USA’s First Red-Blue Scrimmage Features Return of Tori Dixon

  0 Nathan Davis | May 16th, 2017 | Press Releases, U.S. Women's Volleyball


  • May 12, 2017
  • Murrieta Mesa High School; Murrieta, California
  • Full Stats

The USA women’s volleyball team hosted its first Red-Blue scrimmage of the summer. While the scrimmage saw some familiar faces, most of the players participating were new to USA’s gym.

The scrimmage consisted of five sets that were all to 15 points. Head Coach Karch Kiraly used shorter sets to challenge the players to work together to find solutions, “From a competitive side, we challenged everyone to find solutions quickly in the 15-point set only format, and USA’s problem-solving improved as the evening progressed.” All of the participating players played on both Red and Blue teams; being switched around by the coaches to see how that player worked with all of the other players.

A newcomer to the USA gym, opposite Liz McMahon led all scorers with 10 kills, three aces, and three blocks. Also a newcomer, outside hitter Megan Courtney added seven kills, three blocks, and an ace. Opposite Krystal Rivers charted nine kills and an ace, hitting an impressive .429%. Opposite Kadie Rolfzen and outside hitter Sonja Newcombe each contributed seven points. Returning to the USA gym, outside hitter Michelle Bartsch, who was an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team, totaled six points.

The scrimmage featured four setters, three of which were making their first appearance with the USA senior national team. The three newcomers were: Micha Hancock, Madi Bugg, Val Nichol. Lexi Dannemiller was the lone returner. On the defensive side, three liberos saw action with USA for the first time: Justine Wong-Orantes, Morgan Heise, and Amanda Benson.

In her first game back from an ACL tear in January 2016, middle blocker Tori Dixon finished with five kills and three blocks, with a .364 hitting percentage. In the 2015 season, Dixon was named “Best Blocker” in the FIVB Wold Cup. Then again in 2016, Dixon was named “Best Blocker” of the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament. Dixon was excited to be back on the court for USA finally, “It felt great to be on the court again, I’ve been in Anaheim training and working with our coaches, strength coaches, and athletic trainers for such a long time it was awesome to be able to go out and play free knowing that I’ve done the work to play at a high level without pain or problems.”

Dixon relied on her senior experience to help the younger players successfully make the transition to the USA gym, “I was doing my best to help the younger players as much as possible to elevate the play and I think overall it was a good first scrimmage for a lot of players, myself included.”

Player (Position, 2016-17 Pro Club, College, Hometown)
Inky Ajanaku (Middle, Rehabbing in USA, Stanford, Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Rhamat Alhassan (Middle, College Senior-to-Be, Florida, Glenarden, Maryland)
Michelle Bartsch (Outside, Bolzano (Italy), Illinois, Maryville, Illinois)
Amanda Benson (Libero, Final Season in College, Oregon, Litchfield Park, Arizona)
Madi Bugg (Setter, NUC (Switzerland), Stanford, Apex, North Carolina)
Lauren Carlini * (Setter, Final Season in College, Wisconsin, Aurora, Illiniis)
Megan Courtney (Outside, Wroclaw (Poland), Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
Lexi Dannemiller (Setter, Schweriner (Germany), Michigan, West Chester, Ohio)
Tori Dixon (Middle, Rehabbing in USA, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
Kristen Hahn (Libero, Did Not Compete, Iowa State, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Micha Hancock (Setter, Wroclaw (Poland), Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
Morgan Heise (Libero, Final Season in College, SMU, Hempstead, Texas)
Madi Kingdon (Outside, IBK (Korea), Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
Molly McCage (Middle, Wiesbaden (Germany), Texas, Spring, Texas)
Liz McMahon (Opposite, Dresden (Germany), Illinois, Liberty Township, Ohio)
Kelly Murphy (Opposite, Henan (China), Florida, Wilmington, Illinois)
Sonja Newcombe (Outside, Sichuan (China), Oregon, Lake Arrowhead, California)
Val Nichol (Setter, MTV Stuttgart (Germany), Purdue, Normal, Illinois)
Amber Rolfzen (Middle, Dresden (Germany), Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
Kadie Rolfzen (Opposite, Dresden (Germany), Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
Hannah Tapp (Middle, Schweriner (Germany), Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
Sarah Wilhite * (Outside Hitter, Final Season in College, Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
Aiyana Whitney (Outside Hitter, MTV Stuttgart (Germany), Penn State, Norwood, New Jersey)
Justine Wong-Orantes (Libero, Final Season in College, Nebraska, Cypress, California)
Carly Wopat ^ (Middle, Toray (Japan), Stanford, Santa Barbara, California)
Notes: * Wilhite and Carlini begin on May 16; ^ Wopat begins on May 17

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About Nathan Davis

Nathan Davis

Nathan Davis has been around volleyball his whole life. His senior year of high school he coached his own girl's high school volleyball team to a 27-6-1 record and a fourth place finish at the state tournament. He then went on to compete at the collegiate level for two years …

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