Atkinson Paces CNT White Over CNT Blue

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | June 28, 2017, 10:20 p.m. (ET)


Sherridan Atkinson leads CNT White with 13 points

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (June 28, 2017) – The U.S. Collegiate National Team – Minneapolis (CNT-Minneapolis) program held its second pool play match on Wednesday at CNT White defeated CNT Blue 25-19, 25-18, 25-21 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The event is being running concurrently with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.

CNT White faces CNT Red on Thursday at 5 p.m. CT to conclude the three-team round robin portion of the tournament. Both teams are 1-0, having swept CNT Blue. Both teams have already advanced to Friday’s championship match that will be played at 5 p.m. CT. All CNT matches are being video streamed live and can be accessed by clicking here.

CNT White was led by opposite Sherridan Atkinson (Purdue University, Long Beach, California, who had nine kills on 16 swings, three blocks and an ace. Middle Faith Dooley (University of North Dakota, Wheatland, North Dakota) added eight points with six kills on nine swings and two aces. Outside hitter Julia Scoles (University of North Carolina, Mooresville, North Carolina) contributed seven points, all on kills via 16 attacks.

Match Stats

Other than slight jitters right before the match started, Atkinson said she felt no pressure wearing a USA jersey for the first time.

“There was a lot of energy,” Atkinson said. “Our team chemistry is out of this world, so it was great finally to put that in a live match. I think we stuck together the whole time, it was fun, there was no stress or anyone yelling at us. I did have butterflies in my stomach just waving at the crowd at the beginning. But it kind of brought me back to our gym in Holloway and playing in front of 3,500-4,000 people.”

CNT White opposite Angel Gaskin (University of Maryland, Tampa, Florida) pocketed three kills, two aces and a block for six points. Middle Jasmine Bennett (University of Louisville, Paducah, Kentucky), middle Deja Harris (San Diego State University, Las Vegas, Nevada) and local product Brittany McLean (University of Minnesota, Rosemount, Minnesota) all scored five points in a balanced effort. Outside hitter Stephanie Williams (University of Pittsburgh, Eastlake, Ohio) charted four kills for CNT White.

CNT White Libero Tita Akiu (Texas Tech, Honolulu, Hawaii) was credited with a 100 positive reception percent on nine chances, while Scoles was 73 percent positive on 11 reception chances. The setting combination of Sydney Griffin (University of North Dakota, Marshall, Minnesota) and Monique Harris (Iowa State University, Clinton, Iowa) led CNT White to a 46 kill percent and .283 hitting efficiency.

For CNT Blue, opposite Amanda Green (University of Louisville, Skokie, Illinois) turned in 10 kills on 21 swings in starting the final two sets. Outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry (BYU, West Jordan, Utah) matched her total with eight kills and two aces for 10 points. Outside hitter Leah Hardeman (Coastal Carolina University, Clarkston, Georgia) charted five kills, while middle Kirstie Hillyer (Colorado State University, Bayfield, Colorado) added two kills and three blocks.

CNT Blue libero Brandi Donnelly (University of Illinois, Williamsville, Illinois) handled 23 receptions with a 70 positive percent, while Brittany Thomas (Lipscomb University, Overland Park, Kansas) handled 15 serves with a 53 positive percent.

CNT White held slim margins of 8-7 in blocks and 6-3 in aces, but used a 42-28 advantage in kills to its benefit as CNT Blue was unable to put the ball away consistently.

The CNT-Minneapolis squad, which is part of USA Volleyball’s High Performance pipeline and is considered a second tryout for the U.S. Women’s National Team, trained at the University of Minnesota from June 22-26 prior to the competition matches at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

2017 U.S. Collegiate National Team - Minneapolis

Red Team
# - Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Junior Club Team)
14 - Rachel Anderson (M, Western Kentucky University, 6-1, 2, Sturgis, Michigan, Dead Frog Far Out)
5 - Emily Butters (L, Missouri State University, 5-8, 2, Richmond, Texas, Southwest Juniors)
29 - Olivia Dailey (S, University of Kentucky, 5-10, 2, Trussville, Alabama, Southern Performance)
28 - Ashley Evans (S, Purdue University, 6-1, 1, Liberty Township, Ohio, Cincy Classics)
21 - Lauren Fuller (OH, University of San Diego, 6-3, 2, Clarendon Hills, Illinois, Sports Performance)
18 - McKenna Granato (OH, University of Hawaii, 6-0, 2, Kailua, Hawaii, Imi ‘Ike)
7 - Darrielle King (M, University of Florida, 6-3, 3, DeSoto, Texas, Texas Advantage Volleyball)
20 - Taryn Kloth (OH, Creighton University, 6-4, 2, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Kairos)
4 - Brooke Peters (L, Purdue University, 5-9, 2, Avon, Indiana, Circle City)
25 - Casey Schoenlein (OPP, Washington State University, 6-5, 1, Bellevue, Washington, Seattle Juniors)
24 - Holly Toliver (OPP, Michigan State University, 6-2, 1, Berrien Springs, Michigan, Dead Frog Far Out)
11 - Amber Witherspoon (M, Syracuse University, 6-4, 2, Chicago, Illinois, No junior club)

Head Coach: Todd Dagenais (University of Central Florida head coach)
Assistant Coach: Marie Zidek (University of San Diego assistant coach)

CNT White Team
# - Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Junior Club Team)
2 - Tita Akiu (L, Texas Tech University, 5-2, 2, Honolulu, Hawaii, Team Piko VBC)
34 - Sherridan Atkinson (OPP, Purdue University, 6-5, 2, Long Beach, California, SoCal Juniors)
8 - Jasmine Bennett (M, University of Louisville, 6-2, 2, Paducah, Kentucky, Western Kentucky VBC)
10 - Faith Dooley (M, University of North Dakota, 6-3, 1, Wheatland, North Dakota, Summit Junior Volleyball)
35 - Angel Gaskin (OPP, University of Maryland, 6-1, 2, Tampa, Florida, Tampa United)
33 - Sydney Griffin (S, University of North Dakota, 5-11, 1, Marshall, Minnesota, Kairos Elite)
12 - Deja Harris (M, San Diego State University, 6-2, 1, Las Vegas, Nevada, Vegas Encore)
32 - Monique Harris (S, Iowa State University, 5-9, 1, Clinton, Iowa, Iowa Select)
23 - Brittany McLean (OH, University of Minnesota, 6-1, 3, Rosemount, Minnesota, Northern Lights)
17 - Julia Scoles (OH, University of North Carolina, 6-1, 3, Mooresville, North Carolina, Carolina Juniors)
16 - Stephanie Williams (OH, University of Pittsburgh, 6-0, 3, Eastlake, Ohio, Cleveland Volleyball Academy)

Head Coach: Lindsey Devine (East Tennessee State University head coach)
Assistant Coach: Jay Van Vark (Grand Canyon University assistant coach)

CNT Blue Team
# - Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Junior Club Team)
3 - Brandi Donnelly (L, University of Illinois, 5-8, 1, Williamsville, Illinois, Illini Elite)
26 - Amanda Green (OPP, University of Louisville, 6-1, 3, Skokie, Illinois, Sports Performance)
19 - Leah Hardeman (OH, Coastal Carolina University, 5-10, 1, Clarkston, Georgia, Atlanta Boom)
6 - Kirstie Hillyer (M, Colorado State University, 6-6, 3, Bayfield, Colorado, Four Corners VBC)
15 - Veronica Jones-Perry (OH, BYU, 6-0, 2, West Jordan, Utah, Club V)
31 - Kristyn Nicholson (S, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 6-0, 1, Lewisville, Texas, Texas Advantage VBC)
9 - Kelsey O’Neill (M, University of Iowa, 6-1, 1, Skokie, Illinois, Wildcat Juniors)
22 - Alyssa Schultejans (OH, Kansas State University, 6-3, 2, Silver Lake, Kansas, Topeka Elite)
30 - Taylor Tashima (S, Northwestern University, 6-0, 1, Wilmette, Illinois, Wildcat Juniors)
1 - Brittany Thomas (L, Lipscomb University, 5-4, 1, Overland Park, Kansas, KC Power)
13 - Lynsey Wright (M, Missouri State University, 6-0, 1, Glen Carbon, Illinois, Rockwood Thunder)

Head Coach: Dennis Janzen (Trinity Western University assistant coach)
Assistant Coach: Lindsey Walton (University of Kentucky assistant coach)

Program Managers and Administrators: Rod Wilde (Madison Elite), Nicki Holmes (NC State University assistant coach), Jeff Wanderer (West Hills College head coach)
Technical Assistants: Rachel Ferguson (Grand Canyon University director of operations) and Jon Wong (Bradley University assistant coach)