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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Rosenthal selected to national team

China tour will feature matches in Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing
Photo by Maggie Bean
Photo courtesy of Maggie Bean/Marquette Athletics

Less than five years after starting competitive volleyball, Marquette middle hitter Jenna Rosenthal will be representing her country on the court. The soon-to-be redshirt sophomore made the cut for the U.S. Collegiate National Team that will tour China this summer.

“I was sitting in my civil engineering materials lecture learning about reinforced concrete design. My phone buzzed and I checked it and there it was … (the email) said China right in the subject line,” Rosenthal said in an email. “Any thought of concrete flew out the window and my heart started beating really loudly.”

Rosenthal was one of more than 200 athletes that traveled to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in February to try out for the team. She snagged one of only 12 available spots on the team that will partake in a tour of China from late June through early July.

According to Marquette head coach Ryan Theis, this kind of breakthrough has been a long time in the making.

“When she came in as a freshman, we did not let her participate in much six-on-six volleyball because she didn’t know exactly what was going on and with her size and speed … We didn’t want her to run somebody over,” Theis said. “Now, she’s a kid who can help USA and can hopefully become a first team all-conference or all-American type of kid.”

Playing in China comes with adjustments. Rosenthal, who hopes to play professionally overseas after college, points out that the experience will help teach her international rules. Chinese teams also tend to play at a faster pace, which will test Rosenthal’s positioning and reaction time. She’ll have to make those adjustments, plus the cultural changes.

“The sheer population density will be something amazing to see,” Rosenthal said in an email. “I have also been warned that at 6-foot-6, the people there may be very curious and stare. At least I will be in good company – all but two of my teammates are taller than six feet!”

It has been an exciting few years for Rosenthal, who went from being a raw prospect and a redshirt two years ago to participating in the U.S. Collegiate National Team training program last summer. She became a starter for Marquette this year and immediately made her presence known, averaging more than two kills per set and one block per set. Theis sees even more prosperity ahead.

“I told her that if she’s going to do all this stuff … She at least needs to be all-conference this year,” Theis said. “She laughed and said, ‘Will do.’”

Three other Golden Eagles – middle hitter Meghan Niemann and outside hitters Amanda Green and Taylor Louis – also attended the Team USA tryouts last month. Even though they are not on the China tour roster, it is still possible that some of them could be chosen for the U.S. Collegiate National Team training program.

Rosenthal will report to Los Angeles for a training period beginning June 18. The team will then depart for China to take on top competition in matches in Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing.

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