TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State indoor volleyball student-athlete Nicole Walch will join the United States Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 program this summer to train and compete in Dallas, Texas, against some of the country’s best players with collegiate eligibility remaining.
Walch, who hails from Stuart, Fla. was one of 48 players who were selected to the program. She was one of several players who competed at 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.
“The A2 opportunity for Nicole is a chance to showcase her skills on a national level against the best college age players in the USA,” head coach Chris Poole said. “I know this was a great experience for Sareea (Freeman) and Sarah (Wickstrom) last summer and will be great for Nicole's continued development. She worked very hard this spring raising her vertical three inches and has improved her quickness. We would expect her to perform at a high level this summer.”
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Senior A2 program is available to athletes with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2013 season. The 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 program roster has athlete representation from 30 different universities with 12 schools having multiple selections. 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.
Walch’s selection is a sign of the improvement in her overall game. As a freshman at Florida State, the versatile outside hitter showed several flashes of brilliance. She put together eight kills and a .294 hitting percentage in just her second start against Cincinnati on Aug. 25. Against Florida A&M, she registered a season-best nine kills in a three-set win.
“I am excited and honored to be able to have this opportunity,” Walch said. “Being able to represent the United States is an amazing experience and I cannot wait to be in Dallas and have a great tournament.”
One of Walch’s most impressive performances came in a five-set comeback at Georgia Tech on Oct. 19, 2012. She sparked the Seminoles with seven kills in 10 attempts, garnering a .600 hitting percentage. In that match, she also contributed with three blocks.
Florida State has started to create a reputable pipeline over the last few seasons in the USA Volleyball Program. In the summer 2011, Walch joined her sister Elise and libero Katie Mosher in winning the European Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia, as part of the USA Volleyball A2 Junior National Team.
Last summer, setter Sarah Wickstrom and former player Sareea Freeman played for the National Volleyball Senior A2 program in Columbus, Ohio, and got some ample playing experience against of the nation’s best collegiate players.
This offseason, rising redshirt freshman Sarah Burrington is participating with the Women’s Junior Training Team in Lake Placid, N.Y. Burrington will have a chance to play with the junior national team at the FIVB Volleyball Women's U-20 World Championship being held June 21-30 in the cities of Brno and Prostejov, Czech Republic.