Lori Baird recently participated in the AVP All-Star Invitational Camp in Hermosa Beach, Calif.
March 30, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY - Even though their University of Utah volleyball careers came to a close in December, former Ute All-Americans Emillie Toone and Lori Baird have continued to play volleyball at a very high level.
"It's great that both Emillie and Lori have a chance to continue to pursue their volleyball goals after college," Utah head coach Beth Launiere said. "Their collegiate experience at Utah has allowed them to play professionally and in the US National team system. They are prepared well for this next level of volleyball."
Toone was one of 12 players from around the nation that USA Volleyball selected to be a part of a senior-level volleyball team that will play in Egypt in April in an exchange program involving the United States Olympic Committee and the Egyptian National Olympic Committee. U.S. Women's National Team head coach Hugh McCutcheon selected the team comprised of elite developmental athletes on the verge of being added to the U.S. Women's National Team.
The USOC and the ENOC exchange program includes an athletic component as well as a cultural component as part of an ongoing effort to build good relations between the USOC and African National Olympic Committees while promoting the sport in Africa.
The team will play two matches in Cairo against the Egyptian women's national team and will depart for Cairo on April 7, then play Egypt on April 10 and 12 before returning home on April 14.
Toone earned AVCA Honorable Mention recognition for the second time in her career and finished as the most efficient attacker in school history. Toone led the MWC and was 12th in the nation with a school-record .393 hitting percentage, breaking her own record of .369 (set in 2006). The American Fork, Utah, native holds the school's career hitting efficiency record at .345 (845-220-1811). On the block, Toone finished her Ute career second in school history in total blocks (635) and third in block assists (583).
As one of the top collegiate senior volleyball players in the nation, Baird participated in the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) All-Star Invitational Camp in Hermosa Beach, Calif., March 18-22. Baird trained with some of the top beach volleyball players in the world: Karch Kiraly, Kerri Walsh, and Holly McPeak.
The Murray, Utah, native participated in beach training sessions with top professional players and staff from the AVP and in plyometric training and classroom sessions to learn more about the transition from indoor volleyball to playing on the beach.
In 2008, Baird was as an AVCA Third-team All-American and All-West Region selection and also was named the Mountain West Conference Co-Player of the Year. Baird became the 10th member of Utah's 1,000-kill club and finished her career with the Utes seventh in school history with 1,236 career kills. She finished second in school history with 584 career block assists and third with 631 career total blocks.
A gallery from the AVP All-Star Invitational Camp can be viewed here.