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USA Women's Prelim Roster Set for Grand Champions

USA women's team won the NORCECA Continental Championship in Omaha, Nebraska last September
Colorado Springs United States, October 26, 2013 – The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team has announced its 20-player preliminary roster for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup that will take place Nov. 12-17 in Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan. 

The U.S. has selected six outside hitters, five middle blockers, three setters, three opposites and three liberos to fill out its 20-player preliminary roster for the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. Outside hitters are Kristin Hildebrand , Kim Hill, Megan Hodge, Regan Hood, Jordan Larson-Burbach and Cassidy Lichtman. The middle blockers on the roster are Lauren Gibbemeyer, Christa Harmotto, Cursty Jackson, Lauren Paolini and Danielle Scott.

The opposites are Juliann Faucette, Nicole Fawcett and Kelly Murphy. The setters are Alisha Glass, Jenna Hagglund  and Courtney Thompson. The liberos are Kayla Banwarth, Nicole Davis and Tamari Miyashiro.

The 20-player roster will be reduced to a 14-player competition roster prior to the start of the tournament. Each team can only suit 12 players for each match, but the roster composition can change each day as long as the players were submitted on the 14-player competition roster.

The FIVB Grand Champions Cup features continental winners United States (NORCECA), Thailand (Asia), Russia (Europe), Brazil (South America), along with wildcard Dominican Republic and host Japan. The tournament uses a round-robin format with each team playing five matches over the course of six days. The first stage will be held November 12-13 at the Nagoya Nippongaishi Hall, which seats 10,000 fans. 

After a travel day on November 14, the teams resume action November 15-17 at the 5,000-seat Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, which was used during the 1964 Olympic Games and completely remodeled in the early 1990s.

The U.S. opens the season-ending tournament on Nov. 12 versus No. 1 Brazil. The two teams also met on opening day of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round in Sapporo, Japan, in August. Team USA will face Japan on Nov. 13 and will try to improve to 6-0 against its Asian rival this year. After the travel day, the Americans challenge Russia on Nov. 15. Team USA defeated Russia 3-1 on the opening day of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix. The U.S. plays Thailand on Nov. 16 in the first meeting of the two teams in 2013. 

The Americans conclude the World Grand Champions Cup on Nov. 17 against Dominican Republic. The U.S. is 2-0 against Dominican Republic in 2013, with both victories coming in gold-medal matches (Pan American Cup and NORCECA Continental Championship).

Team USA is ranked second in the world as of the latest rankings released by the FIVB on Oct. 7. Brazil overtook the Americans as the top-ranked team in the world after the conclusion of the FIVB World Grand Prix and continues as the No. 1 team. Japan is ranked No. 3, followed by Russia at No. 6, Dominican Republic at No. 8, Thailand at No. 12.

The FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup has had a different winner for each of its five previous editions with Cuba (1993), Russia (1997), China (2001), Brazil (2005) and Italy (2009) all claiming the title. The U.S. captured the silver medal in the 2005 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup in its only podium finish in the five previous editions. The Americans finished fifth in the inaugural event in 1993 and fifth in the 2001 edition. Team USA did not qualify for the event in 1997 or 2009.

The U.S. Women qualified for the World Grand Champions Cup by winning the Visit Omaha NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, which was held Sept. 16-21. Team USA defeated Mexico and Cuba in pool play, Canada in the semifinal round and No. 8 Dominican Republic in the championship match. 


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