WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference has announced plans to send an all-star women's volleyball team to China in June 2013. Junior Kelly Reeves is one of 12 league players who will participate in the tour.
"I was ecstatic when I found out I made this Pac-12 team," Reeves said. "To be able to represent UCLA in a foreign country is exciting. I have never been to China, so I am pumped to visit and experience the culture, and of course the volleyball."
Reeves concluded her junior season in 2012 and appeared in all 31 matches, placing second on the team with 2.53 digs per set and 20 service aces, posting multiple aces in a match four times. She added 1.38 kills per set and had 13 double-figure digs matches to give her 45 for her career. In three seasons, she has over 800 digs, 500 kills and 50 aces.
Also a member of the inaugural season of UCLA sand volleyball, Reeves is no stranger to international competition. As the team captain for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team in the summer of 2011, Reeves helped Team USA to a fourth-place finish at the FIVB Women's Junior World Championship in Peru.
The summer all-star team will play at least six matches against Chinese Professional Club Teams over two weeks in Beijing and Shanghai. In addition to the matches, the student-athletes will enjoy cultural and sightseeing visits in China at the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and other attractions.
"This type of tour can be a transformative moment for our student-athletes," said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. "In addition to the competition on the court, they will return to their teams with a meaningful life experience of visiting another country and learning more about another culture."
"I think playing at the international level is a great opportunity to better one's overall game, because the level of the competition is much faster," Reeves said. "With past experience playing on the USA youth and junior national teams, I have been in that setting before and I am excited to play in that arena come June."
Competition against Chinese teams competition is not new for Pac-12 women's volleyball players. In addition to international play like the Olympics, four Pac-12 women's volleyball teams, including UCLA, hosted the Jiangsu Volleyball Team from Nanjing, China, one of the leading professional volleyball teams in China, for matches during the 2012 season.
The student-athletes on the tour represent Pac-12 teams that distinguished the Conference during the 2012 season with seven NCAA Tournament bids, tied for the most of any conference in the country.
This summer's All-Star team was selected by the coaching staff and Pac-12 liaison and includes two setters, one libero, three middle blockers and six outside hitters. In total, 10 of the 12 universities in the Conference are represented. The team includes two freshmen, five sophomores, four juniors and one senior.
"This is not only a great opportunity to travel to a foreign country, but to also bond with 11 other players from the Pac-12 and experience the different cultures and lifestyles with them," Reeves said.
2013 Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star Roster
Kelly Reeves, outside hitter (UCLA)
Inky Ajanaku, middle blocker (Stanford)
Liz Brenner, outside hitter (Oregon)
Hayley Crone, setter (USC)
Shelby Dalton, outside hitter (Utah)
Kelcey Dunaway, middle blocker (Washington)
Macey Gardner, outside hitter (Arizona State)
Marcelina Glab, middle hitter (Washington State)
Natalie Hagglund, libero (USC)
Madi Kingdon, outside hitter (Arizona)
Arica Nassar, outside hitter/middle blocker (Oregon State)
Lauren Plum, setter (Oregon)
Head Coach: Mick Haley, USC
Assistant Coaches: Jen Greeny, Washington State & Beth Launiere, Utah