June 23, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- Before heading out to train and compete with the U.S. Collegiate National Team (CNT) on Sunday, Dominique Thompson wasn’t worried about the usual things. What would training be like as one of 36 athletes training in Minneapolis this week? Or what about the competition this weekend as part of the USA Girls’ Junior National Championships?
Thompson, a 5-foot-11 middle blocker on the Wisconsin volleyball team, was worried about something else entirely.
“The main advice I asked is what I need to pack and Courtney (Thomas) said I should pack some extra spandex, so that’s what I plan on doing,” Thompson said with a smile.
Thompson follows in the footsteps of Ellen Chapman, Annemarie Hickey and Thomas, who all competed with the CNT in 2013. Chapman and Thomas won gold medals as members of Team White, defeating Hickey’s Team Gold in the championship match last summer.
Thompson is making her first appearance in a USA uniform this week.
“I’m pretty excited,” explained Thompson, who hails from Plymouth, Minnesota. “I think it’s going to be fun. I think it’s a great learning experience while meeting new people. Plus it’s in my hometown so I get to see my family too.”
Participants will train on the University of Minnesota campus, staying in dorms, for the first half of the 10-day event. After the training portion, the athletes will move to downtown Minneapolis, where they will be divided into three teams to compete in a round-robin event June 27-30 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
“I think all of (my family) will come at least one time but they’re all busy with their own sports,” said Thompson when asked about when her family will get to see her play. “My sister is actually playing in nationals at the same so I’m excited. I haven’t seen her play all year.”
As a junior, Thompson aided Wisconsin to an NCAA runner-up finish last season. She was a three-time all-tournament honoree, including being named to the NCAA Champaign Regional All-Tournament team. She led the UW with a .323 hitting percentage, ranked third on the team with 2.66 kills per set and second with 1.01 blocks per set. Thompson put away double-figure kills in 21 matches, leading the Badgers in 10 matches.
“I think it’s good to play with different people because that grows your game,” Thompson explained. “You’ll improve playing with new people. I also want to experience some different ideas with coaching and just get a lot of reps in.”
| CNT Schedule
| June 27
|| Blue vs. Red
|| 4 p.m.
|| Halls B-E
| June 28
|| White vs. Blue
|| 4 p.m.
|| Halls B-E
| June 29
U.S. Collegiate National Team – USAV Girls’ Junior National Championships
Athlete (Position, College, Hometown, College Years Remaining)
Breanna Atkinson (OH, Duke University, Ashburn, Va., 2)
Mercedes Binns (MB, Arizona State University, South Pasadena, Calif., 2)
Jianna Bonomi (S, University of San Diego, Huntington Beach, Calif., 1)
Mary Helen Boyle (OH, LSU, Eureka, Mo., 1)
Katie Brand (S, Kansas State University, Grand Island, Neb., 3)
Kelli Browning (MB, Creighton University, Waukesha, Wis., 1)
Rachel Brummitt (L, Texas Tech, Plano, Texas, 1)
Delaney Clesen (L, University of Pittsburgh, Evanston, Ill., 1)
Abby Cole (Opp, University of Michigan, Grand Haven, Mich., 3)
Mackenzie Dagostino (S, University of Florida, Tampa, Fla., 2)
Hannah Deede (Opp, Western Oregon University, Silverton, Ore., 1)
Julia Doyle (S, University of Oklahoma, Plymouth, Minn., 2)
Aubrey Edie (S, University of Mississippi, Fayetteville, Ark., 3)
Jennifer Hamson (Opp, BYU, Lindon, Utah, 1)
Chelsey Harris (Opp, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 3)
Cassie House (OH, University of New Mexico, Rio Rancho, 3)
Litara Keil (OH, Loyola Marymount University, Long Beach, Calif., 1)
Kendall Kritenbrink (OH, University of South Dakota, Gretna, Neb., 1)
Veronica Lewis (L, University of Arizona, San Jose, Calif., 1)
Leah McNary (OH, Creighton University, Tarpon Springs, Fla., 1)
Sarah Meister (L, University of Missouri, San Diego, Calif., 1)
Emily Miron (MB, North Dakota State University, Wedena, Minn., 3)
Katie Mitchell (OH, Ohio State University, The Woodlands, Texas, 2)
Katie Mosher (L, Florida State University, Fort Myers, Fla., 1)
Jacqueline Napper (L, University of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky., 1)
Rachel Rhoades (MB, University of Arizona, San Diego, Calif., 1)
Chantale Riddle (Opp, University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M., 1)
Sara Rishell (MB, UAB, Smithsburg, Md., 1)
Elise Ruddins (Opp, University of Southern California, Laguna Nigel, Calif., 3)
Hannah Schraer (MB, University of Southern California, Arcadia, Calif., 1)
Paige Tapp (MB, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minn., 3)
Dominique Thompson (MB, University of Wisconsin, Plymouth, Minn., 1)
Mercedes Vaughn (MB, Florida State University, Folcroft, Pa., 2)
Sarah Wickstrom (S, Florida State University, Stuart, Fla., 1)
McKenzie Willey (OH, Arizona State University, Highland, Utah, 3)
Emily Wilson (OH, University of Missouri, Omaha, Neb., 1)
Lead Coaches: Mike Hebert and Bill Neville
Program Manager: Nicki Holmes (UCF women’s assistant coach)
Coaches: Ashley Allen (assistant coach at Nicholls State), Ray Gooden (head coach at Northern Illinois), Linda Hampton-Keith (assistant coach at Arizona State), Ben Lee (Arizona Storm Volleyball Club), Marci Sanders (head coach at Texas-Dallas), Jay Van Vark (assistant coach at Cal State-San Marcos)