On August 2, the official 2018 NORCECA Girls U18 Continental roster was announced. Out of the 20 girls that competed for a spot on the 12-person roster, two girls from California were selected for the Honduras-based tournament. Outside-hitter Allison Jacobs from West Ranch High School and Legacy Volleyball Club was one of them. “It was definitely one of the best days of my life because I’ve been dreaming of this since the sixth grade,” Jacobs said. “When we heard our names, we all had to leave the gym and we started to cry,” she continued. “I even called my mom crying because it was such a special moment.” Training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado since July 20, the girls had two-a-day practices for the following 14 days with only one day off in that span. “It was hard but we ran our system and developed connections with setters, since I’m a hitter, and hitters,” Jacobs said. “I already miss them so much,” she added. “They are literally my best friends because we spent so much time together and we have so much in common.” Jacobs recounted one practice where the fire alarm went off in the middle of practice and the whole team had to go down into a tornado shelter for cover. “I mean, I don’t know what a tornado is and I’ve never seen one,” she said, “so that was pretty different.” Struggling to get up to the speed of the game in the first week, Jacobs made some adjustments and thanks to some healthy competition, can now see the ball clearer and compete at the speed she knows she’s capable of. Leaving in 10 days, Jacobs can now focus on another significant moment that will take place when she leaves for Honduras: exploring a new country. “This is going to be my first time out of the country,” Jacobs said. “I’m so excited because it’s a new adventure that I get to experience with my best friends. The hotel rooms and the team bonding and all that should be fun.” Finishing as the runner-up in the 2016 Championships, the 2018 US Girls Youth National Team begins play on Aug. 25 and will go until Sept. 2.