Brand Helps Lead Red Team to Runner-Up Finish

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Wrapping up a week training with the USA Volleyball’s Collegiate National Team (CNT) program in New Orleans, Katie Brand helped lead the Red Team to a runner-up finish in the round-robin tournament held concurrently with the Girls’ Junior National Championships.

Participating in the CNT program for the second year in a row, Brand served as the setter for CNT Red in all seven sets over the semifinals and finals. In the first-place match, against CNT Blue, the rising junior contributed five points in a 3-1 loss (25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23).

In the semifinals, CNT Red swept CNT White (25-12, 25-19, 27-25), led by Brand who piloted the offense to a 40 kill percentage for the entire match as well as chipping in four points.

The CNT-New Orleans program, which ran from June 21-29, impressed many, including USA Volleyball Senior Director Tom Pingel.

“I would say, based on what I have heard from the coaching staff that has had experience with this group and what I have seen this week, this was probably one of the strongest if not the strongest College National Team groups that we have had at this event,” Pingel said in a USA Volleyball release. “I think it will only bode well for the future for USA Volleyball and cause some really hard, but good decisions to be made by our National Team staff down the road.”

A native of Grand Island, Nebraska, Brand was one of six setters and 35 total athletes in the CNT-New Orleans program. The 2015 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention selection and All-Big 12 First Team honoree was selected after taking part in the National Team Open Tryout held in Colorado Springs this past February. In total, 60 athletes were chosen from the tryout to fill out rosters for the World University Games and a Tour of China.

The 2015 season for K-State volleyball officially gets underway with the first day of practice during the first week of August. The campaign’s first matches will take place at the Hurricane Invitational in Coral Gables, Florida from August 28-29 while the home opener is set for Friday, September 4, kicking off the two-day Varney’s Invitational.