COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - BYU women's volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead and sophomore middle blocker Heather Gneiting will represent the United States and the Cougars on the U.S. Collegiate National Team heading to Japan May 19-30.
Olmstead will be the team head coach while Gneiting will participate as one of 12 players selected from top collegians across the nation. BYU women's volleyball trainer Dan Graham will also serve as team trainer. Former Cougar men's assistant Jaylen Reyes, who is now an assistant coach at Nebraska, will also be on the staff.
"I'm excited to represent USA this summer along with student-athletes from across the country," Olmstead said. "This roster is full of experience and skill at every position. We're looking forward to competing at a high level and experiencing the Japanese culture."
The 2018 AVCA National Freshman of the Year, Gneiting was a third-team All-America, first-team All-Region and first-team All-West Coast Conference honoree. The Pleasant Grove, Utah, native ranked No. 10 in the nation in blocks per set (1.50), No. 18 in total blocks (159) and No. 23 in hitting percentage (.380).
Gneiting joins Cougar junior middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg in playing for the U.S. this summer. Eschenberg will play with the U.S. Collegiate National Team that will be competing in the World University Games this July in Italy.
Coming off her fourth season as head coach of the Cougars, Olmstead was named the AVCA National Coach of the Year last season after leading the Cougars to a 31-2 record, NCAA Final Four appearance and No. 4 final ranking. With a current record of 118-13 (.901), Olmstead holds the highest winning percentage of any women's volleyball coach in NCAA Division I history (min. one season) and in any division (min. three seasons).
The squad will tour May 19-30 in Japan where it will have a series of training sessions and matches. The tour is unique in that the U.S. will play against Nippon Sport Science University, one of the best collegiate volleyball teams in Japan, as well as Japan's Women's 20 and World University Games teams.