DALLAS, TEXAS – The U.S. Deaf Women’s national team traveled to Dallas to compete in the 82nd edition of the USA Volleyball Open National Championships. Over a period of four grueling days, head coach Lynn Ray Boren and his staff of chaperone Colleen Farrell and two assistants, Ray Lehmann and Michelle Gardiner, guided a squad of 13 athletes from a lowly placement in pool play to a top finish in the bronze bracket in Women’s “A” division.
Starting on June 1, the national team had a rough start in its 6-team pool, losing the first two out of three matches. The next day was no better – a one-and-one split to complete pool play with two wins and three losses for a fifth place. A total of 31 teams in five pools played in the Women’s “A” division. At the end of pool play, teams in all pools were combined and ranked by pool placement based on percentage of matches won, percentage of sets won, and point ratio, in that order. The top four ranked teams in each pool advanced to the Gold/Silver brackets. The remaining teams, a total of 11 teams of which the national team was seeded fourth, played in the Bronze bracket.
On June 3 and 4, after losing a bronze bracket challenge to determine seeding, the national team went on a tear and won all four playoff matches to take the bronze bracket.
The national team members are Alina Auv, Kristina Burke, Justine Jeter, Paige Johnson, Shana Lehmann, Ludmila Mounty-Weinstock, Madison Nitta, Pia Paulone, Emma Racila, Katelyn Reese, Valerie Trofimenkoff, Sarah Tubert, and Ann Whited.
A staff member of USA Volleyball wrote an article about the tournament, giving the readers a descriptive taste of the annual tournament in Dallas.
For the results and schedules of the 2011 USA Volleyball Open National Championships, click here.