DURHAM, N.C. – Nine Duke volleyball players will try out for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Teams at the Team USA Open Tryout on Feb. 20-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Juniors Christina Falcone and Rachael Moss, sophomores Becci Burling, Alex Sall and Claire Smalzer and freshmen Kellie Catanach, Sophia Dunworth, Kayla Kirk and Amanda Robertson will all attend the national tryout.
“We’re excited that so many members of our current team are able to take advantage of this opportunity to become better players,” Duke head coach Jolene Nagel said. “The strength of the tryout will challenge each of them and be a very competitive weekend of volleyball.”
An All-America and All-ACC selection last season, Moss will try out as an outside hitter alongside freshman classmates Dunworth and Kirk. Moss led the ACC in double-doubles and service aces in 2008 and averaged over three digs and three kills per set. Dunworth, meanwhile, earned ACC All-Freshman honors after putting down 295 kills during her inaugural season.
Sall and Smalzer will try out as liberos. Smalzer was Duke’s starter at the position as a sophomore last season and finished with 590 digs at an average of 4.50 per set. Sall also took on a defensive role late in the season and collected 18 digs in her final eight sets.
Burling and Robertson will try to earn spots as middle blockers. Burling, a 6-1 sophomore, had a breakout campaign in 2008, putting down 324 kills while blocking 87 attacks. Robertson, a 6-3 freshman, played in 95 sets in her first season and finished second in the ACC with 38 aces. She had just under 200 digs and averaged 2.07 per set in the category.
Trying out as setters will be Catanach and Falcone. Catanach, a 6-2 freshman, earned All-East Region honors last season after leading the ACC and the East Region in assists while directing one of the top offenses in the conference. Catanach recorded 17 double-doubles during the season, which was the second-most in the ACC behind teammate Moss. Falcone, meanwhile, got in on nine sets and tossed up 29 assists.
The Blue Devils will compete among a field of 160 current collegiate volleyball players who have at least one remaining year of eligibility. Those not selected to participate with the National Team will be considered for other programs run by USA Volleyball, including the US Women’s Junior National Team or the USA Women’s Senior A2 Teams.
Below is a list of Duke volleyball players who will attend the tryout:
Alex Sall (So., 5-9)
Claire Smalzer (So., 5-11)
Becci Burling (So., 6-1)
Amanda Robertson (Fr., 6-3)
Sophia Dunworth (Fr., 6-1)
Kayla Kirk (Fr., 6-0)
Rachael Moss (Jr., 5-10)
Kellie Catanach (Fr., 6-2)
Christina Falcone (Jr., 5-10)