USAV Names CNT-World University Games Roster

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | March 13, 2019, 2:54 p.m. (ET)

Kennedy Eschenberg hitting through the block of Avie Niece and Tori Dilfer
Kennedy Eschenberg hitting through the block of Avie Niece (21) and Tori Dilfer (60). All three players have been chosen to the U.S. Women's National Collegiate Team - World University Games roster

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 13, 2019) – USA Volleyball is proud to announce its 12-player U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team World University Games (WUG) roster comprised of current collegiate players.

The two opposites selected to the CNT-World University Games are Audriana Fitzmorris (Stanford University, Overland Park, Kansas) and Stephanie Samedy (university of Minnesota, Clermont, Florida). The setters are Diana Brown (University of Illinois, Columbus, Ohio) and Tori Dilfer (University of Louisville, San Jose, California). The libero will be Lauren Barnes (University of Wisconsin, Naperville, Illinois).

Middles selected to the elite CNT-World University Games squad are Kennedy Eschenberg (BYU, Bountiful, Utah), Madeleine Gates (UCLA, San Diego, California) and Avie Niece (University of Washington, Bellevue, Washington). The outside hitters named to the roster are Kara Bajema (University of Washington, Lynden, Washington), Kylie DeBerg (University of Missouri, Hudson, Iowa), Meghan McClure (Stanford University, Rancho Santa Margarita, California) and Adanna Rollins (University of Minnesota, Carrollton, Texas).

The CNT-WUG squad will leave the United States June 30 and to travel to Napoli, Italy, to compete in the World University Games. The volleyball schedule has preliminary round matches from July 4-11, followed by semifinals on July 12 and medal-round matches on July 13.

Keegan Cook, head coach of the University of Washington women’s volleyball team, will serve as the CNT-World University Games head coach. He believes this year’s World University Games roster provides ample flexibility to compete on the international scene.

“The impression this roster gives is one of depth, diversity and flexibility,” Cook said. “There is a mix of ages, international experiences, and several of the athletes have succeeded at multiple positions in their careers. I’m looking forward to helping them represent USA.”

Beth Launiere, head coach of the University of Utah women’s volleyball team, will serve as assistant coach for the World University Games roster.

The CNT-World University Games roster boasts two athletes who have already worn the red, white and blue Team USA jersey in international competitions. Fitzmorris has been part of the CNT program the two previous summers, competing on the 2016 CNT-China Tour and the 2018 CNT-Europe roster. She competed in the 2015 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship as part of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team. Samedy, who was a member of last year’s CNT-China Tour roster, represented the U.S. at the 2016 NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship.

Athletes were selected through the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts held March 1-3 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

USA Volleyball will announce in the coming weeks rosters for the CNT-Japan and CNT-Anaheim teams. All CNT programs are considered second tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Teams under NCAA rules.

Notes:

  • The World University Games roster has three players from university of Minnesota, and two players each from University Washington and Stanford University.
  • Stanford’s Audriana Fitzmorris and Meghan McClure helped lead the Cardinal to the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s National Volleyball Championship title.
  • CNT-World University Games athletes hail from nine different states.
  • The 12-player CNT-WUG roster has only four rising collegiate seniors. Diana Brown has all four years of college eligibility remaining after redshirting at University of Illinois.
  • Setter Tori Dilfer hails from a long line of athletes. Her father Trent played 14 years as quarterback in the NFL. Her mother Cassandra swam at Fresno State. Her sister Madeline played indoor volleyball at Notre and Pepperdine before finishing collegiate career playing beach volleyball at Pepperdine.

Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Youth Club)
Kara Bajema (OH, Washington, 6-2, 1, Lynden, Washington, Washington Volleyball Academy)
Lauren Barnes (L, Wisconsin, 5-6, 2, Naperville, Illinois, 1st Alliance Volleyball Club)
Diana Brown (S, Illinois, 6-0, 4, Columbus, Ohio, Mintonette Sports)
Kylie DeBerg (OH, Missouri, 6-4, 2, Hudson, Iowa, Club Iowa)
Kennedy Eschenberg (MB, BYU, 6-5, 2, Bountiful, Utah, Club V)
Tori Dilfer (S, Louisville, 5-10, 2, San Jose, California, Encore)
Audriana Fitzmorris (OPP, Stanford, 6-6, 1, Overland Park, Kansas, Invasion)
Madeleine Gates (MB, UCLA, 6-3, 1, San Diego, California, Coast Volleyball)
Meghan McClure (OH, Stanford, 6-0, 2, Rancho Santa Margarita, California, Laguna Beach VBC)
Avie Niece (MB, Washington, 6-0, 1, Bellevue, Washington, Sudden Impact VBC)
Adanna Rollins (OH, Minnesota, 6-0, 3, Carrollton, Texas, Texas Advantage)
Stephanie Samedy (OPP, Minnesota, 6-2, 2, Clermont, Florida, Top Select Volleyball Academy)

Head Coach: Keegan Cook (University of Washington)
Assistant Coach: Beth Launiere (University of Utah)