Last week, USA Volleyball had a record 247 athletes invited to participate in their open tryouts for the U.S. Women's National Team, U.S. Women's National A2 Program and U.S. Women's Junior National Team. The tryouts took place Feb. 22-24, in Sports Center II at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. UCF juniors DeLaina Sarden and Kaye-Alese Green were among those that took part in three-day event. In addition to the athletes, UCF assistant coach Nicki Holmes was also invited as one of 15 court coaches. Here's what they experienced in their own words.
Today was a day full of excitement and anxiousness. The trip began with an early flight from Orlando to Dallas and then on to snowy Colorado Springs. We wanted to catch every moment so we took lots of pictures. The dorms are very nice and the beds are comfy. Luckily, we were put together and it's was just the two of us in a room. The first session of tryouts went well and the nerves were immediately forgotten. The first session consisted of a quick hitting warm-up and scrimmaging with constant rotation and it involved a lot of high energy. Tomorrow we have physical testing and two more sessions after that. We've even made some friends along the way which has made the adjustment much easier. We haven't really experienced the altitude change so hopefully that carries into tomorrow. It's great having coach Nicki (Holmes) here with us to add a little more comfort.
Kaye and D signing out! Go Knights!
Today was long and hard but so worth it. We had three sessions today. We started off first with physical testing; there was a velocity arm swing, block testing, arm reach, acceleration testing and pro-agility and approach height We beasted it! We both touched at or above 10'6"!! The next session was a learning/drills session where the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team head coach Karch Kiraly taught us the USA blocking format, and offensive schemes. It was fun to learn some new skills and refine some we already had. The last session was all play. It was fast paced, and high energy. We were able to play each other and some of our old club rivals! Today was phenomenal.
Signing out D and Kaye! Go Knights!