Edelman Earns Spot On USA Junior National Team
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. GÇô After an outstanding freshman season at the University of Colorado, setter Nicole Edelman has been named to the USA Volleyball Women's Junior National Training Team (WJNTT).
"I am very proud of Nicole and congratulate her for her selection to represent Team USA again," coach Liz Kritza said. "I am certain she will be a fantastic representative of her family and the University and Colorado as she competes on the grandest international stage for her respective age group."
"The competition is intense for these roster spots, becoming increasingly difficult as the top players in the nation are gaining more experience and progressing physically. By playing such a significant role in her first year here at Colorado, Nicole has continued to develop her game. She is cerebral in her quest to become the best player she can be and is constantly seeking new ways to improve and enhance her understanding of how volleyball is played at the highest levels. Additionally, the level of play in the Pac-12 helps a young player to continue developing and this experience at the world championships will be a great opportunity for Nicole to take another step towards her goals for her volleyball career."
Edelman, who was named the Buffs Most Valuable Player after the 2012 season, will join 12 other athletes as part of the WJNTT that will train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. beginning June 5. There, the roster will be narrowed to the final dozen players that will comprise the 2013 U.S. Women's Junior National Team (WJNT). The Pac-12 Conference is highly represented on the team with seven of the 13 selections.
The Boulder, Colo. native will begin training under the coaching staff of head coach Rod Wilde and assistant coaches Charlene Whitted and Blaine Tendler. The team will depart directly from Lake Placid to Brno, Czech Republic to compete in the 2013 FIVB Women's U-21 World Championship June 21-30 in the cities of Brno and Prostejov, Czech Republic.
This marks Edelman's sixth selection to a USA program. Edelman competed for two summers as a member of the USA Select A1 group, one summer with the USA Youth National team, selected as a USA National A2 Alternate, and will now compete to represent the USA as a member of the Junior National team.
"It means so much to me to be able to play for the U.S. at the FIVB Junior World Championships as it is a truly special experience where I can play for my country and also travel the world," Edelman said. "I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play in the Youth World Championships, and I can't wait to start training and return to playing against the best competition in the world."
Edelman started in all 32 of CU's matches and played in 115 of the 116 total sets as the Buffs compiled a 14-18 record. She stepped into the role of a team captain after the senior captain, Kerra Schroeder, was sidelined for the remainder of the season with an injury after the second match. Edelman recorded seven matches in her first season with 45 or more assists; including three matches with 50 or more. She recorded her season-best of 53 assists in a five-set come-from-behind thriller against Arizona State (10/12). In total, Edelman handed out 1,060 assists on the season, which ranks ninth on the career list. Her average of 9.22 was eighth in the Pac-12.
She also led the team in service aces, serving up 27. Edelman cranked out six aces in a three-set win against Howard (9/8), tying the fourth most by a Buff in a single match. She didn't let her hitters have all of the fun as she also recorded 99 kills (0.86 per set). Edelman notched eight kills against Air Force and also picked up 13 digs. She led the team in hitting efficiency against Washington State (10/31) at .700 with seven kills on 10 errorless attacks. Edelman had a season-best 15 digs against UMBC (9/7) and recorded 203 digs during the season.
"Competing for CU in the Pac-12 has helped me to prepare for this world championship because of the high level of competition in the conference," Edelman said. "Every night is a battle. I have developed a strong competitive mental edge, and I hope that I can carry that with me through the championships."
Edelman picked up several awards during her freshman campaign as she was named to the Sam Houston State and Maddie Bingaman Memorial All-Tournament Teams and was the CU Athlete of the Week once. Upon the conclusion of the season, Edelman was selected to the Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention team.
"Nicole is a special player who brings a natural athleticism to the game, but it is her fierce competitiveness that will allow her to find success as she returns to compete at the World Championships," Kritza said. "Her previous experiences with the USA Youth National Team will be an asset to the team and we are excited to support her as she competes this summer."