May 31, 2007
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Last season freshman middle blocker Brianna Barry made an immediate impact for the Florida State volleyball team by earning ACC All-Freshman Team honors. This summer she took another step towards becoming one of the premier players not only in the conference, but in the country by being invited to the USA Junior National Team tryouts.
For three days in Austin, Texas, Barry (Winter Springs, Fla.) played with some of the best up-and-coming players in the country. She made it to the doorstep of joining the Junior National Team as one of the final 24 players, but did not survive the final cut. This was her second stint with USA Volleyball. She attended the Girls Youth National A-2 Training Camp in the summer of 2004.
“Being chosen as one of the 24 players for the training camp gave me a boost of confidence because it showed me that I can play at a very high level,” Barry said. “It also gave me motivation to work hard next year so that I can try to make the final 12. I played with a lot of high-caliber players and I learned a lot from them that will help me be better in the fall and hopefully help get the team to the NCAA Tournament.”
The invitation to Austin guaranteed Barry a spot on the A2 Junior National Team, but she turned down the chance to play with the team in Europe at the Global Challenge so that she could return to Tallahassee to train with the Seminoles in their off season workouts and attend summer school. Last year she was a member of the All-ACC Academic Volleyball Team.
“If anything it provided a confidence boost for Brianna,” FSU head coach Todd Kress said. “Sometimes Brie is her toughest critic and by realizing that she was in the top 24 of her age level in the country, and at her position one of the top five or six, and had a legitimate to make that top 12 really gave her a boost of confidence to where I think she can compete with anybody right now. That is only going to help her sophomore year.”
On April 20 Barry attended a qualifier in Dallas where Junior National head coach Andy Banachowski and his staff saw her play. From the hundreds of players in attendance, Barry was one of 24 selected for the three-day training camp in Austin. The two dozen players went through four sessions which consisted on individual skill work and team matches. On the final day, the team was whittled down to 12 players.
Florida State is coming off one of its best season under Kress as it won a school-record 13 victories to go along with a 19-12 record. Along with Barry, returning for the Seminoles is AVCA Honorable Mention All-American Makini Thompson (Quincy, Mass.).