uk volleyball2 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (5/8/13) – All-America right side hitter Whitney Billings is one of 48 collegiate players nationally named to the U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Program it was announced. The A2 program will train in Dallas, Texas this summer.
Billings is coming off a second-team All-America selection after a dominating junior campaign in which she became just the sixth Wildcat ever to receive second-team recognition after earning an honorable mention distinction following her sophomore season. The Helena, Ala., native was also a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection leading the Wildcats with a career-best 365 kills on the year for an average of 2.99 per set. She also led the team with 35 aces while finishing second on the team in digs (2.75 per set) and blocks (0.79 per set).
The 48-player roster is comprised of athletes with eligibility remaining for the 2013 season hailing from 29 different universities with 12 schools having multiple selections. Billings is one of just three players selected from the SEC.
Billings becomes the fourth player under head coach Craig Skinner to be selected to the A2 program. Three-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year Stephanie Klefot, who is currently training with the U.S. Women’s National Team in Anaheim, Calif., earned a selection in 2012. Ashley Frazier was a member of the program in 2011, and former All-America setter Sarah Rumely was the first to do so under Skinner in 2009.
“Whitney’s earned this opportunity to train with U.S. Volleyball,” said Skinner. “Each year since she’s been here, she’s gotten better and better, and she’s put herself in position to compete and train with the best athletes in our country.”
The athletes were selected after the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 22-24 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Billings is one of 48 selected after a record 240 participants tried out for the team, 33 more than in 2012.
Training for the A2 program begins June 25 and runs through June 30, a six-day period in which the 48 athletes will be divided into four teams to compete in pool play competition to play against the other A2 teams as well as the top four Premiere Volleyball League teams. Upon completion of pool play, the four A2 programs and PVL teams will split into their own divisions to determine medalists. The entire program runs from June 25 through July 24 in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girl’s Junior National Championships.
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