Feb. 26, 2009
Columbia, Mo. - Last weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado, sophomore libero for the Mizzou Tiger volleyball team, Caitlyn Vann, participated in the USA National Team tryouts.
Vann was one of a record 160 athletes competing for only a handful of roster spots over the three-day weekend, battling athletes from all across the country for one of those spots.
"I had a lot of fun there, and got to see a lot of my friends that were also trying out," Vann said. "I think I did pretty well, but we'll see what happens in a few weeks."
The team roster will not be finalized until March or early April, and with the amount of athletes there in attendance, Vann knew she had to prepare herself for anything. "I was surprised at how many people were trying out," she said. "But you have to know that you're going up against the best, and be ready for whatever happens."
Playing in the Big 12 was also an advantage Vann had. Going up against teams like Nebraska, Texas and Iowa State, she felt the season got her ready for the tryout. "Not many people get to play in a conference like the Big 12, and playing teams like that every night can be a welcoming challenge," she said.
Although Vann has a history of working with the national teams when she was in high school, even making one of the junior national squads, the evaluating process of getting the athletes looked at was different than what she expected.
"It was nonstop all three days," Vann said. "We scrimmaged most of the time, but we got a lot more instruction from the coaches than in the past, and that really helped out a lot of us."
After having a great season last year, Vann and the Tigers have pretty lofty goals for themselves. Goals, she believes the team can attain.
"Winning the Big 12 championship," she said. "Winning the conference title and making it back to the tournament are what we're expecting, and anything short of that is going to be a disappointment."