Friday May 17, 2013Busy Summer Ahead for Four Volleyball Gators
Four members of the Gator Volleyball family will represent their countries on the volleyball court this summer.
Sophomore Simone Antwi (Fairfax Station, Va.) was named to the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 Program, joining the 48-player roster that that will train and compete this summer in Dallas.
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 in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.
During the six-day training period from June 25-30, the 48 athletes will be divided into four equal teams that will compete in pool play against the other A2 program teams and the top four Premier Volleyball League (PVL) teams. After pool play, the four A2 program teams and PVL teams will split into their own divisions to determine the medalist teams in the competition.
The athletes were selected via the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 22-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryout attracted a record 240 participants, 33 more than the previous best mark set in 2012.
Also competing for the Red, White and Blue this summer is Florida’s only four-time AVCA All-American Kelly Murphy, who finished her season with Vaqueras de Bayamon in Puerto Rico, was invited to train with the U.S. Women’s National Team in Anaheim, Calif. Murphy was recently announced as a member of the 25-player roster to compete in the first public scrimmage of the summer. Murphy is fighting for a roster spot for the 2013 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship held Sept. 16-21.
The 2013 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship gold-medal team qualifies for the 2013 FIVB Grand Champions Cup to be played Nov. 12-17 in Japan. The NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship is held every other year. Team USA is the defending champion after winning the event in 2011 at Caguas, Puerto Rico, without dropping a set in five matches.
Senior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) will don the red, white and blue overseas with the USA Development Program as they travel throughout China, June 14-27, to compete against professional teams in and around Shanghai and Beijing. Brauneis is a two-time AVCA Honorable Mention All-America and was named First Team All-SEC and AVCA All-South Region as a junior.
Sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek (Kočevje, Slovenia), the reigning AVCA National Freshman of the Year, has been invited to train and compete with the Slovenia National Team this summer before returning with the rest of the Gator roster at the beginning of July. Recek was also named the AVCA South Region and SEC Freshman of the Year and led Florida with 440 kills on the year (4.00/set), ranking in the top five in the SEC in kills and points per set (4.45). Recek was just the second Gator to receive AVCA National Freshman of the Year, joining Murphy in receiving the honor.
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