June 27, 2013
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MADISON, Wis. - Badger volleyball players Annemarie Hickey, Ellen Chapman and Courtney Thomas are spending 10 days training and competing with the USA Volleyball A2 program. The Badgers were named to the 47-player roster that will train and compete through July 4 in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas.
The players will be sending daily updates from the A2 program with entries on the second day coming from both Ellen Chapman and Courtney Thomas.
Ellen writes about the draft
Today being the third day of training, we finally were into the swing of things and started to get our schedule down. Anne and I had breakfast together before our 9:30 morning session. There are many kids camps going on here at UT, and every time we go into the dining hall I probably get asked three or four times how tall I am. I think I’m used to it by now though!
About an hour into our normal training session, we finally got split up into the teams that we’re going to be competing with for the rest of the camp. It turns out Courtney and four other Big Ten players are on the team with me! Lauren Wicinski from Michigan State, Carly Kramer from Purdue, and Kaitlyn Leary from Ohio State. It’s nice actually getting to know the players who during the fall we always are competing against.
All of the coaches here legends in the volleyball world and I am so glad to say that (former Minnesota head coach) Mike Hebert is my team coach. He has been in the game for decades and it is so cool to play under someone that is so knowledgable and experienced in the sport. When we first got split up into teams, he just discussed what his philosophy about the game is and what our plan is for the next day or two. We had 45 minutes left of our session and instead of training, we went to the pool! It was nice taking a short break from the gym, and it was good to get to know some of my teammates.
Every time we have an hour or two break, I come back to my room and take a nap, playing this much volleyball really tires you out! And that is exactly what I did after lunch and before our night session. Tonight’s session was short, but productive. We went over some of our serve receive patterns and offense. We have pictures, and one more session tomorrow morning and then we’re off to the convention center to start competing. I can’t wait!
Courtney writes about a busy second day
Today we woke up around 7:30 and went to breakfast. Our first session was at 9:30 and we were ready to go. We knew that the coaches were looking for people who can compete and what type of players they want on there team. During the practice, we do drills that are controlled and very competitive, but also very fun. The competition here is unreal and you have to be on your best game at all times. After the first session, we went to have lunch and then took some naps before the next session at 3:30.
During the next session, there was the same amount of competition again and the battle just keeps on going. We knew that night that the coaches were drafting us and it was a little nerve racking. When we got done with that, we went to dinner and then came back did our laundry and played some ping pong and talked with some of the other players that we know. This is a great experience for all of us and is only going to help us in the future with our team.
June 26 with Annemarie Hickey
USA Volleyball Stories
U.S. Women's National Volleyball A2 Program Starts Training (June 25)
Legends of Coaching Leading U.S. Women's A2 Program Staff (June 26)
U.S. Women's National Volleyball A2 Program Drafts Team Rosters (June 27)