Feb. 21, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Six Boilermakers will aim to compete among the nation's best at the USA Volleyball open tryouts this weekend. The projected 243 athletes participating in the tryouts will vie for spots on the U.S. Women's National Team and the U.S. Women's National A2 Program. The tryouts will take place Feb. 20-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Outside hitter Ariel Turner, libero Carly Cramer, middle blockers Kaisley Fisher and Kiki Jones, setter Val Nichol and opposite Annie Drews will represent the Boilermakers at the tryouts.
Four of the players have previously been a part of the A2 Program. Turner is a two-time participant, bringing home a gold medal from the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in 2011 and finishing third with the USA blue team in 2012. Cramer garnered a bronze medal with the USA A2 white team in 2011. In 2012, Nichol's USA White team won the A2 Program Tournament, while Jones' red team finished out of the medals.
Turner, who exhausted her Purdue eligibility in December, will try out for a spot in the national team program. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native ended her career as a two-time AVCA All-America selection after tallying 1,906 kills (2nd most in Purdue lore), a .220 hitting percentage and 1030 digs. She also boasts the Purdue career record for hitting attempts (5,578) and ranks second in career kills per set (3.89).
Cramer was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2012, pulling up 4.23 digs per set, serving up a team-best 36 aces and making good on 95 percent of her serve reception chances, while starting 33 matches. The Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week, Sept. 24, ranked seventh in the Big Ten in aces (0.29 per set) and ranked fourth in the league in both overall and conference digs per set. The Martinsville, Ind., native joined the 1,000-dig club, becoming the 15th Boilermaker to achieve the feat. She tallied double-digit digs in 29 matches, including 20 or more nine times, and registered two double doubles.
Jones started all 34 matches and played in all 127 sets, averaging 1.86 kills per set on a team-best .360 hitting effort, ranking fourth on Purdue's season hitting percentage list as well as 47th nationally and seventh in the Big Ten. The Fishers, Ind., native also added 0.95 blocks per set, second most on the team, and led the Boilermakers in blocks 16 times, including five or more stuffs eight times. Jones was on the All-Big Ten Freshman team in 2010.
Fisher saw action in nine matches 2012, starting two, after returning from a shoulder injury that forced her to redshirt her true freshman year. The Plainfield, Ill., native averaged 1.07 blocks per set, with 16 stuffs in 15 sets. She also put down a career-best five kills and a team-leading seven blocks at Rice.
Nichol saw action in all 34 matches in 2012, starting nine, while averaging 1.72 kills and 1.74 assists per set. She posted double-digit kills seven times, including a career-best 16 at No. 9 Nebraska. The Normal, Ill., native led the team in kills twice and led the team in blocks once. She registered two double-doubles and dished out double-digit assist tallies nine times.
Drews received All-Big Ten Freshman team accolades after playing in 29 matches, averaging 2.14 kills, third most on the team, while hitting at a .291 clip and adding 0.55 blocks per set. The Elkhart, Ind., native started 15 matches and posted double-digit kills nine times, including a season-best 18 vs. No. 2 Penn State. The rookie, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Sept. 24, also led Purdue in blocks three times.
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Program is available to athletes who have concluded their college eligibility and who wish to be invited to be a member of the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team on a full-time basis. Also considered for training with this group will be athletes who have remaining collegiate eligibility and their participation beginning in mid-May or when their scholastic calendar ends for 2013.
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Senior A2 program is available to athletes with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2013 season. This program is scheduled to take place in Dallas from June 25 to July 4. A projected 48 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competing at the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships (GJNC) from July 1-4. These athletes may also be invited to participate with the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team.