Brittany Moore's playing days at Cal State Fullerton may be done, but her volleyball career certainly isn't. After practicing with the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team in Colorado Springs for the past few years, Moore finally got the chance to prove herself in international competition.
It started out with an invitation to tryout for the US national team, and culminated with a trip to Cairo to play against the Egyptian women's national team.
To make the team, Moore tried out against approximately 200 other girls in February. A month later she received a preliminary call to see if she was interested in possibly joining the national team to play in some exhibition games overseas. Moore was excited to get the call, but realized that nothing was final yet.
A week later she got the news she was hoping for, and got offered a spot on the team. After finding out that she had earned a spot on the roster, Moore phoned her parents to tell them that she was going to get the opportunity to fulfill one of her dreams by representing the United States in women's volleyball.
"To play at that high of a level is always fun. It's something that I've always wanted to do," Moore said.
Before heading off to Egypt, Moore was able to practice with some of her new teammates. The women's national team relocated from its long time home in Colorado Springs to the American Sports Center in Anaheim. The move to Anaheim made it very convenient for Moore to get into the gym to practice with some other national team members from Long Beach State and Pepperdine.
After arriving in Egypt, first-year women's national team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon held practices early in the morning so the girls could adjust to the time change and rest during the day. Towards the end of the trip the team got a chance to visit some of the famous attractions Egypt has to offer.
"I thought it was really cool. Honestly, when I first heard that I was going to Egypt, I thought it was just deserts, pyramids and camels. Like that's it," Moore said. "But we got there and it was a normal city."
Checking out the pyramids, riding camels and taking a cruise down the Nile River were a few of the things that the team got to experience while they were in Egypt. One of Moore's favorite activities was riding the camels because she got to experience Egypt the way she imagined it would be.
Another thing she enjoyed about her experience was bonding with her new teammates. Before the trip she had competed against some of them, but had never really gotten to know them personally. Some of the other girls she hadn't competed against were from high profile Division I women's volleyball programs from around the nation. Moore - the reigning Big West Player of the Year - proved she had what it takes to match up with all of them by leading the team in total kills (23), total points (27.0), and finishing tied for the team lead in blocks (2). With her help the US won both matches against Egypt.
"It feels good knowing that I could compete with those girls and play to their skill level," Moore said.
The next step for Moore is to finish school, then she plans to pursue a career in volleyball on the US national team or overseas. Earning a spot to play in the Olympics on the US Women's National Volleyball Team is very competitive and requires years of devotion. Brittany's strong play in Egypt should give her a good shot at being chosen to represent the US in future matches.
"It really was just a very historic event, not only for Brittany on a personal level, but for Cal State Fullerton, and what that means for our program in the future," CSF women's volleyball Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman said. "As a whole, it's a win-win situation for everyone involved."