The U.S. Women's National Team has announced its 14-player roster for the 12-country NORCECA Pan American Cup being staged June 17-25 in Peru. Former Husker All-Americans Amber Rolfzen and Justine Wong-Orantes were named to the squad.
The Pan Am Cup is in its 16th year as teams from NORCECA (North America, Central America and Caribbean) and South America confederations compete for the title. The Americans have won the event three of the past five years with mainly a younger roster to gain international experience. The Pan Am Cup has two six-team preliminary round pools that will play a full round-round schedule.
The American squad will consist of two setters, two liberos, two opposites, four outside hitters and four middles. The setters include captain Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) and Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois). The liberos will be Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona) and Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California). The opposites are Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana) and Liz McMahon (Liberty Township, Ohio).
The outside hitters selected for the Pan Am Cup are Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Maryville, Illinois), Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio), Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Arizona) and Sonja Newcombe (Lake Arrowhead, California). The middles are Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland), Molly McCage (Texas), Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota) and Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska). In total, six of the players – Carlini, Hancock, Courtney, Kingdon, Alhassan and Wong-Orantes – competed in the 2016 Pan Am Cup when the U.S. won bronze.
Team USA is part of Group A with matches against Venezuela on June 17, Colombia on June 18, Puerto Rico on June 19, Mexico on June 20 and Argentina on June 21. Group B includes Canada, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago. After an off day on June 22, the quarterfinal round will take the second- and third-place teams from both groups and play crossover matches to determine which two teams will advance to the June 24 semifinals to join the respective pool winners. The tournament concludes on June 25 with the medal-round matches and other classification matches.
All matches of the Pan American Cup will be streamed by FloPro with a subscription.