USAV Names 16-Member Women's Jr National Training Team

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | June 05, 2017, 6:55 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 5, 2017) – USA Volleyball has announced its 16-player U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team (WJNTT) for which the final 12-player roster will be selected for the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championship.

The World Championship event will be staged July 14-23 in Boca del Rio and Cordoba, Mexico. The U.S. qualified for the World Championship by winning gold at the 2017 Women’s U20 Pan American Cup in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The WJNTT roster has four middles, two liberos, four outside hitters, three opposites and three setters. The middles are Brionne Butler (Kendleton, Texas, University of Texas), Rachael Kramer (Phoenix, Arizona, University of Florida), Regan Pittman (Spring Hill, Kansas, University of Minnesota) and Elle Sandbothe (Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Kansas State University). The four outside hitters are Leah Edmond (Lexington, Kentucky, University of Kentucky), Thayer Hall (Moore, South Carolina, Upward Stars), Paige Hammons (Louisville, Kentucky, University of Florida) and Denise Ssozi (Johnston, Iowa, Air Force Academy).

The three opposites on the WJNTT are Holly Carlton (Sterling, Virginia, University of North Carolina), Mikayla Shields (Orlando, Florida, University of South Carolina) and Ronika Stone (San Jose, California, University of Oregon). The selected setters are Franny Arnautou (San Francisco, California, Yale University), Norene Iosia (Torrance, California, University of Hawaii) and MacKenzi Welsh (Bolingbrook, Illinois, University of Michigan). The two liberos are Tiffany Clark (Naperville, Illinois) and Gabby Curry (Buford, Georgia, University of Kentucky).

“USA Volleyball is excited about the group of athletes who will comprise the 2017 U.S. Women’s Junior National Training Team,” USA Volleyball Senior Director of High Performance and Events Tom Pingel. “It’s a very athletic group that will undoubtedly make for some hard decisions for the coaching staff when naming the World Championship roster.”

Laurie Corbelli, the head coach at Texas A&M, will serve as head coach for the 2017 U.S. Women's Junior National Team at the FIVB Women's U20 World Championship. She will be assisted by Blake Rawlins, head trainer at Top Select Volleyball Academy, and Jay Van Vark, assistant coach at Grand Canyon University.

The WJNTT includes nine players who were on the Women’s U20 Pan American Cup gold-medal team. Hall was named the most valuable player of the tournament. She will be joined by Women’s U20 Pan Am Cup gold medalists Butler, Clark, Hall, Hammons, Pittman, Carlton, Sandbothe, Shields and Welsh.

The WJNTT will train July 2-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

U.S. Women’s Junior National Training 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, TBA, 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)
7 – Elle Sandbothe (M, Kansas State University, 6-0, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Heart of America)
8 – Ronika Stone (OPP, University of Oregon, 6-2, San Jose, California, Northern California)
10 – Mikayla Shields (OPP, University of South Carolina, 6-0, Orlando, Florida, Florida)
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)
13 – Franny Arnautou (S, Yale University, 5-11, San Francisco, California, Northern California)
14 – Gabby Curry (L, University of Kentucky, 5-9, Buford, Georgia, Southern)
15 – Rachael Kramer (MB, University of Florida, 6-8, Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona)
16 – Denise Ssozi (OH, Air Force Academy, 5-8, Johnston, Iowa, Iowa)
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)