Get To Know The USA Women Competing At The Pan-American Cup

The U.S. women's national team is currently competing in the NORCECA Pan-American Cup in Peru. Since it's the first tournament of the season in the first year of a new Olympic quadrennial, there are many new faces wearing the red, white, and blue.

If you don't follow college volleyball closely, you might not recognize many of the athletes on the U.S. roster, so here's what you need to know about this crop of ballers.


#1 Micha Hancock


S, 5-foot-11 | Penn State | Edmond, OK

When Micha Hancock goes back to serve, opposing teams quiver in fear. She led the country in aces per set as a senior at Penn State in 2014 and set her Nittany Lions squad to back-to-back national championships in 2013 and 2014. The 24-year-old plays her pro ball with Impel Wrocław in Poland.

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#2 Rhamat Alhassan


MB, 6-4 | Florida | Glenarden, MD

University of Florida senior Rhamat Alhassan is the only athlete still in college on the 2017 Pan-Am Cup roster. The 6-4 middle blocker earned All-American honors in each of her three collegiate seasons, and her .430 career hitting percentage ranks fifth in Division I history.

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#4 Justine Wong-Orantes


L, 5-6 | Nebraska | Cypress, CA

NCAA national champion libero Justine Wong-Orantes first made a name for herself on the beach, where at the age of 12 she became the youngest player ever to earn her California Beach Volleyball Association AAA rating. At Nebraska, she broke the career digs record set by former national team libero Kayla Banwarth, accumulating 1,890 digs from 2013 to 2016.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/BODRDwAB18T/?taken-by=jwongorantes" hide_caption="0"]

#6 Amber Rolfzen


MB, 6-3 | Nebraska | Papillion, NE

One-half of Nebraska's fearsome Twin Towers, Amber Rolfzen spent the first two years of her college career as a right-side hitter but moved to middle as a junior. The position switch went so well that Rolfzen earned All-American honors as a junior and a senior and is now playing middle for Team USA. Her junior year at Nebraska, Rolfzen led the Big Ten in blocks per set as a junior, and she ranks sixth in Nebraska history with 551 total career blocks.

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#7 Lauren Carlini


S, 6-1 | Wisconsin | Aurora, IL

As a college freshman, Lauren Carlini quarterbacked her Wisconsin team all the way to the national championship match. The four-time All-American and three-time first-team All-American also played for Team USA at the 2016 Pan-American Cup where the U.S. squad won bronze. In her time at Wisconsin, Carlini set the program record with 74 career double-doubles and collected 5,599 career assists, good for second in Wisconsin history.

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#9 Madi Kingdon


OH, 6-1 | Arizona | Phoenix

In 2014, as a senior at Arizona Madi Kingdon was first-team All-Pac-12 and an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American. A four-year starter, Kingdon earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman team in 2011, and with 1,309 career kills, she left Arizona ranked sixth in program history. Since graduating, she has played for Lokomotive Baku in Azerbaijan and Hwaseong IBK Altos in Korea.

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#11 Annie Drews


OPP, 6-3 | Purdue | Elkhart, IN

Two-time All-American Annie Drews ranked second in the Big Ten in overall kills per set and second in conference play with 4.25 kills per set as a senior in 2015. Since graduating from Purdue, Drews has been playing professionally in Puerto Rico first for Indias Mayaguez and most recently for Caguas Criollas, which won the Puerto Rican league title this season.

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#14 Michelle Bartsch-Hackley


OH, 6-3 | Illinois | Maryville, IL

An Illinois alum, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley is one of the most veteran player on the U.S. Pan-Am Cup roster. Bartsch-Hackley's Illinois squad made the NCAA championship match in 2011, her senior season, and she entered the coaching ranks after completing her eligibility, first as a student assistant at Illinois and later with the UC Irvine men's team. She then began her professional career, most recently playing with Dresden SC in Germany. Her first FIVB appearance with the women's national team was at the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix.

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#16 Molly McCage


MB, 6-3 | Texas | Spring, Texas

As a college freshman, Molly McCage won a national championship with her University of Texas squad. After four years as a Longhorn, she emerged the school's all-time leader in block assists with 417. She currently plays for VC Wiesbaden in Germany, and the Pan-Am Cup marks her first international tournament appearance with the senior national team.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/BVdCXhXFsUV/?taken-by=mollymccage" hide_caption="0"]

#17 Megan Courtney


OH, 6-1 | Penn State | Dayton, Ohio

While at Penn State, Megan Courtney became only the eighth Nittany Lions player to surpass the 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs mark. Her collegiate career also featured two NCAA championships and the NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player honor in 2014. She made her senior national team debut last summer at the 2016 Pan-Am Cup.

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#18 Sonja Newcombe


OH, 6-1 | Oregon | Lake Arrowhead, CA

Sonja Newcombe played at Oregon from 2006 to 2009 and has since played professionally in Puerto Rico, France, Turkey, Germany, Russia, and China. A second-team All-American, Newcombe remains the career leader in points at Oregon with 1,852 and is fifth in school history with 1,580 career kills.

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#20 Amanda Benson


L, 5-7 | Oregon | Litchfield Park, AZ

Another product of the University of Oregon program, Amanda Benson completed her final year of eligibility in Eugene in 2016 and ranks second in program history in career digs per set (4.63) and total digs (2,146), just 53 digs short of the school record. The AVCA Honorable Mention All-American was the starting libero for Oregon all four years, and the Pan-Am Cup is her first tournament appearance with the senior national team.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/BVX-8TRBIgo/?taken-by=amandasbenson" hide_caption="0"]

#21 Paige Tapp


MB, 6-1 | Minnesota | Stewartville, MN

With her Minnesota squad, Paige Tapp went to back-to-back final fours and won a Big Ten Championship. The All-American middle blocker signed with Juncos Valencianas in Puerto Rico after graduating and she made her senior national team debut at the U.S. versus Canada friendly on June 13.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/BU2su5xjKD0/?taken-by=paigetapp" hide_caption="0"]

#23 Liz McMahon


OPP, 6-6 | Illinois | Liberty Township, Ohio

At the conclusion of her collegiate career, Liz McMahon ranked 10th all-time at Illinois in career kills, seventh in total attacks, eighth in block assists, 11th in total blocks, and ninth in points. A Senior CLASS Award winner and honorable mention All-American in 2014, McMahon plays professionally in Germany for Dresdner SC 1898.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/BUCTyIyBVtA/?taken-by=lizmcmahon14" hide_caption="0"]



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