Lobo Volleyball Sends Three to U.S.A. National Team Tryout

Feb. 9, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The University of New Mexico volleyball team is going to be represented by three players during the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout held Feb. 10-12 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Chantale Riddle, Miquella Lovato and Hannah Johnson will represent the Lobos at the national team tryout this weekend. There will be 208 participants represented by 73 different colleges at the tryout. The 2012 tryouts are open to current college-age athletes and older. Each tryout participant will have four sessions each - one on Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday.

“It’s a great weekend of volleyball for them,” head coach Jeff Nelson said. “It’s a chance for all of them to train against the best athletes from around the country. We are excited to have them going up there to experience that.”

Lovato and Riddle were both key contributors on last season’s Lobo volleyball squad. Lovato, a junior-to-be, played in all 112 sets last season for the Lobos as a defensive specialist and finished third on the team in digs with 2.51 per set. Riddle had an outstanding freshman season, finishing third on the team in kills and points and second in blocks. Both will help form the core of the Lobos team next season. Lovato is going into the tryout listed as a Libero, while Riddle enters as an opposite hitter.

“I’m very excited to play at this high level,” Riddle said. “I did this last year and it helped me improve a lot. Playing with people you’ve never even met before is such a great learning experience.”

“I think this is a great opportunity to represent New Mexico and our program,” Lovato said.

Hannah Johnson" alt="Hannah Johnson" src="http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/nm/sports/w-volley/auto_action/7423623.jpeg" width="150" height="250" />
Hannah Johnson

Johnson, who is a phenomenal athlete, redshirted in her inaugural season with the Lobos. There were many moments last year when the coaches considered pulling her redshirt to insert her for a spark, but they decided against it, knowing the wiser choice would be to get four full seasons out of her talent instead of wasting part of one. She is expected to contribute immensely to the Lobos as a redshirt freshman next season. Johnson is going into the tryout listed as a setter.

“This is a huge opportunity,” Johnson said. “I think that I will improve a lot from this because I will get to set a lot of the top hitters in the U.S. I just want to take and learn from all the other great players that will be there.”

According to U.S.A Volleyball - The U.S. Women’s National Team program is open to selected tryout athletes who have concluded their college eligibility and who wish to be invited to be a member of the U.S. Women’s Volleyball National Team on a full-time basis. This program could begin as early as the spring of 2012, or when an athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded. Also considered for training with the U.S. Women’s National Team will be athletes who have remaining college eligibility; however, their participation will begin in mid-May or when their scholastic calendar ends for 2012.

Athletes in college and with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2012 collegiate season not selected to join the U.S. Women’s National Team may be invited to participate with the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 program. This program is scheduled to take place in Columbus, Ohio, from June 26 through July 5. A projected 48 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competing at the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships (GJNC) from July 1-4.