Kiraly sees potential and is inspired by USA Tryout
With the National Team Tryout, USA embark on a quest to relive moments like this from the 2014 FIVB World Championship.
Headed by USA National Team coach Karch Kiraly, the Tryout evaluated 228 athletes, all with the common goal of seeing where they fit into the national team pipeline, this past weekend at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The legendary Karch Kiraly, the only player to have won Olympic gold medals in both indoor and beach volleyball and who led USA as coach to their triumph at the 2014 FIVB World Championship, saw a lot of possibilities.
"I think we saw lots of potential," he said. "The big thing is potential now, and how can each of these individuals maximize their development and accelerate their learning. There are clearly people here at this tryout who have serious USA potential. It doesn't mean it is guarantee though. They have to keep working at it and finding things they can improve."
The tryout allowed athletes to showcase their talents for either a spot on the U.S. Women’s National Team or the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. Of the 228 athletes at the tryout, 16 have exhausted their collegiate eligibility while the rest had at least one year remaining.
"We are incredibly blessed in this country to have so many players," Kiraly said. "We have a real advantage in how popular women's volleyball is as a sport – the most popular sport and overtaking all the other team sports. Over half a million girls play in high school and hundreds of thousands in youth clubs and many, many thousands on scholarships in university. That is a real advantage over other countries, and they are jealous of that."
"It is always inspiring, it is a lot of work and it is a lot of fun working with these people who put so much passion and energy into these three days," added the 57-year-old coach.
Selections to the 2018 US Women's National Team and the US Collegiate National Team will be announced starting in late March and early April.
Traditionally, the National Team Tryouts have provided USA with some of their top stars who went on to shine in international competitions and lift the team to glory on numerous occasions.
Such stars as Foluke Akinradewo, Jordan Larson, Kelly Murphy, Rachael Adams and Carli Lloyd all joined the USA National Team following Tryouts - not to mention Kim Hill, who took part in the 2013 Tryouts and then went on to lead USA to the world title a year later, while being named MVP of the 2014 FIVB World Championship in Milan.
USA are amongst the 16 top teams of the world competing in the inaugural VNL this year. Competition begins in mid-May and USA will host one pool in Lincoln, Nebraska, before going on the road to play in Japan, Thailand, China and Argentina.
For the first round of the 2018 FIVB World Championship, at the end of September in Japan, they are in Pool C in Kobe together with Azerbaijan, Korea, Russia, Trinidad & Tobago and Thailand.
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