May 24, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For the second consecutive season, a Colorado State volleyball player has been invited to one of the most prestigious training programs. Junior Deedra Foss has been selected to the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 Program, announced this week by USA Volleyball.
“I was excited right off the bat,” Foss said. “It will be a great opportunity to play with some really, really good volleyball players from all across the country, and to compete against them and learn from them.”
Foss and the 47 other participants will train and compete in Dallas, Texas, from June 25 to July 4, in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships. The program is available to the top collegiate athletes with eligibility remaining for the 2013 season.
Foss is one of eight setters on the roster. In all, 30 different universities are represented, including Chantale Riddle and Hannah Johnson of New Mexico.
“This is a great opportunity for Deej,” Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. “I especially think it’s good for her because setters a lot of times are the glue players in situations like this. She’ll do high-level training with the best college volleyball players in America.”
The 10-day program will begin with six days of training, where the athletes will be divided into four equal teams and compete in pool play against the other A2 program teams and the top Premier Volleyball League teams. After pool play, the eight teams will split into their own divisions to determine the medalist teams in the competition.
A year ago, Brieon Paige competed with the A2 program, helping her squad to a gold medal in Ohio. Former Rams Mekana Barnes, Courtney Cox and Evan Sanders have also participated, with Sanders earning gold in 2010.
“The A2 program was great for Brieon,” Hilbert said. “I thought she played with a lot more confidence after last summer. Deej already plays with a lot of confidence, but I think this will be an eye-opener for her, and she’s the type of player who fits well in this type of environment and can excel.”
Foss was originally one of a record 240 athletes to try out Feb. 22-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The coaching staff for the program includes A2 head coaches Andy Banachowski, Mike Hebert, Ruth Nelson and Bill Neville, as well as assistants Ashley Allen, Terry Condon, Linda Hampton and Marci Sanders.
A 5-9 setter from McKenna, Wash., Foss was named to the All-Mountain West team in 2012 after ranking second in the league with 10.74 assists. She was also effective at the net, averaging 0.78 kills and 0.85 blocks per set, and posted 2.20 digs per set. Her 2,258 career assists rank ninth in CSU history.
Foss sees the opportunity to compete with the A2 program as a great chance for her to display her talents to a national audience, but to also learn from some of the best athletes in the country, and bring those skills back to Fort Collins.
“A lot of times they want you to run a fast tempo, which is what Tom is trying to get us to do,” Foss said. “This experience will help me do that, in addition to learning on the fly.”