Red-Blue to Test Pan Am Cup Prelim Roster

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | June 18, 2018, 11:55 a.m. (ET)

Lauren Carlini sets Paige Tapp in 2017 Pan American Cup
Lauren Carlini sets Paige Tapp during the 2017 Pan Am Cup. Both are on the 25-player U.S. preliminary roster to play in the 2018 Pan Am Cup

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 18, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will hold its first Red-Blue instraquad scrimmage match of the year on June 22 in Irvine, California.

The Red-Blue scrimmage, scheduled for 7 p.m. PT at Irvine Valley College, will be used in the evaluation process on selecting Team USA’s 14-player roster for the Pan American Cup that takes place July 8-14 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Tickets for the Red-Blue are $5 per person and available at the door starting at 6 p.m.

The Red-Blue will utilize the Pan American Cup 25-player preliminary roster with players switching colors throughout the match. The U.S. preliminary roster for the Pan Am Cup has three setters, four liberos, five opposites, six outside hitters and seven middles. Not all players are expected to dress for the Red-Blue.

  • Setters (3): Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois), Kelly Hunter (Papillion, Nebraska), Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado)
  • Liberos (4): Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona), Caroline Knop (Pasadena, California), Kristen Tupac (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California)
  • Opposites (5): Brittany Abercrombie (Carlsbad, California), Carly De Hoog (Ontario, California), Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California), Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama), Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, New Jersey)
  • Outside Hitters (6): Adora Anae (Punaluu, Hawaii), Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona), Simone Lee (Menomonee, Wisconsin), Annie Mitchem (Friendswood, Texas), Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska), Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
  • Middles (7): Inky Ajanaku (Tulsa, Oklahoma), Molly McCage (Spring, Texas), Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas), Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota), Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota), Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California)

Penn State University, University of Minnesota and University of Nebraska have three former players on the Pan American Cup preliminary roster. Poulter, a rising senior at University of Illinois, is the only player with remaining collegiate eligibility.

With the U.S. Women’s National Team coaching staff busy competing in the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League, the U.S. Pan American Cup team has had a different set of coaches training the squad since early May. Jon Newman-Gonchar, the associate head women’s volleyball coach at University of Arkansas, will serve as the head coach for the U.S. Pan American Cup team.

Alisha Glass Childress, a 2016 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist, and JJ Van Niel, who recently accepted the associate head coach position at University of Southern California, will serve assistant coaches. Natalie Morgan, the assistant women’s volleyball coach at Loyola Marymount University, will handle the technical coordinator duties. John Xie has been selected as the team manager.

U.S. Women’s National Team Pan American Cup Preliminary Roster
# - Name (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, University of Illinois, Aurora, Colorado)
2 – Inky Ajanaku (M, 6-3, Stanford University, Tulsa Oklahoma)
3 – Kelly Hunter (S, 5-11, University of Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, University of Nebraska, Cypress, California)
5 – Caroline Knop (L, 5-8, University of Florida, Pasadena, California)
6 – Brittany Abercrombie (OPP, 6-2, University of Southern California, Carlsbad, California)
7 – Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, University of Wisconsin, Aurora, Illinois)
8 – Krystal Rivers (OPP, 5-11, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama)
9 – Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, University of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
10 – Simone Lee (OH, 6-1, Penn State University, Menomonee, Wisconsin)
11 – Carly Wopat (M, 6-2, Stanford University, Santa Barbara, California)
12 – Karsta Lowe (OPP, 6-4, UCLA, Rancho Santa Fe, California)
13 – Sarah Wilhite (OH, 6-2, University of Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
14 – Adora Anae (OH, 6-1, University of Utah, Punaluu, Hawaii)
15 – Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Penn State University, Colorado Springs, Colorado)
16 – Kristen Tupac (L, 5-6, Iowa State University, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
17 – Annie Mitchem (OH, 6-3, University of Hawaii, Friendswood, Texas)
18 – Aiyana Whitney (OPP, 6-4, Penn State University, Norwood, New Jersey)
19 – Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
20 – Amanda Benson (L, 5-7, University of Oregon, Litchfield Park, Arizona)
21 – Paige Tapp (M, 6-1, University of Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
22 – Molly McCage (M, 6-3, University of Texas, Spring, Texas)
23 – Carly De Hoog (OPP, 6-4, University of Washington, Ontario, California)
24 – Kadie Rolfzen (OH, 6-3, University of Nebraska, Papillion, Nebraska)
25 – Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, University of Texas, Coppell, Texas)

Head Coach: Jon Newman-Gonchar (associate head coach at University of Arkansas)
Assistant Coach: Alisha Glass Childress (2016 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team bronze medalist)
Assistant Coach: JJ Van Niel (associate head coach at University of Southern California)
Technical Coordinator: Natalie Morgan (assistant coach at Loyola Marymount University)
Team Manager: John Xie
Athletic Trainer: Salvador Vallejo