U.S. Women Set Final World Championship Roster

By Bill Kauffman | Sept. 17, 2014, 7:19 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 17, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked second in the world and holding a 22-6 record in 2014, announced today its 14-player roster for the upcoming FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 that takes place Sept. 23-Oct. 12.

Team USA’s roster includes two setters, two liberos, two opposites, four outside hitters and four middle blockers. Teams are allowed to have 12 players active for each match, which can change from match to match.

The Team USA roster is similar to what U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff utilized in last month’s FIVB World Grand Prix. Dietzen, who got married in June (formerly Christa Harmotto), and Fawcett have been added to the roster. Hildebrand, who played in just the first weekend of the World Grand Prix, returns to the U.S. lineup. Dietzen will also serve as captain for Team USA.

“We’re thrilled to be heading to Italy with this group,” Kiraly said. “With 24 teams, the World Championship is the deepest of the three FIVB majors, which makes it incredibly challenging to win. Knowing that nobody wins a tournament like this without facing down some serious adversity, we’ll need contributions from every one of our players - and after this training block, I know each is prepared to do that.”

The World Championship, held every four years, is a 24-team event with four groups of six countries competing in the first round from Sept. 23-28. After the round-robin format of the first round, the top four teams in each first-round pool move on to the second round Pools E and F that take place Oct. 1-5 in four Italian cities. Records against teams advancing from the first round carry over to the second round crossover matches. The top three teams from the two second-round pools advance to the Final Round set for Oct. 8-10 in Milan. The medal-round matches take place Oct. 12 after the Oct. 11 semifinals.

The Americans are grouped into the first round Pool C in Verona with No. 5 Russia, No. 12 Thailand, No. 20 Netherlands, No. 24 Kazakhstan and No. 26 Mexico. Team USA opens with NORCECA rival Mexico at 11 a.m. PT on Sept. 23, then has a quick turnaround on the court to face Kazakhstan on Sept. 24 at 1:30 a.m. PT. The U.S. challenges Netherlands on Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. PT before the off day on Sept. 26. Team USA takes on Thailand on Sept. 27 at 11 a.m. PT before concluding Pool C against Russia on Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. PT.

Universal Sports will live video stream all of the U.S. Women’s matches as well as have select contests broadcasts on its television channel. For details, click here.

The selected U.S. roster has a balance of youth and experience. Four players have World Championship experience from the most recent edition in 2010 (Akinradewo, Davis, Glass and Larson-Burbach) and five players have Olympic Games experience (Akinradewo, Davis, Dietzen, Larson-Burbach and Thompson). Five players – Adams, Dixon, Hill, Murphy and Robinson – are in just their first or second years playing at the National Team level. Davis, who turned 32 earlier this year, is the only player older than 30 years of age as the team average age is 26.6.

Murphy has paced the U.S. offense in her second year with the National Team. She has averaged 4.35 points per set with 11 match starts. Murphy has a .300 hitting efficiency with a team-leading 193 kills and 3.94 kills per set average. She has led Team USA in scoring in seven of her 13 matches played in 2014.

Akinradewo, who missed all of the 2013 season, has come back in top form in 2014. She is averaging 0.82 blocks per set as part of an overall 3.90 points scoring average. Akinradewo holds a .433 hitting efficiency with a 2.90 kill average per set.

Veterans Larson-Burbach and Hildebrand have provided consistent scoring options for the U.S in 2014. Larson-Burbach holds averages of 2.84 points and 1.38 digs per set, while Hildebrand has averaged 2.45 points and 1.41 digs per set while also playing at opposite at various times in 2014.

Glass, who was USAV’s Women’s Indoor Female Player of the Year last year, has started 12 matches this year at setter. Thompson has been a reliable setter with five match starts and entering a team-leading 73 sets in 2014. The setting tandem has helped Team USA to a .280 hitting efficiency as a team.

Banwarth has 12 starts at libero this year with Davis having three starts. Banwarth has averaged 1.60 digs per set with a 68 positive percent on 191 service receptions. Davis has averaged 2.03 digs per set with a 57 positive reception percent. Kiraly utilized both liberos in the same set at different times of the World Grand Prix.

Adams and Hill, both in their second year with the National Team, continue to make improvements over their rookie campaigns. Adams has started 13 matches and averages 0.82 blocks per set, which ties for the most on team among players with at least 15 sets played. She has a .328 hitting efficiency while also tallying 0.31 aces per set. Hill has averaged 2.37 points and 1.11 digs per set in combining her offense and defense.

First-year players Robinson and Dixon have both gained valuable experience in 2014. Robinson has 182 points at outside hitter this year, which ranks second on the team, over the course of 54 sets and 12 match starts. She has led the team in scoring in five matches in 2014, including a 22-point performance against Brazil on July 12. Robinson also has a team-leading 17 aces. Dixon, who has started 13 matches this season, has averaged 0.60 blocks per set while compiling a 2.18 scoring average. She has attacked at a .351 hitting efficiency.

While they have not played extensively in 2014, Dietzen and Fawcett have been key performers in past years for Team USA and will add additional experience. Dietzen has not played competitively since the Montreux Volley Masters that ended on June 1. Fawcett has played in eight sets in 2014, all coming in the final two victories over Brazil in the USA Volleyball Cup in July.

The U.S. will be in search of its first-ever gold medal at the 2014 FIVB World Championship, which would mark the squad’s first-ever title in a major (Olympic Games, FIVB World Championship, FIVB World Cup). Team USA finished fourth in the most recent FIVB World Championship held in 2010. The Americans hold four World Championship medals with silver in 2002 and 1967, and the bronze in 1990 and 1982.

The U.S. Women leave the United States on Sept. 17 to train a few days with the Croatian National Team in Zagreb, Croatia. The two teams will play a friendly exhibition match on Sept. 20, which will be streamed live at streaming.hr/volleyball. at 9 a.m. PT.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014
# - Name (Position, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 – Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State)
2 – Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
3 – Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington)
6 – Nicole Davis (L, 5-4, Stockton, Calif., University of Southern California)
9 – Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 – Jordan Larson-Burbach (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
12 – Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, Wilmington, Ill., University of Florida)
13 – Christa Dietzen (MB, 6-2, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford University)
19 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Ill., University of Nebraska)
21 – Tori Dixon (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., University of Minnesota)
22 – Rachael Adams (MB, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison, Marv Dunphy
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Doctors: Dr. Andrew Gregory and Dr. William Stetson
Medical Support: Dustin Glass
Consultant Coaches: David Hunt, Jamison Van Niel
Team Manager: Denise Sheldon

FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 Schedule (all times Pacific Time)

First Round

Pool A at Rome
Sept. 23: Argentina vs. Croatia, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 23: Dominican Republic vs. Germany, 8 a.m.
Sept. 23: Italy vs. Tunisia, 11 a.m.
Sept. 24: Dominican Republic vs. Tunisia, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 24: Germany vs. Argentina, 8 a.m.
Sept. 24: Italy vs. Croatia, 11 a.m.
Sept. 25: Germany vs. Tunisia, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 25: Dominican Republic vs. Croatia, 8 a.m.
Sept. 25: Italy vs. Argentina, 11 a.m.
Sept. 27: Tunisia vs. Croatia, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 27: Dominican Republic vs. Argentina, 8 a.m.
Sept. 27: Italy vs. Germany, 11 a.m.
Sept. 28: Tunisia vs. Argentina, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 28: Germany vs. Croatia, 8 a.m.
Sept. 28: Italy vs. Dominican Republic, 11 a.m.

Pool B at Trieste
Sept. 23: Canada vs. Cameroon, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 23: Serbia vs. Turkey, 8 a.m.
Sept. 23: Brazil vs. Bulgaria, 11 a.m.
Sept. 24: Turkey vs. Canada, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 24: Brazil vs. Cameroon, 8 a.m.
Sept. 24: Serbia vs. Bulgaria, 11 a.m.
Sept. 25: Brazil vs. Canada, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 25: Serbia vs. Cameroon, 8 a.m.
Sept. 25: Turkey vs. Bulgaria, 11 a.m.
Sept. 27: Bulgaria vs. Cameroon, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 27: Serbia vs. Canada, 8 a.m.
Sept. 27: Brazil vs. Turkey, 11 a.m.
Sept. 28: Turkey vs. Cameroon, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 28: Bulgaria vs. Canada, 8 a.m.
Sept. 28: Brazil vs. Serbia, 11 a.m.

Pool C at Verona
Sept. 23: Netherlands vs. Kazakhstan, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 23: Russia vs. Thailand, 8 a.m.
Sept. 23: United States vs. Mexico, 11 a.m.
Sept. 24: United States vs. Kazakhstan, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 24: Russia vs. Mexico, 8 a.m.
Sept. 24: Thailand vs. Netherlands, 11 a.m.
Sept. 25: Thailand vs. Mexico, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 25: Russia vs. Kazakhstan, 8 a.m.
Sept. 25: United States vs. Netherlands, 11 a.m.
Sept. 27: Mexico vs. Kazakhstan, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 27: Russia vs. Netherlands, 8 a.m.
Sept. 27: United States vs. Thailand, 11 a.m.
Sept. 28: Mexico vs. Netherlands, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 28: Kazakhstan vs. Thailand, 8 a.m.
Sept. 28: United States vs. Russia, 11 a.m.

Pool D at Bari
Sept. 23: China vs. Puerto Rico, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 23: Japan vs. Azerbaijan, 8 a.m.
Sept. 23: Cuba vs. Belgium, 11 a.m.
Sept. 24: China vs. Azerbaijan, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 24: Belgium vs. Japan, 8 a.m.
Sept. 24: Puerto Rico vs. Cuba, 11 a.m.
Sept. 25: Puerto Rico vs. Azerbaijan, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 25: Japan vs. Cuba, 8 a.m.
Sept. 25: China vs. Belgium, 11 a.m.
Sept. 27: Azerbaijan vs. Belgium, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 27: Japan vs. Puerto Rico, 8 a.m.
Sept. 27: China vs. Cuba, 11 a.m.
Sept. 28: Azerbaijan vs. Cuba, 1:30 a.m.
Sept. 28: Japan vs. China, 8 a.m.
Sept. 28: Belgium vs. Puerto Rico, 11 a.m.

Second Round (Match times to be announced)

Pool E
Oct. 1: A2 vs. D3 (at Bari)
Oct. 1: A1 vs. D4 (at Bari)
Oct. 1: A4 vs. D1 (at Trieste)
Oct. 1: A3 vs. D2 (at Trieste)
Oct. 2: A2 vs. D4 (at Bari)
Oct. 2: A1 vs. D3 (at Bari)
Oct. 2: A4 vs. D2 (at Trieste)
Oct. 2: A3 vs. D1 (at Trieste)
Oct. 4: A2 vs. D1 (at Bari)
Oct. 4: A1 vs. D2 (at Bari)
Oct. 4: A4 vs. D3 (at Trieste)
Oct. 4: A3 vs. D4 (at Trieste)
Oct. 5: A2 vs. D2 (at Bari)
Oct. 5: A1 vs. D1 (at Bari)
Oct. 5: A4 vs. D4 (at Trieste)
Oct. 5: A3 vs. D3 (at Trieste)

Pool F at Verona
Oct. 1: B2 vs. C3 (at Verona)
Oct. 1: B1 vs. C4 (at Verona)
Oct. 1: B4 vs. C1 (at Modena)
Oct. 1: B3 vs. C2 (at Modena)
Oct. 2: B2 vs. C4 (at Verona)
Oct. 2: B1 vs. C3 (at Verona)
Oct. 2: B4 vs. C2 (at Modena)
Oct. 2: B3 vs. C1 (at Modena)
Oct. 4: B2 vs. C1 (at Verona)
Oct. 4: B1 vs. C2 (at Verona)
Oct. 4: B4 vs. C3 (at Modena)
Oct. 4: B3 vs. C4 (at Modena)
Oct. 5: B2 vs. C2 (at Verona)
Oct. 5: B1 vs. C1 (at Verona)
Oct. 5: B4 vs. C4 (at Modena)
Oct. 5: B3 vs. C3 (at Modena)

Third Round at Milan (2nd and 3rd Place teams from Pools E and F are drawn into Pools G and H)

Pool G
Oct. 8: E1 vs. E2/F2
Oct. 9: E2/F2 vs. E3/F3
Oct. 10: E1 vs. E3/F3

Pool H
Oct. 8: F1 vs. E2/F2
Oct. 9: E2/F2 vs. E3/F3
Oct. 10: F1 vs. E3/F3

Final Round Semifinals
Oct. 11: G1 vs. H2
Oct. 11: G2 vs. H1

Medal Round Matches
Oct. 12: Bronze-Medal Match
Oct. 12: Gold-Medal Match