U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe Tour Roster Tabbed

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | March 29, 2018, 2:55 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 29, 2018) – USA Volleyball is proud to announce its 12-player U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team Europe Tour (CNT-Europe) roster comprised of current collegiate players who will train and compete in Europe July 4-15.

Audriana Fitzmorris (98) and Danielle Hart (46), both selections to the CNT-Europe Tour roster, block during the U.S. Women's National Team Open TryoutMiddles selected to the elite CNT-Europe squad are Danielle Hart (University of Wisconsin, Virginia Beach, Virginia), Kirstie Hillyer (Colorado State University, Bayfield, Colorado) and Berkeley Oblad (University of Utah, Henderson, Nevada). The outside hitters named to the roster are Leah Edmond (University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky), Amanda Green (University of Louisville, Skokie, Illinois), Jess Schaben (Iowa State University, Defiance, Iowa) and Avery Skinner (University of Kentucky, Katy, Texas). MacKenzie May (UCLA, Dubuque, Iowa) was originally selected to the roster but later declined the opportunity.

The two opposites selected to the CNT-Europe Tour are Audriana Fitzmorris (Stanford, Overland Park, Kansas) and Taylor Mims (Washington State University, Billings, Montana). The setters are Katie Oleksak (Colorado State University, Phoenix, Arizona) and August Raskie (University of Oregon, Colorado Springs, Colorado). The libero will be Alexis Dirige (Washington State University, San Francisco, California).

Dani Busboom Kelly, head coach of the University of Louisville women’s volleyball team, will serve as the CNT-Europe head coach.

“I am honored to represent USA Volleyball for the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe tour,” Busboom Kelly said. “Some of the best players in the United States will have a chance to wear USA on their chests abroad and get a taste for international volleyball, the rules and competitive environment overseas provides. Many of the players selected have goals to be a part of the U.S. Women’s National Team and to play professionally overseas after their collegiate careers, and this opportunity will give them a glimpse at both experiences. I am humbled to be a part of this experience alongside a great group of players and coaches!”

Assisting Busboom Kelly will be Branden Higa and Marie Zidek, head coaches of California Baptist University and DePaul University, respectively. Megan Smith of Illinois State University will serve as the athletic trainer and Tim Kelly with Bring It Promotions will serve as the team leader.

The squad will land in Venice, Italy, on July 5. After training and friendly matches at a location to be announced, CNT-Europe will compete in the Global Challenge July 10-13 in Pula, Croatia.

A quartet of the CNT-Europe roster has been part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team program in past years. Mims is making her second appearance on the CNT-Europe roster as made the squad in 2017. Green steps up to the CNT-Europe roster after being on the 2017 CNT-Minneapolis and the 2016 CNT-Indianapolis squads. Hillyer was a member of the 2017 CNT-Minneapolis roster. Fitzmorris was chosen to the 2016 CNT-China Tour roster.

The USA Volleyball High Performance pipeline is represented on the CNT-Europe roster with two players having international experience. Fitzmorris was part of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team roster that competed at the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship. Edmond was a key force on the 2017 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team that played in the 2017 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship. May helped the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team win gold at the 2017 Women’s U20 Pan American Cup.

Athletes were selected through the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts held March 2-4 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado

USA Volleyball announced last week the roster for the CNT-China Tour. USA Volleyball will announce in the coming week the CNT-Detroit roster.

Notes:

  • Amanda Green has made the U.S. Collegiate National Team program for the third time. Her first year was playing with Marquette University, while the last two years have been with the University of Louisville.
  • Including the CNT-China roster, the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas, now has three of the 24 players on the named CNT rosters. Audriana Fitzmorris joins Madison Lilley and Carlyle Nusbaum from the CNT-China roster hailing from Overland Park.
  • Colorado State University (Kirstie Hillyer and Katie Oleksak), Washington State (Alexis Dirige and Taylor Mims) and University of Kentucky (Leah Edmond and Avery Skinner) all have two players on the CNT-Europe squad.

Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Youth Club)
Alexis Dirige (L, Washington State University, 5-2, 2, San Francisco, California, Vision Volleyball Club)
Leah Edmond (OH, University of Kentucky, 6-2, 2, Lexington, Kentucky, Lexington United)
Audriana Fitzmorris (OPP, Stanford University, 6-6, 1, Overland Park, Kansas, MAVS)
Amanda Green (OH, University of Louisville, 6-1, 2, Skokie, Illinois, Wildcat Juniors Volleyball Club)
Danielle Hart (M, University of Wisconsin, 6-4, 4, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Coastal Virginia VBC)
Kirstie Hillyer (M, Colorado State University, 6-6, 2, Bayfield, Colorado, Four Corners)
* MacKenzie May (OH, UCLA, 6-3, 3, Dubuque, Iowa, Iowa Juniors)
Taylor Mims (OPP, Washington State University, 6-3, 1, Billings, Montana, Montana Juniors)
Berkeley Oblad (M, University of Utah, 6-4, 1, Henderson, Nevada, Vegas Encore)
Katie Oleksak (S, Colorado State University, 5-10, 2, Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona Storm)
August Raskie (S, Oregon, 6-0, 1, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Front Range Volleyball Club)
Jess Schaben (OH, Iowa State University, 1, Defiance, Iowa, River City Juniors)
Avery Skinner (OH, University of Kentucky, 6-1, 3, Katy, Texas, Houston Skyline Volleyball Club)

* Original selection to the 12-player roster, but later declined the opportunity to participate

Head Coach: Dani Busboom Kelly (head coach, University of Louisville)
Assistant Coach: Branden Higa (head coach, California Baptist University)
Assistant Coach: Marie Zidek (head coach, DePaul University)
Athletic Trainer: Megan Smith (Illinois State University)
Team Leader: Tim Kelly