COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The annual U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts will take place Feb. 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and junior Rainbow Wahine volleyball player, Nikki Taylor will be competing for a coveted spot in the program.
The tryout will evaluate approximately 231 athletes from 88 colleges from across the country for spots on the U.S. Women's National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff will direct the entire tryout process, which can be viewed at teamusa.org. The tryout will involve four sessions with three waves per session. Friday's first session goes from 2-8 p.m. MT, while Saturday's sessions are at 8 a.m. (focus on serve/receive and individual work) and 2 p.m. (middle-centered and out-of-system focus). The tryout concludes on Sunday at 8 a.m. with tournament style play, along with 16-18 athletes selected by the staff to participate in a "USA" training session.
All sessions of the tryout will be streamed live. USA Volleyball will use #USAVTryout as the tryout hashtag for photos, notes, quotes and stories posted to its social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram under the handle @usavolleyball.
Selected athletes for the U.S. Women's National Team may begin their training in Anaheim, Calif., as early as the spring of 2016, or when an athlete's scholastic or professional club season has concluded.
Reigning Big West Player of the Year, Taylor, led the conference in three statistical categories which were also all career-highs in points (5.48 p/set), kills (4.46 p/set) and service aces (0.42 p/set). The junior from Honolulu, Hawai'i and Kaiser High School was ranked amongst the nation's elite all year and finished the season ranked No. 5 in the NCAA in points per set; 16th in kills per set, 20th in points (575.5); 38th in service aces (44); and 45th in total kills (468). The 6-4 opposite tied the UH record earning conference Player of the Week five times this season-including three-straight to begin the year. Angelica Ljungquist (1996-WAC) and Kanani Danielson (2009-WAC) are the only other two Rainbow Wahine to ever accomplish that feat. Taylor also received AVCA/Sports Imports and ESPNW National Player of the Week awards the week of September 14 following an impressive performance at the Outrigger Resort Volleyball Challenge that included a career-best 27-kill performance against nationally-ranked Florida.
Taylor is one of six players from the Big West-Ashley Murray(Long Beach St.),Taylor Nelson(Cal Poly),Mykah Wilson (Long Beach State), Adlee Van Winden (Cal P oly), and Kaylin Squyres (UC Davis)-will also be battling for a spot on the squads.