COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After leaving the U.S. Women’s National Team to attend graduate school, 2016 Olympian Karsta Lowe has announced she missed the sport and will be coming back to the national team.
“Although I truly enjoyed my coursework at USC, I really missed the competition in sport and physical challenge of performing athletically,” Lowe said. “I never quite found anything like the USA 6 vs. 6 practice play in my other pursuits. The contagious energy and competition is hard to beat.
“I consulted with a few past teammates and spoke with Karch at great length about my decision to return the team. Eventually, the plan was set into action. I’ve been in the gym since Friday, May 4 and haven’t looked back since. The physical training has been challenging, as expected. I’d like to see how much I can improve this time around and help in any form to take the team all the way to gold in Tokyo. Of course, I have a lot of work to do to make a roster with the USA team, but I am excited and ready for any challenges that await.”
The 6-4 opposite left Team USA to concentrate on her master’s degree after providing 41 points for the Americans off the bench at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
After a year away in the architecture program at USC, Lowe is being welcomed back with open arms, although she will have to still earn her spot among the “A” squad.
Lowe, who joined the national team in 2015, will likely begin her journey back to the top stage at the 2018 Pan American Cup. The roster for that tournament will be announced at the end of June.
The first chance for fans to see Lowe back in a USA jersey will be at a Red-Blue intrasquad scrimmage at 7 p.m. PT June 22 at Irvine Valley College. Tickets are $5 at the door.
The Rancho Sante Fe, California native was a first team All-American as a senior at UCLA in 2014 before playing professionally in Puerto Rico, Italy and China with Chagas de Naranjito, Futura Busto Arsizio and BAIC Motor Club.
U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Karch Kiraly shared his thoughts on Lowe’s return.
“We’re really happy to welcome Karsta back to our program,” Kiraly said. “In her previous stint with our team, Karsta displayed the capability of developing into a world-class international opposite. Since then, she spent a lot of time reflecting on the priorities in her life, and she is now recommencing her learning and development path in the sport of volleyball.”
As for completing her graduate degree, Lowe said she wants to compete as a world-class athlete for as long as she can, while she can.
“Eventually, I might finish my master’s in landscape architecture, but if I am physically able to perform at a high level of competition in the world of international volleyball, I am willing to put those plans on hold,” Lowe said.