COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 18, 2916) – Five players named to the 2016 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team will seek a gold medal at the NORCECA U20 Continental Championships after earning silver at the 2015 FIVB Women’s U18 World Championships.

Brionne Butler (East Bernard, Texas), Paige Hammons (Louisville, Kentucky), Sydney Hilley (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota) Madison Lilley (Overland Park, Kansas), Stephanie Samedy (Clermont, Florida) and Lexi Sun (Encinitas, California) all were members of last year’s Girls’ Youth National Team which finished second at the tournament in Lima, Peru.

Also joining the 2016 Women’s Junior National Team from the 2015 Girls’ Youth National Training Team are Hailey Harward (Phoenix, Arizona) and Lauren Sanders (Snohomish, Washington).

“Watching them develop over the last six days has been rewarding and enjoyable, and getting to see them represent their country in a sport that they love is going to be very exciting,” Women’s Junior National Team Head Coach Laurie Corbelli said.

The team’s outside hitters are Hammons, Sun, Samedy, Thayer Hall (Moore, South Carolina) and Mackenzie May (Dubuque, Iowa). Butler, Sanders and Taryn Knuth have been named as middle blockers.

The Women’s Junior National Team setters are Hilley and Lilley, while Harward and Jamye Cox (Oregon, Ohio) are the team’s liberos.

Corbelli currently is the head coach at Texas A&M. She will be assisted by Brian Wright, the assistant coach at Texas Christian University, and Genny Volpe, Rice University’s head coach. University of Denver assistant coach Jesse Tupac is the team’s technical coordinator, and Lizzy Briones rounds out the staff as the team leader.

“This coaching staff is incredibly experienced, talented and has already established great relationships with the team,” Corbelli said. “It is an honor for us to all represent the USA and have the pleasure of working with such high-level athletes who are also wonderful people. We have a great culture which is essential for success.”

Before competing at the NORCECA U20 Continental Championships July 24-31 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Women’s Junior National Team will play at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships July 19-23, also in Fort Lauderdale.

“This group has been receptive to new ideas, eager to learn more, appreciative of the time and energy from the staff and supportive of each other on a daily basis,” Corbelli said. “They have come together as a team so beautifully, and I have no doubt that competing at HPC’s will be a great rehearsal in preparation for the teamwork, intensity and execution that we will need to display at NORCECA U20s in order to achieve our goals.” 

2016 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team 
No. Name (Position, Hometown, Height, High School Grad Year, Cub, Region)

1. Brionne Butler (MB, East Bernard, Texas, 6-3, 2017, Houston Juniors, Lone Star)
2. Jamye Cox (L, Oregon, Ohio, 5-3, 2017, Michigan Elite, Lakeshore)
3. Paige Hammons (OH, Louisville, Kentucky, 6-2, 2017, KIVA, Pioneer)op
5. Thayer Hall (OH, Moore, South Carolina, 6-3, 2018, Upward Stars Upstate, Southern)
6. Hailey Harward (L, Phoenix, Arizona, 5-9, 2016, Aspire 18 Rox, Arizona)
7. Sydney Hilley (S, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, 5-11, 2017, Minnesota Select, North Country)
8. Taryn Knuth (MB, Johnston, Iowa, 6-3, 2017, Iowa Power, Iowa)
9. Madison Lilley (S, Overland Park, Kansas, 6-0, 2017, KC Power, Heart of America)
10. Mackenzie May (OH, Dubuque, Iowa, 6-3, 2017, Adrenaline Volleyball Academy, Iowa)
12. Lauren Sanders (MB, Snohomish, Washington, 6-5, 2017, WVBA 18 Mizuno, Puget Sound)
13. Stephanie Samedy (OH, Clermont, Florida, 6-2, 2017, Top Select Volleyball Academy, Florida)
20. Lexi Sun (OH, Encinitas, California, 6-3, 2017, Coast VBC, Southern California)

Head Coach: Laurie Corbelli
Assistant Coaches: Brian Wright and Genny Volpe
Technical Coordinator: Jesse Tupac
Team Leader: Lizzy Briones