COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – University of Akron volleyball head coach Ron Arenz announced Thursday that junior libero Jill Paluch will be representing the program at the tryouts for the U.S. Women's National Team beginning Friday, Feb. 22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC).
Paluch will be one of the record 248 tryout participants, including 56 liberos, who represent 90 different colleges.
"Jill is a fantastic ambassador for Akron Volleyball, and our staff is very excited for her to experience this opportunity," Arenz said. "The weekend will be a great chance for her gain some exposure as an individual player while representing our program at the national level."
Paluch put together a solid campaign in 2012, helping to guide the Zips to a historic season as Akron exhibited the greatest single-season turnaround in the Mid-American Conference and of any Division I team in the country. UA posted a 12-win improvement from 2011 to 2012 (4-25 to 16-13), marking its best overall record since 2003. The Zips also advanced to the MAC Tournament quarterfinals for the first time in nine seasons.
Individually, Paluch started off the season earning a spot on Bryant's Hampton Inn All-Tournament Team as well as MAC East Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 17. She posted a career-high 20 digs twice this season, en route to leading the team with 460 digs overall. Her 4.34 digs per set average ranked eighth in the conference.
U.S. Women's National Team head coach and decorated Olympian Karch Kiraly will lead a team tryout staff that will serve as court coaches and evaluators, putting the players through physical testing, drills and match play.
Throughout the tryout process, USA Volleyball will be identifying prospective athletes for the following three different programs: first and foremost the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Program; those not selected to the National Team may also be considered for an invitation to the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Senior A2 Team; and/or U.S. Women's Junior National Volleyball Team program and its various programs.
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Program is available to athletes who have concluded their college eligibility and who wish to be invited to be a member of the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team on a full-time basis. This program could begin as early as the spring of 2013, or when an athlete's scholastic or professional club season has concluded. Also considered for training with this group will be athletes who have remaining collegiate eligibility and their participation beginning in mid-May or when their scholastic calendar ends for 2013.
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Senior A2 program is available to athletes with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2013 season. This program is scheduled to take place in Dallas from June 25 to July 4. A projected 48 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competing at the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships (GJNC) from July 1-4. These athletes may also be invited to participate with the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team.
To view the complete release from USA Volleyball, click here.