program.
Babin earned All-WCC first team honors by posting 115 blocks, including 15 against Penn. She finishes her career ranked in several career categories including tied for third in blocks (397) and seventh in solo blocks (67). Mandala was awarded All-WCC first team honors after she led the Dons with 413 kills; with the 413 kills, she finished the season 11th all-time in single-season kills. Carroll earned All-WCC Honorable Mention honors after she posted her third season with 500 or more digs; she finishes the season with 1,563 digs, making her ranked second in all-time career digs. Berger recorded a career-high 20 kills at Loyola Marymount and she recorded a double-double against Saint Mary’s College.
The four players are eligible to join the Women’s National Team if they concluded their college eligibility or if they wish to train full-time. However, they have to be selected in order to do so. If Babin or Berger is chosen, she can start training in February, or they can start when the professional club season concludes. If Carroll or Mandala is chosen, she can participate in the program but they have to start later since they still have collegiate eligibility; they can start in the beginning of May or when their scholastic calendar ends.
If Carroll and Mandala are not selected to the USA Women’s National Team, they may be invited to the USA Senior A2 Team. The Senior A2 Team is for those who have collegiate eligibility for the 2009 season and for those not selected to the National Team. Twenty-four athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will last from May 18 through May 27.
If the four Lady Dons volleyball players do well in their selective programs, they can participate in the 2009 World University Games. This will be held from Jun 30 to Jul 12 in Belgrade, Serbia. The U.S. National Team staff will choose the athletes; based on performances at tryouts and training with their selective programs.