UAB Sends Two To USA Volleyball Open Tryouts

Junior Sara Rishell led UAB with 142 blocks in 2013.

Feb. 20, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Junior Sara Rishell and freshman Gabby Deshotel will participate in open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team and U.S. Collegiate National Teams program. 

The tryouts will take place Friday, Feb. 21 - Sunday, Feb. 23 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. There will be 247 participants from 107 different colleges at the tryouts.

Rishell, who competed her first season with UAB in 2013, will tryout as a middle blocker. A 2013 Second-Team All-Conference USA selection, she played in all 124 sets for the Blazers and led the team in blocks with 142 on the season. Rishell also put down a team-best 387 kills to average 3.12 kills per set. She will be one of 60 middle blockers vying for spots on the national teams.

“I am so blessed to have this opportunity,” said Rishell. “I am so excited to go to the OTC and tryout for the national team. This is a great opportunity and hopefully Gabby and I can go out and turn some heads. We have a lot of support behind us and I am thankful for the opportunity.” 

Deshotel came on strong for the Blazers at the end of the 2013 season. She appeared in 44 sets and finished with 73 kills. She also had 29 blocks and 21 digs. Deshotel will compete as an outside hitter, one of 61 trying out at that position this weekend.

“Having the opportunity to do this is a dream come true,” said Deshotel. “I have always wanted to play on a level such as this and I can’t wait. No matter what happens, I’m going to take full advantage of this tryout and hopefully it will pay off." 

Since both Rishell and Deshotel are undergraduates, they will be evaluated for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team as well as the U.S. Collegiate National Teams program.



All sessions from this year’s tryouts will be available live for fans to view here. More information on the national team selection and how to follow along this weekend is available on the Team USA website.

For the latest news on Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account: @UABathletics. For volleyball news, follow @UAB_VB.