COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Kelsey Black, a 5-11 outside hitter and libero at Texas A&M, has been selected to the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 National Team program and will compete at the 2010 USA Adult Open Championships, USA Volleyball has announced.
The junior-to-be from Amarillo, Texas, is making her first appearance on the A2 team, although she is quite familiar with the USA Volleyball program. Last year, Black played libero and outside hitter for the 2009 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team that competed at the FIVB World Championship at Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico. She also was on the 2008 Junior National Team training squad.
Black was one of 24 athletes selected from a record pool of 175 who participated in a three-day open tryout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in late February.
According to USA Volleyball, the 24 players, all with remaining collegiate eligibility, will train May 24-28 in Tempe, Ariz., before being split into two 12-player rosters to compete in the Open Division of the 2010 USA Open National Championships held in nearby Phoenix. The Open Division flight takes place May 29-June 1 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
“I was very happy with the level of the tryout held in February and, as a result, we expect that this year’s A2 teams will be very strong in training and in competition at the USA Open National Championships,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said in a press release. “The future continues to look bright for the U.S. Women’s National Team with the talent coming up through the pipeline.”
Black follows in the footsteps of former Aggie All-American outside hitter Sarah Ammerman, who represented A&M on the A2 team each of the last two years and captured bronze medals both years.
Black was A&M’s libero as a freshman, but this past season the versatile athlete saw action as outside hitter, defensive specialist and middle blocker. She played in 29 of 31 matches and made five starts.
Black led the team in blocks in four matches, but she had her most impressive performance of her career in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Black started on the left side against No. 19 Arizona and responded with a career-high 17 kills. She also had 14 digs to post the first double-double of her career and helped lead the Aggies to an impressive 3-1 victory against the favored Wildcats.
Black finished the season averaging 1.35 kills per set while hitting .221. She also averaged 2.94 digs per set and helped lead the Aggies to the NCAA regional semifinals, a 20-11 record and a No. 21 final ranking.
Additional information on the U.S. Women’s National A2 Team program and the USA Volleyball Adult Open Championships can be found at http://www.usavolleyball.org.