Lady Vols Talk About Their Experiences at USA National Team Tryouts

Feb. 26, 2010

Chloe Goldman

Before I arrived in Colorado Springs I didn't know what to expect and I was a little nervous, but very excited at the same time. When I arrived at the airport I knew I had to change my mindset from being hesitant and nervous to determined and ready to go to work.

After I checked in and got all my stuff settled in, I started listening to my IPod until it was time for my first session. Unfortunately, I was alone in my group, I didn't know anyone, but that still didn't stop me from being and playing like myself. The first session went really well and the level of talent and competition was so high. After the first session I thought I played well and did all that I could to stand out.

The next day we had two sessions. For the first session they taught us passing techniques that they wanted us to work on for those two hours. I was so excited because passing is something I love doing and I have worked on passing all year, so I knew I was ready! One concern I had was the altitude, because the ball floats more than usual, but in the end it didn't affect me at all. It was weird passing next to people other than Nikki (Fowler) and Kylie (Marshall) because I have been passing next to them for three years. But one thing I remembered is what Rob has taught me over the past four years, which is to makes your move and call the ball. I did just that and the awkwardness went away.

After my morning session we had to wait and see what groups they put us in. My group went at six so I had a long break. The night session was so much fun. They put us into teams and we scrimmaged. This was one of my favorite sessions so far. After the night session, the staff said that they were going to split everyone into three groups and that the groups would be posted at 9:30.

We were all sitting around waiting for the list to be posted, but it didn't go up until about 10:00. Luckily I am short, so I was able to make my way to the front! I was in the 8:30 group. My roommate was also in my group so that made me happy because I wasn't by myself again.

The last session was the best session I had all weekend. It was odd playing with people from different schools, especially schools that were in the Final Four, but it was very exciting. Overall, it was a good experience and I had a lot of fun.

Nikki Fowler

This past weekend I was given the opportunity to go to Colorado Springs and tryout for the national team at the Olympic Training Center. Although my there was brief, I would definitely have to say that it ranks in the top five for most inspirational places that I have ever been. Covering all of the walls were pictures of former and current Olympians, as well as quotes from the best. Red, white, and blue was the theme and USA covered nearly everything (even the plates!!!)

Kayla (Jeter), Chloe (Goldman) and I left Knoxville at 9 a.m., connecting in Houston (My home state of Texas...woohoo!) and finally arrived around 2:15 p.m. After gathering our bags and getting on the very full shuttle to the center, I already began to see many familiar faces.

Kayla and I were roommates, along with a middle blocker from Notre Dame. Most people roomed with people from different schools and it made it really interesting. The first day of tryouts we basically scrimmaged and did a lot of wave-through drills. The second day we had two sessions. The first session was basic skills. They taught us the way that they would like us to pass and we practiced that. For the second session on Saturday, they placed us into teams and we scrimmaged the whole time. Although very tiring, it was a very productive and fun session.

The last session we were placed on permanent teams where we scrimmaged in a tournament-like style. Ironically, Kayla and I were placed on the same team and it provided some humor among the people who knew we were both from Tennessee. Our team really gelled and we went undefeated on Sunday. After our victory, Kayla and I hit the dining hall where we ate the awesome food and enjoyed our last few hours.

I thought that it was going to be difficult to adjust to playing with people who I had no background with, but it was something that I really enjoyed. In fact, our rivals from all different schools (especially SEC schools) became our friends by the end of the weekend. I look forward to seeing them again on the court in the fall!





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