Heather Olmstead
Hamson poses with head coach Shawn Olmstead and assistant coach Heather Olmstead at the tournament.

COLUMBUS, Ohio—BYU women’s volleyball player Jennifer Hamson participated in the U. S. National A2 Team tournament June 30-July 4, playing with and against some of the top collegiate volleyball athletes in the country.

"This was an amazing experience," Hamson said. "I had so much fun playing great volleyball with great girls. I was grateful for the opportunities to participate in some USA volleyball. It was fun to meet new people and gain some new friends."

The team was divided into four sub-teams for the U.S. Women’s National A2 Team Tournament. Hamson played with the USA Red Team, competing against the USA Blue, White and Gold teams. The tournament was held in Columbus, Ohio, in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.

"For the first couple of days we did a lot of training," Hamson said. "We had two practices a day and we were well cared for by the generous university where we practiced. Then the next couple of days they split the athletes into teams and we played each other. The team I was on won some and lost some, but the best part was playing high-level volleyball with high-level teammates. Every athlete there was extremely talented and it was great to play alongside and learn from all of them."

In the Red Team’s June 30 victory against the White Team, Hamson helped her team to a 2-1 victory with nine points. Hamson had a personal-best 16 points in the July 2 match against the Gold Team, finishing the tournament with 48 total points.

"We also had the opportunity to do some service while we were there," Hamson said. "One group held a volleyball clinic at a nearby rec center and the group I was in visited the Ronald MacDonald house. It was great to talk to the people there and to be inspired by their stories and challenges. Overall it was an amazing experience."

Hamson returns to Provo to train with the BYU women’s volleyball team in preparation for the 2012 season, which starts Aug. 24 with a road tournament match against Arkansas State. The team’s home opener is against Utah Sept. 7.

Rachel Hawks is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.