LAWRENCE (KSNT) – KU middle blocker Caroline Crawford is in Las Vegas to compete for a spot with Team USA’s U20 team.
Crawford is one of just 20 athletes named to the training team. After the two-week camp, Team USA coaches will choose 12 players to compete in the 2021 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship.
“I kind of know, overall, what USA Volleyball wants as a Middle in the position, so really trying to focus on those keys, such as blocking,” Crawford said. “They’re really huge on that. Just kind of focus on what they want.”
Crawford plans to be her friendly self so she can develop relationships and trust with her new teammates. This, combined with her competitiveness and hard work, is why her coaches think she’ll make it to the team.
“She just needs to be true to who she is and how she plays,” KU volleyball coach Ray Bechard said. “I can’t imagine there’s going to be a better blocker in camp. I’m sure there will be some great attackers, but she’s an elite-level blocker right now, and I think if she has a good week attacking, a connection with whatever setter she’s going to be working with, I think that’ll put her over the top.”
Crawford has competed with US Volleyball before. She played on the U.S. Youth National Team and won the gold medal at the 2018 NORCECA Women’s U18 Continental Championship in Honduras. Crawford did so again at the 2019 Women’s U18 World Championships in Egypt.
Crawford was an All-Big 12 first team and All-Big 12 rookie team honoree this past season. Training camp begins Monday, and the championship is July 9-18 in the Netherlands and Belgium.
“It would mean a tremendous lot to represent the United States, and wear those colors and that name across your chest,” Crawford said.