Richards, Lewis Named to USA Volleyball A2 Team

Lauren Richards will run the Cougar offense this fall. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

USA Volleyball Selects 20 Collegians for Women's A2 Program

COLORADO SPRINGS -- Some of college and junior volleyball's brightest stars, including BYU's Lauren Richards and Lindsy Lewis, have been invited to train in the USA Volleyball Women's National A2 Program, the organization announced June 10.

The A2 team will train from July 5-20 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York.

Richards, a 5-foot-11 sophomore setter from Orem, Utah, and Lewis, a 6-foot-4 freshman middle blocker from Inkom, Idaho, will represent BYU on the team. Richards and Lewis both sat out last season for BYU as redshirts. The talented duo are two of the reasons why BYU is likely to be among the most improved teams in the country this fall and return to the top-25 rankings.

Richards also was invited to train with the A2 team in 2002 after a freshman campaign at BYU as an outside hitter. A powerful hitter who recorded a season-high 20 kills at No. 1 Long Beach State in 2001, Richards is a premiere setter who will run the Cougar offense in 2003. Lewis, meanwhile, has the size and athletic ability to be a force in her first season roaming the BYU middle.

"This year's A2 team's class is bigger and will probably be a more competitive group than what we have had in years past," said Tom Pingel, USA Volleyball's Director of High Performance National Programs. "Unlike years past, most every one of the invitees were able to accept and having the top junior national team athletes of the 2002 team being invited in helps the depth of this group as well."

Four members of the defending NCAA national champion USC Trojans were selected to the team as well as outside hitter Kristin Richards, Lauren's sister who will be a freshman at Stanford this fall, and the University of Utah's Kim Turner (Sr., MB), Kelsie Kartchner (Jr., S), and Lyndsey Henderson (Jr., MB).

The entire A2 team roster includes: Antonia Anderson (USC, S); Jenna Brown (UC Berkeley, L); Keao Burdine (USC, OH); Jane Collymore (Florida, OH); Nicole Davis (USC, L); Kelsie Kartchner (Utah, S); Bre Ladd (Arizona, OH); Lindsy Lewis (BYU, MB); Angela McGinnis (Fraser VBC, S); Meredith Nelson (Northern Lights VBC, MB); Tiffany Oliver (Morgan State, MB); Lyndsey Henderson (Utah, MB); Michelle Piantadosi (Tennessee, OH); Lauren Richards (BYU, S); Kristin Richards (Players VBC, OH); Anna Schrad (Nebraska, OH); Mary Lauren Smith (Missouri, OH); Kimberly Turner (Utah, MB); Stacy Venski (USC, MB); Sherri Williams (Florida, MB).

No tournaments are on the schedule for the A2 squad but with 20 players on the roster a handful of intrasquad scrimmages are definitely on the calendar.

"This group will be training for potential consideration for the Olympic Games next year (and) World University Games and/or Pan American Games teams in the future," said Pingel.

The team will be led by head coach Paula Weishoff-Hanold, a two-time Olympic medallist as a member of the USA women's national team and the top assistant coach for USC. She will be assisted by Anne Kordes (Illinois) and Robby Pulliza (Texas).

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