USA Volleyball has finalized their 12-player roster for the upcoming U20 World Championships.
The list has been whittled down from the 16-player training roster invited to camp from July 2nd-12th in Colorado Springs.
Only 7 members of the team that won the U20 Pan Am Cup is being taken to the World Championships: Brionne Butler, Tiffany Clark, Paige Hammons, Regan Pittman, MacKenzi Welsh, Holly Carlton, and Pan Am Cup MVP Thayer Hall will make up half of the team heading to Boca del Rio and Cordoba, Mexico for the U20 World Championships.
They’ll be joined by Ronika Stone, Norene Iosia, Gabby Curry, Rachael Kramer, and Leah Edmond.
11 of the 12 players have already spent at least a semester in college (which in some cases, like Brionne Butler, isn’t necessarily a playing season – she enrolled early). The exception is Hall, a two-time Gatorade South Carolina Player of the Year, who is headed to the University of Florida in the fall of 2018.
The University of Kentucky will be represented by 2 players on the roster, while Florida will have 3 (including future-Gator Hall).
Players by College:
- Florida – 3 (including Hall)
- Kentucky – 2
- Minnesota – 1
- North Carolina – 1
- Oregon – 1
- Hawaii – 1
- Michigan – 1
- Wisconsin – 1
- Texas – 1
The team is being headed by Texas A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli, who doesn’t have any players on the roster. Texaxs’ Jerritt Elliott coached the Pan Am Cup team.
“From my personal perspective, it has been a blast,” Corbelli said. “We have had great competition daily with a high level of athletes. At the same time, we have had lots of fun with different scoring drills and a couple outings here in Colorado Springs. It has been a phenomenal training camp with this group of athletes.”
“This team is an extremely competitive group in terms of individual athletes,” Corbelli said. “They are physical and play very high. Our passing has improved a ton. It is reassuring to know it is as good as it is, because once we get a good first contact, our hitters have a hay day. Offensively, this is a very strong group.”
During the training camp, the coaching staff keyed on three areas that it felt will impact the squad the most during the World Championship.
“We are offensively dominant, so we spent a lot of time serving, passing and blocking,” Corbelli said. “These are the areas we thought we needed the most attention as it will help us win and cause us to lose.”
The FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship is a 16-team event with four pools of four teams playing a round-robin format in the first round. The top two teams in each pool advance to the gold bracket, while the bottom two teams in each pool will battle for positions 9-16.
Team USA, which is part of Pool C in Boca del Rio, opens the competition against Brazil on July 14, followed by NORCECA rival Cuba on July 15, Serbia on July 16. Brazil qualified for the World Championship by winning the 2016 South American Women’s U20 Championship.
“The first match against Brazil will be so important,” Corbelli said. “We will learn as we go. In that initial match, we need to be ready. We have to be able to make adjustments on the spot. We don’t know as much about them, and I am not sure how much they know about us. As for Cuba and Serbia, we will get a chance to see them before we play.”
“We are rested and healthy,” Corbelli said. “I believe we can have a lot of success and we are going into the tournament believing we will have a lot of success.”
The United States will play in Pool C in Boca del Rio. Their schedule:
Pool C at Boca del Rio, Mexico
- July 14: USA vs. Brazil, 10 p.m. ET
- July 15: USA vs. Cuba, 9 p.m. ET
- July 16: USA vs. Serbia, 7 p.m. ET
Pool A includes host Mexico, Bulgaria, Egypt and Russia. Pool B included China, Dominican Republic, Peru and Poland. Pool D has Argentina, Italy, Japan and Turkey.
U.S. Women’s Junior National Team
# – Name (Position, 2017 Club/College, Height, Hometown, Region)
1 – Brionne Butler (M, University of Texas, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, Lone Star)
2 – Tiffany Clark (L, University of Wisconsin, 5-11, Naperville, Illinois, Great Lakes)
3 – Thayer Hall (OH, Upward Stars, 6-3, Moore, South Carolina, Palmetto)
4 – Paige Hammons (OH, University of Florida, 6-2, Louisville, Kentucky, Pioneer)
5 – Regan Pittman (M, University of Minnesota, 6-5, Spring Hill, Kansas, Heart of America)
6 – Holly Carlton (OPP, University of North Carolina, 6-7, Sterling, Virginia, Chesapeake)
8 – Ronika Stone (OPP, University of Oregon, 6-2, San Jose, California, Northern California)
11 – Norene Iosia (S, University of Hawaii, 5-11, Torrance, California, Southern California)
12 – MacKenzi Welsh (S, University of Michigan, 6-1, Bolingbrook, Illinois, Great Lakes)
14 – Gabby Curry (L, University of Kentucky, 5-9, Buford, Georgia, Southern)
15 – Rachael Kramer (M, University of Florida, 6-8, Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona)
17 – Leah Edmond (OH, University of Kentucky, 6-2, Lexington, Kentucky, Pioneer)
Head Coach: Laurie Corbelli (head coach at Texas A&M University)
Assistant Coach: Blake Rawlins (head trainer at Top Select Volleyball Academy)
Assistant Coach: Jay Van Vark (assistant coach at Grand Canyon University)
Team Leader: Tom Pingel (USA Volleyball High Performance)
Athletic Trainer: Ronni Beatty-Kollasch (University of Minnesota)