Audriana Fitzmorris wanted to jump up and celebrate, but, out of respect for her friends, she showed no emotion.
Fitzmorris is one of 24 volleyball stars from around the country who spent last week in Colorado Springs, Colo., competing for 12 roster spots on the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team.
After the decisions had been made, the coaches brought the girls into a room.
“They gave a speech and then they flipped over a whiteboard that had the names and numbers of the girls who made the team,” Fitzmorris said. “I scanned it very quickly and saw my name. I just stared at it for a long time. I was completely overjoyed and pleasantly surprised. I’m really happy because it’s such an honor to represent my country.
“But I also felt really awful for the girls who didn’t make it.”
Fitzmorris, a 6-foot-4 middle blocker, said there were a few girls who cried -- and that includes tears of joy from the ones that made the cut.
Fitzmorris, 14, is the youngest girl on the team. She recently graduated from the eighth grade at Prairie Star Middle School (Leawood, Kansas).
She said she was excited to play for Team USA at the NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental 18U Championship at Hato Major, Dominican Republic from June 24 to July 2.
However, the tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the 2013 FIVB Girls’ Youth World Championships, has been indefinitely suspended due to problems faced by the Dominican Republic in hosting several major events within a short timeframe.
The postponement may work out well for Fitzmorris and her teammates who otherwise would have missed playing the Junior National Championships (also known as the Junior Olympics) with their club teammates June 28 to July 7 in Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s disappointing (about the postponement) because I wanted to play immediately,” Fitzmorris said. “But I also wanted to play the Junior Olympics with my club team. Hopefully, now I can do both.”