MARTIN, Tenn. – Kelly Lean, a rising senior at the University of Tennessee at Martin, earned a spot on the Australian National Women’s Volleyball Team and will compete against the best in the world at the FIVB World Grand Prix this summer.
The premier annual competition for women’s national teams, the World Grand Prix is in its 25th season. The 2017 event starts on July 7 and runs through Aug. 6, as 32 countries spread out over three groups will vie for a world championship.
Australia is slotted in two different pools in Group 3, which also includes Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. Pool A3 will take place on July 7-9 in Aguascalientes City, Mexico and will pit the Volleyroos against Mexico, Hungary and Trinidad & Tobago. Pool D3 features Trinidad & Tobago, Cameroon and France in a preliminary tournament that will occur on July 14-16 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. The Group 3 final round will include four qualified teams and will be held at AIS Arena in Canberra, Australia on July 22-23.
This summer marks the fourth straight year for Australia to take part in the World Grand Prix, as its best finish in the event came in 2015 when it finished fourth in the Group 3 Final Four. The Volleyroos are coached by Shannon Winzer, who was appointed to that post in 2016 with aspirations to take Australia to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
“I am so happy to be able to play at home,” Lean said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to really do anything here. I played with junior nationals when I was 14 but I haven’t really had anything to do with it since then. I’m super excited to play with the girls here and I’m super excited to play for Shannon as well.”
A 5-9 setter, Lean enjoyed a stellar debut season at UT Martin under head coach Jaclynn Yocum in 2016. She ranked fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference with 9.78 assists per set becoming just the seventh different player in program history to divvy out at least 1,000 assists in a single season (1,076). She also added 184 digs, 55 kills, 40 blocks and 17 service aces while playing in all 110 sets spread out over 31 matches.