June 25, 2013
USA Volleyball Release
MADISON, Wis. -- When Annemarie Hickey, Ellen Chapman and Courtney Thomas get on a plane for Dallas today, they will be the first University of Wisconsin volleyball players to don USA gear since 2006. The trio will represent UW as members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 Program. The Badgers were named to the 47-player roster that will train and compete from today through July 4 in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.
“I am looking forward to being able to wear a USA jersey,” said Hickey, a 5-8 libero, “and to compete at a very high level of competition with other great volleyball players.”
Chapman, a 6-4 outside hitter, agreed, “I’m looking forward to competing at the highest level possible. It is going to be a great learning experience in the sense that I get to see where I match up to other elite players in the country.”
The A2 program is open to athletes with collegiate eligibility remaining. The athletes were selected from the 240 participants at 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.
During the first six days of camp, the 47 athletes will be divided into four equal teams that will compete in pool play against the other A2 program teams.
“What I am looking forward to is just the level of volleyball that we will be playing there,” said Thomas, a 6-0 setter/hitter. “My goal is to play the best that I can every day and improve little by little.”
“My goals are to just learn as much as I possibly can and have fun,” stated Chapman.
Hickey said, “My mind set going into this experience is just playing in the moment, not letting anything hold me back from being the best I can be. I want to experience what it is like playing with other volleyball players and learn from their competitiveness.”
All three agreed that their experiences at the USA training camp will help them and the Badger team this fall.
“I think that it is very important to remember this experience can only help the team and me for the better,” said Hickey. “I know when I am playing on the A2 team, I will discover new things about myself as a player, which I can learn from and take to the team when I return. I think this experience will make me a better on and off the court player and will help with my leadership in the fall as well.”
Thomas concurred, “I think that this experience will help the team in the fall because playing with some of the best volleyball players in the college game will only help mine, Anne’s and Ellen’s game to bring back the competitiveness and work ethic that we need to play at a high level.”
The A2 roster has athlete representation from 29 different universities with 12 schools having multiple selections. Purdue had four players selected for the program, while UCLA, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Louisville and Loyola Marymount each have three athletes in the program. A total of 12 Big Ten Conference players were selected to the team.