U.S. Women's National Volleyball A2 Program Drafts Team Rosters

June 27, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

by Deb Stadick for USA Volleyball

Click here to read Kaitlyn Leary’s blog.

Click here to read Hannah Johnson’s blog.

DALLAS (June 27, 2013) - After three days of training, the 47 college athletes participating in the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Volleyball A2 Program divided into four teams (Gold, Red, White and Blue) for the competition block being held June 29 to July 3 at the Dallas Convention Center in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.

The four teams will compete against each other in round-robin pool play June 29 to July 1, playing one best-of-five match each day.

At the conclusion of pool play, the four teams will be seeded for the July 2-3 playoff matches.

On July 2, the semifinal matches will feature the first-place team in pool verus the fourth-place team and the second-place team versus the third-place team.

On July 3, the winners of the semifinal matches will face off for gold, while the losers will battle for bronze.

Team Gold is led by head coach Andy Banachowski. Linda Hampton will serve as his assistant coach. Team Gold‘s 12-player roster carries two setters, two defensive specialists, three middle blockers and five pin hitters.

Elizabeth Koberstein (Madison, Wis./Marquette University) and Deedra Foss (McKenna, Wash./Colorado State University) will set for Team Gold. Veronica Lewis (San Jose, Calif./University of Arizona) and Annemarie Hickey (Oswego, Ill./University of Wisconsin) will hold down the backcourt as Team Gold’s defensive specialists. Alexis Mathews (Detroit, Mich./Michigan State University), Litara Keil (Long Beach, Calif./Loyola Marymount University) and Zoe Nightingale (Sacramento, Calif./UCLA) will play middle blocker for Team Gold. Rounding out the roster are Team Gold’s five pin hitters: Taylor Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo./University of Colorado), Mackenzie Bigbee (Williamsburg, Iowa/Iowa State University), Morgan Odale (Star, Idaho/University of Utah), Maddy Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif./UCLA) and Nicole Walch (Stuart, Fla./Florida State University).

Banachowski is excited about his squad, and thinks they have a chance of contending for the gold medal.

“We are pretty pleased with the kids we ended up drafting,” Banachowski said. “We feel that we are going to be a very strong team at the net with our hitting and blocking. We are expecting that to be our strength. We have a couple days left to get ourselves ready for the competition, which we are really looking forward too.”

Team Red is led by Head coach Bill Neville and assistant coach Ashley Allen. Team Red’s 12-player roster carries two setters, two defensive specialists, three middle blockers and five pin hitters.

At setter, Team Red has Hannah Johnson (Longview, Wash/University of New Mexico) and Rainette Uiato (Long Beach, Calif. /University of Hawaii). Kori Moster (Cincinnati, Ohio/Michigan State University) and Caitlin Welch (Louisville, Ky./University of Louisville) will play defensive specialist for Team Red. At middle blocker, Team Red has Casey Hinger (Fullerton, Calif. /Cal State Northridge), Courtney Windham (Houston, Texas/University of North Texas) and Kierra Jones (Fishers, Ind./Purdue University). Team Red’s five pin hitters are Moneshia Simmons (Buford, Ga./Clemson University), Kathleen Luft (Thousand Oaks, Calif. /Loyola Marymount University), Chelsey Schofield (Provo, Utah/University of Utah), Valerie Nichol (Normal, Ill. /Purdue University) and Shar Manu-Olevao (Honolulu, Hawaii/University of Hawaii).

Neville is excited about his squad and the potential he has seen so far in training.

“When we made our team, we were looking for good setting and thugs,” Neville said. “We were looking for players with a passion for putting the ball on the floor. And that’s what we got. We have some thugs.”

Team White is led by head coach Mike Hebert and assistant coach Marci Sanders. Team White’s 11-player roster carries two setters, one defensive specialist, three middle blockers and five pin hitters.

At setter for Team White are Courtney Thomas (DeKalb, Ill. /University of Wisconsin) and Hannah Kvitle (Quincy, Ill. /University of Louisville). Carly Cramer (Martinsville, Ind. /Purdue University) will hold down the back court for Team White as the squad’s sole defensive specialist. At middle blocker, Team White has Brooke Mattingly (St. Henry, Ohio/ University of Louisville), DeLaina Sarden (Lawrenceville, Ga./ University of Central Florida) and Kathryn LeCheminant (Layton, Utah/Brigham Young University). Ashley Battle (Apex, N.C./Club Red), Whitney Billings (Helena, Ala. /University of Kentucky), Kaitlyn Leary (Parma, Ohio/Ohio State University), Ellen Chapman (Glenview, Ill./ University of Wisconsin) and Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill. /Michigan State University) round out Team White’s roster.

Hebert and his staff anticipate a competitive tournament and think success is dependent upon how much the team picks up on during the next few team practices.

“I think our ability to do well in the tournament is going to depend upon how quickly we can learn a very abbreviated version of an offense and defense,” Hebert said. “We are all in the same boat on that one (the teams). I think our girls have enough knowledge of basic system play that they will be able to hold their own in a match. I really like the combination of talent and psychological roles we have on the team.”

Team Blue is led by head coach Ruth Nelson and her assistant coach Mike Gawlik. Their 12-player roster carries two setters, two defensive specialists, three middle blockers and five pin hitters.

Hannah Tedrow (Foothill Ranch, Calif./ Loyola Marymount University)and Mackenzie Dagostino (Tampa, Fla./ University of Maryland) will set for Team Blue. At defensive specialist for Team White are Kristen Hahn (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Iowa State University) and Ellen Mullins (Nashville, Tenn. / University of Tennessee). The middle blockers for Team Blue are Adreene Elliott (Winston-Salem, N.C./ University of Maryland), Simone Antwi (Fairfax Station, Va. /University of Florida) and Ariana Williams (Riverside, Calif./University of Oregon). Team Blue’s five pin hitters are Chantale Riddle (Roswell, N.M./ University of New Mexico), Kimberly Dahl (Pleasant Grove, Utah/ Brigham Young University), Ashley Wittman (Shakopee, Minn./ University of Minnesota), Victoria Hurtt (Kansas City, Mo./ Iowa State University) and Annie Drews (Elkhart, Ind./Purdue University).

Nelson and her staff have been pleased with her roster and with how quickly the team has come together.

“The results from the draft were the team and the group that we wanted,” Nelson said. “It was pretty funny. We talked about it, and the combination of physical ability, above-the-net play and personality has created an unbelievable level of intensity for this group. The group we have is so physical and so determined to be a team and work together. The intensity is there. Everyone wants to play hard, enjoy their time, learn and become better for their collegiate season.”

With four talented teams chomping at the bit to compete, the competition block June 30-July 3 at the Dallas Convention Center promises to be an intense display of elite volleyball.

Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
8-Veronica Lewis (L/DS, University of Arizona, San Jose, Calif., 2, Vision)
11-Litara Keil (MB, Loyola Marymount University, Long Beach, Calif., 2, Sports Shack)
15- Alexis Mathews (MB, Michigan State University, Detroit, Mich., 1, The Victors)
22-Annemarie Hickey (L/DS, University of Wisconsin, Oswego, Ill., 1, 1st Alliance)
23-Taylor Simpson (OH, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2, Colorado Juniors)
25-Deedra Foss (S, Colorado State University, McKenna, Wash., 2, Kent Juniors)
29-Elizabeth Koberstein (S, Marquette University, Madison, Wis., 1, Capital)
31-Mackenzie Bigbee (Opp, Iowa State University, Williamsburg, Iowa, 3, Six Pack)
33-Morgan Odale (OH, University of Utah, Star, Idaho, 1, Idaho Stars)
37- Zoe Nightingale (MB, UCLA, Sacramento, Calif., 2, SynergyForce)
38-Maddy Klineman (OH, UCLA, Manhattan Beach, Calif., 3, Rockstar)
47- Nicole Walch (OH, Florida State University, Stuart, Fla., 3, Treasure Coast)
Coaches: Andy Banachowski, Linda Hampton

Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
4 - Kori Moster (L/DS, Michigan State University, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2, Team Z)
5 - Moneshia Simmons (Opp, Clemson University, Buford, Ga., 1, NFC Volleyball)
7 - Caitlin Welch (L/DS, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky., 1, MAVA)
10 - Kathleen Luft (OH, Loyola Marymount University, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 1, Santa Monica)
18 - Hannah Johnson (S, University of New Mexico, Longview, Wash., 3, Cowlitz)
24 - Chelsey Schofield (OH, University of Utah, Provo, Utah, 2, Club Utah)
26 - Mita Uiato (S, University of Hawaii, Long Beach, Calif., 1, Laguna Beach)
27 - Casey Hinger (MB, Cal State Northridge, Fullerton, Calif., 2, Cal Juniors)
28 - Valerie Nichol (Opp, Purdue University, Normal, Ill, 2, Illini Elite)
36 - Tai Manu-Olevao (OH, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, 3, Asics Rainbows)
42 - Courtney Windham (MB, University of North Texas, Houston, Texas, 1, Willowbrook)
43 - Kierra Jones (MB, Purdue University, Fishers, Ind., 2, Munciana)
Coaches: Bill Neville and Ashley Allen

Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
3 - Ashley Battle (Opp, Virginia Tech, Apex, N.C., 4, Club Red)
12 - Whitney Billings (Opp, University of Kentucky, Helena, Ala., 1, Birmingham Volleyball)
13 - Kaitlyn Leary (OH, Ohio State University, Parma, Ohio, 1, CVC)
14 - Brooke Mattingly (MB, University of Louisville, St. Henry, Ohio, 1, Team Atlantis)
16 - DeLaina Sarden (MB, University of Central Florida, Lawrenceville, Ga., 2, A5 Mizuno)
21 - Courtney Thomas (S, University of Wisconsin, DeKalb, Ill., 2, Mizuno SPVB)
30 - Hannah Kvitle (S, University of Louisville, Quincy, Ill., 2, STL CYC)
32 - Ellen Chapman (OH, University of Wisconsin, Glenview, Ill., 2, Sky High)
34 - Carly Cramer (L/DS, Purdue University, Martinsville, Ind., 1, Circle City)
41 -Lauren Wicinski (OH, Michigan State University, Geneva, Ill., 1, Kane County)
46-Kathryn LeCheminant (MB, Brigham Young University, Layton, Utah, 1, Club V)
Coaches: Mike Hebert and Marci Sanders

Name (Position, College, Hometown, Remaining Eligibility, Club)
1 - Chantale Riddle (Opp, University of New Mexico, Roswell, N.M., 2, N.A.)
2 - Kristen Hahn (L/DS, Iowa State University, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1, Six Pack)
9 -Hannah Tedrow (S, Loyola Marymount University, Foothill Ranch, Calif., 3, Surf City)
17 - Ellen Mullins (L/DS, University of Tennessee, Nashville, Tenn., 1, Nashville One)
19 - Adreene Elliott (MB, University of Maryland, Winston-Salem, N.C., 2, Set Point)
20 - Mackenzie Dagostino (S, University of Maryland, Tampa, Fla., 3, Tampa Bay Juniors)
35 - Kimberly Dahl (OH, Brigham Young University, Pleasant Grove, Utah, 3, Club Utah)
39 - Ashley Wittman (OH, University of Minnesota, Shakopee, Minn., 1, Northern Lights)
40 - Victoria Hurtt (OH, Iowa State University, Kansas City, Mo., 3, KC Extreme)
44 - Annie Drews (Opp, Purdue University, Elkhart, Ind., 3, NIVA Juniors)
45 - Simone Antwi (MB, University of Florida, Fairfax Station, Va., 3, Virginia Elite)
48 - Ariana Williams (MB, University of Oregon, Riverside, Calif., 1, Club West)
Coaches: Ruth Nelson and Mike Gawlik

*Technical coaches with all WNTA2 teams are Jay Van Vark, Ted Wade and Nicki Holmes

A2 Tournament Schedule

June 29
Gold vs. Blue, 3 p.m. (Court)
Red vs. White, 5:30 p.m. (Court)

June 30
Red vs. Blue, 3 p.m. (Court)
White vs. Gold, 5:30 p.m. (Court)

July 1
Red vs. Gold, 4:30 p.m. (Court)
Blue vs. White, 7 p.m. (Court)

July 2
2nd vs. 3rd, 1 p.m. (Court)
1st vs. 4th, 4 p.m. (Court)

July 3
Bronze-Medal, 11:30 a.m. (Court)
Gold-Medal, 4 p.m. (Court)