Payne Selected to USA Volleyball Pan American Cup Roster


ANAHEIM, Calif. – Kansas volleyball standout Kelsie Payne has accomplished a lot in just two years as a Jayhawk: AVCA First Team All-America status, All-Big 12 First Team honors, and NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team recognition. Monday’s news out of Anaheim might be the biggest individually-earned feather in her cap though.

USA Volleyball has listed Payne, one of the nation’s brightest rising stars, on the 12-member Pan American Cup roster.  The 12 athletes selected will remain in California until the Pan American Cup begins in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on July 2.

The U.S. Women’s National Team invited Payne and libero Cassie Wait, along with 17 other athletes, to train and compete in Anaheim for a roster spot.

“This is a great opportunity for Kelsie,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said. “Based on what Cassie was seeing on the floor in Anaheim this week, we are really proud of how hard Kelsie was working, the level that she played at, and the type of teammate she is being. Kelsie and Cassie have a lot of talent, but as they continue to grow in other intangibles, that is what creates great opportunities.”

Wait will remain in Anaheim to train with Payne and the rest of the Pan American Cup roster until the team departs for the Dominican Republic at the end of the month.

Monday evening’s news feeds into a big week for Kansas volleyball. Last Thursday, rising senior middle blocker Tayler Soucie was named the Big 12 Female Sportsperson of the Year, while setter Ainise Havili and outside hitter Madison Rigdon are competing for the USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team in China until July 1.

“When young women chose to come to the University of Kansas, we are going to give them everything they need to execute their goals at the highest level in all areas of life. It is wonderful to see the fruits of their hard work come to life,” Bechard concluded.

U.S. Women’s Roster for Pan American Cup
Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College)
Lauren Carlini (S, 6-2, West Aurora, Illinois, University of Wisconsin)
Micha Hancock (S, 5-11, Edmond, Oklahoma, Penn State)
Megan Courtney (OH, 6-1, Dayton, Ohio, Penn State)
Brittany Howard (OH, 6-3, Los Altos, California, Stanford University)
Madi Kingdon (OH, 6-1, Phoenix, Arizona, University of Arizona)
Taylor Simpson (OH, 6-3, Colorado Springs, Colorado, University of Colorado)
Alex Holston (OPP, 6-1, Olney, Maryland, University of Florida)
Nikki Taylor (OPP, 6-3, Honolulu, Hawaii, University of Hawaii)
Carly Wopat (MB, 6-2, Santa Barbara, California, Stanford University)
Rhamat Alhassan (M, 6-4, Glenarden, Maryland, University of Florida)
KELSIE PAYNE (M, 6-3, Austin, Texas, University of Kansas)
Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Cypress, California, University of Nebraska)

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