Don Hardin's latest recruit, Michelle Bartsch, will bring two years of National Team experience, this fall.
July 18, 2008
Chula Vista, Calif. - Illinois incoming freshman Michelle Bartsch has made the 12-member United States Junior National Team squad. The team leaves Sunday to participate in the North, Central America and Caribbean (NORCECA) Women's Junior Continental Championships in Saltillo, Mexico.
Bartsch was one of 18 players invited to the U.S. Junior National Training Team this week in Chula Vista, Calif. From those 18 players the team of 12 was selected to compete in Mexico next week.
"It was a great experience just to be here," Bartsch said. "Making the team is that much more exciting because of the stiff competition during the week of training."
Bartsch, who ranked no. 16 in last year's senior class nationally by prepvolleyball.com, competed on her second national training team in as many years. The 6-3 graduate of Collinsville (Ill.) High School and the 2007 St. Louis Area Player of the Year was one of 18 players selected for the U.S. Girls' Youth National Training Team that won a gold medal at the NORCECA Championships in 2007.
The United States team will be competing with Canada, Costa Rica and Dominica in Group A in pool play. USA faces Dominica on July 22, Costa Rica on July 23 and Canada on July 24. Group B consists of Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Quarterfinal matches are July 25, semifinals are July 26 with the third place and championship matches on Sunday, July 27.
For a complete roster and coverage of the championship, visit usavolleyball.org
Bartsch promises to be one of the most versatile players Illinois has had. Her 6-3 frame has made her a dominant middle, a position that she has played during try-outs this week. However, because of her skill set, particularly her ball control, the Illini may use her on one of the outside positions.