March 25, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Junior Sara Rishell of the UAB volleyball team was named an alternate for the 2014 Women’s College National Team. Rishell was one of 60 middle blockers to try out.
“Kerry (Messersmith) was the whole reason that Gabby (Deshotel) and I were able to go tryout,” said Rishell. “It is just such a great opportunity that we were selected to go and represent UAB. I am just really grateful for the opportunity to go and the support that they provided.”
The U.S. Collegiate National Team program splits the players into three teams that will play one match per day from June 27-30 at the USA Girls’ Junior National Championships at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
With the alternate selection, Rishell will have the opportunity to join the team as a middle blocker if a spot is vacated by another athlete.
A 2013 Second-Team All-Conference USA selection, Rishell 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.
Rishell feels that just the experience of attending tryouts provided a new confidence heading into the 2014 UAB volleyball season.
“Gabby and I played against the best volleyball players in the country at the tryouts,” said Rishell. “I think we know what other people are capable of and I feel like we held our own out there. Playing girls from Oregon and Penn State and holding our own really gives us confidence heading into next year. Hopefully we can relay that to our team.”
While at the training center in February, Rishell and Deshotel had the opportunity to see some of the other Olympic training sites and even spotted some former Olympians.
“It was really cool to see the Olympic training center,” remarked Rishell. “We saw several Olympic swimmers, including Michael Phelps. We also got to go to the gift store and were able to see the gymnastics and swimming sites.”