(Photo by Bill Kauffman/USA Volleyball)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—USA Volleyball announced BYU opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson was selected to the 2012 U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Thursday after attending the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts in February.
The 6-foot-7 sophomore from Lindon, Utah, participated in the tryouts Feb. 10-12 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryouts fell during a bye week in the basketball season, allowing the dual-sport athlete to participate.
“Jennifer has a wonderful opportunity to go and compete this summer for USA Volleyball,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “This is an opportunity that doesn’t come along every year especially considering Jen’s basketball schedule. She was excited when she looked on the calendar and saw that she would be able to tryout and is even more excited learning she will get to compete this summer.”
In 2011, Hamson led the women’s volleyball team to a 21-9 record. She averaged 3.94 kills per set and ranked No. 22 in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball for points per set with 4.88. Her performance earned her All-America Honorable Mention, as well as All-Pacific Region.
Hamson recently returned from a contest against DePaul in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in which she scored a career-high 21 points. She also helped the BYU women’s basketball team to its first conference championship title in 10 years March 5 and a second-place finish in conference play.
The open tryouts included both graduated and college-eligible athletes, with graduate athletes selected for the U.S. Women’s National Team and college-eligible athletes selected for the U.S. Women’s A2 program.
Training for the 48-member U.S. Women’s A2 team begins June 26 at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. The team will be divided into groups of 12 athletes. The 12-member squads will compete against each other in a round-robin tournament June 30 to July 4 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Following round-robin play, a semifinal and final round will be held.
Coaches for the U.S. Women’s A2 program include Northwestern’s Keylor Chan, San Diego State’s Deitre Collins-Parker, Georgia Tech’s Tanya Johnson, Cal State Northridge’s Jeff Stork and fellow West Coast Conference member Pepperdine’s Nina Matthies.
In spring competition, the BYU women’s volleyball team defeated Utah Valley in a four-set match, capturing all four sets. The team went on to defeat Utah in five sets last Friday. The Cougars dropped the first two sets, but came back strong in the final three to defeat the Utes 3-2 (16-25, 27-29, 25-18, 25-23, 15-11).
Cougar Nation has two more opportunities to see Hamson and the team, with BYU traveling to the Utes’ home court for a tournament Saturday, which begins with a matchup against the College of Southern Idaho at 10 a.m., followed by matches against Weber State at noon and Utah at 2p.m. The Cougars end their spring competition hosting UVU April 6 at 2 p.m. on Elaine Michaelis Court.
“Our spring has been moving along great,” Olmstead said. “We like the improvement and attention to detail the girls have right now. It’s been nice to compete a bit with local schools and see our progress. This spring is unique in that we will be participating in a foreign tour. Travelling to Brazil and Argentina will grant us extra competition time and team bonding time as well.”
U.S. National A2 Team Members
Player (college, position, height, college eligibility left, hometown)
Kaycee Acree (Western Michigan University, L, 5-7, 3, Muncie, Ind.)
Tiffany Baker (University of Tennessee, OH, 6-3, 3, Carrollton, Texas)
Maggie Brindock (University of Notre Dame, S, 5-11, 2, Rockwall, Texas)
Kirby Burnham (University of Southern California, OH, 6-3, 2, Newport Beach, Calif.)
Samantha Cash (Pepperdine University, MB, 6-3, 3, San Diego, Calif.)
Rachel Charles (Lehigh University, L, 5-7, 2, Farmington Hills, Mich.)
Karissa Cook (Stanford University, S, 5-11, 1, Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Alexa Dannemiller (University of Michigan, S, 5-11, 3, West Chester, Ohio)
Amy Dentlinger (Michigan State University, OH, 6-1, 1, Arcadia, Iowa)
Tori Dixon (University of Minnesota, OPP, 6-4, 2, Burnsville, Minn.)
Kaitlyn Early (Illinois State University, S, 5-9, 3, Wildwood, Mo.)
Kelli Fiegen (South Dakota State University, MB, 6-3, 1, Parkston, S.D.)
Sareea Freeman (Florida State University, MB, 6-4, 1, Fresno, Calif.)
Katelyn Fuller (University of Southern California, OPP, 6-3, 2, Olivenhain, Calif.)
Alexandra Gossen (Western Michigan University, OH, 6-0, 2, Evanston, Ill.)
Kristina Graven (St. Mary’s College, OH, 6-0, 2, San Jose, Calif.)
Natalie Hagglund (University of Southern California, L, 5-9, 2, Encinitas, Calif.)
Jennifer Hamson (Brigham Young University, OPP, 6-7, 2, Lindon, Utah)
Emily Hartong (University of Hawaii, OH, 6-2, 2, Los Alamitos, Calif.)
Haley Jacob (University of Oregon, L, 5-5, 1, League City, Texas)
Kierra Jones (Purdue University, MB, 6-1, 3, Fishers, Ind.)
Jennifer Keddy (Cal Poly, MB, 6-4, 1, Missoula, Mont.)
Madison Kingdon (University of Arizona, OH, 6-0, 3, Phoenix, Ariz.)
Stephanie Klefot (University of Kentucky, L, 5-6, 1, Louisville, Ky.)
Rachel Krabacher (University of Dayton, OH, 6-4, 1, Cincinnati, Ohio)
Molly Kreklow (University of Missouri, S, 6-0, 2, Delano, Minn.)
Megan Lambertson (North Dakota State University, MB, 6-0, 1, Litchfield, Minn.)
Karsta Lowe (UCLA, OPP, 6-4, 3, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
Chloe Mann (University of Florida, MB, 6-1, 2, Gainesville, Fla.)
Meghan Mannari (LSU, L, 5-9, 1, Frisco, Texas)
Ashley Mason (Missouri State University, L, 5-8, 2, Granby, Mo.)
Alexis Mathews (Michigan State University, MB, 6-3, 2, Detroit, Mich.)
Tenisha Matlock (Iowa State University, MB, 6-2, 2, North Platte, Neb.)
Emily McGee (University of North Carolina, OH, 5-10, 1, Naperville, Ill.)
Chaniel Nelson (University of North Carolina, OPP, 6-2, 3, Huntersville, N.C.)
Valerie Nichol (Purdue University, S, 6-0, 3, Normal, Ill.)
Alexis Olgard (University of Southern California, MB, 6-5, 2, Spokane, Wash.)
Mary Pollmiller (University of Tennessee, S, 5-10, 3, Littleton, Colo.)
Gwen Rucker (University of Louisville, MB, 6-2, 1, Lexington, Ky.)
Sara Shaw (University of Southern California, OH, 6-2, 2, Austin, Texas)
Hayley Spelman (Stanford, OPP, 6-6, 1, Las Vegas, Nev.)
Alyssa Squires (UC Irvine, OH, 6-1, 2, Santa Ynez, Calif.)
Ariel Turner (Purdue University, OH, 6-1, 1, Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Lauren Wicinski (Northern Illinois University, OH, 6-2, 2, Geneva, Ill.)
Sarah Wickstrom (Florida State University, S, 5-11, 3, Stuart, Fla.)
Jennifer Wiker (Virginia Tech, OH, 6-3, 1, Charlotte, N.C.)
Kristin Winkler (UC Irvine, L, 5-10, 1, Los Altos, Calif.)
Carly Wopat (Stanford University, MB, 6-2, 2, Santa Barbara, Calif.)