|Alyssa Schultz US Team Tryouts|
Vandal volleyball player Alyssa Schultz has not only impressed the Vandal community, she has impressed USA Volleyball as well. The 6-foot-3 sophomore middle went to try-out for the women’s Olympic team at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. in February and has been named an alternate for the A2 team.
“Coach Lamppa told me about it because I’m thinking about playing abroad when I’m done if I’m good enough,” Schultz said. “He wanted me to go try out just for exposure as opposed to if I just went my senior year I’d have to do a lot of marketing of myself. So I went for exposure so people could see me and there were a lot of people there.”
Schultz was one of 247 participants in this year’s tryouts which took place February 22-24.
“It was kind of a shock when I first got there,” Schultz said. “There are some big girls, like the Stanford middle, but once I got warmed up I did pretty well in my standards.”
As an alternate on the A2 team, Schultz won’t practice with the team but does have the chance to be called up to play and practice with the team for the summer.
“Most kids are interested in that, that’s why they’re playing at the college level,” said Coach Buchanan. “They want to pursue as many opportunities as possible. For us, when we see a kid with that potential who is competing and has stats at a national level, those kids really deserve to go and try out and see what the level is that they’re competing against.”
Competing at a national level with the top players in the country can be very intimidating for some, but Schultz felt good after she started playing.
“I was so nervous going in, my coaches were making fun of me for that,” Schultz said. “I kind of showed that there’s no harm in trying. When I got there the facility is the coolest thing ever.”
After the tryouts, Schultz felt that she could compete with the best and she now knows how to do it.
“It makes me realize that I need to be a little more versatile,” Schultz said. “What we do here is pretty specific and if I’m going to do that I’m going to have to train a little more at all the other positions to become a bit more of a well-rounded player, but I’m focused here.”
Schultz says that her experience there will help her in the upcoming years at Idaho as well as getting her name out there for possible opportunities after school.
“It’ll make me better,” Schultz said. “Now I know the level that I could be at. Some of the other middles who were there, I know where they’re at and how I have to get there. Spend time in the weight room and more time training and just stay positive about the whole thing.”
The Vandal volleyball team started practices Monday and have four spring tournaments. April 6 at Eastern Washington, April 13 at Idaho, April 20 at Gonzaga and April 27 at Portland.