MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Volleyball’s Katie Brand and Katie Reininger will attend the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo., vying for a spot in the USA Volleyball national team programs.
Brand, a redshirt freshman setter in 2013, and Reininger, who redshirted in 2013 after transferring from Saint Mary’s College, will be among 248 athletes from 108 colleges and universities looking to secure a spot on the U.S. Collegiate National Team, formerly known as the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 Team.
The tryout, held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center from Feb. 21-23, is led by three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women’s National Team staff.
K-State associate head coach Jeff Grove will also attend the open tryout, serving as an evaluator. He expects Brand and Reininger to benefit from the three-day experience of playing alongside and competing against high-caliber collegiate volleyball players.
“The chance to demonstrate their skills and potentially earn a spot on a USA team is something Katie and Katie are very excited about, and they are looking forward to the challenge,” said Grove. “Karch Kiraly will be at the tryout evaluating and teaching the players some of the concepts used in the USA gym. The opportunity to learn from Coach Kiraly, who was one of the best players to ever play the game, is something Katie and Katie can take back to their training at K-State.”
Brand was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team this past season after being the only Big 12 freshman with 1,000 assists and leading all setters in the conference in kills, blocks and points. The Grand Island, Neb. native, who played in every set for K-State in 2013, finished in the Big 12’s top-10 in assists per set (10.06) and aces per set (0.26) for overall matches.
Before redshirting for the Wildcats in 2013, Reininger played for Saint Mary’s in 2012 as a true freshman. The Colorado Springs native made 15 starts for the Gaels, recording at least five kills in 12 matches. The middle blocker played high school volleyball at Colorado Springs’ Classical Academy as well as club volleyball in Colorado for Colorado Juniors, Front Range and Norco.
The U.S. Collegiate National Team will field two teams for the summer of 2014. One team of 12 athletes and two coaches will travel to China from June 13-27 for a series of training sessions and matches in conjunction with a separate team representing the PAC 12 Conference. The other option in the Collegiate National Team program is a projected group of 36 athletes that will participate in the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships held in Minneapolis in late June.
For the first time, tryouts will be streamed live on www.TeamUSA.org/USA-Volleyball. The online streaming begins at 3 pm CT on Friday, February 21.
Selected athletes will be notified by early March, with USA Volleyball announcing selections by the end of March once all roster spots are accepted and confirmed.