July 19, 2005
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - The United States will be sending a veteran team to Turkey later this week to compete in the FIVB Junior Women's U-20 Volleyball World Championships and Florida State sophomore standout Summer Weissing (Boca Raton, Fla./Olympic Heights HS) is among the 12 players named to the final roster.
The USA Women's Junior National Team final roster was announced late Monday by head coach Shelton Collier at the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., where a group of 18 athletes has been practicing since July 8.
"It was such an awesome feeling to find out I had made the team," said Weissing, who will likely start at the libero position. "There was such a high level of play here throughout the trials and the competition for a spot on the team was so intense. I am truly honored to represent the United States at the World Games."
The tournament, which runs from July 23-31, consists of 12 teams broken up into two pools playing in two different cities. Pool A is composed of Brazil, Croatia, Japan, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey and the United States. Those teams will play in the city of Ankara. Pool B teams, which will compete in Istanbul, include China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Italy, Puerto Rico and Russia.
"I have always dreamed of playing for a USA team. It has been such a blessing to have to opportunity to play and represent our country. I am really excited for Turkey, and the experience of playing different countries. I am sure the memories of this trip will last a lifetime."
Tournament play begins on July 23 for Team USA when they face Serbia and Montenegro.
"I am very excited for Summer," fourth year Florida State head coach Todd Kress said. "From what we hear she went out and dominated. Summer's work ethic is incredible and I was not surprised to hear that she improved daily. I cannot express how happy I am for Summer, her family and our entire program."
The roster includes: Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.); Morgan Beck (Coto De Caza, Calif.); Diane Copenhagen (Mountain View, Calif.); Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.); Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.); Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.); Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio); Janet Okogbaa (Tampa, Fla.); Airial Salvo (Farmington, Utah); Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.);and Ami Stevens (Centerburg, Ohio).
"We have had a very short training period, so I can honestly say that I don't feel as if we are as truly prepared as we would like to be," admits Collier, the head coach of the Team USA. "But we have tried to accelerate our development to get as ready as possible. We tried so many possible lineup combinations. We really did not settle on a lineup until two days before departure, which is not ideal, but we will make it work."
Copenhagen (USC), Crimes (Long Beach State), Hampton (Florida), Kehoe (Stanford), Stevens (Ohio State) and Weissing (Florida State) will all be sophomores at their respective schools in the
"We have such a tough pool," Collier added. "Our goal, realistically, is to win some matches, get into the crossover and make something happen there. Hopefully, we will evolve as the tournament progresses, as we did in Poland two years ago."
In 2003, many of last year's WJNT members competed at the FIVB Youth World Championships in Poland and posted a best-ever fourth-place finish after losing to Brazil in the bronze medal match.