COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Taylor Simpson, a junior-to-be on the University of Colorado volleyball team, has been selected to the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 Program that will train and compete this summer.
“We are very excited that Taylor was selected for this wonderful opportunity,” coach Liz Kritza said. “Taylor is a very gifted athlete and a welcomed addition to our program here at CU. The experience she will gain from being on the USA team will no doubt benefit her development and I am sure she will represent us well.”
The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Senior A2 program is available to athletes with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2013 season. This program is scheduled to take place in Dallas from June 25 to July 4 in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships. The roster contains 48 athletes from 29 different universities. Simpson is the first CU athlete to be chosen for the team since Ashley Nu’u in 2005.
“I am really excited and honored to have been chosen for this, and look forward to a competitive and productive training and playing session with the A2 team,” Simpson said.
The A2 program coaching staff will include Andy Banachowski, Mike Hebert, Ruth Nelson and Bill Neville who will serve as team head coaches. Assistant coaches with the A2 program are Ashley Allen, Terry Condon, Linda Hampton and Marci Sanders. Technical coordinators/assistant coaches for the A2 program are Kevin Hitt, Nicki Holmes, Eugene Tichenor and Jay Van Vark.
During the six-day training period from June 25-30, the 48 athletes will be divided into four equal teams that will compete in pool play against the other A2 program teams and the top four Premier Volleyball League (PVL) teams. After pool play, the four A2 program teams and PVL teams will split into their own divisions to determine the medalist teams in the competition.
The athletes were selected via the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 22-24 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryout attracted a record 240 participants, 33 more than the previous best mark set in 2012. Athletes selected to both the A2 program and the U.S. Women's Junior National Volleyball Team (WJNT) could only participate in the WJNT program with the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women's Junior World Championship as the priority event.
Simpson, who joined the CU volleyball program in January, is not a stranger to USA Volleyball as she was a member of the 2010 U.S. Youth Olympic Team that finished second in Singapore. She led the team at the tournament and recorded 11 kills, six blocks and an ace in the final match of the tournament.
Simpson, an outside hitter, joined this Buffs this past January after stints at Nebraska and Missouri. In 2011, Simpson was a freshman for the Huskers and played in 12 matches before she was sidelined with a season-ending injury. As a sophomore in 2012, she played in 14 matches for the Tigers and started in eight of those contests. Simpson recorded 118 kills and hit .167 during the year and also added 50 digs and 30 blocks. She had 12 kills and 13 digs against Virginia Tech (August 26) and led the Tigers with 11 kills against Appalachian State (Sept. 1).
Simpson had a much decorated career at Doherty High School. As a senior, she garnered numerous awards, which included being named the Colorado 5A Player of the Year and earning the Sportswomen of Colorado high school volleyball award. Simpson was named the No. 9 player in the country by Prepvolleyball.com and was named to Volleyball Magazine’s Fab-50. Simpson played in the Under Armour All-American game for the red team and was also named to the AVCA High School All-American first team, as well as an ESPN RISE All-American honorable mention selection. Simpson was also tabbed as a Preseason All-American by MaxPreps. She also recorded 471 kills, 60 blocks, 312 digs and 21 aces as a senior.
During Simpson’s senior and junior years, she was named to the All-Colorado Team, PrepVolleyball.com’s High School All-American Team, First Team All-Colorado 5A and helped her team finish third at the state championships both seasons.
As a junior, Simpson was named to the MaxPreps All-American Team and PrepVolleyball's Top-50 Juniors list. She was also honored as the Colorado 5A Player of the Year. That season she notched 446 kills, 46 blocks, 30 aces and 289 digs.
During her three seasons at DHS, Simpson was named first team All-Colorado Springs Metro League and first team All-4A/5A Area. As a sophomore, she helped DHS to a fifth-place finish at the state championship and was named to the All-Colorado 5A second team.