MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (June 29, 2017) – Opposite Holly Toliver (Michigan State University, Berrien Springs, Michigan) scored a match-high 16 points as the U.S. Collegiate National Team Red squad defeated CNT White 25-13, 25-23, 25-23 on Thursday afternoon at the Minneapolis Convention Center to conclude the pool play portion of the tournament.

CNT White (1-1) faces CNT Blue (0-2) on Friday at noon CT as a play-in to the championship match at 5 p.m. CT. CNT Red has advanced to the championship match by virtue of winning both its pool play matches in the three-team round robin.

Toliver tallied 12 kills on 19 errorless attacks, in addition to three blocks and an ace. She handled 20 receptions with a 55 positive percent. Outside hitter Taryn Kloth (Creighton University, Sioux Fallas, South Dakota) chipped in 11 points in the victory with 10 kills on 25 swings and a block. She also held a 71 positive reception percent on 17 receptions. Opposite Casey Schoenlein (Washington State University, Bellevue, Washington) contributed four kills and four aces for eight points.

Toliver said the experience so far being a part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team program has been nothing short of her dreams.

“Unbelievably amazing,” Toliver said. “I don’t know how else to describe it. I have never had so much fun because you are playing with all these amazing players like you do in college, but here it is a little different because everyone loves the game that much more as they are striving to play for Team USA one day.”

Despite having so many new players competing next to her on the court in the CNT program this month, Toliver has not missed a beat playing the exhibition matches.

“It is definitely different because the way each college, they have different schemes,” Toliver said. “We had a lot of miscommunications in the beginning of training, but that is why we trained for 10 days so we could work those things out to play in front of these crowds.”

The crowds, which are mostly youth players competing in the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships that is running concurrently with the U.S. Collegiate National Team program, have had the opportunity to see Olympic hopefuls and fuel their own dreams.

“It is an amazing experience,” Toliver said of being viewed as a role model to the younger athletes. I remember watching (this event at Junior Nationals) and thinking that I could never do this. Now, looking at the girls in the crowd, I wonder how many of these girls will play at this level. It is really cool to be a role model for them as one day they will be on this court (playing U.S. Collegiate National Team program).”

Middle Darrielle King (University of Florida, DeSoto, Texas) charted three kills on eight swings and three blocks for six points. Middle Amber Witherspoon (Chicago, Illinois) turned in two kills and two blocks for four points.

The CNT Red setting combination of Ashley Evans (Purdue University, Liberty Township, Ohio) and Olivia Dailey (University of Kentucky, Trussville, Alabama) pushed their team to a 43 kill percent and .274 hitting efficiency. Libero Brooke Peters (Purdue University, Avon, Indiana) handled eight receptions with a 50 positive reception, while the Emily Butters was 100 percent receiving on five chances.

CNT White was led by hometown favorite Brittany McLean (University of Minnesota, Rosemount, Minnesota), who had eight kills on 23 attacks and two aces for a team-high 10 points from her outside hitter position. Opposite Sherridan Atkinson (Purdue University, Long Beach, California) added six kills in starting the final two sets. Middle Jasmine Bennett (University of Louisville, Paducah, Kentucky) pocketed five kills on nine swings and an ace for six points. Outside hitter Stephanie Williams (University of Pittsburgh, Eastlake, Ohio) and outside hitter Julia Scoles (University of North Carolina, Mooresville, North Carolina) had matching five points.

Libero Tita Akiu (Texas Tech, Honolulu, Hawaii) was credited with a 64 positive reception percent on 14 chances. Both Williams and Scoles handled 21 receptions with Scoles having a 67 positive reception percent. Setters Monique Harris (Iowa State University, Clinton, Iowa) and Sydney Griffin (University of North Dakota, Marshall, Minnesota) set CNT White to a 33 kill percent.

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, trained at the University of Minnesota from June 22-26 prior to the competition matches at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

2017 U.S. Collegiate National Team – Minneapolis

Red Team
# – Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Junior Club Team)
14 – Rachel Anderson (M, Western Kentucky University, 6-1, 2, Sturgis, Michigan, Dead Frog Far Out)
5 – Emily Butters (L, Missouri State University, 5-8, 2, Richmond, Texas, Southwest Juniors)
29 – Olivia Dailey (S, University of Kentucky, 5-10, 2, Trussville, Alabama, Southern Performance)
28 – Ashley Evans (S, Purdue University, 6-1, 1, Liberty Township, Ohio, Cincy Classics)
21 – Lauren Fuller (OH, University of San Diego, 6-3, 2, Clarendon Hills, Illinois, Sports Performance)
18 – McKenna Granato (OH, University of Hawaii, 6-0, 2, Kailua, Hawaii, Imi ‘Ike)
7 – Darrielle King (M, University of Florida, 6-3, 3, DeSoto, Texas, Texas Advantage Volleyball)
20 – Taryn Kloth (OH, Creighton University, 6-4, 2, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Kairos)
4 – Brooke Peters (L, Purdue University, 5-9, 2, Avon, Indiana, Circle City)
25 – Casey Schoenlein (OPP, Washington State University, 6-5, 1, Bellevue, Washington, Seattle Juniors)
24 – Holly Toliver (OPP, Michigan State University, 6-2, 1, Berrien Springs, Michigan, Dead Frog Far Out)
11 – Amber Witherspoon (M, Syracuse University, 6-4, 2, Chicago, Illinois, No junior club)

Head Coach: Todd Dagenais (University of Central Florida head coach)
Assistant Coach: Marie Zidek (University of San Diego assistant coach)

CNT White Team
# – Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Junior Club Team)
2 – Tita Akiu (L, Texas Tech University, 5-2, 2, Honolulu, Hawaii, Team Piko VBC)
34 – Sherridan Atkinson (OPP, Purdue University, 6-5, 2, Long Beach, California, SoCal Juniors)
8 – Jasmine Bennett (M, University of Louisville, 6-2, 2, Paducah, Kentucky, Western Kentucky VBC)
10 – Faith Dooley (M, University of North Dakota, 6-3, 1, Wheatland, North Dakota, Summit Junior Volleyball)
35 – Angel Gaskin (OPP, University of Maryland, 6-1, 2, Tampa, Florida, Tampa United)
33 – Sydney Griffin (S, University of North Dakota, 5-11, 1, Marshall, Minnesota, Kairos Elite)
12 – Deja Harris (M, San Diego State University, 6-2, 1, Las Vegas, Nevada, Vegas Encore)
32 – Monique Harris (S, Iowa State University, 5-9, 1, Clinton, Iowa, Iowa Select)
23 – Brittany McLean (OH, University of Minnesota, 6-1, 3, Rosemount, Minnesota, Northern Lights)
17 – Julia Scoles (OH, University of North Carolina, 6-1, 3, Mooresville, North Carolina, Carolina Juniors)
16 – Stephanie Williams (OH, University of Pittsburgh, 6-0, 3, Eastlake, Ohio, Cleveland Volleyball Academy)

Head Coach: Lindsey Devine (East Tennessee State University head coach)
Assistant Coach: Jay Van Vark (Grand Canyon University assistant coach)

CNT Blue Team
# – Name (Position, School, Height, College Eligibility Remaining, Hometown, Junior Club Team)
3 – Brandi Donnelly (L, University of Illinois, 5-8, 1, Williamsville, Illinois, Illini Elite)
26 – Amanda Green (OPP, University of Louisville, 6-1, 3, Skokie, Illinois, Sports Performance)
19 – Leah Hardeman (OH, Coastal Carolina University, 5-10, 1, Clarkston, Georgia, Atlanta Boom)
6 – Kirstie Hillyer (M, Colorado State University, 6-6, 3, Bayfield, Colorado, Four Corners VBC)
15 – Veronica Jones-Perry (OH, BYU, 6-0, 2, West Jordan, Utah, Club V)
31 – Kristyn Nicholson (S, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 6-0, 1, Lewisville, Texas, Texas Advantage VBC)
9 – Kelsey O’Neill (M, University of Iowa, 6-1, 1, Skokie, Illinois, Wildcat Juniors)
22 – Alyssa Schultejans (OH, Kansas State University, 6-3, 2, Silver Lake, Kansas, Topeka Elite)
30 – Taylor Tashima (S, Northwestern University, 6-0, 1, Wilmette, Illinois, Wildcat Juniors)
1 – Brittany Thomas (L, Lipscomb University, 5-4, 1, Overland Park, Kansas, KC Power)
13 – Lynsey Wright (M, Missouri State University, 6-0, 1, Glen Carbon, Illinois, Rockwood Thunder)

Head Coach: Dennis Janzen (Trinity Western University assistant coach)
Assistant Coach: Lindsey Walton (University of Kentucky assistant coach)

Program Managers and Administrators: Rod Wilde (Madison Elite), Nicki Holmes (NC State University assistant coach), Jeff Wanderer (West Hills College head coach)
Technical Assistants: Rachel Ferguson (Grand Canyon University director of operations) and Jon Wong (Bradley University assistant coach)