EUGENE, Ore. - In order to focus on the new Oregon sand volleyball season and an upcoming tryout with USA Volleyball, junior Liz Brenner has left the Oregon women's basketball team.
"It hurts to leave my teammates and this program," Brenner said. "But I have a chance to take the next step in my volleyball career and I take it very seriously. Balancing my volleyball goals with the demands of the women’s basketball season is just not possible right now.”
Brenner will take part in the USA Volleyball tryouts from Feb. 21 through Feb. 23 at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was already scheduled to miss the women's basketball road trip to Washington and Washington State to take part.
The Oregon sand volleyball team has begun practicing and Brenner will join them immediately. The sand volleyball competition season runs from March 21 through April 12. Sand volleyball was announced as a varsity sport on Sept. 27.
"We are really going to miss Liz," said head coach Paul Westhead. "She is a phenomenal athlete, but we have understood all along that her future lies in volleyball, both here at Oregon and beyond."
Brenner appeared in eight games this season, averaging 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game. She joined the women's basketball program for the Dec. 18 game against Southern after an All-America campaign with the Oregon volleyball team in the fall. Overall for her career, Brenner played in 49 games, including 26 starts. She averaged 6.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Her final appearances with the basketball team were last weekend against UCLA and USC.
Brenner's commitments to the sand volleyball and, potentially, the USA national team should wrap up in time for her to still throw the javelin again this season with the track and field team later in the spring. Brenner finished eighth in the javelin at the NCAA Outdoor Championships a year ago, earning All-America honors.
The Pac-12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships run from May 10 through May 18 in Pullman, Wash., with the NCAA West Prelims from May 29 through May 31. Oregon hosts the NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 11 through June 14.