Nov. 28, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Current Bruin senior Rachell Johnson and former UCLA All-American Nana Meriwether have been invited to an invitation-only U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team tryout to be held Jan. 7-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Johnson and Meriwether are two of 13 players to be invited to the tryout.
Selected players will be invited to train with the U.S. Women's National Team this spring and compete for tournament roster spots in the summer. Team USA earned its berth into the 2008 Olympic Games by finishing third at the FIVB World Cup last week.
In addition, the USA Women's National Team will hold its annual "Open Tryout" at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from Feb. 22-24. This tryout will be used to identify possible candidates for the U.S. National and Olympic Team, as well as the A2 program.
"Nana, who is my roommate, and I got the e-mail at the same time," Johnson said. "It is very exciting. The past two years I went to tryout for the A2 team and made it, but was unable to compete because of my responsibilities at UCLA. Since I am about to be finished with school, this will be a great opportunity to see where I stand against the highest level of competition. It will be a great way to prove myself and see if I can make it at the next level."
The tryout invitee list includes Stanford's Bryn Kehoe and Alix Klineman, Nebraska's Jordan Larson, Texas' Juliann Faucette, Destinee Hooker and Lauren Paolini, Florida's Angie McGinnis, Washington's Christal Morrison, California's Angie Pressey, Cal Poly's Kylie Atherstone and Long Beach State's Alexis Crimes.
Johnson was named to the All-Pac-10 honorable mention team on Monday and is second on the team with 1.15 blocks per game and third with 3.32 kills per game. She ranks ninth among Pac-10 players and seventh in the league during conference matches with 1.22 bpg. The senior has posted double figures in kills 21 times and has had at least five blocks in a match on nine occasions. Johnson recorded her first two career double-doubles this season against Arizona State, producing 14 kills and a career-high 11 blocks at home against ASU on Sept. 21 and 11 kills and a personal-best 10 digs in Tempe last Friday.
Meriwether was a two-time All-American at UCLA and a three-year letterwinner from 2004-06. Earning first-team AVCA All-American honors in her senior season, Meriwether became the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in two statistical categories, placing first with a .448 hitting percentage and 1.95 blocks per game. A two-time All-Pac-10 and All-Pacific honoree, as well as a four-time Pac-10 Player of the Week, Meriwether is the school's all-time leader in hitting percentage at .386 and is second in blocks with 627. Following her days in Westwood, Meriwether has continued her playing career in Puerto Rico. Off the court, she was named Miss Malibu 2007.