U.S. Women Announce Olympic Qualifier Roster

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Jan. 05, 2016, 11:57 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 5, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, which has spent much of the holiday break training in Anaheim, Calif., has selected its 14-player roster for the NORCECA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament to be played Jan. 7-9 at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff have chosen a roster of four middle blockers, four outside hitters, two setters, two opposites and two liberos for the four-team round-robin event with the winner advancing to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“We’ve had a strong training block so far, with all 21 players here working very hard to make USA the strongest it can be going into the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier,” Kiraly said. “We chose the travel roster in the hope of maximizing our chances to accomplish our goal of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and we’re excited to begin the battle, Thursday against Canada.”

The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world and reigning world champions, hosts No. 7 Dominican Republic, No. 15 Puerto Rico and No. 16 Canada. The tournament field was determined by the top four teams from the eight-team 2015 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship held in Mexico. Team USA captured the title with a four-set win over Dominican Republic, while Puerto Rico won the bronze medal over Canada.

    Jan. 7
    Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m. CT
    USA vs. Canada, 7 p.m. CT

    Jan. 8
    Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m. CT
    USA vs. Puerto Rico, 7 p.m. CT

    Jan. 9
    Canada vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m. CT
    USA vs. Dominican Republic, 8 p.m. CT (live on NBC Sports)

The U.S. versus Dominican Republic match will be played at 8 p.m. CT and broadcast live on NBC Sports. All matches will be streamed live and available on the qualifier event page.

“It’s truly an honor and a privilege - and a phenomenal opportunity - to play on an American court, in front of thousands of USA fans, with these four teams battling for a ticket to the Rio Olympics,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said.

Prices for all-session reserved tickets range from $21-$81 dollars plus applicable taxes, while day session reserved seat prices range from $10-$30 dollars plus applicable taxes. Students, military and senior citizens can receive a $3 discount on day session tickets only.

Tickets are available through Ticket Master and Pinnacle Bank Arena (http://www.pinnaclebankarena.com/). USA Volleyball is partnering with the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau to produce the event.

Team USA finished the 2015 season with a 41-6 overall record that included gold medals in four tournaments and one bronze medal. The U.S. Women won the FIVB World Grand Prix, NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, the Pan American Games and the Pan American Cup. The Americans finished third at the FIVB World Cup, one spot shy of earning a 2016 Olympic Games berth in the first qualification tournament.

The U.S. Women have captured the silver medal at the two most recent Olympic Games held in Beijing (2008) and London (2012). The Americans won the 2014 FIVB World Championship, the first time they won gold in any of the three triple crown events (Olympic Games, World Championship or FIVB World Cup).

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament
# - Name (Position, Ht, Hometown, College)
1 – Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Mich., Penn State University)
2 – Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
3 – Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Wash., University of Washington)
6 – Tori Dixon (MB, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., University of Minnesota)
10 – Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Neb., University of Nebraska)
11 – Megan Easy (OH, 6-3, Boston, Mass., Penn State University)
13 – Christa Dietzen (MB, 6-2, Hopewell Township, Pa., Penn State University)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Ore., Pepperdine University)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (MB, 6-3, Plantation, Fla., Stanford University)
17 – Natalie Hagglund (L, 5-9, Encinitas, Calif., University of Southern California)
22 – Rachael Adams (MB, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Ill., University of Nebraska)
25 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., UCLA)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison and Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Team Manager: Denise Sheldon
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek
Doctor: Dr. Andrew Gregory
Consultant Coach: David Hunt
Strength Coach: James Stitz

2016 NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament Schedule

Jan. 7
Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m. CT
USA vs. Canada, 7 p.m. CT

Jan. 8
Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 5 p.m. CT
USA vs. Puerto Rico, 7 p.m. CT

Jan. 9
Canada vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m. CT
USA vs. Dominican Republic, 8 p.m. CT (live on NBC Sports)