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    Five Illini invited to USA Volleyball Open Tryout
    Hillary Haen is one of 26 setters invited to the USA Volleyball Open Tryout

    Hillary Haen is one of 26 setters invited to the USA Volleyball Open Tryout

    Feb. 10, 2009

    Colorado Springs, Colo. - Five Illinois volleyball players are among those players invited to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., for the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryout.

    Junior libero Ashley Edinger, sophomore middle blocker Johannah Bangert, sophomore All-America outside hitter Laura DeBruler, freshman opposite hitter Michelle Bartsch and sophomore setter Hillary Haen are among the 160 athletes who will be in Colorado Springs on Feb. 20-22.

    As part of the tryout, athletes will compete for spots on the USA Women's Volleyball National Team program. Athletes not selected to participate with the National Team may be considered for other programs run by USA Volleyball. Included in this list of other programs are the U.S. Women's Junior National Team competing at the FIVB Women's Junior World Championship or the USA Women's Senior A2 Teams competing at the USA Adult Open Championships. A total of 33 athletes are eligible for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team as well as the other National Team programs.

    Athletes in college with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2009 season and not selected to the USA Women's National Team may be invited to participate on the USA Senior A2 Teams. This program is scheduled to take place in Minneapolis from May 18 through May 27. A projected 24 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competition in the 2009 USA Adult Open Championships in the Open Division from May 23-26.

    In addition, the 2009 FIVB Women's Junior World Championship will be held July 16-25 in Mexico. Athletes must be born in either 1990 or 1991 to be eligible for this program.

    With a season left to play, Edinger is already Illinois' all-time leader in digs with 1,614 for her career. Her 562 digs this season are second in Illini history only to her 564 from a year ago. She was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on both Nov. 3 and Dec. 1. Edinger was an all-tournament selection at both the State Farm Illini Classic and the Tennessee Comcast Classic.

    Bangert led the Big Ten and the nation in blocks at 1.60 per set. She was named both an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten and Honorable Mention All-Mideast Region selection as well as Academic All-Big Ten. Bangert was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on both Oct. 13 and Nov. 24 and was named to the All-Tournament team at the Billiken Invitational.

    DeBruler was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection after leading the conference in both kills (4.66 per set) and points (5.17 per set). Her kill numbers also rank DeBruler sixth nationally in that category. The Second Team All-American finished with 587 kills for the season and her 1,162 career kills are on pace to shatter the Illinois career kills record. She also hit .253 for the year while her 379 digs and 28 aces were both second on the team. DeBruler earned three All-Tournament honors, including being named MVP of the Illini Classic. Her 27 career 20-kill matches are two off the Illinois record.

    Bartsch is Illinois' highest ranked recruit in history, ranking 16th in her class nationally by She backed up that status in her first year as an Illini earning both Big Ten and Mideast Region Freshman of the Year, and thus one of eight finalists for National Freshman of the Year. The versatile Bartsch was a starter at middle blocker for the U.S. Junior National Team that won the gold medal at the NORCECA Championships last summer and ranked seventh in the Big Ten in blocks at 1.21 per set during conference matches.

    Haen shared the setting duties with senior Lizzie Bazzetta this season, but stayed in to play right side most of the season. The Academic All-Big Ten selection led the Illini and ranked 10th in the Big Ten with 848 assists, including a season-best 33 vs. both Tennessee and Northwestern. She had 44 block assists on the season, including 21 in the last seven matches.

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