Only 2 Olympians Will Play for Team USA at 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix

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

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

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