MINNEAPOLIS – University of Oklahoma setter Julia Doyle (Plymouth, Minn.) and the Team USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team-Blue claimed the gold medal at the Girls’ Junior National Championships at the Minneapolis Convention Center this past weekend. On Sunday, CNT Blue picked up wins over both CNT White and CNT Red in round robin play to advance to Monday’s championship.
In the final, CNT Blue defeated CNT Red in four sets, 3-1. For Doyle, a veteran of several Team USA GJNC’s, it was an experience that helped her develop as a player and teammate.
“Playing with the Collegiate National Team was a lot of fun,” began Doyle. “The first half [of camp] was tough. It was a lot of volleyball for six hours a day, but it was a great experience to learn how to play with a lot of different people. I was able to get close with girls from a lot of different schools.”
Doyle was selected to the USA CNT back in April as one of 36 players from around the country. The first half of camp is all training before the players are divided into three teams of 12 for tournament play.
The CNT head coach is Northern Illinois’ Ray Gooden, who coached Doyle’s CNT-Blue squad to the title along with Ashley Allen from Nicholls State.
“There were quite a few [players] that I have played with for past USA teams and K-State setter Katie Brand and Texas Tech libero Rachel Brummitt, are familiar faces, who we’ll play every year at OU. I’ve also played with a Duke outside hitter from my team, who I’ve played with for two years and the outside hitter from Arizona State.”
The GJNC was held in Doyle’s home state where she played her high school volleyball at Wayzata as well as nine years spent with the Minnesota Select during her club career.
“Having the championships in Minnesota was probably the best part and one of the main reasons I wanted to do it this year. All my family and friends were able to come. At OU, I’m so far from home, it’s one of the only times they’ll be able to watch me play over these four years.”