Feb. 10, 2011
Colorado Springs, Colo. - The Cal State Fullerton and Big West Conference all-time leader in digs, Cami Croteau (Orange, Calif., Orange Lutheran HS), has been selected to train with the U.S. National Volleyball Team in its winter training block at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. The libero will also participate in a pair of friendly exhibitions on Mar. 1 and 2 against Japan's Youth National Team.
The Mar. 1 exhibition will take place at 7 p.m. at St. Margaret's Episcopal High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The Mar. 2 match will begin at 7 p.m. at Concordia University in Irvine, Calif. Admission for both matches is \$5.
Croteau is part of a 14-player training block that runs from Jan. 17 through mid-April. She, as well as UC Irvine's Kari Pestolesi, Julianne Piggot, and Cal Poly's Dominique Olowolafe, will be representing the Big West.
Croteau was named an AVCA All-West Region Honorable Mention and was selected as a Big West first-teamer for the third time in her career in 2010 after posting a school record 606 digs while leading the Titans to their first-ever Big West Conference championship and postseason appearance. She also compiled a whopping 2,194 scoops over four seasons in a Titan uniform.
Not only did she set single-season and career records in 2010, but also set a new single match record with 38 digs in a four-set match on Nov. 20 at Cal State Northridge.
The 5-foot-6 defensive specialist becomes the Titans' second player to participate with USA Volleyball. Brittany Moore was the Big West Player of the Year in 2008 and went on to compete internationally as a representative of the United States in Egypt.
The U.S. Women's National Team is led by Hugh McCutcheon and he is assisted by Karch Kiraly and UC Irvine women's head coach, Paula Weishoff.
The training roster includes setters Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.), Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio), Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) and Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill.); middle blockers Ashley Benson (Bloomington, Ind.), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.), Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn.) and Olowolafe (Lansing, Mich.); outside hitters Becky Perry (Austin, Texas), Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Piggott (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Kaitlin Sather (Santa Rosa, Calif.); opposite Kindra Carlson (Eaton, Colo.); and liberos Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) and Croteau.
The 2010 Big West Player of the Year Erin Saddler was also vying for a spot in the training block, but opted to continue her academic pursuits at Cal State Fullerton before an invitation could be extended.