Ali Frantti could add another accolade to her already impressive volleyball résumé.
The 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Richmond-Burton has been invited for a second tryout with the U.S. Girls Youth National Volleyball Team. Frantti will head to the Youth National Team’s training facility June 13 in Colorado Springs, Colo., to try out with 27 other players from around the country who survived the first wave of tryouts March 21 in Indianapolis.
Final selections will be made June 16. Players who make the cut will represent the U.S. at the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Girls Youth World Championships July 25 to Aug. 4 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
“When I tried out, I was hopeful, but I tried to keep myself calm and not get ahead of anything,” Frantti said. “When I found out that I made (the second round) I was just very excited, very humbled and very honored that they would choose me.”
Awards have poured in during the past year. Frantti, a junior outside hitter, was the 2012 Northwest Herald Player of the Year after helping lead R-B to a runner-up finish in the Class 3A state championships. She was named to the Champaign News-Gazette’s All-State First Team and the 2012 Prepvolleyball.com High School All-American team in February.
The Rockets’ postseason run came shortly after Frantti accepted a full scholarship with volleyball powerhouse Penn State. Frantti will play at Penn State with two of her current teammates from Club Fusion’s 17 Black team, Bryanna Weiskircher (setter) from Rockford Boylan and Simone Lee (outside hitter) from Menomonee Falls, Wisc., who also accepted scholarships from the Nittany Lions.
Lee previously tried out for the Youth National Team, Frantti said, and gave Frantti pointers heading into tryouts in Indianapolis. Frantti had done her own hands-on research, too. She traveled to Colorado Springs last winter for the Youth National Team’s Holiday Camp, where she was able to familiarize herself with some of the players that helped the U.S. receive its bid to this year’s World Championships.
The U.S. Youth National Team won the 2012 North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Girls’ Youth Continental Championship held in Mexico last August to punch its ticket to Thailand this summer.
Frantti undoubtedly would make an impact on the Youth National Team. In two years, Frantti has gone from being a promising young talent to one of the best outside hitters in area history. She finished her junior season with the Rockets with 557 kills – 10th most in a single season in IHSA history – 232 digs, 72 aces and 54 blocks.
“I sometimes look back (at the past year) and think, ‘Wow,’ because time goes so quickly,” Frantti said. “It really puts things in perspective, and I’m really excited about this opportunity, too.”