Brand, Reininger get National Team tryouts

By The Mercury

K-State volleyball players Katie Brand and Katie Reininger will attend the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts this weekend in Colorado Springs, vying for a spot in the USA Volleyball national team programs.

Brand, a redshirt-freshman setter in 2013, and Reininger, who redshirted in 2013 after transferring from Saint Mary’s College, will be among 248 athletes from 108 colleges and universities looking to secure a spot on the U.S. Collegiate National Team, formerly known as the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 Team.

The tryout, held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, is led by three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women’s National Team staff.

K-State associate head coach Jeff Grove will also attend the open tryout, serving as an evaluator.

Grove expects Brand and Reininger to benefit from the three-day experience of playing alongside and competing against high-caliber collegiate volleyball players.

“The chance to demonstrate their skills and potentially earn a spot on a USA team is something Katie and Katie are very excited about, and they are looking forward to the challenge,” Grove said. “Karch Kiraly will be at the tryout evaluating and teaching the players some of the concepts used in the USA gym.

“The opportunity to learn from Coach Kiraly, who was one of the best players to ever play the game, is something Katie and Katie can take back to their training at K-State.”

Brand was named to the All-Big 12 Freshman Team this past season after being the only Big 12 freshman with 1,000 assists and leading all setters in the conference in kills, blocks and points.

Before redshirting for the Wildcats in 2013, Reininger played for Saint Mary’s in 2012 as a true freshman.

The Colorado Springs native made 15 starts for the Gaels, recording at least five kills in 12 matches.

Reininger, a middle blocker, played high school volleyball at Colorado Springs’ Classical Academy, as well as club volleyball in Colorado for Colorado Juniors, Front Range and Norco.

Selected athletes will be notified by early March, with USA Volleyball announcing selections by the end of March once all roster spots are accepted and confirmed.

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