U.S. Women Set World Grand Prix Prelim Roster

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 07, 2016, 10 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (May 7, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 1 in the world by the FIVB, has announced its 22-player preliminary roster for the FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual women’s international event.

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff has selected six outside hitters, six middles, four setters, three opposites and three liberos to the preliminary roster. The preliminary roster setters are Alisha Glass (Leland, Michigan), Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minnesota), Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Washington). Liberos named to the preliminary roster are Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa), Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, California) and Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, California). Opposites Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California) and Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois).

Related: FIVB World Grand Prix Event Page | U.S. Women's National Team Page

The U.S. staff has chosen middles Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California), captain Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Outside hitters named to the preliminary roster are Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Illinois), Megan Easy (Boston, Massachusetts), Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah), Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska), Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois) and Krista Vansant (Redlands, California).

The FIVB World Grand Prix schedule has each of the 12 teams in Group 1 playing three preliminary round weekends in various cities before the top five teams plus Thailand compete in the Final Round July 6-10 in Bangkok, Thailand. The U.S. Women will host one of three second weekend preliminary rounds June 17-19 at the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State University. Team USA will face Germany on June 17, Japan on June 18 and Turkey on June 19. The three matches will be the final time Americans can watch the U.S. Women on home soil before the Olympic Games.

Prior to hosting its weekend in Long Beach, the U.S. travels to Ningbo, China, where it will play Germany (June 10), Thailand (June 11) and host China (June 12). Team USA concludes the preliminary round in Hong Kong, where it faces Germany (June 24) for a third time, Netherlands (June 25) and host China (June 26).

The U.S. coaching staff will be able change its 14-player competition roster heading into each of the three preliminary round weekends plus the Final Round in Bangkok, Thailand, should Team USA qualify as being in the top five in the final preliminary round standings.

The U.S. has won the FIVB World Grand Prix six times, including four of the last six events. The Americans captured the title last year in Omaha, Nebraska, while hosting the event for the first on USA soil. Overall, Team USA has won six of its last seven tournaments it has competed in dating back to the 2014 FIVB World Championship title won in Italy.

Other U.S. Women’s National Team athletes training or rehabbing in Anaheim, the host city for both the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Team, are outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Marysville, Illinois), middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota), and libero Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii).

Team USA is also entered in the Pan American Cup slated for June 30 to July 11 in Dominican Republic. As this competition runs concurrently with the World Grand Prix, Kiraly has named University of Pittsburgh Head Coach Dan Fisher to lead the Pan American Cup squad. He served in a similar role at the 2015 Pan American Games and led the U.S. to the gold medal, beating Brazil in the championship match. The Pan American Cup training roster will be announced next week.

2016 FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Roster
# - Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
1 – Alisha Glass (S, 6-0, Leland, Michigan, Penn State University)
2 – Kayla Banwarth (L, 5-10, Dubuque, Iowa, University of Nebraska)
3 – Courtney Thompson (S, 5-8, Kent, Washington, University of Washington)
4 – Lauren Paolini (M, 6-4, Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Texas)
5 – Rachael Adams (M, 6-2, Cincinnati, Ohio, University of Texas)
6 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, Bonsall, California, University of California-Berkeley)
7 – Cassidy Lichtman (OH, 6-1, Poway, California, Stanford University)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (M, 6-2, St. Paul, Minnesota, University of Minnesota)
9 – Kristin Hildebrand (OH, 6-1, Orem, Utah, Stanford University)
10 – Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Hooper, Nebraska, University of Nebraska)
11 – Megan Easy (OH, 6-3, Boston, Massachusetts, Penn State University)
12 – Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, Wilmington, Illinois, University of Florida)
13 – Christa Dietzen (M, 6-2, Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania, Penn State University)
14 – Nicole Fawcett (OPP, 6-4, Zanesfield, Ohio, Penn State University)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Portland, Oregon, Pepperdine University)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (M, 6-3, Plantation, Florida, Stanford University)
17 – Natalie Hagglund (L, 5-9, Encinitas, California, University of Southern California)
18 – Molly Kreklow (S, 5-9, Delano, Minnesota, University of Missouri)
19 - Michelle Bartsch (OH, 6-3, Maryville, Illinois, University of Illinois)
20 – Alexis Crimes (M, 6-3, Rancho Cucamonga, California, Long Beach State University)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Bartlett, Illinois, University of Nebraska)
24 – Krista Vansant (OH, 6-2, Redlands, California, University of Washington)
25 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, Rancho Santa Fe, California, UCLA)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Jamie Morrison, Tom Black
Technical Coordinator: Joe Trinsey
Consultant Coach: David Hunt
Athletic Trainer: Jill Wosmek

2016 FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Round Weekends

Pool A: June 10-12 at Ningbo, China 
June 10: USA vs. Germany, 3 p.m. local /3 a.m. ET
June 10: China vs. Thailand, 7:30 p.m.
June 11: USA vs. Thailand, 3 p.m. local/3 a.m. ET
June 11: China vs. Germany, 7:30 p.m.
June 12: Thailand vs. Germany, 3 p.m.
June 12: USA vs. China, 7:30 p.m. local/7:30 a.m. ET

Pool B: June 9-12 at Rio de Janeiro (all times local)
June 9: Brazil vs. Italy, 2:10 p.m.
June 9: Japan vs. Serbia, 4:30 p.m.
June 10: Brazil vs. Japan, 2:10 p.m.
June 10: Italy vs. Serbia, 4:30 p.m.
June 12: Brazil vs. Serbia, 10:05 a.m.
June 12: Italy vs. Japan, 12:30 p.m.

Pool C: June 10-12 at Kaliningrad, Russia (all times local)
June 10: Turkey vs. Belgium, 4:40 p.m.
June 10: Russia vs. Netherlands, 7:10 p.m.
June 11: Turkey vs. Netherlands, 4:40 p.m.
June 11: Russia vs. Belgium, 7:10 p.m.
June 12: Netherlands vs. Belgium, 4:40 p.m.
June 12: Russia vs. Turkey, 7:10 p.m.

Pool D: June 17-19 at Macau, China (all times local)
June 17: Brazil vs. Serbia, 4 p.m.
June 17: China vs. Belgium, 8 p.m.
June 18: Brazil vs. Belgium, 2:30 p.m.
June 18: China vs. Serbia, 5 p.m.
June 19: Belgium vs. Serbia, 1 p.m.
June 19: China vs. Brazil, 3:30 p.m.

Pool E: June 17-19 at Long Beach, California (Pacific Time/Eastern Time)
June 17: Turkey vs. Japan, 5:10 p.m. PT/7:10 p.m. ET
June 17: USA vs. Germany, 7:10 p.m. PT/9:10 p.m. ET
June 18: Turkey vs. Germany, 5:10 p.m. PT/7:10 p.m. ET
June 18: USA vs. Japan, 7:10 p.m. PT/9:10 p.m. ET
June 19: Japan vs. Germany, 3:10 p.m. PT/5:10 p.m.
June 19: USA vs. Turkey, 5:10 p.m. PT/7:10 p.m. ET

Pool F: June 17-19 at Bari, Italy (all times local)
June 17: Russia vs. Netherlands, 5:30 p.m.
June 17: Thailand vs. Italy, 8:30 p.m.
June 18: Thailand vs. Russia, 5:30 p.m.
June 18: Netherlands vs. Italy, 8:30 p.m.
June 19: Netherlands vs. Thailand, 5:30 p.m.
June 19: Russia vs. Italy, 8:30 p.m.

Pool G: June 24-26 at Ankara, Turkey (all times local)
June 24: Turkey vs. Belgium, 5 p.m.
June 24: Italy vs. Brazil, 8 p.m.
June 25: Turkey vs. Italy, 5 p.m.
June 25: Brazil vs. Belgium, 8 p.m.
June 26: Italy vs. Belgium, 5 p.m.
June 26: Turkey vs. Brazil, 8 p.m.

Pool H: June 24-26 at Hong Kong (all times local/Eastern Time)
June 24: USA vs. Germany, 6:30 p.m. local/6:30 a.m. ET
June 24: China vs. Netherlands, 8:30 p.m.
June 25: USA vs. Netherlands, 1:15 p.m. local/1:15 a.m. ET
June 25: China vs. Germany, 3:45 p.m.
June 26: Netherlands vs. Germany, 1:15 p.m.
June 26: USA vs. China, 3:45 p.m. local/3:45 a.m. ET

Pool I: June 24-26 at Kyoto, Japan (all times local)
June 24: Serbia vs. Russia, 4:10 p.m.
June 24: Japan vs. Thailand, 7:10 p.m.
June 25: Thailand vs. Russia, 4:10 p.m.
June 25: Japan vs. Serbia, 7:10 p.m.
June 26: Serbia vs. Thailand, 4:10 p.m.
June 26: Japan vs. Russia, 7:10 p.m.

FIVB World Grand Prix Finals: July 6-10 at Bangkok, Thailand
Top 5 Ranked Teams in Preliminary Round + Host Thailand