When the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix (the women’s equivalent the World League event happening now) kicks off on July 7th, the American women will be in Kunshan, China, but they’ll be almost unrecognizable from the team fans saw on television at last summer’s Olympic Games.
Only two members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team have even been added to the 21-player preliminary roster that USA Volleyball released earlier this week: the captain Carli Lloyd and opposite Kelly Murphy. Lloyd played in 7 of Team USA’s matches, but didn’t start any sets during the Olympic tournament, while Murphy started all 8 matches, scoring 76 points and starting all but 4 sets for the Americans in the tournament.
That means there will be no Alisha Glass for Team USA – the anointed “Best Setter” of the Olympic tournament retired after Rio. 29-year old Foluke Akinradewo will also site out – she was one of two named “Best Middle Blocker” at the Olympics and is in the process of moving around the world in advance of the next professional season. The defending U.S. Indoor Female Player of the Year Jordan Larson is also off the roster.
Christa Harmotto Dietzen, captain of last year’s Olympic Team, has also retired (though less-emphatically than Glass did). Reigning Champions League MVP Kim Hill is also out – she too is making a big move this summer, from VakifBank Istanbul in Turkey to Imoco in Italy.
To show just how much experience is missing, we calculated the average age of each member of last year’s Olympic Team, and the average age of each member of this year’s Grand Prix preliminary roster. Last year’s Olympic team averaged 27 years, 216 days of age. Courtney Thompson was the oldest player at 31 years, 297 days old when play started in Rio. The youngest was Karsta Lowe, who was 23 years, 205 days when play began.
By comparison, this year’s World Grand Prix preliminary roster averages 24 years, 179 days of age. The oldest player on this year’s World Grand Prix roster is Sonja Newcombe at 29 years, 11 days old. The youngest is Amanda Benson at 21 years, 313 days – just older than Sarah Wilhite at 21 years, 348 days. Both players, if selected to the final 14-player roster, will be making the senior international debuts.
Only 4 of the 21 players on the American preliminary roster are older than the average player was at the Olympics: the captain Lloyd, Murphy, Newcombe, and Lauren Gibbermeyer, who will be 28 years, 339 days old when competition starts on July 7th.
Ages of 2016 Olympic roster
|No.||Name||Date of birth||Days|
|1||Alisha Glass||5 April 1988||10364||28||144||28 Years, 144 days|
|2||Kayla Banwarth (L)||21 January 1989||10073||27||218||27 Years, 218 days|
|3||Courtney Thompson||4 November 1984||11612||31||297||31 Years, 297 days|
|5||Rachael Adams||3 June 1990||9575||26||85||26 Years, 85 days|
|6||Carli Lloyd||6 August 1989||9876||27||21||27 Years, 21 days|
|10||Jordan Larson||16 October 1986||10901||29||316||29 Years, 316 days|
|12||Kelly Murphy||20 October 1989||9801||26||311||26 Years, 311 days|
|13||Christa Harmotto (C)||12 October 1986||10905||29||320||29 Years, 320 days|
|15||Kimberly Hill||30 November 1989||9760||26||270||26 Years, 270 days|
|16||Foluke Akinradewo||5 October 1987||10547||28||327||28 Years, 327 days|
|23||Kelsey Robinson||25 June 1992||8822||24||62||24 Years, 62 days|
|25||Karsta Lowe||2 February 1993||8600||23||205||23 Years, 205 days|
|Average||10069.66667||27||214.6666667||27 Years, 215 days|
Ages of 2017 Grand Prix roster
|N°||NAME||BIRTHDATE (European order)|
|1||Micha Hancock||10/11/1992||9035||24||275||24 years, 275 days|
|2||Kristen Hahn||19/01/1992||9301||25||176||25 years, 176 days|
|3||Carli Lloyd C||6/8/1989||10256||28||36||28 years, 36 days|
|4||Justine Wong-Orantes||6/10/1995||8063||22||33||22 years, 33 days|
|5||Sarah Wilhite||30/07/1995||8013||21||348||21 years, 348 days|
|6||Tetori Dixon||4/8/1992||9221||25||96||25 years, 96 days|
|7||Lauren Carlini||28/02/1995||8165||22||135||22 years, 135 days|
|8||Lauren Gibbemeyer||8/9/1988||10559||28||339||28 years, 339 days|
|9||Madison Kingdon||20/04/1993||8844||24||84||24 years, 84 days|
|11||Andrea Drews||25/12/1993||8595||23||200||23 years, 200 days|
|12||Kelly Murphy||20/10/1989||10122||27||267||27 years, 267 days|
|14||Michelle Bartsch-Hackley||12/2/1990||9714||26||224||26 years, 224 days|
|16||Mallory Mccage||2/2/1994||8556||23||161||23 years, 161 days|
|17||Megan Courtney||27/10/1993||8654||23||259||23 years, 259 days|
|18||Sonja Newcombe||7/3/1988||10596||29||11||29 years, 11 days|
|19||Hannah Tapp||21/06/1995||8052||22||22||22 years, 22 days|
|20||Amanda Benson||9/3/1995||7978||21||313||21 years, 313 days|
|21||Paige Tapp||21/06/1995||8052||22||22||22 years, 22 days|
|22||Alexa Dannemiller||9/6/1993||8705||23||310||23 years, 310 days|
|23||Elizabeth Mcmahon||27/02/1993||8896||24||136||24 years, 136 days|
|26||Amber Rolfzen||25/08/1994||8352||22||322||22 years, 322 days|
|Average||8939.47619||24||179.4761905||24 years, 179 days|