By DENNIS CHASE
TRAVERSE CITY — It was a big year for Alisha Glass.
But an even bigger year awaits the former Leland standout.
Glass made the transition in 2010 from collegiate volleyball — the All-American helped Penn State to three consecutive NCAA championships — to international volleyball as a member of the U.S. women's national team.
In the process, Glass put herself in position for a possible berth on the 2012 Olympic team.
"I think by the end of next summer everyone is going to have a pretty good idea (who's on the Olympic team)," said her mother and high school coach, Laurie.
Glass, who is playing professionally in Brazil this winter, had a busy summer and fall on the national team, playing in the Tour of China, the Pan American Cup, the FIVB World Grand Prix, the Tour of Brazil and the FIVB World Championship.
"It doesn't get any higher (level of competition) than that," Laurie Glass said.
The U.S. won the gold medal in the World Grand Prix — and Alisha was one of the stars of the tournament, earning the Best Setter award. The U.S., after a slow start, won its final 11 matches. Glass set the U.S. to a .300 hitting efficiency and 40.7 kill percent. Overall, she averaged 2.94 digs and 11.54 assists.
The U.S. finished fourth at the World Championships. Glass had an 8.43 running sets average, third-best for the tournament after leading the category heading into the final match.
Glass returned from that tournament in Japan in mid-November, then left for Brazil about a week later. She plays on the same team (Volei Futuro) as the U.S. libero, three-time Olympian Stacy Sykora.
Glass will play six months for her team in Brazil — a tournament in Switzerland is also on the schedule — then she'll come back when the U.S. national team starts its season in May.