U.S. Women Traveling to Brazil for Exhibition Matches

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Aug. 09, 2018, 2:51 p.m. (ET)

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley attacking during the 2017 USA Volleyball Cup matches versus Brazil
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley will lead a 14-player U.S. Women's National Team roster during a four-match exhibition series with Brazil Aug. 12-18.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 9, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team continues preparation for defending its FIVB World Championship by traveling to South America for a four-match friendly exhibition tour against Brazil.

Brazil will host Team USA with the first match on Aug. 12 in Brasilia. Both teams will travel to Uberaba for contests on Aug. 14 and Aug. 16. The series concludes on Aug. 18 in Rio de Janeiro, where the U.S. earned bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games in the famed Maracanazinho Arena. While each match will be broadcast on Brazilian television, there are no plans to video stream the matches according to the Brazilian Volleyball Federation press office.

  • Aug. 12: USA vs. Brazil in Brasilia, 9 a.m. ET (TV Globo in Brazil)
  • Aug. 14: USA vs. Brazil in Uberaba, 6 p.m. ET (SporTV in Brazil)
  • Aug. 16: USA vs. Brazil in Uberaba, 7 p.m. ET (SporTV in Brazil)
  • Aug. 18: USA vs. Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, 6:30 p.m. ET (SporTV in Brazil)

The U.S. will have a 14-player roster in Brazil with four outside hitters, four middles, two opposites, two setters and two liberos.

The Team USA roster includes Bartsch-Hackley, the most valuable player of the recently concluded FIVB Volleyball Nations League in which the Americans won gold and the $1 million top prize. She will also serve as team captain in Brazil. The Americans will have two Olympic bronze medalists from the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro – Adams and Lowe.

Related: U.S. Women's National Team Home Page

Along with the VNL, the U.S. won gold at the Pan American Cup this summer. Carlini was named most valuable player of the Pan Am Cup, which also included Benson, Lee, Ogbogu and Wilhite on the roster. Other athletes such as Courtney and Lowe are coming back from an extended period off the court and participated in a recent joint training block and exhibition match against Japan.

The Brazil exhibition matches will allow the U.S. coaching staff to blend elements from the VNL and the Pan Am Cup rosters along with other athletes to prepare for the upcoming World Championship.

“Brazil runs a truly legendary program in the women’s international world, and we are honored to travel there to compete in several different cities,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “With such passionate and knowledgeable fans, there is no better atmosphere in which to battle, so we expect to be pushed to the limit, and to learn a lot about ourselves and our game. It will be a great opportunity for us to grow, and to significantly enhance our preparation for the World Championship.”

The FIVB Women’s World Championship, played every four years in the second year of the Olympic quadrennial, is set for Sept. 29 to Oct. 20 in Japan. The Americans begin defense of their 2014 title in Kobe as they face Azerbaijan (Sept. 29), Trinidad & Tobago (Sept. 30), Korea (Oct. 2), Thailand (Oct. 3) and Russia (Oct. 4) in Pool C. The top four teams in Pool C advance to the second round (Oct. 7-11) in Osaka. The top six teams from the second round move on to the third round held Oct. 14-16 in Nagoya, followed by the semifinals and medal matches on Oct. 19-20 in Yokohama.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for Brazil Exhibition Tour
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
5 – Rachael Adams (M, 6-2, Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio)
6 – Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (M, 6-2, Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota)
9 – Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
10 – Simone Lee (OH, 6-1, Penn State, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
13 – Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
20 – Amanda Benson (L, 5-7, Oregon, Litchfield Park, Arizona)
24 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)
25 – Chiaka Ogbobu (M, 6-2, Texas, Coppell, Texas)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Tama Miyashiro, Jeff Liu
Physiotherapist: Kara Kessans
Technical Coordinator: Matthew Choi