Three Wildcats to Take Part in U.S. National Team Tryout

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The K-State volleyball team will send three players, All-America honorable mentions Katie Brand and Kylee Zumach along with libero Kersten Kober, to the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The three Wildcats will be among 238 athletes from 93 colleges from across the country that will be evaluated during the tryout set for February 20-22. The field will help determine the makeup of USA Volleyball's Women's National Team, the U.S. Collegiate National Team program and the U.S. Women's Junior National Team for athletes born in 1996 and 1997. Zumach, born in 1996, is the lone Wildcat eligible for the Junior National Team.

Last year, Brand and rising redshirt junior Katie Reininger participated in the open tryout, with Brand earning a spot in the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. Brand trained for 10 days in Minneapolis, Minnesota last June, competing in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships.

Brand and Zumach were All-Big 12 and All-Midwest Region selections in 2014, helping the Wildcats collect 22 wins and reach the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in school history. Brand led the team in assists while also becoming the first Wildcat to record 1,000 assists, 300 digs, 100 kills and 100 blocks in a single season. Zumach had an award-laden first year at K-State, earning the program's first Big 12 Freshman of the Year and All-Midwest Region Freshman of the Year honors. The outside hitter had 412 kills, the most ever by a Wildcat freshman.

In her second season in a Wildcat uniform, Kober served as the team's starting libero and registered 413 digs and 20 aces. The Southlake, Texas native was the first Wildcat since 2011 to have 400 or more digs in a season.

U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff will direct the entire tryout process, which can be viewed with an online video stream at www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball. The tryout will involve four sessions with three waves per session. Friday's first session goes from 2-8 p.m. MT with Queen of the Court competitions, while Saturday's sessions are at 8 a.m. (focus on serve/receive and individual work) and 2 p.m. (middle-centered and out-of-system focus). The tryout concludes on Sunday at 8 a.m. with tournament style play, along with 16-18 athletes selected by the staff to participate in a "USA" training session.

Selected athletes for the U.S. Women's National Team may begin their training in Anaheim, California, as early as the spring of 2015, or when an athlete's scholastic or professional club season has concluded.

The U.S. Collegiate National Team program has three competition options:
World University Games Team (12 athletes): June 28-July 14
Tour of China (12 athletes): June 12-26
USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships (36 athletes): June 21-30

For athletes born in 1996 or 1997, they will also be evaluated to earn a spot on the U.S. Women's Junior National Team that will compete at the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women's U20 World Championship in Cyprus July 1-13 with a training block from June 14-29 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Selections for the U.S. Collegiate National Teams will be made by the end of March, while selected athletes to the U.S. Women's Junior National Team will be notified by April 31 with a public announcement expected by May 7.

For a complete list of athletes at the 2015 tryout, click here.