COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- Four University of North Dakota volleyball players recently wrapped up a weekend competing against some of the country's top talent at the USA Volleyball Tryouts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Faith Dooley, Alivia Fraase, Sydney Griffin and Jordan Vail were four of 244 athletes from 81 colleges and 10 high schools participating in the three-day event.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women’s National Team staff led the tryout process.
"This is another opportunity for some of our athletes to recognize that we can compete at a high level with anyone nationally," UND head coach Mark Pryor said. "When Alivia digs a ball against a two time all American, that successful experience is going to help this program long term. When Sydney sees she can connect with any hitter in the gym, no matter what conference they are from, that will only make her a more confident leader. When Jordan blocks a hitter who is playing in the national semifinal, that experience tends to pay dividends later on. When we see Faith score and block against elite level players, she is realizing that North Dakota can absolutely compete with the best.
"As our program continues to grow, we need to have the mindset that we can battle against anyone, anytime, anywhere. This weekend helped in that process."
WHAT THE PLAYERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE USA VOLLEYBALL EXPERIENCE
Faith Dooley: I had a great experience at the USA tryouts. It was so fun getting to know and play with girls that play at a higher level. It was also a great opportunity to get in a lot of reps while still being pushed to be better everyday. It was also a lot of fun having coach Karch Kiraly run the camp!"
Alivia Fraase: "I thought it was a really fun experience competing at a higher level and playing against bigger schools and players. I learned a lot just from playing and getting good reps. I also liked meeting new people from around the country. I had a blast and I was proud to represent UND at the tryouts."
Sydney Griffin: "I thought it was a really rewarding experience for us to compete with and against some of the best players in the nation. It was a fun weekend."
Jordan Vail: "It was such an amazing opportunity to compete against the best of the best. Knowing that my teammates and I can battle with the top players in the nation makes me so excited for next season! It was truly a great experience that I will carry with me forever."