On Wednesday, the USA Deaf Sports Federation announced members of the United States women’s national U-18 deaf volleyball team who will compete at the 2016 Phoenix Volleyball Festival that gets underway on June 24 in Arizona.
The squad includes Brianna Dike and Farrah Harmount from the California School for the Deaf – Fremont, Maddie Fears from the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, Kameron Kinast and Elina Rubinshteyn from the Texas School for the Deaf, Karita Lewis and Cassidy Perry from the Maryland School for the Deaf, Megan Lockner from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and Isabella Paulone from the Indiana School for the Deaf.
The team is being coached by three-time Deaflympian Dyan Kovac, who takes over the reigns after having served as an assistant coach in 2015. She will be assisted by 2001 and 2005 Deaflympian Stacy Nowak. They will have a national team training camp in Phoenix prior to the start of the competition.
The Indiana School for the Deaf has had connections with some other elite deaf athletes in the United States. The United States women’s national deaf basketball team’s Nukeitra Hayes has served as a girls assistant basketball coach there. Maryland School for the Deaf has also been connected to some elite deaf sportswomen, with Tessa Lewis being named a SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association December Athlete of the Month in December 2014. Women’s national deaf basketball player Lindsay Stergio has served as the head coach of the girls basketball program at Maryland.