USA Volleyball draws 2 from BYU women's roster

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PROVO — Two athletes from the No. 4 BYU women's volleyball team will be making appearances with the USA Volleyball National teams this summer.

Senior libero Mary Lake was named to the USA National team active roster, and was chosen as one of only fourteen players from the 25-player roster to compete this week.

The USA National team will be competing in the Volleyball Nations League, which is composed of 16 countries that play for five weeks in pool play, with the top five teams moving on to compete in China from July 3-7.

“We’re thrilled for Mary and this opportunity,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said in a prepared statement. “She’s been an incredible player and exceptional teammate in Provo and she has the chance to do the same for the National Team. We’re very excited to cheer her and the team on when they start play in the Volleyball Nations League.”

During the 2018 season, Lake was a member of the AVCA All-American second team as well as the West Coast Conference first team. She has been named the WCC Defender of the Year twice and was named a second-team All-American.

Lake totaled 414 digs during 2018 play, and she tacked on 110 additional assists for an overall total of 361. She also recorded four kills and had a hitting percentage of .300.

Heather Gneiting was invited to be a part of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team. She will attend training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from July 6-12 and will be competing for a spot on the 12-player roster that will travel to Léon Guanajuato and Aguascalientes, Mexico, to compete in the 2019 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship at the end of July.

At the end of her freshman season with the Cougars, Gneiting was awarded the AVCA National Freshman of the Year, and is currently traveling to Japan to compete with the U.S. Collegiate National Team.

Gneiting was also named national, regional and conference freshman of the year and was also a third-team All-American selection. She put her name on the school leaderboards in blocks per set, total blocks (159) and hitting percentage (.380). She ended the year with 225 kills and nine assists.

"Heather has represented the U.S. well in Japan with the Collegiate National Team the past two weeks," Olmstead said in a prepared statement. "This training will be another great experience for her to learn and grow through excellent coaching and competition."

The two players were joined at the initial tryout by teammates Kennedy Eschenberg and Madelyn Robinson, both of who did not move forward with the team.

In their 2018 campaign, No. 4 BYU volleyball went all the way to the semifinals where they fell for only the second time this season to Stanford. BYU ended their season with a program record .939 winning percentage and an overall record of 31-2.

The Cougars won the West Coast Conference for the fifth straight year and they reached the Final Four in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014, and the third time in team history.

USA Volleyball’s National Team has already started tournament play, and they are currently undefeated in five games against other international teams.

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