2017 Taipei Summer Universiade (World University Games) – Women’s Tournament
The women’s tournament at the 2017 World University Games get underway on Monday from Taiwan, where 12 players will represent the United States in the biannual multi-sport event for university students around the world.
College students who are 28 years old or younger (that will change to 25 starting with the 2019 Summer Universiade) are eligible to compete if they have been in college classes in the last year before the event. Note that exhausting NCAA eligibility does not have any impact on an athlete’s ability to compete in the students-only competition, so long as they meet the other eligibility requirements.
Unlike the men’s team, which is star-studded and loaded with players from big-time California schools (where classes start later in the year) and those who have exhausted their eligibility (like Ohio State’s Miles Johnson), the women’s team is made up exclusively of players who have exhausted their eligibility. That’s because women’s college teams are in the midst of final preparations for the upcoming NCAA season, with training camps well underway and the first counting matches next weekend.
In fact, there’s only one player who made any of the three VolleyMob All-America teams last season on the American roster: and that’s former Alabama offensive juggernaut Krystal Rivers, who completed her collegiate eligibility last fall. Rivers was named to the VolleyMob All-America third team and the AVCA All-American Honorable Mention team last year after ranking 2nd in the NCAA in kills per set (5.88), points (803.5) and total kills (705) last year. She’s preparing to start her pro career at Beziers in France alongside fellow All-American Amber Rolfzen.
In fact, only a single team in the AVCA pre-season top 25 is represented on the World University Games roster: Florida State, with outside hitter Katie Horton, who completed her college eligibility last year, making the trip to Taiwan.
This means that to find this roster is a delicate balance – players must be out of eligibility, which means they’re either planning to turn pro, or have been willing to stay in volleyball shape after the conclusion of their senior seasons just to prepare for this tournament. For those who are continuing to play, they must be free of National Team and pro league conflicts as well.
All 12 players played their senior seasons for different schools, giving the team a broad diversity of experiences.
The United States will begin their pool play on Monday with a match against Japan.
USA Women Pool C Shcedule:
- August 21: USA vs. Japan at 15:00 Taipei time (3AM New York Time)
- August 22: USA vs. Latvia at 15:00 Taipei time (3AM New York Time)
- August 23: USA vs. Thailand at 15:00 Taipei time (3AM New York Time)
USA Women’s Roster for the 2017 World University Games:
- Madeline Garda, Libero, Bowling Green St.
- Danielle Harbin, Outside Hitter, University of Arkansas
- Maggie Speaks, Setter, North Carolina State University
- Val Jeffery, Setter, Youngstown State University
- Jazzmine McDonald, Middle Blocker, University of Indiana
- Ashley Mariani, Middle Blocker, University of Iowa
- Imani Wimbush, Opposite, Gonzaga
- Katie Horton, Outside Hitter, Florida State
- Teegan Van Gunst, Outside Hitter, Georgia Tech
- Krystal Rivers, Opposite, University of Alabama
- Jenelle Jordan, Middle Blocker, Cal
- Jordan Tucker, Middle Blocker, Duke
- Head Coach- Joe Trinsey
- Assistant Coach- Elizabeth Stemke
- Assistant Coach- Sander Cohen
- Trainer- Shannon Murphy