USA Volleyball Announces Preliminary Roster for Pan American Cup

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 18th, 2018 | International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, U.S. Women's Volleyball

Last week, USA Volleyball announced that Karsta Lowe was back in the fold and training for a possible spot on the Pan American Cup roster to mark her return to the national team.

On Monday, Team USA released its initial 25-woman roster for the event, including three setters, four liberos, five opposites, six outside hitters and seven middle blockers.

The Americans will play host to a Red-Blue scrimmage on Friday at Irvine Valley College, offering fans a first look at the group as well as coaches another observation period to pare the team down.

While the U.S. Women’s National Team has been busy playing in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League tournament and now preparing for the VNL Final Six (June 27 – July 1), the potential Pan American Cup players have been training since May.

Jon Newman-Gonchar, associate head coach at Arkansas, will act as the head coach at the Pan American Cup. He will be assisted by 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Alisha Glass Childress and JJ Van Niel, associate head coach at USC.

The staff will whittle down the team to a 14-player roster ahead of the tournament, which is set for July 8-14 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Among the 25-player roster are athletes representing 17 colleges:

  • Penn State (3)
  • Minnesota (3)
  • Nebraska (3)
  • Texas (2)
  • Stanford (2)
  • Alabama (1)
  • Arizona (1)
  • Florida (1)
  • Hawaii (1)
  • Illinois (1)
  • Iowa State (1)
  • Oregon (1)
  • UCLA (1)
  • USC (1)
  • Utah (1)
  • Washington (1)
  • Wisconsin (1)

Of the 25 players, just one – Illinois setter Jordan Poulter – has remaining college eligibility.

The roster is as follows:

  • Setters (3): Lauren Carlini (Wisconsin), Kelly Hunter (Nebraska), Jordyn Poulter (Illinois)
  • Liberos (4): Amanda Benson (Oregon), Caroline Knop (Florida), Kristen Tupac (Iowa State), Justine Wong-Orantes (Nebraska)
  • Opposites (5): Brittany Abercrombie (USC), Carly De Hoog (Washington), Karsta Lowe (UCLA), Krystal Rivers (Alabama), Aiyana Whitney (Penn State)
  • Outside Hitters (6): Adora Anae (Utah), Madi Kingdon Rishel (Arizona), Simone Lee (Penn State), Annie Mitchem (Hawaii), Kadie Rolfzen (Nebraska), Sarah Wilhite (Minnesota)
  • Middles (7): Inky Ajanaku (Stanford), Molly McCage (Texas), Chiaka Ogbogu (Texas), Hannah Tapp (Minnesota), Paige Tapp (Minnesota), Haleigh Washington (Penn State), Carly Wopat (Stanford)

Of the group, Wong-Orantes, Wilhite and Benson have been listed among the U.S. Women’s National Team roster during VNL play. Wong-Orantes was the starting libero for the first two matches until Kelsey Robinson took over the role. Benson was listed as the team’s second libero, but was left off the roster after Week 1. Wilhite, an outside hitter, was added in Benson’s roster spot to take Robinson’s place in the offensive lineup. She has seen action in a handful of matches.

VolleyMob will provide updates on the official Pan American Cup roster once they become available.


U.S. Women’s National Team Pan American Cup Preliminary Roster
# – Name (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, University of Illinois, Aurora, Colorado)
2 – Inky Ajanaku (M, 6-3, Stanford University, Tulsa Oklahoma)
3 – Kelly Hunter (S, 5-11, University of Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, University of Nebraska, Cypress, California)
5 – Caroline Knop (L, 5-8, University of Florida, Pasadena, California)
6 – Brittany Abercrombie (OPP, 6-2, University of Southern California, Carlsbad, California)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, University of Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
8 – Krystal Rivers (OPP, 5-11, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama)
9 – Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, University of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
10 – Simone Lee (OH, 6-1, Penn State University, Menomonee, Wisconsin)
11 – Carly Wopat (M, 6-2, Stanford University, Santa Barbara, California)
12 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)
13 – Sarah Wilhite (OH, 6-2, University of Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
14 – Adora Anae (OH, 6-1, University of Utah, Punaluu, Hawaii)
15 – Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Penn State University, Colorado Springs, Colorado)
16 – Kristen Tupac (L, 5-6, Iowa State University, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
17 – Annie Mitchem (OH, 6-3, University of Hawaii, Friendswood, Texas)
18 – Aiyana Whitney (OPP, 6-4, Penn State University, Norwood, New Jersey)
19 – Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
20 – Amanda Benson (L, 5-7, University of Oregon, Litchfield Park, Arizona)
21 – Paige Tapp (M, 6-1, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
22 – Molly McCage (M, 6-3, University of Texas, Spring, Texas)
23 – Carly De Hoog (OPP, 6-4, University of Washington, Ontario, California)
24 – Kadie Rolfzen (OH, 6-3, University of Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
25 – Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, University of Texas, Coppell, Texas)

Head Coach: Jon Newman-Gonchar (associate head coach at University of Arkansas)
Assistant Coach: Alisha Glass Childress (2016 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team bronze medalist)
Assistant Coach: JJ Van Niel (associate head coach at University of Southern California)
Technical Coordinator: Natalie Morgan (assistant coach at Loyola Marymount University)
Team Manager: John Xie
Athletic Trainer: Salvadore Vallejo

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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