Two Lady Zips try for U.S. team

“By Kevin Crater sports@buchtelite.com The University of Akron Volleyball team will send two athletes to the U.S. Women’s National Team tryouts Friday. Junior outside hitter Brionna Patterson and freshman middle blocker Tina Dimitrijevs will represent the Zips as two of the 160 athletes participating in the tryout.”

By Kevin Crater

sports@buchtelite.com

The University of Akron Volleyball team will send two athletes to the U.S. Women’s National Team tryouts Friday.

Junior outside hitter Brionna Patterson and freshman middle blocker Tina Dimitrijevs will represent the Zips as two of the 160 athletes participating in the tryout.

At the tryout the invitees will participate in drills, exhibition matches, and physical tests to select who will be named to the roster.

For me, it’s just like practice, Patterson said. I just have to make sure I’m doing my best.

Only 33 athletes will be chosen for the U.S. Team and its development teams.

Patterson and Dimitrijevs, their friends and family have been very supportive, and have given endless congratulations.

My parents were even more excited than I was, Patterson said.

Although the UA coaching staff has consistantly congratulated the pair throughout the season, Dimitrijevs believes the coaches also deserve praise.

My family and coaches were very excited, Dimitrijevs said. I was just really thankful for our coaches for putting us out there.

Patterson finished fourth in the Mid American Conference, averaging 3.38 kills per set, moving to eighth on the Zips’ all-time career kill list. Dimitrijevs, an athletic jumper for UA, finished her freshman campaign with 70 blocks (18 solo) and 23 digs, along with 197 kills in 97 sets.

Dimitrijeva seemed extremely thankful for the selection, but said that being named to the team would be utterly unimaginable.

It would be the greatest athletic achievement of my life, Dimitrijevs said.

Patterson said making the national team would be great for her family and coaches. It would be such an honor; I would owe a lot to our coaches, Patterson said.

Patterson and Dimitrijevs believe their participation in national team tryout could be huge for their program.

We would get another perspective on the game and get the name of our program out there, Patterson said.

The tryout for the U.S. national team kicks off at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Feb. 20 and will run through Feb. 22.

Call sports writer Kevin Crater:

330-972-7395

To comment on this story, go to:

https://www.buchtelite.com