United States Announces 14-Player Roster for 2017 Pan Am Cup

  0 Braden Keith | June 15th, 2017 | International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, U.S. Women's Volleyball

2017 Pan Am Cup

  • June 17th-25th
  • Peru
  • Qualification Event for 2018 World Championships

The United States has finalized its 14-player roster for the 2017 Pan American Cup that will be held from June 17th-25th in Peru. The announcement of the roster came after the team’s final big training event, a Tuesday-night friendly with the Canadian women.

The roster is full of youth and light on experience; not a single member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team will play at this year’s Pan Am Cup. The Americans, as the defending World Champions, receive an automatic berth to next year’s World Championship tournament, which gives them the freedom to use this tournament to test new players and rest some of their stars. That’s a big theme of this summer for Team USA – they have only two Olympians on their preliminary roster for the 2017 Grand Prix season as well.

Head coach Karch Kiraly says that this team reminds him of the 2013 squad with all of the new faces involved.

“This is a much more thorough experience for this team,” Kiraly said. “It reminds me of four years ago when Kim Hill had never been in the gym, same with Kelly Murphy and Rachael Adams. We had a number of people who were brand new and very quickly started figuring things out. The ultimate example was Kim Hill. After just a year and half with the team, Kim led us with an MVP performance to gold at the FIVB World Championship.”

Among the players who are fresh off their final seasons of All-American college volleyball include Justine Wong-Orantes (libero, Nebraska); Lauren Carlini (setter, Wisconsin); Paige Tapp (middle blocker, Minnesota); and Amber Rolfzen (middle blocker, Nebraska). In total, 11 different colleges are represented on the 10-player roster:

Alma Maters of 2017 Pan Am Cup Roster:

  • Illinois – 2
  • Nebraska – 2
  • Oregon – 2
  • Penn State – 2
  • Wisconsin – 1
  • Arizona – 1
  • Purdue – 1
  • Texas – 1
  • Minnesota – 1
  • Florida – 1

“There are some real positives,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said after the match. “We had a good, long six weeks training block before this and we did some nice things. With the stress of competition and a live crowd – some of our habits are harder to stay with, and so some of our habits broke down too. That is a great learning opportunity. But we had some positives in every phase of the game. Our passers were passing at a much higher level than they have in the last few weeks. So the work they have been putting in is really good. We didn’t serve in as much as we need to. We would like to serve in nine out of every 10 at least – 90 percent. We were really below that (82 percent). But the serves that went in caused some real problems for Canada.”

Carlini, Hancock, Courtney, Kingdon, Alhassan and Wong-Orantes all played at last year’s Pan Am Cup, which was a much lower-stakes event than is this year’s. Drews, McCage, Benson, Tapp, McMahon and Rolfzen each played their first career national team matches in the Canadian friendly. McMahon, a 6’6″ opposite, was never better than an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American in college, but has blossomed while playing the last two professional seasons in Korea. She is now fully-recovered after fully-fracturing her left ring finger in February, and has been named the MVP of the Korean league in each of the last two years.

The winners and runners-up of each of 3 preliminary pools will automatically qualify for the 2018 FIVB World Championships. Unlike the European qualifying, the tournament will still be played to an eventual champion.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for Pan Am Cup
# – Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Nebraska, Cypress, California)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-1, Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
9 – Madi Kingdon (OH, 6-1, Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-3, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Maryville, Illinois)
17 – Megan Courtney (OH, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
18 – Sonja Newcombe (OH, 6-1, Oregon, Lake Arrowhead, California)
16 – Molly McCage (M, 6-3, Texas, Spring, Texas)
20 – Amanda Benson (L, 5-7, Oregon, Litchfield Park, Arizona)
21 – Paige Tapp (M, 6-1, Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
23 – Liz McMahon (OPP, 6-6, Illinois, Liberty Township, Ohio)
26 – Amber Rolfzen (M, 6-3, Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
27 – Rhamat Alhassan (M, 6-4, Florida, Glenarden, Maryland)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue, Jon Newman-Gonchar
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu
Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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