March 29, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame volleyball junior middle blocker Sam Fry traveled to Colorado Springs at the beginning of March to take part in a weekend tryout for the U.S. National Team. Fry gives fans an insight to the experience in the Q&A below.
Q: How did you find out you were invited to the tryout and what was your initial reaction?
A: I received an invitation for the tryouts via email over winter break. I was very honored and excited. I had always heard of volleyball girls going on to play for the USA team and it sounded like an awesome opportunity.
Q: How long did the tryout last and what all did it consist of?
A: The tryout was three days, March 3-5, and consisted of four total practices. The first three practices were evaluations in which the players had to take part in serving, hitting and passing drills. We concluded these sessions with 6-on-6. On the last day, the coaches divided us into teams and we had tournament play.
Q: What was your favorite non-volleyball aspect of the trip to Colorado?
A: My favorite non-volleyball aspect of the trip was getting to know the girls from different schools and learning about their different volleyball experiences.
Q: What was it like staying at the Olympic Training Facility?
A: The OTC was very cool and Colorado is beautiful. Training and spending time in the same buildings that Olympians had been in was a neat experience.
Q: What were your takeaways from the tryout that you can use for your upcoming senior season?
A: The conditions the tryouts put me in allowed me to learn to manage my game. I was the only one from my team at the tryouts. In addition, there was no actual coaching. As a result, I was forced to hold myself accountable and coach my game. Being able to control my game will be very important for this upcoming season. As a senior, I need to lead by example.
Q: How has playing under Coach McLaughlin and the Notre Dame program prepared you for competing with the nation's elite?
A: Jim has been a great coach and mentor. Our coaches repeatedly remind us that there are no little things and Jim expects a lot from us. We can't be perfect, but we're learning to improve our awareness of the game. Having these high standards from my coach and myself has prepared me to compete with the nation's elite."
Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men's lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor's degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master's degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.