The Volleyball Nations League is just three weeks away and USA Volleyball and coach Karch Kiraly announced the roster Wednesday.
It includes eight players from the USA team that won gold in the Tokyo Olympics last summer: Setters Micha Hancock and Jordyn Poulter, libero Justine Wong-Orantes, opposites Annie Drews and Jordan Thompson, middles Haleigh Washington and Chiaka Ogbogu, and outside Kelsey Robinson.
The 25-player roster includes five of last summer’s Olympic alternates, outsides Kathryn Plummer and Sarah Wilhite, setter Lauren Carlini, and middles Tori Dixon and Hannah Tapp.
Also on the team are middle Dana Rettke, the former Wisconsin star middle who played with the national team when it clinched the Olympic bid in 2020, former Utah standout outside/oppostie Dani Drews who just had a great season with Athletes Unlimited, and middle Anna Stevenson, who was so dominant for Louisville last year.
Making the list is former Washington standout Kara Bajema, who is coming off a spectacular pro season in Poland, and two of Plummer’s teammates at Stanford when they won three NCAA titles, setter Jenna Gray, who has been playing in Germany, and libero Morgan Hentz, who had a great season with Athletes Unlimited.
Penn State has five former players on the team Hancock, Washington, libero Kendall White, outside Ali Frantti, and opposite Nia Reed.
The USA plays the Dominican Republic on May 31, the first of four matches in Bossier City, Louisiana. The Americans face Canada on June 3, Brazil on June 4, and Japan on June 5.
VNL then moves to the Phillipines, where the USA plays Bulgaria, Poland, China and Thailand. The team finishes in Calgary where it plays Belgium, Serbia, Turkey and Germany.
The finals are in Ankara, Turkey, July 13-17.
The USA has won the last three VNL titles and is ranked No. 1 in the world. The four players from the USA team that won Olympic gold not on the team are outsides Jordan Larson and Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, middle Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson, and outside Kim Hill.
The VNL roster, courtesy USA Volleyball:
1 — Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Okla., Penn State)
2 –Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Aurora, Colo., Illinois)
3 –Kathryn Plummer (OH, 6-6, Aliso Viejo, Calif., Stanford)
4 — Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, Calif., Nebraska)
5 — Morgan Hentz (L, 5-9, Lakeside Park, Ky., Stanford)
6 — Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Burnsville, Minn., Minnesota)
7 — Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, Aurora, Ill., Wisconsin)
8 — Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Stewartville, Minn., Minnesota)
9 — Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, Ariz., Arizona)
10 — Brionne Butler (MB, 6-4, Kendleton, Texas, Texas)
11 — Annie Drews (Opp, 6-4, Elkhart, Ind., Purdue)
12 — Jordan Thompson (Opp, 6-4, Edina, Minn., Cincinnati)
13 — Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Eden Prairie, Minn., Minnesota)
15 — Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colo., Penn State)
16 — Dana Rettke (MB, 6-8, Riverside, Ill., Wisconsin)
17 — Dani Drews (OH, 6-0, Sandy, Utah, Utah)
18 — Kara Bajema (OH, 6-2, Lynden, Wash., Washington)
19 — Jenna Gray (S, 6-1, Shawnee, Kan., Stanford )
20 — Danielle Cuttino (Opp, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue)
22 — Kendall White (L, 5-5, Zionsville, Ind., Penn State)
23 — Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Manhattan Beach, Calif., Nebraska)
24 — Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Coppell, Texas, Texas)
30 — Ali Frantti (OH, 6-1, Spring Grove, Ill., Penn State)
31 — Anna Stevenson (MB, 6-2, Laurens S.C., Louisville)
33 — Nia Reed (Opp, 6-1, Fort Lee, N.J., Penn State)
Head Coach — Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches — Erin Virtue, Tama Miyashiro, Alfee Reft
Performance Analyst — Brian Hurler
Physical Therapist/Athletic Trainer — Kara Kessans
Team Doctor — Christopher Lee
Consultant Coach — Sue Enquist
Team Manager — Coley Pawlikowski
Sports Dietitian — Shawna Hueglin
Strength & Conditioning Coach — Brandon Siakel
Click here for the USA Volleyball news release that includes the full schedule and ticket information for Bossier City.