This week’s Two Minute Drill is the first in a four-part Cindy Gannon Walk for Women series, highlighting the accomplishments of our women student-athletes and coaches.
Opposite hitter Haley Bilbruck of the Redhawks Volleyball team participated in the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts held last week at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The tryouts were a first for Bilbruck and her attendance at the USA Volleyball Tryout marked the first player in Southeast program history.
Bilbruck, a junior from Hot Springs, South Dakota, was one of 228 athletes from 90 colleges across the country attending the tryout for a spot on the U.S. Women's National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. She was one of just 30 opposite hitters in the country at the tryout.
Head volleyball coach Julie Yankus said she was thrilled to have Haley representing SEMO at the open tryouts, and the national exposure of this event will have a positive impact on our school and our volleyball program. For Bilbruck, she said she was a little nervous the first day. But she felt like she settled in quickly and represented the University well.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women's National Team staff led the tryout process. Results from the tryouts will be released in the upcoming weeks, but Bilbruck said she will utilize the feedback she received from the USA Volleyball coaching staff.
The big takeaway for Bilbruck from the three-day tryout was the pace of play, and she hopes to incorporate that during spring drills with the Redhawks.
The 11th Annual Cindy Gannon Walk for Women will be held Saturday, April 7 at Houck Field House, to raise money benefitting student-athlete scholarships. Learn more online at walkforwomen.semo.edu.