LUBBOCK, Texas – This is a press release from Texas Tech athletics.
Five Red Raiders are set to represent the Texas Tech volleyball team at the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts on Feb. 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Setter Alex Kirby and outside hitter Brooke Kanas, who made the U.S. Collegiate National Domestic Team last year, are set for their second tryout and will be joined by outside hitter Caitlin Dugan, middle blocker Karrington Jones, and libero Emerson Solano.
“We are very happy to be sending five Red Raiders to CNT tryouts this year” head coach Tony Graystone said. “This is always a great opportunity for our players to compete against the best players in college volleyball and I know our athletes are looking forward to it. The National Team staff does a great job with these tryouts and our players always have a great experience.”
Tech’s crop are five of 214 student-athletes from 94 colleges across the country vying for spots on the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. A total of 67 outside hitters, 48 liberos, 37 middle blockers, 37 setters and 25 opposites will be in attendance.
The tryout will involve four sessions with three waves per session. Friday’s first session goes from 2-8 p.m. MT, while Saturday’s two sessions are at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The final session on Sunday begins at 7:30 a.m. MT with tournament style play, along with 16-18 athletes selected by the U.S. Women’s National Team staff to participate in a “USA” training session. The Sunday session wraps up at 10:30 a.m. MT.
Dugan burst onto the scene and made major waves in her first season with the Red Raiders. The freshman made 15 starts and played in 110 sets and was one of the most solid offensive players for Graystone’s Red Raiders. Dugan ranked second on the team with 269 kills (2.45 per set), 725 attacks, 302 points (2.75 per set) and third overall with 59 blocks. The Arizona native posted 13 double-digit kill matches in 2019, including a 17-kill performance at Oklahoma on Nov. 13. Dugan took home Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors after a dominant performance at the UNLV Invitational.
Taking on an increased roll in 2019, Jones stood tall at the net and led the Red Raiders with 92 blocks (0.92 per set) in her sophomore season. She started all but five games in 2019 and ranked fourth on the team with 164 kills. Jones collected three double-digit kill matches over the course of the season and posted a career-high 10 blocks in a huge win over Kansas on Oct. 16. She buried a career-high 12 kills against TCU and powered 15 points in a big win for the Red Raiders at UNLV on Sept. 19.
Kanas returns to the tryouts after earning a spot on the U.S. Collegiate National Domestic Team last year. She became the fourth, and youngest, Red Raiders in program history to make the national team. Kanas, who ranked third in points (274) and kills (255), started nine matches in her sophomore season and tallied 11 double-digit kill matches. She finished her second season with the Red Raiders hitting .221 and she averaged 2.40 kills per set in Big 12 Conference play.
Despite suffering an early injury, Alex Kirby took over as the heart of the Red Raider offense in her sophomore season. Kirby started the season strong and earned Sports Imports All-Tournament honors after helping the Red Raiders to a 3-0 start to the season. However, the day before Tech’s second tournament of the season, she received devastating news and would miss the next 13 matches due to a stress fracture in her foot. After a long-time coming, she returned to the floor and led Tech to its first-ever three-set sweep at Kansas State on Oct. 2. Kirby continued to roll and finished the season fifth in the Big 12 with 10.22 assists per set. She racked up 685 assists in her second season with the squad and finished the year with four double-double matches.
Attending her first tryout, Solano gears up for the national stage after a solid year as Tech’s libero. After posting a 28-dig performance at Oklahoma, Solano became a member of the 1000 career-dig club on Wednesday, Nov. 13. She posted double-digit dig matches in 24 outings and took home Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors twice. She started all 30 matches this season and finished third in the league with 4.01 digs per set. In her third year with the Red Raiders, Solano set posted a career-high 31 digs against Oklahoma (10/26) and was named to the Red Raider Classic All-Tournament Team.
All sessions minus the USA training session on Sunday morning will be streamed live by clicking here. USA Volleyball will use #USAVtryout as the event hashtag for photos, notes, quotes and stories posted to its social media platforms Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram under the handle @usavolleyball.
This was a press release from Texas Tech athletics.