The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted on March 1-3 the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts. The event is organized by U.S. Women’s National Team to monitor some of the best players of the nation and is led by Head Coach Karch Kiraly.
This year’s edition was attended by 47 liberos, 41 middle blockers, 30 opposite hitters, 56 outside hitters, and 42 setters coming from all over the nation. Also, three Red Raiders were invited to the event, and they were opposite hitter Brooke Kanas, outside hitter Emily Hill (second participation), and setter Alex Kirby.
These three players are also important pieces of the 2019 team, that’s expected to have another good season under coach Tony Graystone.
Brooke Kanas had an outstanding freshman season, earned All-Big 12 Second Team and All-Big 12 Rookie Team honors, after being named twice Big 12 Rookie of the Week during the season. Kanas led the Red Raiders in kills during Big 12 play with 202 and ranked second on the team with 249.
Emily Hill earned All-Big 12 Second Team honors after a season in which she led the team and ranked eighth in the Big 12 in kills per set with 3.19, and led the team and ranked second in the league with 33 service aces.
Alex Kirby didn’t see much action in 2018 but she’s expected to be a cornerstone for the team in 2019, as she will replace former standout and Big 12 Co-Setter of the Year Missy Owens. In his recent interview with Viva the Matadors, coach Graystone showed trust to his new setter and he expects she will be the surprise of the year.