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Leah McNary (far left) and Kelli Browning (middle) will spend some time with USA Volleyball this summer.
Courtesy: Steven Branscombe

McNary & Browning Earn Opportunity With USA Volleyball

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 8, 2014) – A pair of Creighton standouts are among 36 athletes selected by USA Volleyball to participate in the U.S. Collegiate National Team (CNT) program that will train and compete in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships from June 22 to July 1 in Minneapolis.

Creighton's picks include outside hitter Leah McNary and middle blocker Kelli Browning. Both women will be seniors in the fall at Creighton. The duo makes Creighton one of six schools with multiple selections, joining the four each by Florida State and Arizona State, and the two each from Creighton, Missouri, New Mexico and USC.

Both McNary and Browning earned First Team All-BIG EAST accolades last fall. McNary led Creighton with 3.04 kills per set, while Browning topped the Bluejay club in both hitting percentage (.323) and blocks per set (1.53).

This CNT program includes nine middle blockers, nine outside hitters, six opposites, six setters and six liberos. The outside hitters are Breanna Atkinson (Duke University, Ashburn, Va.), Mary Helen Boyle (LSU, Eureka, Mo.), Cassie House (University of New Mexico, Rio Rancho, N.M.), Litara Keil (Loyola Marymount University, Long Beach, Calif.), Kendall Kritenbrink (University of South Dakota, Gretna, Neb.), Leah McNary (Creighton University, Tarpon Springs, Fla.), Katie Mitchell (Ohio State University, The Woodlands, Texas), McKenzie Willey (Arizona State University, Highland, Utah) and Emily Wilson (University of Missouri, Omaha, Neb.).

Middle blockers selected for the program are Mercedes Binns (Arizona State University, South Pasadena, Calif.), Kelli Browning (Creighton University, Waukesha, Wis.), Emily Miron (North Dakota State University, Wedena, Minn.), Rachel Rhoades (University of Arizona, San Diego, Calif.), Sara Rishell (UAB, Smithsburg, Md.), Hannah Schraer (University of Southern California, Arcadia, Calif.), Paige Tapp (University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minn.), Dominque Thompson (University of Wisconsin, Plymouth, Minn.) and Mercedes Vaughn (Florida State University, Folcroft, Pa.).

The setters are Jianna Bonomi (University of San Diego, Huntington Beach, Calif.), Katie Brand (Kansas State University, Grand Island, Neb.), Mackenzie Dagostino (University of Florida, Tampa, Fla.), Julia Doyle (University of Oklahoma, Plymouth, Minn.), Aubrey Edie (University of Mississippi, Fayetteville, Ark.) and Sarah Wickstrom (Florida State University, Stuart, Fla.).

Opposites selected to the program are Abby Cole (University of Michigan, Grand Haven, Mich.), Hannah Deede (Western Oregon University, Silverton, Ore.), Jennifer Hamson (BYU, Lindon, Utah), Chelsey Harris (Rice University, Houston), Chantale Riddle (University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M.) and Elise Ruddins (University of Southern California, Laguna Nigel, Calif.).

The selected liberos are Rachel Brummitt (Texas Tech, Plano, Texas), Veronica Lewis (University of Arizona, San Jose, Calif.), Delaney Clesen (University of Pittsburgh, Evanston, Ill.), Sarah Meister (University of Missouri, San Diego, Calif.), Katie Mosher (Florida State University, Fort Myers, Fla.) and Jacqueline Napper (University of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky.).

This CNT program will be instructed by lead coaches Mike Hebert and Bill Neville, who are both retired college head coaches. Both Hebert and Neville have extensive coaching experience not only at the collegiate level, but also at the international level. Neville has served as head coach for both the men’s and women’s U.S. National Teams as well as assistant on the U.S. Men’s National Team. Hebert has contributed to the U.S. Women’s National Team as an assistant coach.

Nicki Holmes, assistant women’s volleyball coach at UCF, will serve as the program manager. Other program coaches are: Ashley Allen (assistant women’s coach at Nicholls State University), Ray Gooden (head women’s coach at Northern Illinois University), Linda Hampton-Keith (assistant women’s coach at Arizona State University), Ben Lee (Arizona Storm Volleyball Club), Marci Sanders (head women’s coach at University of Texas-Dallas) and Jay Van Vark (assistant women’s coach at Cal State University-San Marcos)

For the third consecutive year, USA Volleyball will have its U.S. Collegiate National Team program (formerly known as U.S. Women’s National A2 Team) represented at the USAV Girls’ Junior National Championships.

“USA Volleyball is again looking forward to assembling this great crop of athletes for the College National Team program in Minneapolis,” USA Volleyball Senior Director Tom Pingel said. “It’s always beneficial to the program to get this group in the gym during the summer, as well as get them in front of everyone at the GJNC.”

After the training portion of the program, the 36 athletes will be divided into three equal teams which will compete in a round-robin event June 27-30. The round-robin event may add an international team to increase the field to four teams that would complete June 26-30. This program is considered a second tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Earlier this month, U.S. Collegiate National Team rosters were announced for the China Tour program ( and the European Tour program ( A total of 60 athletes have been selected to compete as part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team program.

Athlete selections for all three U.S. Collegiate National Team programs are being determined based on evaluations from the U.S. Women’s National Team open tryouts held Feb. 21-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo., or based on past performances within the CNT program.


U.S. Collegiate National Team – USAV Girls’ Junior National Championships

Athlete (Position, College, Hometown, College Years Remaining)

Breanna Atkinson (OH, Duke University, Ashburn, Va., 2)

Mercedes Binns (MB, Arizona State University, South Pasadena, Calif., 2)

Jianna Bonomi (S, University of San Diego, Huntington Beach, Calif., 1)

Mary Helen Boyle (OH, LSU, Eureka, Mo., 1)

Katie Brand (S, Kansas State University, Grand Island, Neb., 3)

Kelli Browning (MB, Creighton University, Waukesha, Wis., 1)

Rachel Brummitt (L, Texas Tech, Plano, Texas, 1)

Delaney Clesen (L, University of Pittsburgh, Evanston, Ill., 1)

Abby Cole (Opp, University of Michigan, Grand Haven, Mich., 3)

Mackenzie Dagostino (S, University of Florida, Tampa, Fla., 2)

Hannah Deede (Opp, Western Oregon University, Silverton, Ore., 1)

Julia Doyle (S, University of Oklahoma, Plymouth, Minn., 2)

Aubrey Edie (S, University of Mississippi, Fayetteville, Ark., 3)

Jennifer Hamson (Opp, BYU, Lindon, Utah, 1)

Chelsey Harris (Opp, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 3)

Cassie House (OH, University of New Mexico, Rio Rancho, 3)

Litara Keil (OH, Loyola Marymount University, Long Beach, Calif., 1)

Kendall Kritenbrink (OH, University of South Dakota, Gretna, Neb., 1)

Veronica Lewis (L, University of Arizona, San Jose, Calif., 1)

Leah McNary (OH, Creighton University, Tarpon Springs, Fla., 1)

Sarah Meister (L, University of Missouri, San Diego, Calif., 1)

Emily Miron (MB, North Dakota State University, Wedena, Minn., 3)

Katie Mitchell (OH, Ohio State University, The Woodlands, Texas, 2)

Katie Mosher (L, Florida State University, Fort Myers, Fla., 1)

Jacqueline Napper (L, University of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky., 1)

Rachel Rhoades (MB, University of Arizona, San Diego, Calif., 1)

Chantale Riddle (Opp, University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M., 1)

Sara Rishell (MB, UAB, Smithsburg, Md., 1)

Elise Ruddins (Opp, University of Southern California, Laguna Nigel, Calif., 3)

Hannah Schraer (MB, University of Southern California, Arcadia, Calif., 1)

Paige Tapp (MB, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minn., 3)

Dominique Thompson (MB, University of Wisconsin, Plymouth, Minn., 1)

Mercedes Vaughn (MB, Florida State University, Folcroft, Pa., 2)

Sarah Wickstrom (S, Florida State University, Stuart, Fla., 1)

McKenzie Willey (OH, Arizona State University, Highland, Utah, 3)

Emily Wilson (OH, University of Missouri, Omaha, Neb., 1)

Lead Coaches: Mike Hebert and Bill Neville

Program Manager: Nicki Holmes (UCF women’s assistant coach)

Coaches: Ashley Allen (assistant coach at Nicholls State), Ray Gooden (head coach at Northern Illinois), Linda Hampton-Keith (assistant coach at Arizona State), Ben Lee (Arizona Storm Volleyball Club), Marci Sanders (head coach at Texas-Dallas), Jay Van Vark (assistant coach at Cal State-San Marcos)

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