Women's Volleyball
Four Illini named to USA Volleyball A2 Team

Michelle Bartsch is one of only four players with just year of collegiate experience named to the A2
Michelle Bartsch is one of only four players with just year of collegiate experience named to the A2

March 30, 2009

Colorado Springs, Colo. -

Complete Release.

Photo gallery of A2 Team selections participating in the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryout held Feb. 20-22 at Colorado Springs

Four Illinois players are among the 24 selected to the USA Women's National A2 program. Middle blocker Johannah Bangert, outside hitter Michelle Bartsch, outside hitter Laura DeBruler, and libero Ashley Edinger all made the team. Illinois is one of only three schools to have multiple players on the team and the only school with more than two.

The 2009 U.S. Women's National A2 program is scheduled to train May 18-22 in Minneapolis before being split into two 12-player rosters to compete in the Open Division of the 2009 USA Adult Open Championships. The Open Division flight takes place May 23-26 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The 2009 U.S. Women's National A2 Team includes four setters, 10 outside/opposite hitters, six middles and four liberos. The 24 players come from 19 different collegiate programs.

The players, all of whom have remaining collegiate eligibility for 2009, were selected as part of the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 20-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. A record total of 160 athletes competed in the Open Tryout.

This is the third year that Illinois has had players named to the team and the first time that more than one player will represent Illinois on the squad. Lisa Argabright (2002) and Vicki Brown (2007) are former Illini named to the team.

Capsules on Illinois players named to the team:

Johannah Bangert (Middle Blocker, Illinois, Jr., Washington, Mo.)
Johannah Bangert was named AVCA All-Mideast Region honorable mention in 2008 after leading the nation in block average with 1.60 per set. She tallied a career-high 12 block assists in a win over New Mexico State and had 10 matches with at least nine blocks. Bangert, who helped Illinois to the NCAA Sweet 16, added 1.45 kills per set with a .238 attack percentage.

Michelle Bartsch (Outside Hitter, Illinois, So., Maryville, Ill.)
Michelle Bartsch was selected as the Big Ten and AVCA All-Mideast Region Freshman of the Year in her first season at Illinois. She averaged 1.06 blocks per set while adding a 2.34 kill average in helping Illinois to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Bartsch, who was a starting middle blocker on the U.S. Junior National Team that won the gold medal at the 2008 NORCECA Continental Championship, also contributed 53 digs on defense.

Laura DeBruler (Outside Hitter, Illinois, Jr., Downers Grove, Ill.)
Laura DeBruler was selected as AVCA All-America Second-Team and unanimous All-Big Ten selection in 2008. She led the Big Ten in scoring (5.17 points per set) and kill average (4.66 per set), which also ranked sixth in the NCAA. DeBruler finished with 587 kills and hit .253 for the year, along with 379 digs (3.01 average per set) and 28 aces (0.22 average per set).

Ashley Edinger (Libero, Illinois, Sr., Michigan City, Ind.)
Ashley Edinger became Illinois' all-time dig leader last season and now has 1,614 in her career. She averaged 4.50 digs per set as a junior in helping the Fighting Illini to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Edinger's 562 digs in 2008 ranks second-best in school history for a single season, while also holding six of the top 10 Illinois single match dig totals.