FAYETTEVILLE – Brooke Fournier, Jasmine Norton and Kelli Stipanovich, members of the University of Arkansas volleyball team, will participate in USA Volleyball’s open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team and Associated Training Programs, held Feb. 25-27 in Colorado Springs, Colo. A collection of the nation’s top volleyball players will head to the U.S. Olympic Training Center to compete for a spot within the national program.
"This will be a great experience and opportunity for Brooke, Jasmine and Kelli," head coach Robert Pulliza said. "They will be competing and playing with the best of the best. Being part of the SEC, we see a very high level of volleyball but this will be an even higher level that will only help them in their growth as volleyball players and the experience will be invaluable."
Fournier spent her freshman year in Fayetteville as the Razorbacks’ starting libero. She was one of the two freshman starters at that position in the SEC. She finished the season with 3.06 digs per set and had four matches with at least 20 digs. Against Alabama-Birmingham at the Middle Tennessee Invitational, Fournier posted a career-high 26 digs. In Arkansas’ conference opener, a five-set win over Georgia, she had 23 digs.
During her sophomore season, Norton earned a spot on the All-SEC Second Team after leading the SEC with 3.83 kills per set. As the Razorbacks’ go-to player, she totaled six matches with at least 20 kills and eight double-doubles, including a 29-kill, 22-dig match against UAB at the Middle Tennessee Invitational. Her kill total against the Blazers equaled a career high. Norton finished the season 14th on the program’s all-time kills list.
Stipanovich completed her junior season in 2010 in which she was second on the team with 2.40 kills per set. During the year, she posted career highs in sets played, hitting percentage, total digs, digs per set, total blocks, blocks per set and total points. Stipanovich was also named to the MVP of the season-opening Arkansas Invitational and has moved into 16th on the program’s all-time kills list.
As part of the tryout, athletes will compete for spots on the U.S. Women’s Volleyball National Team program and the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 teams. Student-athletes in college with eligibility remaining for the 2011 season and not selected to the USA Women’s National Team may be invited to participate with the A2 Team. A projected total of 36 athletes will be invited to participate in the program.
In 2009 following her freshman year, Stipanovich participated in the national team tryouts, was selected to the USA Junior A2 Team and took part in the European Global Challenge with the program. The U.S. Women’s National Team coaching staff will evaluate the players during the tryout process, which is open to current college-age athletes and older, as well as high school players born in 1993 or earlier.