Pac-12 volleyball all-star team set to begin China tour

By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star team is set to begin its tour of China this weekend, Saturday, June 15. Led by USC head coach Mick Haley, 13 players from around the league will compete in six matches against Chinese teams. In addition to the competition, the team has the opportunity to visit some of China's most prominent landmarks and cities.

The Pac-12 Conference announced the 12-player team in April, and recently added CALIFORNIA's Alyssa Jensen, a high school All-American setter who will be a freshman for the Golden Bears this fall.

The All-Star team convenes in Los Angeles on Friday, then departs for Shanghai Saturday evening. After arriving in Shanghai on Monday morning, the Pac-12 delegation will tour the famous city then head to Huaian City, where the team will spend several days.

The first of six matches begins on Wednesday night when the squad takes on Jeijang. It will also face the Jeijang Junior Team for a scrimmage, Jignsu and Tianjing. A four-team tournament is slated for June 23-25 at the Beijing University Students' Gymnasium. Some of the matches will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks. For more information on air time  as well as daily updates from the trip, follow Pac-12.com and @pac12.

In between games and practices, the Pac-12 All-Star team will visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and have lunch at the Great Wall. The tour wraps up on Thursday, June 27, with the team returning to Los Angeles on Friday, June 28.

The Pac-12 has a storied history in women's volleyball with 14 NCAA titles, the most of any Conference. This success extends across the Conference with seven different Pac-12 teams advancing to the national semifinals since 2001. The Pac-12 also features the nation's best players with the AVCA National Player of the Year coming from the Pac-12 in each of the last three years.

The student-athletes on the tour represent Pac-12 teams that distinguished the Conference during the 2012 season with seven NCAA tournament bids, tied for the most of any conference in the country. Oregon advanced to the national championship game to mark the third straight year a league squad has played in the final match, and five Pac-12 teams finished the season ranked in the top 15 of the AVCA National Coaches poll.

This summer's All-Star team was selected by the coaching staff and Pac-12 liaison and includes two setters, one libero, three middle blockers and six outside hitters from Pac-12 teams. The team features some of the top talent in the country and the Conference. Five were voted All-Pac-12 in 2012, including USC's Natalie Hagglund, who was voted the Conference's Libero of the Year for the second year in a row. Along with Hagglund, two others on were tabbed AVCA All-Americans (Oregon's Liz Brenner and Lauren Plum). In total, 11 of the 12 universities in the Conference are represented. The team includes two freshmen, five sophomores, four juniors and one senior.

 

2013 Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star Team Roster
Name College Year in School Height Position
Inky Ajanaku Stanford Freshman 6-3/190 cm Middle Blocker
Liz Brenner Oregon Sophomore 6-1/185 cm Outside Hitter
Hayley Crone USC Sophomore 5-9/175 cm Setter
Shelby Dalton Utah Sophomore 6-1/185 cm Outside Hitter
Kelcey Dunaway Washington Senior 6-2/188 cm Middle Blocker
Macey Gardner Arizona State Freshman 6-0/182 cm Outside Hitter
Marcelina Glab Washington State Junior 6-2/188 cm Middle Blocker
Natalie Hagglund USC Junior 5-9/180 cm Libero
Alyssa Jensen^ California Freshman 5-11/180 cm Setter
Madi Kingdon Arizona Sophomore 6-1/185 cm Outside Hitter
Arica Nassar Oregon State Sophomore 6-1/185 cm Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker
Lauren Plum Oregon Junior 5-5/175 cm Setter
Kelly Reeves UCLA Junior 6-0/182 cm Outside Hitter

Head Coach: Mick Haley, USC
Assistant Coaches: Jenny Greeny, Washington State; Beth Launiere, Utah
* Year in school based on 2012-13 academic year
^ Will be a freshman at Cal in the Fall of 2013

Match Info in China:
Huaian City:  Huaian Stadium
June 19 •  5 p.m. - Jejiang vs. Pac-12 All Star
June 20 •  4 p.m. - Jejiang Junior Team vs. Pac-12 All Star (Scrimmage)
June 21 •  7:30 p.m. -  Jingsu vs. Pac-12 All-Star
 
Beijing: Beijing University Students' Gymnasium
June 23 • 7:30 p.m. - Tianjin vs. Pac-12 All-Star
June 24 • 7:30 p.m. - August 1st vs. Pac-12 All-Star Team
June 25 • 5pm/7:30 p.m. - TBD