June 21, 2012
Colorado Springs, Colo. -- University of New Mexico redshirt sophomore Chantale Riddle has been selected to participate in the 2012 U.S. Women's National A2 program scheduled to take place in Columbus, Ohio, from June 26-July 4. The program is an alternative option for collegiate volleyball players who were not selected to join the U.S. Women's National Team, meaning Riddle will be training and competing with some of the best collegiate players in the nation.
Riddle was originally selected as an alternate but received word mid-June she was added to the roster.
As a redshirt freshman, Riddle was a key contributor to the 2011 Lobo volleyball squad, finishing third on the team in kills (199) and points (239.0), and second in blocks (64).
"This is an amazing opportunity," Riddle said. "My coaches have put in a lot of work for me and have helped me push hard through the spring and fight to get the position."
Forty-eight athletes from 34 collegiate programs have been invited to participate in the program. Training begins the evening of June 26 and the athletes will have two practices a day June 27-29. Competition begins on June 30 as participants will have be split into four teams on June 28 for round-robin play. Each team will play a match per day at the Columbus Convention Center in conjunction with the USA Girls' Junior National Championships (GJNC) June 30-July 4. The first three days of competition are designated as pool matches and will consist of three sets to 25 points. The semifinals will be held July 3 and the finals are July 4 with regular 3-out-of-5 set matches.
Serving as co-head coaches are Ray Bechard (Kansas), Keylor Chan (Northwestern), Deitre Collins-Parker (San Diego State), Tonya Johnson (Georgia Tech), Wayne Kreklow (Missouri), Nicole Lantagne-Welch (Miami, (Fla.)), Lizzy Stemke (Georgia) and Jeff Stork (Cal State Northridge).
"It's a lot of fun getting advice from different coaches," Riddle said. "It's a big help to your game."
Riddle, along with junior Miquella Lovato and redshirt freshman Hannah Johnson represented the Lobos at the national team tryout back in February of this year at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Over 200 participants representing 73 different colleges were at the weekend-long tryout.
Former Lobo great Ashley Rhoades participated in the 2011 U.S. Women's National A2 Program. Riddle is honored to be following in her former teammate's footsteps.
"It's a big deal to be representing the University of New Mexico," Riddle said. "I think the only other player from our program who has recently been invited to this before was Ashley Rhoades and she's amazing. I look up to her and it is fun to be in the position she was at this time last year."