Blogging with Kaitlyn Leary

Kaitlyn Leary
Kaitlyn Leary

Rising senior Kaitlyn Leary is spending the week training with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 program in Dallas! Follow her experience as she trains for six days with 47 other student-athletes from around the country.

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 the PVL teams will split into their own divisions to determine the medalist teams in the competition.

Day 9 – July 3
The ending of this experience couldn't have been more perfect! My team made it to the championship game, winning in a hard-fought 3-1 battle! All together it was such an amazing experience and I am so grateful for this opportunity! I couldn't have asked for a better group of coaches and players. After we won the championship we celebrated at Dave and Busters with all four teams. This experience is one that I will never forget! Go Bucks! 

Day 8 – July 2
July opened up with two competitive matches. On the first, we won and took first place after pool play. It was another exciting five-set match. It was also a late 7 p.m. game so we didn't get back until late and I was so exhausted that I fell right asleep. Tuesday was a blast! We played Team Red in the semifinals and beat them in four! The win takes us to the championship Wednesday. My team and I are extremely excited to be playing in the championship match. We have been playing really well together and we are having fun doing it. For dinner we were able to eat out with our families and it was a nice evening enjoying our win. I’m so excited for tomorrow. Go USA Team White!

Day 6 – June 30
Today we got to sleep in and we had breakfast at 10:30. We had a little free time before our team meeting and going for lunch. We then headed to the gym early to watch the match before us. My team name is Team White and we faced Team Gold. Our match started around 5:30 and we won in 4! It was an exciting match, scoring point by point. We took the first set, 29-27! It is so competitive and it makes everyday a day to look forward to. All four teams head into tomorrow 1-1. We play at seven! Go Team White!



USAVB Day 6 recap & photo gallery

Day 5 – June 29
The past two days have been extremely busy, but fun! Yesterday we drove about 30 minutes to move into our hotel and then had our first practice at the convention center. We had a great practice preparing for our game the next day. Before and after practice I got to see a few younger players that had come to our Ohio State camps, which was awesome! After practice we rode the tran and went to a nice team dinner.

Today we woke up and had breakfast and then went to practice. Afterwards, had Chipotle for lunch and then headed back to the hotel to take naps and rest. Next it was game time! We arrived at the convention center early to watch the match before us. We ended up losing in a competitive 5-set match. The fifth was 12-15. We came up short, but we will have another chance to play them! After our game, I had my first Texas barbecue. It was great. Excited for match two tomorrow! Go bucks!

USAVB Day 5 recap & photo gallery

Day 3 – June 27
Thursday has been my favorite day so far. We woke up and had breakfast in the dining hall and then headed to practice. Practice ran smoothly. About halfway through the session the coaches called us in and announced the teams. I was honored and beyond excited to be selected to play on Mike Hebert's team. Mike is legendary in the volleyball world and has had many years of success. He is a renowned coach and it is an honor to be able to have this experience. Another exciting part of the day was meeting my teammates. There is a total of five Big Ten players on my team. It is awesome to be able to play with them! We have two players from Wisconsin, setter Courtney Thomas and outside Ellen Chapman. We also have a libero from Purdue, Carly Cramer. And we have an outside from Michigan State, Lauren Wicinski. It is great to get to know these girls now that we are on the same side of the net. To add to this great group, we have two players from Louisville, one from UCF, and one from Kentucky.

Our first session was cut short so that we could go relax at the pool so that we have fresh legs for competition starting Saturday. The second session of the day, we competed and practiced hard with our team. I am excited to see what we can do!

USAVB Day 3 recap & photo gallery

Day 2 – June 26
Wednesday was a big day of volleyball. We had two big sessions where we did a lot of positional work. The weather is about 100 degrees here in Dallas, but I think I like this heat! We took some pictures with some fans in the dining hall and one girl even got asked to sign a fan's shoe. It was a cool experience. Tomorrow they will break us up into teams. I am excited to see what that looks like!

USAVB Day 2 recap & photo gallery

Day 1 – June 25
Today was a short, but exciting day as I flew from Columbus to Dallas airport. I met a few of the other players in the airport and hopped into vans that were waiting to pick us up. We went to check in and got all of our USA gear, which was really cool! We had a good dinner in the dining hall and headed to practice. We played a lot of games today and it was fun getting to know and play with players all over the country! I'm excited for day number two! Go Bucks!

USAVB Day 2 recap & photo gallery