ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio will be represented nationally with USA Field Hockey as Kendall Ballard was named to the U.S. U-21 National Team, the squad announced on June 21.
"The past two years have made me a lot more confident in myself as a player,' Ballard said. "But getting selected for this team has really given me proof for myself that I am meant to be there."
Ballard earned her spot on the final roster following the completion of the 2017 Young Women's National Championship, which featured more than 130 of the most elite female collegiate and post-collegiate athletes from around the country on June 16. Four days of intense training and practice at the National Camp followed June 17-20 and resulted in 67 athletes named to both the U.S. Women's National Team and the U.S. Women's National Development Squad.
"The camp was the best experience ever, it was intense when it came to the physical play but it was also mentally challenging," Ballard said. "It helped me grow and become a better player in general."
Ballard was a consistent leader for the Bobcats in the 2016 season. Starting in 16 matches, Ballard led the team in goals with 16 and points with 28. The sophomore also led Ohio in shots and shots on goal with 55 and 31 respectively.
Following the 2016 season, Ballard was named to the Academic All-MAC Team as well as a Longstreth/NFHCA All-West Region Second Team honoree and was named to the ZAG Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad.
"I definitely feel like I have become a more confident player and I've become more vocal," Ballard said. "Having something to almost support that confidence has allowed me to be a little more outspoken and grow into a better player. I hope to spread that and help everyone else on the team to have that same intensity and emotion towards the game and hopefully that will carry throughout the season."