Natalie Hagglund Named to Team USA for Olympic Qualifier|
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Jan. 7, 2016
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Three-time USC All-American libero Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) was named to the U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team that will compete in this week's NORCECA Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament to be played Jan. 7-9, at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. Hagglund, who helped lead the Women of Troy to 117 victories and two appearances in the NCAA final four has been training with the team in Anaheim, Calif.
U.S. Women's National Team head coach Karch Kiraly and his staff assembled the 14-player roster of four middle blockers, four outside hitters, two setters, two opposites, and two liberos for the four-team round-robin event from which the winner will advance to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The squad's middle blockers are Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa.), and Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.). Outside hitters include Megan Easy (Boston, Mass.), Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.), and Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.). The opposite hitters are Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) and the setters are Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) with Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) and Hagglund as the liberos.
"We've had a strong training block so far, with all 21 players here working very hard to make USA the strongest it can be going into the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier," Kiraly said. "We chose the travel roster in the hope of maximizing our chances to accomplish our goal of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and we're excited to begin the battle, Thursday against Canada."
The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world and reigning world champions, hosts No. 7 Dominican Republic, No. 15 Puerto Rico and No. 16 Canada. The tournament field was determined by the top four teams from the eight-team 2015 NORCECA Women's Continental Championship held in Mexico. Team USA captured the title with a four-set win over Dominican Republic, while Puerto Rico won the bronze medal over Canada.
The U.S. will open against Canada on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. CT and then face Puerto Rico at 7 p.m. CT on Jan. 8. In the tournament finale, the U.S. meets Dominican Republic at 8 p.m. CT on Jan. 9. The match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports. All matches will be streamed live and available on the qualifier event page.
"It's truly an honor and a privilege - and a phenomenal opportunity - to play on an American court, in front of thousands of USA fans, with these four teams battling for a ticket to the Rio Olympics," U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said.
Prices for all-session reserved tickets range from $21-$81 dollars plus applicable taxes, while day-session reserved seat prices range from $10-$30 dollars plus applicable taxes. Students, military and senior citizens can receive a $3 discount on day session tickets only. Tickets are available through Ticket Master and the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office. USA Volleyball is partnering with the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau to produce the event.
Team USA finished the 2015 season with a 41-6 overall record that included gold medals in four tournaments and one bronze medal. The U.S. women won the FIVB World Grand Prix, NORCECA Women's Continental Championship, the Pan American Games, and the Pan American Cup. The Americans finished third at the FIVB World Cup, one spot shy of earning a 2016 Olympic Games berth in the first qualification tournament.
The U.S. Women have captured the silver medal at each of the two most recent Olympic Games held in Beijing (2008) and London (2012). The Americans won the 2014 FIVB World Championship, the first time they won gold in any of the three triple crown events (Olympic Games, World Championship or FIVB World Cup).
U.S. Women's National Team Roster for NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule of results, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.