Five Wildcats to Participate in National Team Tryouts
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Five University of Kentucky volleyball players will participate in the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts taking place Feb. 20-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Morgan Bergren, Kaz Brown, Ashley Dusek, Emily Franklin and Darian Mack will be among 232 athletes from 90 colleges and universities set to participate in the open tryouts.
The open tryouts will take part over the course of the three-day period for spots on the U.S. Women's National Team, U.S. Collegiate National Teams program and the U.S. Junior National Teams.
The Wildcats have had a great tradition of players earning selection to various teams within the U.S. program including Bergren, Whitney Billings, Ashley Frazier, Stephanie Klefot, Alexandra Morgan, Jackie Napper, and Sarah Rumely.
Bergren was one of 12 players selected to compete during a 10-day tour in China, where the U.S. Collegiate National Team played seven matches against the Chinese Junior National Team and Chinese professional teams last summer.
She earned second-team All-America honors following a junior campaign in which she led UK with 1,291 assists in 2014, the second most in a single season in program history in the 25-point rally scoring era. The Muncie, Ind., native directed the UK offense to a .272 hitting percentage and a Southeastern Conference-best 14.25 kills per set, both the highest totals by the Wildcats since 2009.
Brown wasted no time making an impact for the Wildcats as a freshman, both offensively and defensively. She led UK in blocks 11 times, second-most on the team, with eight of her team-high totals in SEC matches. Brown tallied at least five kills in 10 matches and four or more kills nine times. She recorded a career-best eight kills four times, all in SEC play. A Waterloo, Iowa, native, Brown led the team with 98 blocks, and her 1.20 blocks per set in SEC play was third in the league. Offensively, she was seventh in the conference with a .395 hitting percentage in SEC matches.
Dusek saw action in all 33 matches for the Wildcats as a true freshman. She posted a career-high nine digs in a win over Texas A&M. The East Bernard, Texas, native finished the season with 12 aces and 96 digs.
Franklin appeared in 24 matches as a redshirt freshman. She notched a 1.44 kill per set average and utilized a .302 attacking clip. Had a career-best 10 kills on .500 hitting, two digs and an assist with four blocks at Auburn en route to earning SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Dec. 1, 2014.
Mack saw action in 17 matches in 2014. She registered 1.08 kills per set, two aces and seven blocks in 24 sets. Her best night of action as a true freshman came when she recorded eight kills on .400 hitting with four blocks, all career bests vs. Morehead State
A live stream of the event beginning on Friday will be provided by U.S. Volleyball.
Visit UKathletics.com for the most up-to-date information on the Kentucky volleyball team and all 22 varsity sports. For additional info on the volleyball team like Kentucky Volleyball on Facebook or follow the team on Twitter at @KentuckyVB.