February 18, 2015


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two IUPUI volleyball players who have been instrumental in helping the Jaguars claim three consecutive Summit League regular-season titles will get the opportunity to head to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., to participate in the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts.

Senior Beth Howard and junior Kaitlyn Hickey are two of 232 athletes from 90 universities participating in the tryouts Feb. 20-22 for spots on the U.S. Women's National Team, U.S. Collegiate National Teams program and U.S. Junior National Team.

Hickey is a three-time All-Summit League selection, and this past season she became the second player in program history to earn AVCA All-Region honors. That led to her becoming the first player in IUPUI history to be named an All-American after she was tabbed an AVCA Honorable-Mention All-American.

"For Beth and I to have this opportunity to represent IUPUI shows the strength of our program right now," Hickey said. "This weekend, my main goal is to improve as an individual and learn from these high profile Division-I athletes and Olympic coaches so that I can come back as a better player and compete for a fourthstraight conference championship next year."

Howard completed her four-year career this past fall and ranks third in school history in career digs. The two-time All-Summit League performer was named the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and a senior, marking just the second time in league history that a player has won the award in consecutive years.

"This opportunity means a lot to me," Howard said. "I get the chance to prove myself against some of the best players from all across the country. I hope to gain more experience and exposure."

The tryouts begin at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 20, and live streaming of the tryouts can be accessed here.

"This is a great opportunity for Kaitlyn and Beth to show what they can do on the court against some of the best competition," head coach Steve Payne said. "They are two great players who have done a lot for our program. We see what they can do on a daily basis, and now it will be great for others around the country to see what they are capable of."

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women's National Team staff will lead the tryout process. Selected athletes will be notified by early March and USA Volleyball will announce the selections by the end of March once all roster spots are confirmed.

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