<P><B>Jan. 20, 2006</B><P><B>COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - </B>
Five Dayton volleyball players participated in open tryouts for the U.S. National Volleyball Team at the Olympic Training Center on Jan. 13-15.
<P>The five Flyers who made the trip West were 2005 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year junior <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/barhorst_faye00.html" >Faye Barhorst</a>, sophomores <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/green_adrienne00.html" >Adrienne Green</a>, <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/green_robynne00.html" >Robynne Green</a> and <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/richards_jamielee00.html" >Jamie-Lee Richards</a> as well as freshman <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/akerhielm_bethany00.html" >Bethany Akerhielm</a>.
<P>"When I talked to the people from USA volleyball this year, they asked if there were players who could compete," UD Head Coach <A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/horsmon_tim00.html" >Tim Horsmon</a> said. "I felt that each of these players could match up well with the talent that would be there and they did just that. These players did a great job in Colorado and played among the best collegiate talent in the nation."
<P>The trip was an experience of a lifetime for Akerhielm who found that the trip more comforting than intimidating to play against the best talent in the nation.
<P>"I had a blast on the trip and it was an incredible experience just to be playing with so many other great players in the same facility where the Olympic team trains," Akerhielm said. "I was expecting to be intimidated by all the great players that were there, but once we started playing it was just like playing with anyone else."
<P><A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/green_adrienne00.html" >Adrienne Green</a> also found the trip to be an educational experience into what it takes to become an Olympic caliber athlete.
<P>"If players want to take their game to the next level and play internationally, then this is a good experience for them to see what is expected of them and what being an Olympian actually entails," Green said. "I played with a lot of the best liberos in the country. I enjoyed playing with them and learning different techniques which I hope to apply here at Dayton."
<P><A HREF="http://www.fansonly.com/schools/dayt/sports/w-volley/mtt/green_robynne00.html" >Robynne Green</a> found that attention to detail was an important part of becoming a better player, a lesson that she plans to take with her into the 2006 season.
<P>"I remember when one of the coaches mentioned that one of the criteria for being on the national team was that a player needed to be consistent with everything she did." Green said. "I have now realized the little things that I need to work on for the upcoming season. This was a great experience for me. I absolutely enjoyed playing and would love to do it again in a heartbeat."
<P>Richards agreed with Green and found that the experience made her more confident in her skills as she begins to prepare for next year.
<P>"The tryout expands your individual comfort zone," Richards commented. "I realized while I was at the tryout that I can compete with the best volleyball players in the country. This new comfort zone will help me prepare myself for not only competing in the Atlantic 10, but helping our team go deeper into the NCAA Tournament next season."
<P>The group also found out that the talent level of Dayton players has grown to become among the nation's best after competing with players from this year's Final Four.
<P>"Our trip to the Olympic Training Center was an eye-opening experience," Barhorst said. "By the end of the trip, I was competing on the top court with the top teams. I was so honored to be on that court, because it was so unexpected. That experience was easily the biggest individual honor of my career, regardless of the outcome of the tryout."
<P>In 2005, UD earned its fifth consecutive 20-win season with a 24-11 overall record and became the just the fourth school ever to win three-straight Atlantic 10 Championships. The program also boasted the A-10 Player of the Year for the third straight season and its fourth AVCA Honorable Mention All-America honor in the last three years. The Flyers also won 19 consecutive matches at one point, which was the 11th longest winning streak in the nation this season and paved the way for UD's fourth-ever Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship.