Rob Patrick to lead USA squad

Tennessee head volleyball coach Rob Patrick will lead the USA/BIP u20 Select Team in competition at the European Global Challenge to be held in Pula, Croatia, July 22-26. Lady Vols Mindy Flynn and Leah Hinkey are set to play on the squad which will train alongside the USA Junior A2 team for four days in Pordenone, Italy, outside of Venice, prior to the tournament.

"I feel honored to have been selected to coach this team, and I believe that it is a reflection of the extended success that we have had at the University of Tennessee over the past few years," Patrick said. "I am also very excited to have the opportunity to work with some of the nation's most talented athletes. This experience will allow me to observe, interact and learn from a number of great European coaches which will help me to broaden my knowledge of the game even further."

The USA/BIP u20 Select Team comprises the top collegiate players that are not with the A2 or Youth/Junior National Team this summer. The final roster features nine players, including a pair of Lady Vols and Italian setter Lucia Ginese, who was recently voted Best Setter in the annual Sibillini Tournament in Comunanza, Italy, July 2-7. Joining Patrick on the coaching staff will be Indiana assistant coach Sarah Gustin.

A rising junior, Flynn was one of the Lady Vols' top performers last season, posting 135 blocks and 248 kills, good for second and fourth on the team, respectively. Her breakout performance came at the Comcast Lady Vol Classic Aug. 25-26, 2006, where she claimed tournament MVP honors after recording 25 kills with just one attack error in 53 attempts over the course of the three-match competition.

One of the most reliable freshmen for the Orange and White last season, Hinkey started in 29 of the team's 31 matches. The Glenwood Springs, Colo. , product recorded the fifth most kills on the squad (221), as well as the third highest block total (133). Her 1.19 blocks per game average ranked her seventh in the Southeastern Conference. For her efforts, Hinkey was named to the league's all-freshman team.

"This is a great opportunity for both Mindy and Leah to continue to grow as volleyball players while competing at a very high level," Patrick said. "They will be exposed to a variety of styles of volleyball to which they are not accustomed. That will force them to learn how to adapt to different situations during a live game rather than trying to duplicate that experience during practice."

The USA/BIP u20 squad will compete against some of the top junior talent in Europe with teams from Slovenia, Germany, Bosnia, Italy, Montenegro and Croatia. Also taking part in the competition will be the USA Junior A2 team, as well as squads from Texas, Florida and California.

More information about the USA/BIP u20 team, the 2007 European Global Challenge and Bring It Promotions can be found at:

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