March 22, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Following a tryout session in Colorado Springs, Colo., last month, three members of the Tennessee volleyball team have been named to the 2011 U.S. Women's National A2 Program roster, USA Volleyball has announced.
With Kayla Jeter, Leslie Cikra and Kelsey Robinson each making the squad, the Lady Vols tie with Texas, Florida and Illinois for the most representatives from a single college team. A total of 36 players from 22 different colleges were selected from a record-setting 204 tryout participants.
"To have three players represent our program with USA Volleyball is tremendous," UT Head Coach Rob Patrick said. "It is really a testament to the incredibly talented student-athletes that have committed to be a part of Tennessee volleyball and much of that credit can be assigned to my assistant coach Gregg Whitis. We are extremely excited about the upcoming season and these three players are a big reason why. This is a fantastic opportunity for each of them and will only help to increase their skill level and confidence."
The U.S. Women's National A2 Program will take place in Dallas from May 23 through June 1. The program includes training and competition in the 2011 USA Volleyball Open National Championships in the Open Division from May 28-31. USA Volleyball considers the event as the national championship for the sport of volleyball in the United States.
During the training sessions in Dallas, the coaching staff will divide the 36 players into three teams of 12 players to compete in the USA Volleyball Open National Championships. Last year, two A2 teams competed in the Open Division, producing a gold and bronze medal. Former Lady Vol Nikki Fowler was a member of the gold-medal winning Blue squad.
A 5-11 outside hitter, Jeter was an All-SEC First Team and American Volleyball Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-American selection in 2010. The rising senior from Solon, Ohio, was second on the team with 340 total kills, an average of 2.98 putaway per set and a .304 hitting percentage during her junior campaign.
Cikra will join the A2 team as an opposite hitter. Standing at 6-4, the rising junior came on strong at the end of 2010 as she begun to play up to her massive potential. In the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the Chagrin Falls, Ohio, native had a breakout performance, posting a career-high 20 kills and hitting at a .459 clip with just three errors in 37 swings. For the season, Cikra tallied 215 putaways and a .298 attack average, in addition to 72 blocks.
After serving as a six-rotation outside hitter for the Lady Vols as a freshman, Robinson made the A2 team as a libero. The 2010 All-SEC Freshman Team selection led Tennessee with 324 digs, good for 2.89 per set which ranked her ninth in the conference. Having been born in 1992, the Bartlett, Ill., product is also eligible to be named to the U.S. Women's Junior National Team roster which will be announced in early May. That squad will compete at the 2011 FIVB Women's Junior (Under 20) World Championships held July 21-30 in Peru.