COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Volleyball is proud to announce 31 of the 36 players who will train and compete as part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Minneapolis (CNT-Minneapolis) program with North Dakota senior middle hitter Faith Dooley a part of that select group. Five spots remain open for the CNT-Minneapolis program pending final outcome of the U.S. Women's Junior National Team's results at the Women's U20 Pan American Cup held in early May.
The CNT-Minneapolis squad, which is part of USA Volleyball's High Performance pipeline and is considered a second tryout for the U.S. Women's National Team, will train from June 22-26 at the University of Minnesota. Afterward, the athletes will be assigned to one of three 12-member teams and compete in a round-robin format at the Minneapolis Convention Center from June 27-30. The matches are being held in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships under the same roof.
"We knew that this group would be competing in Minneapolis in late June and July, so we thought this spring was the right time to have some of our team members tryout," UND head volleyball coach Mark Pryor said. "For Faith, it is a great chance for her to continue training to prepare for her final season for us, while also getting a chance for some of her family and friends to see her play alongside some other elite athletes. We have one more season in the Big Sky Conference, and each player is doing their part to ensure that it is an extremely successful one. This experience for Faith will be a great chance for her to grow and be challenged, and it could pay big dividends for us this fall."
Earlier this year USA Volleyball named its CNT-Thailand and CNT-Europe rosters. Athletes in the three CNT program were selected through the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts held March 3-5 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dooley, along with three other UND athletes (Sydney Griffin, Alivia Fraase and Jordan Vail) were part of that tryout process.
Dooley goes into her senior season just 12 total blocks shy of the school record, set back in 1991. In addition to her blocking prowess, Dooley has been an offensive threat as well for the reigning Big Sky Conference champions. She has scored 1300 points in her three seasons, already sixth-most of any UND player in the rally-scoring era. Her .308 career hitting percentage ranks second highest in the school record book.
Other middles chosen to the team are Jasmine Bennett (University of Louisville, Paducah, Kentucky), Deja Harris (San Diego State University, Las Vegas, Nevada), Kirstie Hillyer (Colorado State University, Bayfield, Colorado), Darrielle King (University of Florida, DeSoto, Texas), Kelsey O'Neill (University of Pittsburgh, Skokie, Illinois), Amber Witherspoon (Syracuse University, Chicago, Illinois) and Lynsey Wright (Missouri State University, Glen Carbon, Illinois).
Selected CNT-Minneapolis liberos are Tita Akiu (Texas Tech, Honolulu, Hawaii), Brandi Donnelly (University of Illinois, Williamsville, Illinois), Brooke Peters (Purdue University, Avon, Indiana) and Brittany Thomas (Lipscomb University, Overland Park, Kansas).
Setters named to the team are Olivia Dailey (University of Kentucky, Trussville, Alabama), Ashley Evans (Purdue University, Liberty Township, Ohio), Monique Harris (Iowa State University, Clinton, Iowa), Kristyn Nicholson (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Lewisville, Texas) and Taylor Tashima (Northwestern University, Wilmette, Illinois).
The outside hitters selected for the CNT-Minneapolis program are Symone Abbott (Northwestern University, Northville, Michigan), Lauren Fuller (University of San Diego, Clarendon Hills, Illinois), McKenna Granato (University of Hawaii, Kailua, Hawaii), Leah Hardeman (Coastal Carolina University, Clarkston, Georgia), Veronica Jones-Perry (BYU, West Jordan, Utah), Taryn Kloth (Creighton University, Sioux Falls, South Dakota), Julia Scoles (University of North Carolina, Mooresville, North Carolina) and Stephanie Williams (University of Pittsburgh, Eastlake, Ohio).
Opposites named to the program at Sherridan Atkinson (Purdue University, Long Beach, California), Angel Gaskin (University of Maryland, Tampa, Florida), Amanda Green (University of Louisville, Skokie, Illinois), Kayla Principato (University of Denver, Rockville Centre, New York), Casey Schoenlein (Washington State University, Bellevue, Washington) and Holly Tolliver (Michigan State University, Berrien Springs, Michigan).
The CNT-Minneapolis will have Rod Wilde of Madison Elite, NC State University Assistant Coach Nicki Holmes and West Hills College Head Coach Jeff Wanderer as the program managers and administrators. The head coaches for the three teams will be UCF Head Coach Todd Dagenais, East Tennessee State University Head Coach Lindsey Devine and Trinity Western University (Canada) Assistant Coach Dennis Janzen.
Assistant coaches for the CNT-Minneapolis program are Grand Canyon University Assistant Coach Jay Van Vark, University of Kentucky Assistant Coach Lindsey Gray-Walton and University of San Diego Assistant Coach Marie Zidek. The technical assistants will be Grand Canyon University Director of Operations Rachel Ferguson and Bradley University Assistant Coach Jon Wong.
2017 U.S. Collegiate National Team - Minneapolis
Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown)
Symone Abbott (OH, Northwestern University, 6-1, 1, Northville, Michigan)
Tita Akiu (L, Texas Tech University, 5-2, 2, Honolulu, Hawaii)
Sherridan Atkinson (OPP, Purdue University, 6-5, 2, Long Beach, California)
Jasmine Bennett (M, University of Louisville, 6-2, 2, Paducah, Kentucky)
Olivia Dailey (S, University of Kentucky, 5-10, 2, Trussville, Alabama)
Brandi Donnelly (L, University of Illinois, 5-8, 1, Williamsville, Illinois)
Faith Dooley (M, University of North Dakota, 6-3, 1, Wheatland, North Dakota)
Ashley Evans (S, Purdue University, 6-1, 1, Liberty Township, Ohio)
Lauren Fuller (OH, University of San Diego, 6-3, 2, Clarendon Hills, Illinois)
Angel Gaskin (OPP, University of Maryland, 6-1, 2, Tampa, Florida)
McKenna Granato (OH, University of Hawaii, 6-0, 2, Kailua, Hawaii)
Amanda Green (OPP, University of Louisville, 6-1, 3, Skokie, Illinois)
Leah Hardeman (OH, Coastal Carolina University, 5-10, 1, Clarkston, Georgia)
Deja Harris (M, San Diego State University, 6-2, 1, Las Vegas, Nevada)
Monique Harris (S, Iowa State University, 5-9, 1, Clinton, Iowa)
Kirstie Hillyer (M, Colorado State University, 6-6, 3, Bayfield, Colorado)
Veronica Jones-Perry (OH, BYU, 6-0, 2, West Jordan, Utah)
Darrielle King (M, University of Florida, 6-3, 3, DeSoto, Texas)
Taryn Kloth (OH, Creighton University, 6-4, 2, Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
Kristyn Nicholson (S, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 6-0, 1, Lewisville, Texas)
Kelsey O'Neill (M, University of Pittsburgh, 6-1, 1, Skokie, Illinois)
Brooke Peters (L, Purdue University, 5-9, 2, Avon, Indiana)
Kayla Principato (OPP, University of Denver, 6-3, 1, Rockville Centre, New York)
Casey Schoenlein (OPP, Washington State University, 6-5, 1, Bellevue, Washington)
Julia Scoles (OH, University of North Carolina, 6-1, 3, Mooresville, North Carolina)
Taylor Tashima (S, Northwestern University, 6-0, 1, Wilmette, Illinois)
Brittany Thomas (L, Lipscomb University, 5-4, 1, Overland Park, Kansas)
Holly Toliver (OPP, Michigan State University, 6-2, 1, Berrien Springs, Michigan)
Stephanie Williams (OH, University of Pittsburgh, 6-0, 3, Eastlake, Ohio)
Amber Witherspoon (M, Syracuse University, 6-4, 2, Chicago, Illinois)
Lynsey Wright (M, Missouri State University, 6-0, 1, Glen Carbon, Illinois)
Program Managers and Administrators: Rod Wilde (Madison Elite), Nicki Holmes (NC State University assistant coach), Jeff Wanderer (West Hills College head coach)
Head Coaches: Todd Dagenais (UCF head coach), Lindsey Devine (East Tennessee State head coach), Dennis Janzen (Trinity Western assistant volleyball coach)
Assistant Coaches: Jay Van Vark (Grand Canyon University assistant coach), Lindsey Gray-Walton (University of Kentucky assistant coach), Marie Zidek (University of San Diego assistant coach)
Technical Assistants: Rachel Ferguson (Grand Canyon University director of operations) and Jon Wong (Bradley University assistant coach)