World University Games Roster Named

By Bill Kauffman | March 31, 2015, 2:08 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 31, 2015) – USA Volleyball has selected its 12-player roster for the 2015 World University Games that will take place July 2-12 at Gwangju, South Korea.

The World University Games roster is part of USA Volleyball’s High Performance program’s Collegiate National Team. The squad has four players who finished their senior seasons in 2014, along with three seniors and five juniors.

Team USA for the World University Games includes setters Lexi Dannemiller (University of Michigan, West Chester, Ohio) and Micha Hancock (Penn State University, Edmond, Okla.). Opposites on the team are Khat Bell (University of Texas, Mesquite, Texas) and Alex Holston (University of Florida, Olney, Md.). Laura Larson (University of Arizona, Lakeville, Minn.) was named as the libero.

Middle blockers chosen to the World University Games roster are Nia Grant (Penn State University, Warren, Ohio), Briana Holman (University of Nebraska, DeSoto, Texas) and Paige Tapp (University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minn.). Outside hitters selected to the team are Jordan Burgess (Stanford University, Fort Myers, Fla.), Carly Kan (University of Missouri, Honolulu), Andie Malloy (Baylor University, Allen, Texas) and Nicole Walch (Florida State University, Stuart, Fla.).

Mary Wise, head coach for the University of Florida, has been named the head coach for the team. She will be assisted by Kyle Robinson, the new University of Oklahoma assistant coach, and Dan Thomassen, Sage Hill High School volleyball coach and co-founder of Prime Volleyball Club in California.

“The World University Games is a unique event that we look forward to competing in come July,” Wise said. “We are fortunate to assemble such a talented group of players to represent USA Volleyball.”

The squad includes five AVCA All-America First-Team selections in 2014, including Burgess, Grant, Hancock, Holman and Holston. Further, Bell and Walch were AVCA All-America Second-Team selections in 2014, while Tapp was named to the third-team.

“I’m excited about the 2015 World University Games for several reasons,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “One, our USA Women’s program will have a strong representative at a deep and challenging tournament. Two, the Games are organized very much like the Olympics, with multiple sports and countries from around the world, and that’s a special environment for people to experience. And three, because players - both those with remaining college eligibility, and those who have none - have an opportunity to represent USA, and I revere chances to wear the Red, White and Blue.”

The staff has the privilege to work with athletes who have already been a part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team. Dannemiller, Holman, Kan, Malloy and Walch were all part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team that participated in the Tour of China in 2014. Holston was a member of the U.S. Collegiate National Team that toured Europe last summer. Tapp was a member of the U.S. Collegiate National Team that trained and competed in conjunction with the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships.

The World University Games squad will come together June 28 in Los Angeles before traveling to South Korea for the competition. The roster was selected through the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts held Feb. 20-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., along with an invitation-only training block held in January in Anaheim, Calif.

The U.S. Collegiate National Team program also includes a China Tour roster that will be announced later this week, along with a 36-player group that will train and compete in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships in June.

U.S. Women’s World University Games Roster
Name (Position, School, 2015 College Year, Hometown)
Khat Bell (OPP, University of Texas, Grad, Mesquite, Texas)
Jordan Burgess (OH, Stanford University, Sr., Fort Myers, Fla.)
Lexi Dannemiller (S, University of Michigan, Grad, West Chester, Ohio)
Nia Grant (MB, Penn State University, Grad, Warren, Ohio)
Micha Hancock (S, Penn State University, Grad, Edmond, Okla.)
Briana Holman (MB, University of Nebraska, Jr., DeSoto, Texas)
Alex Holston (OPP, University of Florida, Jr., Olney, Md.)
Carly Kan (OH, University of Missouri, Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii)
Laura Larson (L, University of Arizona, Jr., Lakeville, Minn.)
Andie Malloy (OH, Baylor University, Sr., Allen, Texas)
Paige Tapp (MB, University of Minnesota, Jr., Stewartville, Minn.)
Nicole Walch (OH, Florida State University, Sr., Stuart, Fla.)

Head Coach: Mary Wise (University of Florida)
Assistant Coach: Kyle Robinson (University of Oklahoma)
Assistant Coach: Dan Thomassen (Prime Volleyball Club, Sage Hill High School, Calif.)
Trainer: Meredith Dillon (West Valley College)