North Texas Daily

Windham to participate in USA volleyball program

Windham to participate in USA volleyball program

April 09
21:55 2013

Tim Cato / Senior Staff Writer

UNT middle blocker Courtney Windham is first-team All-Sun Belt Conference, the UNT record  holder for single-season assisted blocks, and had a top-40 finish in the nation in blocks per set. In the realm of volleyball, she has accomplished a lot.

However, being named to the USA Volleyball Women’s Senior A2 Team is the six-foot-three- inch junior’s latest accomplishment. The A2 Team – the highest possible team a player can make with college eligibility left – is a step below the USA National Team.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Windham said. “I’m excited to represent my team and represent my school. Definitely something I’m looking forward to.”

Windham was one of the participants in an open tryout for the USA Women’s National Team from Feb. 22 to 24 at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryout attracted 247 participants, a record number that topped the number of 2012 tryout participants by 40 players. Windham was in competition with 56 other players at her position of middle blocker.

Despite battling an upper respiratory infection and a sinus infection, which required antibiotics throughout the tournament, Windham performed well enough to earn a spot in the A2 program, along with 48 other players.

“I know she has aspirations to go play beyond college, so this is a good start for her,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “It’s a huge honor for her and also gives UNT pretty good publicity in volleyball.”

The A2 program will last June 25 to July 4, starting with a three-day training camp followed by games against squads from other countries such as Brazil and Canada.

“Honestly, I need to go in there and go ‘balls to the wall,’” Windham said. “I just have to work really hard and come out with no regrets. That’s what I did at the tryouts.”

Windham had participated in the Team USA program before as a member of the USAV High Performance A1 Team in 2008 and the USAV Women’s Junior National A2 team in 2009.

Windham said she thinks that the experience this summer will help her improve as she heads into her senior year with UNT, and other players also expect to benefit from it.

“We learn from each other a lot,” sophomore outside hitter Eboni Godfrey said. “Courtney, as a player, individually has a lot to offer.”

Palileo expects the opportunity to help Windham grow as a leader.

“I’ve had players who have made those teams,” Palileo said. “They come back, not necessarily so much better, but they come back with a different perspective about how to go about making their teams better.”

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