University of Hawai'i women's volleyball players McKenna Granato, Norene Iosia, Savanah Kahakai, and Annie Mitchem will all be competing in the U.S. Women's National Team Open Volleyball Tryouts later this week (March 3-5) at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The four players will be among nearly 250 athletes from more than 90 colleges and high schools to be evaluated by the U.S. Women's National Team staff under head coach and three-time Olympic gold medalist Karch Kiraly.
Granato (Kailua, O'ahu/Punahou School) was second on the 2016 Rainbow Wahine team with 293 kills averaging 2.90 kills per set. The soon to be junior was third on the team with 24 service aces and fourth on the team with 167 digs (1.65 per set). She recorded three double-doubles this past season and tallied double-digit kills in 12 matches. Against Arizona, Granato pummeled a career-high 33 kills and hit .459 to lead the 'Bows to a five-set win over the Wildcats on Aug. 28, 2016.
As a freshman in 2016, Iosia (Torrance, Calif./ Redondo Union HS) orchestrated the UH offense as its starting setter. The first team all-Big West player dished out 533 assists averaging 10.25 per set. As a team, the Rainbow Wahine hit .272 overall with Iosia mainly at the controls. She led UH with 13 double-doubles and was second on the team with 251 digs (2.67 per set).
Savanah Kahakai (Honolulu, O'ahu/Farrington HS) earned first team all-Big West honors as UH's junior libero last season. She recorded a team-high 416 digs and averaged 4.12 digs per set while also adding 117 assists and 10 aces. She notched five matches in 2016 with 20+ digs to lead Hawai'i. Kahakai also posted double-digit digs in 23 of UH's 29 matches--including in nine of the last 10 games.
Mitchem (Friendswood, Texas/Irvine Valley College) made an instant impact on the team after missing the first nine matches due to a pre-season injury. Upon her return to the court, Mitchem shifted from her normal middle hitter position to play on the leftside for majority of the season. It provided a huge one-two punch with Nikki Taylor at the opposite. Mitchem earned first team all-Big West honors after finishing second on the team with 2.91 kills per set and fourth with 198 total kills. She also was third on the squad averaging 0.98 blocks per set with 75 total.
The tryout will not only be for the U.S. National Team, but for three additional Collegiate National Team opportunities. Separate groups of 12 players each will be selected for summer trips to Europe and Thailand for training and matches, while a projected 36 additional athletes will be invited to Minneapolis in June for a program that includes competing at the USA Girls' Junior National Championships. Selections will be announced by the end of March.
All sessions of the tryout can be watched on the USA Volleyball livestream here. Fans can also follow on social media at @USAVolleyball and by using the hashtag #USAVTryout.
For more info on the U.S. tryouts and the invited athletes, click here.
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