COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- LSU middle blocker Brittnee Cooper and former libero Elena Martinez are set to attend open tryouts this weekend for the United States Women’s National Team being held at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Brittnee and Elena to represent LSU volleyball and showcase their talents on the national stage,” head coach Fran Flory said.
Cooper was key down the stretch as the Tigers made its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. She powered home double-digit kills in 10 of her last 11 outings and paced LSU racking up 226 kills on a .343 attack percentage en route to All-SEC and AVCA All-South First-Team honors.
Martinez anchored the Tiger back row reeling in 516 digs, the third-most over a single season. She also won her second straight SEC Player of the Year and joins Monique Adams (1990 & 1991), Angie Miller (1990 & 1991) and Daniela Reis (1990, 1991 & 1992) as the only Tigers to have multiple AVCA All-South Region First-Team honors. Her 1,414 career digs rank second in program history.
As part of the tryout, athletes will compete for spots on the USA Women’s Volleyball National Team program. Athletes not selected to participate with the National Team may be considered for other programs run by USA Volleyball. Included in this list of other programs are the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team competing at the FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship or the USA Women’s Senior A2 Teams competing at the USA Adult Open Championships. A total of 33 athletes are eligible for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team as well as the other National Team programs.
U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon will lead a team of 30 tryout staff that will serve as court coaches and evaluators putting the players through physical testing, drills and match play.
The tentative roster, which could change depending on late adds or drops due to injury, includes 44 outside hitters, 41 middle blockers, 35 liberos, 26 setters and 14 opposites. A total of 64 different colleges are represented on the roster, including four non-NCAA Division I institutions.
Athletes in college with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2009 season and not selected to the USA Women’s National Team may be invited to participate on the USA Senior A2 Teams. This program is scheduled to take place in Minneapolis from May 18 through May 27. A projected 24 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competition in the 2009 USA Adult Open Championships in the Open Division from May 23-26.