Nevitt Talks About Team USA Tryouts

The University of Cincinnati's Jessie Nevitt, a redshirt freshman on the Bearcat Volleyball team, will take part in this weekend's (13-15) USA Volleyball's National Team Open Tryout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Official University of Cincinnati Press Release

Nevitt, who helped lead the Bearcats to a 20-12 record, led her team in both hitting (.337) and blocks per game (1.38), ranking among the BIG EAST top-five in both categories. She was also third on the Bearcats in kills per game (3.11), while ranking second with 40 service aces. Nevitt also finished as the Big East's Rookie of the Year and was selected to the All-Big East First Team.

The following is an interview with Nevitt Bearcat Insider conducted prior to her trip to Colorado Springs:

How did you find out about your participation in the National Team tryout?

I was actually out shopping and coach [Reed Sunahara] got a hold of me. To be honest, I was a little confused at first when I called back, so my mom talked to coach. They talked to me about what exactly was going on, what this opportunity [was/means], and when I started to understand I got really excited about the tryout.

Do you remember your first reaction to finding out that you were going to participate in the National Team tryout?

I really didn't know what to think. I mean, at first I was just curious as to exactly what I was getting myself into. I didn't really know how my name got to the National Team, and why they would have picked me. I was shocked! The National Team has the top-talent in the country, and thinking that they want me to come and participate in the tryout was just very overwhelming and flattering.

You talk about how you were surprised that you were "picked" to be involved in the tryout, do you know what was the process like; how your name became familiar to those involved with the National Team?

I am guessing Reed had something to do with it (said Nevitt chuckling). He knows everybody! He probably thought it would be a good experience for me and the program where I made the team or not. It is definitely an opportunity that I look to learn a lot from.

What has been the reaction of your team; how've they responded to your participation?

Now that they know they're being really supportive and just telling me how proud they are of me and wishing me good luck.

Now that they know?

I found out over break when I was at home, so it really didn't get out to any of the players. I never really said anything when I got back, but they would over hear Coach [Sunahara] talking about my trip and what I needed to get done before I left. They would be like ‘What trip? What are you talking about?' and it just sort of seeped out. Then the University announced that I was going and it just sort of became known from that point on.

You had some international experience earlier this summer. How will that experience help you during this process? Do you know if many of the names/faces from that team will be there?

I mean, playing in Argentina this summer [with a USA team] got me some exposure to national scene and really helped get my name out there. I know some of what to expect when it comes to the process and it will help take away some of my nerves. It is going to help a lot that some of the coaches I met and had a chance to work with for my Argentina experience will be in Colorado Springs. It will help me feel a little more comfortable since I will pretty much know what to expect from them and they already know what I can do on the floor…Plus, I wont feel so alone out there.

Do you know any of the players that are going to participate in the three-day tryout?

I imagine that a lot of the players from the Argentina trip will be invited to participate, but I am not sure It isn't going to be all college players obviously, but I think a lot of them will be there.

Where does getting this tryout, and potentially making this team, rank amongst your growing list of personal accolades?

I would say that they Argentina trip was a really big deal for me. It was my first national (and international) experience, and it really helped me a lot in terms of confidence and learning how to play the game. I wouldn't really say one is more special to me. Both pretty much rate the same in terms of how special they are. They are pretty much the same to me personally. This opportunity will give me the chance to the learn some new drills and play against the best caliber of player out there. It can only help me grow as a player.

What will this opportunity do for you as a player?

Like I said, playing against the best players in the country can only help me. I didn't get to play a lot because I sat out last season, so it also gives me a chance to play some more. The experience is helping me grow up on the court, but also off the court. I'm learning a lot about what there is after college volleyball and just am really having to mature as a person as much as a player. I hope that I can use a lot of what I learn when I get back to UC.

You alluded to how this will help your team, you being able to bring stuff "back to UC". Coach Sunahara was also quoted as saying that he thinks this will be a great opportunity for the Cincinnati program. How do you think your participation in the event at the Colorado Springs training complex will help your Bearcat team(mates)?

I think the University can definitely use my participation as a recruiting tool. Any time any of the people involved in the program get some national exposure it just helps the image of our program. Maybe some recruits down the road will see one of us have a great game or do something for the National Team, and it could impact their decision about coming to the school. Our goal isn't just to have personal success, but to help the program reach new levels as well.

How has the University reacted to your participation? Are they at all worried about you getting injured or hurting your college career?

To be honest, I always just assumed they supported me. I think they support me anyhow. I mean, nobody has said anything about me getting hurt or my scholarship or anyting. I am a Bearcat first, but everyone, at least in the volleyball program, has reacted very well to me going in this tryout. I am not sure about anyone else.


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