WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - After wrapping up her last final exam, Melanie Wade won't have much time to kick up her feet, as just next week the junior-to-be will jet off to China as part of a Pac-12 All-Star Team that will play seven matches in China over an eleven day stretch. This is the second straight year that the Pac-12 has sent a women's volleyball team to China. Last season, former Husky Kelcey Dunaway represented UW.
As a sophomore, Wade started every match for the Huskies, ranking eighth in the Pac-12 in blocks per set with 1.16, and ninth in the Pac-12 with 0.27 aces per set. She had 1.29 kills per set and hit .322 for the year.
University of Oregon Head Coach Jim Moore will lead the Pac-12 squad, which features 12 student-athletes from around the Conference.
The summer all-star team will play seven matches over two weeks in Sanming and Beijing. The team will practice in Los Angeles before arriving in China on June 17 in Shanghai, spend the day sightseeing, then travel to Sanming. Pac-12 student-athletes will face off against the professional team from Fujian Province and the Chinese Junior National Team in Sanming from June 18-21, and play the professional team from Beijing and the Chinese Junior National Team again in Beijing from June 24-26. The team will return to the United States on June 27.
In addition to the matches, the student-athletes will enjoy cultural and sightseeing visits in China. Highlights include visits to the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Silk Market.
The all-star team was selected by the coaching staff and Pac-12 liaison and includes three freshmen, six sophomores and three juniors. In total, 11 of the 12 universities in the Conference are represented. The team features one libero, two setters, three middle blockers and six outside hitters. Five of the student-athletes traveling to China were voted All-Pac-12 this year, as well as three who received AVCA All-America honors.
For the first time, fans can follow the Pac-12 globalization initiative on Chinese social media, including Weibo (http://www.weibo.com/pac12) – the Chinese equivalent of Twitter – and Renren (http://page.renren.com/pac12), the equivalent of Facebook. Daily updates will be posted on the accounts concerning the volleyball all-star team as well as upcoming Pac-12 events in China. For more information and updates in English on the trip, follow @pac12 on Twitter and www.pac-12.com.
The team is a part of the Pac-12’s Globalization Initiative, an unprecedented effort to promote goodwill and showcase the Conference and its member institutions in China through student-athlete exchanges and sport. Since launching the initiative in 2011, the Pac-12 has sent men’s (UCLA and ASU) and women’s basketball teams (Cal), last year’s women’s all-star volleyball team, and a delegation of men’s basketball coaches to China for competitive exhibitions and clinics. Later this summer, the Pac-12 will send an all-star men’s basketball team to play a series of games in China.
ALL-STAR TEAM ROSTER
Name, School, Year *, Position
Emmy Allen, Washington State, Freshman, Outside Hitter
Amanda Benson, Oregon, Freshman, Libero
Samantha Bricio, USC, Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Madi Bugg, Stanford, Sophomore, Setter
Whitney Follette, Arizona State, Sophomore, Middle Blocker
Brittany Howard, Stanford, Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Karsta Lowe, UCLA, Junior, Outside Hitter
Chelsey Schofield, Utah, Junior, Outside Hitter
Lillian Schonewise, California, Sophomore, Middle Blocker
Taylor Simpson, Colorado, Junior, Outside Hitter
Penina Snuka, Arizona, Freshman, Setter
Melanie Wade, Washington, Sophomore, Middle Blocker
* - Year in school as of 2013-14 season
Head Coach: Jim Moore, Oregon
Assistant Coaches: Stacy Metro (Oregon), Charita Stubbs (Arizona)