April 8, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Junior libero Delaney Clesen of the Pitt volleyball team has been selected as one of 36 participants for the USA Women's Collegiate National Team, as announced by USA Volleyball on Tuesday afternoon.
Clesen will be among the top collegiate players in the country who will participate in the USA Girls Junior National Championships (GJNC) at the Minneapolis Convention Center from June 26-30.
"I am really excited to train and compete with the best collegiate players in the nation," Clesen said. "The level of competition during the tryout was amazing and I am excited I made the team especially heading into my senior year at Pitt because this experience will elevate my game and will help me to be more of leader to my teammates here at Pitt."
Clesen will head to Minneapolis on Sunday, June 22nd to begin her training with the National Team. Preliminary training as a group will run from June 22-26 and during that training block the group of 36 will be divided into three groups of 12 players for internal competition which will take place at the Junior National Championships.
Clesen was selected to the roster after competing at the open tryouts which were held at the USA Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs in late February. The Chicago, Ill., native was one of 248 student-athletes who tried out, meaning she finished in the top 15 percentile and was awarded a spot on the team.
The junior had a standout season in the back row for the Panthers as she compiled 542 total digs, which is the sixth most in a single-season at Pitt. She will enter her senior campaign with 1,122 total digs and would need 408 digs to pass Michelle Rossi for second place on Pitt's career digs list (Rossi had 1,530 from 2006-09). Megan McGrane is the all-time digs leader at Pitt with 2,424.
"This is a great honor for Delaney and for Pitt Volleyball," head coach Dan Fisher said. "It says a lot about how hard Delaney has worked over the past few years, and how she has improved. In addition, having one of the top players in the nation on our team says a lot about where the program is at. We wish her best of luck and know this experience will help her next season."
The Panthers finished their first season in the ACC and their first season under head coach Dan Fisher with an overall record of 19-14 and 11-9 in the ACC. Pitt finished the season by winning its final six matches and will return 14 players from last year's squad for the 2014 campaign.
U.S. Collegiate National Team - USAV Girls' Junior National Championships
Athlete (Position, College, Hometown, College Years Remaining)
Breanna Atkinson (OH, Duke University, Ashburn, Va., 2)
Mercedes Binns (MB, Arizona State University, South Pasadena, Calif., 2)
Jianna Bonomi (S, University of San Diego, Huntington Beach, Calif., 1)
Mary Helen Boyle (OH, LSU, Eureka, Mo., 1)
Katie Brand (S, Kansas State University, Grand Island, Neb., 3)
Kelli Browning (MB, Creighton University, Waukesha, Wis., 1)
Rachel Brummitt (L, Texas Tech, Plano, Texas, 1)
Delaney Clesen (L, University of Pittsburgh, Evanston, Ill., 1)
Abby Cole (Opp, University of Michigan, Grand Haven, Mich., 3)
Mackenzie Dagostino (S, University of Florida, Tampa, Fla., 2)
Hannah Deede (Opp, Western Oregon University, Silverton, Ore., 1)
Julia Doyle (S, University of Oklahoma, Plymouth, Minn., 2)
Aubrey Edie (S, University of Mississippi, Fayetteville, Ark., 3)
Jennifer Hamson (Opp, BYU, Lindon, Utah, 1)
Chelsey Harris (Opp, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 3)
Cassie House (OH, University of New Mexico, Rio Rancho, 3)
Litara Keil (OH, Loyola Marymount University, Long Beach, Calif., 1)
Kendall Kritenbrink (OH, University of South Dakota, Gretna, Neb., 1)
Veronica Lewis (L, University of Arizona, San Jose, Calif., 1)
Leah McNary (OH, Creighton University, Tarpon Springs, Fla., 1)
Sarah Meister (L, University of Missouri, San Diego, Calif., 1)
Emily Miron (MB, North Dakota State University, Wedena, Minn., 3)
Katie Mitchell (OH, Ohio State University, The Woodlands, Texas, 2)
Katie Mosher (L, Florida State University, Fort Myers, Fla., 1)
Jacqueline Napper (L, University of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky., 1)
Rachel Rhoades (MB, University of Arizona, San Diego, Calif., 1)
Chantale Riddle (Opp, University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M., 1)
Sara Rishell (MB, UAB, Smithsburg, Md., 1)
Elise Ruddins (Opp, University of Southern California, Laguna Nigel, Calif., 3)
Hannah Schraer (MB, University of Southern California, Arcadia, Calif., 1)
Paige Tapp (MB, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minn., 3)
Dominique Thompson (MB, University of Wisconsin, Plymouth, Minn., 1)
Mercedes Vaughn (MB, Florida State University, Folcroft, Pa., 2)
Sarah Wickstrom (S, Florida State University, Stuart, Fla., 1)
McKenzie Willey (OH, Arizona State University, Highland, Utah, 3)
Emily Wilson (OH, University of Missouri, Omaha, Neb., 1)
Lead Coaches: Mike Hebert and Bill Neville
Program Manager: Nicki Holmes (UCF women's assistant coach)
Coaches: Ashley Allen (assistant coach at Nicholls State), Ray Gooden (head coach at Northern Illinois), Linda Hampton-Keith (assistant coach at Arizona State), Ben Lee (Arizona Storm Volleyball Club), Marci Sanders (head coach at Texas-Dallas), Jay Van Vark (assistant coach at Cal State-San Marcos)
Pitt Defeats No. 23 Dayton, 3-1; Punches Ticket to #NCAAVB Tournament Second Round
Pitt Opens NCAA Tournament Friday Against Dayton
Volleyball: NCAA Tournament Selection Press Conference
Akeo Named ACC Setter of the Year; Six Panthers Earn All-ACC Honors
Going Dancing: Pitt Receives At-Large Bid to 2016 NCAA Volleyball Tournament
Pitt Ends Regular Season with Win at Virginia; Awaits Tournament Fate