Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 2, 2007) – Setter Katie Virtue (St. Charles, Ill.) has been added to the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Training Team and began training on April 2. In addition, Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.), an opposite hitter on the 2006 U.S. Women’s National Team, returned to the squad on April 2 after a winter hiatus.
A four-year starter at Ohio State University, Virtue left the school as the Buckeye’s all-time assist leader with 5,648. She compiled a school-record 13.88 assists per game throughout her career. Virtue was an All-Big Ten honorable mention pick as a senior in 2002. She was selected as an Asics/Volleyball Magazine Honorable Mention All-American in 2001 during her junior campaign. As a sophomore, Virtue was an American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Mideast Region selection and was tabbed to the All-Big Ten team to follow-up a Big Ten Freshman of the Year season in 1999. In addition to her assist number, Virtue completed her collegiate career with 238 kills (0.58 per game), a .211 individual attack percentage, 101 service aces (0.25 per game), 895 digs (2.20 per game) and 244 blocks (0.60 per game). Prior to Ohio State, Virtue was a member of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team that won a gold medal at the 1998 NORCECA Women’s Junior Championship in Mexico.
Busse played in 23 sets last year in a back-up role at the opposite position. She averaged 0.83 kills and 0.26 blocks per set while compiling 26 points for a 1.13 average. She came off the bench against China on Aug. 25 during the 2006 FIVB World Grand Prix to provide seven kills on 12 swings and an ace. Later in the same tournament, Busse chipped in three kills on six attacks in a four-game win over Dominican Republic on Aug. 27.
The U.S. Women’s National Training Team now includes 13 members with the addition of Virtue and Busse. National Team players currently competing overseas in professional leagues will begin to return to the squad in May.
Five players with remaining collegiate eligibility have been invited to train with the U.S. National Team for this summer. Stanford University’s Foluke Akinradewo (So., Middle Blocker, Plantation, Fla.) and Cynthia Barboza (So., Outside Hitter, Long Beach, Calif.), University of Nebraska’s Tracy Stalls (Jr., Middle Blocker, Denver, Colo.) and Jordan Larson (So., Outside Hitter, Hooper, Neb.), and University of Florida’s Marcie Hampton (Jr., Outside Hitter, Gainesville, Fla.) will begin training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs upon completion of their current academic year. Additional players may be invited to train with the squad.
Among the competitions the players will be vying for roster spots for include the Pan American Cup held June 19-30 at Colima, Mexico, and the Pan American Games held July 14-19 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Other confirmed competitions on the 2007 schedule include the 2007 FIVB World Grand Prix with weekend preliminary stops in Poland (Aug. 3-5), Russia (Aug. 10-12) and Macau (Aug. 17-19). The FIVB World Grand Prix finals are slated for Ningbo, China on Aug. 22-26.
The NORCECA Championships will be contested Sept. 17-22 at Winnipeg, Canada, with a bid into the FIVB World Cup at stake. The World Cup is the first 2008 Olympic qualifying event with the top three teams advancing. The NORCECA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, held for teams within NORCECA which did not qualifying for the Olympics at the World Cup, will set for Dec. 14-22 in Mexico.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster (current players training)
Player (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
Allison Anderson (L, 5-9, Moraga, Calif., Boston College)
Kelly Bowman (L/OH, 5-10, Maple Grove, Minn., Minnesota)
Dani Busboom (L, 5-11, Adams, Neb., Nebraska)
Cassie Busse (OPP, 6-1, Prior Lake, Minn., Minnesota)
Jillian Davis (L, 5-9, La Canada, Calif., California)
Sarah Drury (L, 5-5, Louisville, Ky., Louisville)
Kristen Fenton (OH, 5-11, Marysville, Mich., Fresno State)
Lindsey Hunter (S, 5-10, Papillion, Neb., Missouri)
Candace Lee (L, 5-7, Eugene, Ore., Washington)
Sheila Shaw (MB, 6-1, Muskego, Wis., Wisconsin)
Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., Washington)
Laura Tomes (MB, 6-2, Sioux City, Iowa, Oklahoma)
Katie Virtue (S, 5-9, St. Charles, Ill., Ohio State)
photos Janos Schmidt