The All-Army Women’s Volleyball Team athlete prospects arrived at Fort Bragg Feb. 14 for their trial camp selection process, due to extend through March 5 at Ritz-Epps Physical Fitness Center. With the Armed Forces Volleyball Tournament on the horizon for March 6 through 8, Soldiers come prepared with the readiness to tackle daily practices involving running drills and play of the game.
The All-Army team, encompassing active-duty, National Guard and reservists, draws six women to run the volleyball floor with two substitutes in the case of injury or illness. This year’s women’s volleyball pool included 30 applicants, 12 of which were fully approved.
The athletes are cognizant of where they stand and what they need to improve on after evaluations and going into final decision.
“The players are aware of the selection process,” said Sgt. 1st Class Sherri Lagasse-Randall, head coach of the women’s All-Army Women’s Volleyball Team. “They receive a sheet when they first arrive at Fort Bragg that grades the players on everything. As the players go through each day, I go through each day and then spend the evenings compiling notes, noting strengths and areas to improve upon and tracking the players progression.” Lagasse-Randall said coach and players sit down after the first half of trial camp and go through individual scoring. Then convene again after the second half of camp and then decisions are made. It is a rigorous process of trials, cuts and competition.
1st Lt. Gabrielle Miller, of the 111th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, Multifunctional Medical Battalion Texas Army National Guard, currently stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, is up against her third year playing with the team.
“The first half of trial camp has been great. The first few days were rough, since we were all trying to get back into sync with our three-a-days,” Miller said. “But now we are all relaxed and stretched out and ready to go.”
The women come into trials armed with enthusiasm and experience. Many of them were athletes in college or played at varying levels including recreational teams. Balancing their athleticism and a career as an Army Soldier, these women bring resourcefulness and skill to the court and their team.
“I went to school for two years in New Mexico, at the Mexico Military Institute,” Miller said. “And then I played for Norwich University in Vermont for two years. In the Army, I am in the medical service corp. Usually I am a commander of a medical battalion. I am trying to represent the Army well!”