June 22, 2012
By Nic Hallisey
Athletic Media Relations
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Colorado State senior Brieon Paige is one of 48 collegiate volleyball players selected to participate in this summer’s U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Program. Paige earned a spot last month after trying out Feb. 10-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. In all, 207 athletes participated in the open tryout put on by USA Volleyball.
“I feel really blessed,” Paige said. “I just have to thank God, because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and not everyone gets the chance to do this. The fact that I was chosen to play with some of the best girls in the nation is a huge blessing.”
The Sacramento, Calif., native will begin training on Tuesday at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus. Matches will be held June 30 through July 4 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, coinciding with USA Volleyball’s Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC). During the pre-tournament training session, the 48 athletes will be divided into four teams of 12 players, and will play one match per day during the GJNC. All matches will be A2 competing against each other in a round-robin format followed by a semifinal and final round.
The 48 players hail from 34 different collegiate programs, and Paige is one of 12 middle blockers. Athletes in college and with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2012 collegiate season not selected to join the U.S. Women’s National team were eligible for the U.S. Women’s A2 program.
“The A2 training program is a great opportunity for Brieon,” CSU Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. “It’s an opportunity for her to be looked at for a possible future with USA Volleyball.”
Not only is it a good chance for her to showcase her talents on a national stage, but it also allows her to prepare for her senior season in Fort Collins.
“She’ll get to train in the summer against some great competition,” Hilbert said. “She’ll be competing and working with other players from all across the country. I’m really excited for her.”
Coaches for the A2 team are Northwestern University’s Keylor Chan, San Diego State University’s Deitre Collins-Parker, Georgia Tech’s Tanya Johnson, Pepperdine University’s Nina Matthies and Cal State Northridge’s Jeff Stork. One additional coaching position will be filled prior to the start of training.
Paige is the fourth Ram to be chosen for the U.S. Women’s National A2 team, joining Courtney Cox, Mekana Barnes and Evan Sanders.
While there are several things Paige is looking forward to about the experience, the biggest is what she can bring back to her team in the fall.
“I’m excited to learn new things, especially things I can use for the upcoming season,” the senior said. “This will give me a chance to learn from other girls, make new friends and play with them. I’m planning on training really hard and bringing that back with me to share with my teammates.”
As a junior in 2011, Paige led the Mountain West with a .333 hitting percentage. She also ranked seventh with 1.02 blocks per set in addition to averaging 2.16 kills per set. She earned all-MW honors for her production on the court.
For a complete list of players selected and more information about the training, click here.