June 28, 2013
(Photo Credit: USA Volleyball)
DALLAS – One of just seven defensive specialists in the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Volleyball A2 Program, Tennessee volleyball rising senior captain Ellen Mullins is three days into training in Dallas, Texas.
Open to college athletes with eligibility remaining for the 2013 campaign, the WNTA2 program was whittled down from a record 240 tryout participants in February to just 47 in Dallas.
Starting on June 25, the players are currently participating in a four-day training camp at the University of Texas-Dallas, before dividing into four teams and relocating to the Dallas Convention Center for five days of competition.
Day three was draft day. The 47 athletes were separated into four equal teams (Gold, Red, White and Blue) for the competition block at the Dallas Convention Center in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.
The teams will compete against each other in round-robin pool play June 29 – July 1, playing one best-of-five sets match each day. At the conclusion of pool play, the four teams will be seeded for the July 2-3 playoff showdowns. On July 2, the semifinals will feature the first-place team in the pool against the fourth-place squad and the second-place team versus the third-place team. The winners will faceoff on July 3 for the gold, while the losers battle for bronze.
Mullins was selected as one of two liberos to Team Blue. Led by head coach Ruth Nelson and her assistant Mike Gawlik, Team Blue will open play against Team Gold on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
Nelson, a former Division I collegiate coach at Iowa, LSU and Houston, was happy with her team.
“The results from the draft were the team and the group that we wanted,” Nelson said. “It was pretty funny. We talked about it, and the combination of physical ability, above-the-net play and personality has created an unbelievable level of intensity for this group. The group we have is so physical and so determined to be a team and work together. The intensity is there. Everyone wants to play hard, enjoy their time, learn and become better for their collegiate season.”
Below is the full 12-player roster for Team Blue:
Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
1 – Chantale Riddle (Opp, University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M., 2, N.A.)
2 – Kristen Hahn (L/DS, Iowa State University, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1, Six Pack)
9 – Hannah Tedrow (S, Loyola Marymount University, Foothill Ranch, Calif., 3, Surf City)
17 – Ellen Mullins (L/DS, University of Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn., 1, Nashville One)
19 – Adreene Elliott (MB, University of Maryland, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2, Set Point)
20 – Mackenzie Dagostino (S, University of Maryland, Tampa, Fla., 3, Tampa Bay Juniors)
35 – Kimberly Dahl (OH, Brigham Young University, Pleasant Grove, Utah, 3, Club Utah)
39 – Ashley Wittman (OH, University of Minnesota, Shakopee, Minn., 1, Northern Lights)
40 – Victoria Hurtt (OH, Iowa State University, Kansas City, Mo., 3, KC Extreme)
44 – Annie Drews (Opp, Purdue University, Elkhart, Ind., 3, NIVA Juniors)
45 – Simone Antwi (MB, University of Florida, Fairfax Station, Va., 3, Virginia Elite)
48 – Ariana Williams (MB, University of Oregon, Riverside, Calif., 1, Club West)
Coaches: Ruth Nelson and Mike Gawlik
For more information on the Lady Vol volleyball team and Mullins trip in Dallas, follow @LadyVol_Vball on Twitter or visit UTSports.com/volleyball. USA Volleyball is also providing frequent updates from the A2 program on its Twitter feed (@USA_Volleyball).
(Photo Credit: USA Volleyball)