USAV Names 19 Players to Pan Am Training Roster

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 10, 2016, 1:50 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (May 10, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team has invited 19 athletes to train and compete for a Pan American Cup roster spot, an event scheduled to take place June 30 to July 11 in Dominican Republic.

The 19 athletes are either still in college or recently completed eligibility for their respective college. Invited setters are Lauren Carlini (University of Wisconsin), Lexi Dannemiller (University of Michigan) and Micha Hancock (Penn State). Outside hitters competing for Pan Am Cup roster spots are Megan Courtney (Penn State), Brittany Howard (Stanford University), Madi Kingdon (University of Arizona), Taylor Simpson (University of Colorado) and Nicole Walch (Florida State University). Liberos challenging for a Pan Am Cup spot are Caitlin Nolan (Iowa State University), Cassie Wait (University of Kansas) and Justine Wong-Orantes (University of Nebraska).

Related: U.S. Women's National Team Home Page | FIVB World Grand Prix in Long Beach

Opposites competing for a Pan Am Cup spot are Haley Eckerman (University of Texas), Alex Holston (University of Florida) and Nikki Taylor (University of Hawaii). Middles training in Anaheim for the Pan Am Cup are Inky Ajanaku (Stanford University), Rhamat Alhassan (University of Florida), Kelsie Payne (University of Kansas), Taylor Sandbothe (Ohio State University) and Lianna Sybeldon (University of Washington).

As this competition runs concurrently with the World Grand Prix, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly has named University of Pittsburgh Head Coach Dan Fisher to lead the Pan American Cup squad. Fisher 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.

In addition to Fisher, the Pan American Cup staff includes BYU Women’s Head Coach Heather Olmstead as assistant coach, University of Arkansas Associate Head Coach Jon Newman-Gonchar as team leader/assistant coach and Arkansas State University Assistant Head Coach Tristan Johnson as scout coach.

The final Pan American Cup competition roster will be named in late June.

U.S. Women’s Training Roster for Pan American Cup
Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
Inky Ajanaku (M, 6-3, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Stanford University)
Rhamat Alhassan (M, 6-4, Glenarden, Maryland, University of Florida)
Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, West Aurora, Illinois, University of Wisconsin)
Megan Courtney (OH, 6-1, Dayton, Ohio, Penn State)
Lexi Dannemiller (S, 5-11, West Chester, Ohio, University of Michigan)
Haley Eckerman (OPP, 6-3, Waterloo, Iowa, University of Texas)
Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Oklahoma, Penn State)
Alex Holston (OPP, 6-1, Olney, Maryland, University of Florida)
Brittany Howard (OH, 6-3, Los Altos, California, Stanford University)
Madi Kingdon (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, Arizona, University of Arizona)
Caitlin Nolan (L, 5-8, Southlake, Texas, Iowa State University)
Kelsie Payne (M, 6-3, Austin, Texas, University of Kansas)
Taylor Sandbothe (M, 6-2, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Ohio State University)
Taylor Simpson (OH, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colorado, University of Colorado)
Lianna Sybeldon (M, 6-1, Folsom, California, University of Washington)
Nikki Taylor (OPP, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, University of Hawaii)
Cassie Wait (L, 5-8, Gardner, Kansas, University of Kansas)
Nicole Walch (OH, 6-2, Stuart, Florida, Florida State University)
Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, California, University of Nebraska)

Head Coach: Dan Fisher (University of Pittsburgh)
Assistant Coach: Heather Olmstead (BYU)
Assistant Coach/Team Leader: Jon Newman-Gonchar (University of Arkansas)
Scout: Tristan Johnson (Arkansas State University)
Athletic Trainer: Peter Higbie