MO State HS Sports

Six Tigers Headed to 2024 USA Volleyball Women’s National Team Open Program

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – Six Tigers will represent University of Missouri volleyball at the 2024 USA Volleyball Women’s National Team Open Program Feb. 23-25 at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

Libero Maya Sands, right side hitter Jordan Iliff, setter Sierra Dudley, outside hitter Janet deMarrais, right side hitter/middle blocker Kimani Johnson and setter Marina Crownover will represent Missouri at the tryout.

Maya Sands led the Missouri defense in her sophomore season this past fall with 542 digs (4.71 digs per set). Sands, the 2023 SEC Libero of the Year, appeared in all 31 matches for the Tigers and was named to the 2023 AVCA Volleyball Southeast All-Region Team.

The Rock Falls, Illinois, native, registered double-digit digs in every match of the 2023 regular season including a career-high 30 digs against Ole Miss on Oct. 15.

Sands led the SEC in digs and was also named to the 2023 All-SEC team after earning SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice.

The libero was second on Missouri for assists, totaling 106 (0.92 assists per set) and second in service aces with 34 (.30 aces per set).

Jordan Iliff led the Tigers in kills in her junior season this past fall with 388 kills (3.40 kills per set), swinging at a .236 clip. 

Iliff, a 2023 AVCA Volleyball Southeast All-Region Honorable Mention and 2023 All-SEC Selection, started and played in all 31 matches in 2023. She also led the team in points with 468 (4.11 points per set) this past season.

The St. Louis, native, paced the team in service aces with 45 (0.39 aces per set) and ranked fourth in the SEC this past season. She was also second on Missouri for blocks with 70 (0.61 blocks per set).

She registered double-digit kills 24 times in the 2023 season and six double-doubles including 21 kills and 15 digs against South Carolina on Nov. 5.

Sierra Dudley, a 2023 All-Freshman SEC honoree, led Missouri in assists with 1,161 assists (10.27 assists per set), including 30-plus assists 22 times. 

She ranked fifth in the SEC for assists after starting in all 31 matches for the Tigers in 2023.

The Spartanburg, South Carolina, native, became the first Tiger to reach 1,000 assists in a season since Andrea Fuentes in 2019 (1,306 assists).

The two-time SEC Freshman of the Week selection also recorded 232 digs (2.05 digs per set), 55 kills (0.49 per set) and 22 service aces (0.19 aces per set) in her debut season.

She registered eight double-doubles in the 2023 season. Dudley notched a career-high 60 assists against Ole Miss on Oct. 15. 

Janet deMarrais clocked a career-high 357 kills in 2023 as a sophomore, including double-digit kills 21 times. She started in 22 matches including each of the final 20. 

The Colleyville, Texas, native, notched a personal-best 130 digs and 21 service aces this past fall. She tallied a career-best 30 kills and 13 digs against Ole Miss on Oct. 15 and finished with a trio of double-doubles. 

deMarrais tallied back-to-back 13 kill matches in the 2023 NCAA Tournament against Delaware (Dec. 1) and Nebraska (Dec. 2).

Kimani Johnson appeared in 10 matches over her sophomore campaign in 2023. She totaled 22 kills including seven in her debut for the Tigers against Central Arkansas on Aug. 26.

Marina Crownover, an Austin, Texas, native, compiled 13 assists and seven digs over 10 matches in 2023 as a redshirt freshman at Texas. 

Crownover captured back-to-back National Championships with the Longhorns before transferring to Mizzou in January. 

About the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Program

More than 200 women’s volleyball players will attend the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Program.

The WNT Open Program is used for consideration for selection to both the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team.

Athletes born in 2005 or younger may also be in consideration for selection to the U.S. U21 Women’s National Team that will compete in the 2024 U21 Women’s NORCECA Continental Championship from June 23 to July 1 in Toronto, Canada.

“The Open Program is an excellent opportunity for our Women’s National Team staff to observe USA Volleyball hopefuls under one roof.” said U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly. “This country is filled with young volleyball talent. For our Women’s National Team to sustain competitive excellence, our WNT staff must be dialed in to the growing potential throughout our National Team Development Program as well as top NCAA student-athletes.”

More than 45 top volleyball coaches will also be at the Training Center to help run the program and evaluate the athletes. They will join U.S. Women’s National Team staff including Head Coach Karch Kiraly, Assistant Coach Tama Miyashiro, Assistant Coach Erin Virtue (head coach at Michigan), Assistant Coach Alfee Reft (head coach at UCLA) and Performance Analyst Rianne Verhoek. U.S. Men’s National Team Performance Analyst Nate Ngo will also work at the program.

Jordan Larson, gold medalist and MVP from the 2020 U.S. Olympic Women’s Team, will speak to the athletes. Representatives from all three U.S. women’s pro volleyball leagues will also be on hand.

Watch the action LIVE on BallerTV.


This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics