Payne, U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe wins European Global Challenge

PULA, Croatia –Two-time All-American Kelsie Payne and the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Europe (CNT-Europe) captured the 13th European Global Challenge championship trophy by defeating an all-star team from the Mountain West Conference, 25-15, 25-15, 25-13, in the gold-medal match.

CNT-Europe held the Mountain West Conference to a 23 kill percentage and .012 hitting efficiency (19-18-84). CNT-Europe held a 10-2 margin in blocks and 8-3 advantage in aces.

CNT-Europe ended the tournament with a 6-0 record.

The gold-medal match concluded over week of competition and training for the CNT-Europe team, which began in Maribor, Slovenia, with trio of friendly matches. The European Global Challenge featured a 12-team bracket – six teams from Europe and six teams from the United States.

Payne and the other CNT-Europe athletes were selected through the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts held March 3-5 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Last summer, Payne helped lead USA Volleyball’s Women’s National Team to a bronze medal at the Pan-American Cup. The Austin, Texas native is a back-to-back AVCA First-Team All-American and the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year.

U.S. Collegiate National Team – Europe

Name (Position, School)
Symone Abbott (OH, Northwestern)
Corissa Crocker (M, Michigan)
Jesse Earl (L, Auburn)
Kristen Gengenbacher (S, San Diego)
Claire Kiefer-Wright (M, Michigan)
Taylor Mims (OPP, Washington State)
Carlyle Nusbaum (OH, Lipscomb)
Kelsie Payne (OPP, Kansas)
Taira Robins-Hardy (S, Brigham Young)
Jenna Rosenthal (M, Marquette)
Courtney Schwan (OH, Washington)
Jaali Winters (OH, Creighton)

Head Coach: Molly Alvey (head coach, Cincinnati)
Assistant Coach: Nicki Holmes (assistant coach, North Carolina State)

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