Lions Land Three on U.S. Women's National Volleyball A2 Roster
Litara Keil, Kathleen Luft and Hannah Tedrow all earned a spot on the A2 roster.
May 8, 2013
A trio of LMU volleyball players were named to the U.S Women's National Volleyball A2 roster, it was announced earlier this week by USA Volleyball. The roster, which includes LMU's Litara Keil (middle blocker), Kathleen Luft (outside hitter) and Hannah Tedrow (setter), consists of 48 players who will train and compete this summer in Dallas, Texas.
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Senior A2 program is available to athletes with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2013 season. This program is scheduled to take place in Dallas from June 25 to July 4 in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships.
The trio selected to play for the A2 squad proved to be key in LMU's success throughout the 2012 season, which culminated in LMU's first berth into the NCAA Tournament since 2005.
Keil finished the season ranked sixth in the WCC in blocks (118 - 1.04 per set), ninth in kills (356 - 3.12 per set) and aces (34 - .30 per set), and 10th in attack percentage (.309). The middle blocker posted a career-high tying three block solos against UC Irvine on August 31 and posted nine block assists against Notre Dame on September 15. In WCC matches alone, Keil hit .320 with 190 kills (3.22 per set) and 60 blocks (1.02 per set).
Luft, who transferred into LMU from Georgia, impressed in her first year for the Lions. The Thousand Oaks, Calif. native collected a WCC-best 474 kills at a rate of 4.16 per set. Guiding LMU to the NCAA Tournament down the stretch, Luft posted a career-best 25 kills in the final match of the regular season. The team leader with seven double-doubles, Luft was named September WCC Co-Player of the Month and took home WCC Player of the Week for the week of November 12. In WCC matches alone, Luft posted 254 kills at a rate of 4.31 per set.
Tedrow finished the year ranked fifth in the WCC in assists with 1,088 at a rate of 9.54 per set. The native of Foothill Ranch, Calif. posted 22 matches with 30+ assists, and nine with 40 or more. Her first of three double-doubles came on October 25 at Pepperdine, teaming a career-best 63 assists with 13 digs. In conference matches alone, Tedrow dished out 601 assists at a rate of 10.19 per set.
The A2 program roster has athlete representation from 29 different universities with 12 schools, including LMU, having multiple selections. Purdue University has four players selected for the program, while UCLA, Iowa State University, University of Wisconsin, Michigan State University and University of Louisville join LMU with three athletes each in the program.
Five athletes are repeat selections from 2012. Purdue University middle blocker Kierra Jones and opposite/setter Valerie Nichol competed in the A2 program last year, as did Michigan State University middle blocker Alexis Mathews and outside hitter Lauren Wicinski. University of New Mexico opposite Chantale Riddle is in her second tour in the A2 program. Mathews also competed in the 2011 edition and is a three-time selection.
The A2 program coaching staff will include Andy Banachowski, Mike Hebert, Ruth Nelson and Bill Neville who will serve as team head coaches. Assistant coaches with the A2 program are Ashley Allen, Terry Condon, Linda Hampton and Marci Sanders. Technical coordinators/assistant coaches for the A2 program are Kevin Hitt, Nicki Holmes, Eugene Tichenor and Jay Van Vark.
During the six-day training period from June 25-30, the 48 athletes will be divided into four equal teams that will compete in pool play against the other A2 program teams and the top four Premier Volleyball League (PVL) teams. After pool play, the four A2 program teams and PVL teams will split into their own divisions to determine the medalist teams in the competition.
The athletes were selected via the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 22-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryout attracted a record 240 participants, 33 more than the previous best mark set in 2012. Athletes selected to both the A2 program and the U.S. Women's Junior National Volleyball Team (WJNT) could only participate in the WJNT program with the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women's Junior World Championship as the priority event.