COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Arizona volleyball middle blocker Rachel Rhoades and libero Ronni Lewis have been chosen as two of 36 athletes to participate in the USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team program. Players in the program will train and compete in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships from June 22 to July 1 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Rhoades Earned Pac-12 Second-Team All-Academic honors, while playing in 24 matches and in 56 sets on the season. She finished the season with 58 kills, 33 blocks, 14 digs, six assists and three service aces, while also hitting an efficient .325. She tied a career-high with nine kills in the victory over Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 7 and had a season-high six blocks in the win over No. 21 Oregon back on Oct. 4. Rhoades came up big in Arizona’s win over New Mexico State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament as she recorded five kills on .444 hitting and three blocks.
Lewis played in all 34 matches and in 115 of the team’s 118 sets on the year. She finished the season with 257 digs, 73 assists, 11 service aces and four kills. Lewis also had 11 matches with 10 or more digs. She finished with a season-high 18 digs in the come from behind victory at Washington State on Oct. 13. In addition, she tied a career-high with five assists against both UC Santa Barbara (9/21) and Arizona State (9/24). Lewis is no stranger to USA Volleyball as she was selected to the USA A2 Volleyball Team this past summer.
Lewis participated in the program last season as she helped her team earn a silver medal in Dallas, Texas. In the squad’s four-set semifinal victory over USA Blue, Lewis chalked up seven perfect passes in 17 attempts (.290 efficiency), while serving up two aces. In the final pool play match, Lewis led Team Gold past Team Red in four-sets with 10 perfect passes in 18 attempts (.440 efficiency). Lewis was one of just 47 athletes around the country selected to participate in the U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Program.
This CNT program will be instructed by lead coaches Mike Hebert and Bill Neville, who are both retired college head coaches. Both Hebert and Neville have extensive coaching experience not only at the collegiate level, but also at the international level. Neville has served as head coach for both the men’s and women’s U.S. National Teams as well as assistant on the U.S. Men’s National Team. Hebert has contributed to the U.S. Women’s National Team as an assistant coach.
After the training portion of the program, the 36 athletes will be divided into three equal teams which will compete in a round-robin event June 27-30. The round-robin event may add an international team to increase the field to four teams that would complete June 26-30. This program is considered a second tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
U.S. Collegiate National Team – USAV Girls’ Junior National Championships
Athlete (Position, College, Hometown, College Years Remaining)
Breanna Atkinson (OH, Duke University, Ashburn, Va., 2)
Mercedes Binns (MB, Arizona State University, South Pasadena, Calif., 2)
Jianna Bonomi (S, University of San Diego, Huntington Beach, Calif., 1)
Mary Helen Boyle (OH, LSU, Eureka, Mo., 1)
Katie Brand (S, Kansas State University, Grand Island, Neb., 3)
Kelli Browning (MB, Creighton University, Waukesha, Wis., 1)
Rachel Brummitt (L, Texas Tech, Plano, Texas, 1)
Delaney Clesen (L, University of Pittsburgh, Evanston, Ill., 1)
Abby Cole (Opp, University of Michigan, Grand Haven, Mich., 3)
Mackenzie Dagostino (S, University of Florida, Tampa, Fla., 2)
Hannah Deede (Opp, Western Oregon University, Silverton, Ore., 1)
Julia Doyle (S, University of Oklahoma, Plymouth, Minn., 2)
Aubrey Edie (S, University of Mississippi, Fayetteville, Ark., 3)
Jennifer Hamson (Opp, BYU, Lindon, Utah, 1)
Chelsey Harris (Opp, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 3)
Cassie House (OH, University of New Mexico, Rio Rancho, 3)
Litara Keil (OH, Loyola Marymount University, Long Beach, Calif., 1)
Kendall Kritenbrink (OH, University of South Dakota, Gretna, Neb., 1)
Ronni Lewis (L, University of Arizona, San Jose, Calif., 1)
Leah McNary (OH, Creighton University, Tarpon Springs, Fla., 1)
Sarah Meister (L, University of Missouri, San Diego, Calif., 1)
Emily Miron (MB, North Dakota State University, Wedena, Minn., 3)
Katie Mitchell (OH, Ohio State University, The Woodlands, Texas, 2)
Katie Mosher (L, Florida State University, Fort Myers, Fla., 1)
Jacqueline Napper (L, University of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky., 1)
Rachel Rhoades (MB, University of Arizona, San Diego, Calif., 1)
Chantale Riddle (Opp, University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M., 1)
Sara Rishell (MB, UAB, Smithsburg, Md., 1)
Elise Ruddins (Opp, University of Southern California, Laguna Nigel, Calif., 3)
Hannah Schraer (MB, University of Southern California, Arcadia, Calif., 1)
Paige Tapp (MB, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minn., 3)
Dominique Thompson (MB, University of Wisconsin, Plymouth, Minn., 1)
Mercedes Vaughn (MB, Florida State University, Folcroft, Pa., 2)
Sarah Wickstrom (S, Florida State University, Stuart, Fla., 1)
McKenzie Willey (OH, Arizona State University, Highland, Utah, 3)
Emily Wilson (OH, University of Missouri, Omaha, Neb., 1)
Lead Coaches: Mike Hebert and Bill Neville
Program Manager: Nicki Holmes (UCF women’s assistant coach)
Coaches: Ashley Allen (assistant coach at Nicholls State), Ray Gooden (head coach at Northern Illinois), Linda Hampton-Keith (assistant coach at Arizona State), Ben Lee (Arizona Storm Volleyball Club), Marci Sanders (head coach at Texas-Dallas), Jay Van Vark (assistant coach at Cal State-San Marcos)
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