Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—Rhian Swanson represents McPherson High School for volleyball, but she could also represent her country as a 15-year old.
Swanson was among 36 volleyball players invited to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado to participate in the 2019 Girls Incoming Youth Holiday National Training Team Program.
This five-day training program was held for all the top young volleyball players in the country to interact with one another while preparing for the 2020 Girls NORCECA’s U18 Continental Championships, which will be held in Honduras this coming summer. Swanson, a University of Kansas commit, could be one of the 24 players selected to try out for the youth national team, for which there are 12 roster spots
“It was a great experience,” Swanson said. “I got to play with some of the best girls in the U.S. that are my age. I didn’t know any of the girls very well but I knew some from the other USA program I did during the summer.”
During the training program, Swanson picked up a few tips from the USA coaches that could improve her game.
“They helped me a lot with my passing and hitting on the right side because I usually am just an outside hitter,” Swanson said.
Swanson is recognized as one of the top volleyball players in the state as an outside hitter. In her sophomore season, Swanson led the Bullpups with 407 total kills, averaging a 45.5 percent kills percentage and .295 in hitting percentage. The Bullpups finished 28-12 and Swanson received a share of the AVCTL Division III League MVP honors. She will be one of the top returning starters of next season. Which is a good thing since the Bullpups will lose three seniors next season.