Long Beach State men's volleyball player Taylor Gregory is spending the beginning of this month at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., training with the U.S. Men's Junior National Volleyball Team as the squad prepares for the FIVB Men's U21 World Championships.
The sophomore middle blocker was one of 12 players selected to the final roster that will represent the United States at the World Championships, which will be held in Ankara and Izmir, Turkey, Aug. 22-Sept. 1.
"I'm excited for the chance to get some international experience," Gregory said. "It's amazing to be able to represent the country, and obviously Long Beach State as well. I'm definitely looking forward to getting more reps and improving my game and hope to bring that experience and improved skill level back for next season."
As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Gregory played a key role in the 49ers' best season in five years. They finished the campaign with a 24-8 overall record, an 18-6 mark in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action and advanced to the finals of the MPSF Tournament for the first time since 2006.
Gregory was the 2013 NCAA National Collegiate Statistical Champion in blocks per set, leading the country with a 1.47 blocking average. He established a 49er freshman record with 156 total blocks while also registering 1.23 kills per set and a .394 hitting percentage. Gregory received All-MPSF honorable mention recognition and was selected to the conference's all-freshman team.