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Kiraly Announces Preliminary Roster for USA Volleyball Cup

By Bill Kauffman | June 29, 2013, 3:11 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman, USA Volleyball Senior Manager of Communications, Phone: 719-228-6800, Email: bill.kauffman@usav.org
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 29, 2013) - The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will have six players with Olympic Games experience headlining its USA Volleyball Cup roster as the team faces Japan in a three-match series July 10-13.

The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), begins the series with No. 3 Japan on July 10 at UC San Diego, followed by a July 12 match at Long Beach State University. The series concludes on July 13 at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. All three matches, which will be streamed live, will start at 7 p.m. PT.

General admission ticket prices are $20 for adults and $5 for youth ages 18-and-under for each match, online or at the door. Children 3-and-under will be admitted free. To purchase tickets online for any of the three USA Volleyball Cup series matches or for more information, visit www.usvaolleyballcup.com.

Olympians on the roster include five-time Olympian Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La.) and two-time Olympian Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), who both won silver medals at the past two Olympic Games. Joining them on the roster are 2012 Olympic silver medalists Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.), Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.), Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.).

“It is a wonderful opportunity to prepare for tournaments by hosting quality opponents beforehand,” said Scott, who will have the chance to play at her alma mater Long Beach State during the USA Volleyball Cup. “Having a chance to compete in front of our family, friends and fans is awesome and far too rare. So we are totally excited. Long Beach State did an outstanding job hosting the men's NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament in 2012. I am looking forward to playing in the Pyramid again.”

Japan’s 15-player roster will include 2012 Olympic Games bronze medalists Saori Kimura, Yukiko Ebata and Risa Simnabe. The rest of the Japan’s roster will be finalized early next week.

U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly, in his first year leading the program after serving as an assistant coach from 2009 to 2012, will be making his head coaching debut on domestic soil during the USA Volleyball Cup after leading the team to victory at the 2013 Pan American Cup earlier this month in Peru. He will utilize a 23-player roster that will change out with each match in the USA Volleyball Cup series. He will have seven outside hitters, six middle blockers, four opposites, three setters and three liberos to choose from for each match.

The setters include Thompson, Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio). The liberos are Davis, Miyashiro and Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa). The opposites are Alaina Bergsma (Chandler, Ariz.), Juliann Faucette (San Diego), Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.).

The outside hitters are Larson-Burbach, Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah), Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.), Regan Hood (Carrollton, Texas), Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) and Sonja Newcombe (Lake Arrowhead, Calif.). The middle blockers are Harmotto, Scott, Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.), Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.).

The roster has six players hailing from the Southern California Region.

“The USA Volleyball Cup is a fantastic event connecting our Women’s National Team with the Southern California community in which we’re based, and of course providing competition against one of the world’s great teams,” Kiraly said. “To inaugurate this Cup, it is an honor that Japan has accepted to compete and renew a storied rivalry of tours across the United States and in Japan.”

The USA Volleyball Cup is a new initiative that will draw elite teams to the United States to compete in an annual tour series with the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams. Such events will help foster local community ties to the two National Team programs and the City of Anaheim where the teams train.

Both the United States and Japan will be using the USA Volleyball Cup to prepare for the upcoming FIVB World Grand Prix that starts in August. The U.S. has won the World Grand Prix the past three years. The USA Volleyball Cup roster mirrors the U.S. roster that will be used at the FIVB World Grand Prix with the exception of Larson-Burbach not competing in the annual premier international volleyball tournament for women.

Team USA is already off to a 5-0 start to the 2013 campaign. Adams, Banwarth, Fawcett, Gibbemeyer, Glass, Hagglund, Hildebrand, Hill, Lichtman, Murphy and Paolini all helped the U.S. capture the 2013 Pan American Cup in the team’s opening tournament of the season. Fawcett was named the most valuable player and best server, while Banwarth was the best receiver. Since the 2012 season, the U.S. is 35-2 overall.

To follow the USA Volleyball Cup and the series with Japan, visit the dedicated Facebook page at click here.

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