March 6, 2018

In Their Own Words: U.S. National Team Tryouts Recap


March 6, 2018


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Over the weekend, Hannah Gruensfelder, Lauren Witte and Jordan Fry made the trip to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the annual U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts. Hear about their experiences in their own words.

Hannah Gruensfelder | Freshman | Defensive Specialist

“Hi everyone, it’s Hannah Gruensfelder coming to you live from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs! It’s day one and Lauren, Jordan, Fish, and I just finished our first session with all of the other girls here at the tryout. We’ve already met a lot of players from all across the country! There’s some amazing girls here and we are getting some great reps in with great competition and great coaches. The weather here is also a plus since it’s sixty-five degrees and the mountains are gorgeous! Earlier today, we got to check in and do a some interviews and photoshoots with the USA staff. They had us state our school, position and stuff like that with a small boomerang pose for them. It was pretty funny watching all of the girls try to come up with some cool poses. We also walked the grounds a little bit and got to see the different sports and facilities that the U.S. Olympic Training Center offered. They have some really cool rooms for their athletes. Overall, we’ve had some great food and a great start to the weekend!”

Lauren Witte | Freshman | Middle Blocker

“Hey guys! I’m Lauren Witte, and it’s day two of tryouts here in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center! Jordan and I had our first session of the day in the morning, where we focused on serve-receive and transition plays. It was super fun and really cool to get to know some of the girls that we get to play against during the season! We had the chance to walk around the training center and explore a little during our break. It was nice out and the mountains are so pretty! Seeing all of the facilities that the Olympic teams get to train in was so cool. It’s so crazy to think about how many Olympians have trained and practiced here! After that, we cracked down on some homework and studying before it was time for session number two of the day! This session was similar to the morning one and we built on what we learned earlier in the day. The coaches there were so helpful and it was cool to get feedback from so many different perspectives. After a long volleyball-filled day, we headed back to the dorms and got to bed early in order to prepare for a long day of travel tomorrow.”

Jordan Fry | Sophomore | Middle Blocker

“Hi guys! This is Jordan Fry reporting on day three of tryouts in Colorado Springs. Today was our last day, so we only had one session, which consisted strictly of tournament play. The coaches divided us into teams and we played five ten-minute matches. We concluded the day with a brief closing ceremony before heading off to the airport. Trying out for the national team is an experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I will remember the competitive atmosphere the players and coaches promoted. This weekend, I was introduced to a level of volleyball I have never experienced before. Not only was I challenged by the elite level of play, but I was also forced to adapt to my new teammates and their different offenses. This adjustment, however, was facilitated by the exceptional coaching I received. Each coach provided a different perspective and broke down aspects of my game I had never considered before. I am blessed to have had this opportunity and I will continue to attend the tryouts in the upcoming years.”