COLLEGE STATION -- Sarah Ammerman and Kelsey Black, outside hitters on the Texas A&M volleyball team, are two of approximately 160 athletes slated to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout Feb. 20-22 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
In addition, Aggie associate head coach John Corbelli is on national team head coach Hugh McCutcheon’s 30-member tryout staff that will serve as court coaches and evaluators, putting the players through physical testing, drills and match play.
According to USA Volleyball, approximately 44 outside hitters, 41 middle blockers, 36 liberos, 30 setters and 12 opposites will compete for spots on the USA Women's Volleyball National Team program. Athletes not selected to participate with the National Team may be considered for other programs, including the U.S. Women's Junior National Team competing at the FIVB Women's Junior World Championship or the USA Women's Senior A2 Teams competing at the USA Adult Open Championships.
Thirty-three of the athletes, including Black, were born in 1990 or 1991, making them eligible for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team, as well as the other National Team programs.
Ammerman (Parker, Colo.) attended the tryouts last year and was selected to the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 National Team program and won a bronze medal at the 2008 USA Adult Open Championships in Atlanta, Ga.
Black (Amarillo, Texas) was named to the 19-player U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team in 2008 but was unable to attend the final training camp because of an illness.
Corbelli served as an assistant coach for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, which went on to win the gold medal at the NORCECA Women’s Junior Continental Championship in Saltillo, Mexico.
Ammerman, who will be a senior on the 2009 Aggie squad, was recently named A&M’s most valuable player and best offensive player at the team’s annual banquet. She ranked seventh in the Big 12 Conference and led the Aggies in both kills (3.49) and points (3.90) per set in league matches only. Ammerman reached double figures in kills in 19 matches overall during the 2008 season and had double-digit digs in a team-leading 13 matches. In addition, Ammerman had 11 double-doubles, also a team high.
During A&M's season-ending six-match winning surge, Ammerman led or tied for match-high honors in both kills and points in every match. She hit .326 while averaging 4.55 kills and 5.07 points per set during the stretch and was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 24 after leading the Big 12 with 5.50 points and 5.00 kills while hitting at a .356 clip in crucial victories against Oklahoma and Colorado.
Black received the A&M most improved player award following her freshman campaign, in which the Aggies went 16-14 and tied Iowa State for fourth place in the Big 12 Conference with an 11-9 record. Black played in every match, starting two as an outside hitter and 12 as the designated libero. She led the team with four 20-plus dig performances and finished the season with a team-high 3.0 digs per set in Big 12 matches only.