Quartet invited to USA volleyball open tryouts

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Four Kentucky volleyball players have been invited to try out for the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National teams. Senior Jackie Napper, junior Morgan Bergren, sophomore Anni Thomasson and freshman Emily Franklin were selected to participate in the camp from Feb. 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Nearly 250 athletes from 106 colleges and universities have been invited to participate in the tryouts for spots on the U.S. Women’s National team or the U.S. Collegiate National teams which were formally known as the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 teams.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women’s National Team staff will lead the tryout process. Selections will be announced by the end of March.

Napper started every match for UK at the libero position during her junior campaign. She registered a team-high 443 digs on the year a mark that ranks as the sixth most in program history during the 25-point rally scoring era. The Louisville, Ky., native will begin her senior season just 21 digs shy of amassing 1,000 for her career.

Bergren served as one of UK’s captains during her sophomore season and started every match as the team’s setter. She dished out 1,215 assists on the year while ranking second with 14 solo blocks on the season. She added 77 total rejections and 192 digs. Her assist total ranks as the fourth most by any setter in the 25-point rally scoring era in program history.

Thomasson emerged as one of UK’s leading point threats in her freshman campaign en route to earning All-Southeastern Conference Freshman team accolades. Thomasson was second on the squad in kills (242) and became the first player in the Craig Skinner era to have a 30-kill match when she achieved the feat in a thrilling five set victory over LSU late in the season.

Franklin redshirted during the 2013 season, but was consistently one of the top performers in practice. She will have four years of eligibility remaining beginning in the 2014 season.

Brown Tabbed to Fab 50 List by Volleyball Magazine

Incoming freshman Kaz Brown was named to Volleyball Magazine’s Fab 50 list it was announced on Wednesday. Fifty high school seniors earn recognition to the list from all over the country, and UK’s Brown was among the top high school performers.

Brown, a 6’4 middle blocker from Waterloo, Iowa, comes to Kentucky as the No. 23 rated player by Prep Volleyball. She competes for Cedar Falls High School and the Six Pack Volleyball club and is a four-time All-Metro and All-Conference honoree. In high school, she is the career leader in kills, kills per set, kill efficiency, blocks and blocks per set. She led Class 5A in blocks and blocks per set while being selected to Iowa’s Senior All-Star Classic. Brown helped lead the Six Pack 16’s to a USAC national title in 2012 and was named MVP of the All-Tournament team. She is also an Honor Roll student.

Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.


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