Alexis Crimes Returns To National Team

USA Volleyball recently posted a video of Alexis Crimes posing for the cameras at a national team photo session. Perhaps, like us, you went, “Hm, Alexis Crimes. That’s a name I haven’t heard in awhile.”

According to an Associated Press story released yesterday, Crimes reached out to women’s national team head coach, Karch Kiraly, last year to ask for a second chance with the national team. National team assistant Jamie Morrison saw Crimes play while he was coaching in Turkey, and the improvements she made in her game impressed him. When Kiraly later made the journey himself, he agreed, and invited Crimes to train with the team in Anaheim, California.

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Crimes, 30, a 6-3 middle blocker and Long Beach State alum, was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2008 to just before the London Olympics. She played a significant role on the team at the 2009 World Grand Prix and was named Best Spiker at the Pan-Am Cup in 2008. But leading up to the London Olympics, Crimes tore her meniscus and was unable to return to top form in time to make the Olympic roster.

After the London Games, Crimes finished rehabbing and returned to her career. She played for Foppapedretti Bergamo in Italy, Lokomotiv Baku in Azerbaijan and most recently Sarıyer Belediyesi Spor Kulübü in Istanbul, Turkey.

In January, national team middle blocker Tori Dixon tore her ACL playing for her Toray Arrows V-League team in Japan, and it seems unlikely she’ll be back to form in time to make the Rio roster. Perhaps Crimes’ addition to the training group is an attempt to fill that hole. She appears on Team USA’s 2016 World Grand Prix roster, along with middles Lauren Paolini, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Christa Dietzen, Foluke Akinradewo and Rachael Adams.

Whatever the reasoning behind her invitation to return to Anaheim, Crimes is glad to be back. "I'm very glad I [reached out to Kiraly],” she told the AP. “I thought about it for a while. I was scared to get rejected. But I would rather say I did it than not at all.”

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