A pair of Huskers are among the 12 players selected to represent the United States in the 2022 U21 Pan American Cup which runs Tuesday through Sunday.
Sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez and freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick will don the red, white and blue once again as they compete in the event with 10 of the other top junior volleyball players in the country.
Coach Dan Fisher (Pittsburgh) and his staff selected the team from a pool of 20 players who trained in Shreveport, Louisiana, May 26 through June 4.
“It’s an opportunity for them to play against other great players, other great teams from around the world,” Coach John Cook told Hail Varsity. “They go to cool places and represent the United States. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to do that and the are great benefits to it because of all that. They get to see other teams play and how they play and maybe learn new things.”
Rodriguez last competed with Team USA at the 2021 U20 FIVB World Championship in Netherlands, helping the Americans to a fifth-place finish. She follows that up by earning National Freshman of the Year honors from the AVCA and Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Big Ten during her first season as a Husker.
Rodriguez also helped lead the U18 national team to the gold medal in the 2019 FIVB U18 World Championship. She is one of three 2020 high school graduates on the team; the other two will be making their Team USA debut. Rodriguez has been named team captain for the event.
This will be Allick’s second stint with Team USA. She served as a team captain for the U18 team that took bronze at the 2021 FIVB World Championship, which also took place in Mexico. Allick enrolled at Nebraska in January and participated in the beach season before making her debut in the scarlet and cream in front of a sold-out crowd at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island during Nebraska’s spring exhibition match against Kansas. Allick started at middle blocker and finished with six kills and five blocks.
Allick is one of five 2020 graduates on the team, and she’s also one of two native Nebraskans on the roster. Papillion-La Vista product and Creighton sophomore outside hitter Norah Sis made the team and will be making her debut with Team USA. Sis earned AVCA Third Team All-America and Big East Freshman of the Year honors this past season.
The rest of the roster includes setters Rachel Fairbanks (Pitt) and Alexis Stucky (Florida); middle blockers Bre Kelley (Florida) and Raven Colvin (Purdue); opposite hitter Merritt Beason (Florida) and outside hitters Devin Kahahawai (Texas), Mckenna Wucherer (Minnesota), Ella Rubin (Stanford) and Chloe Chicoine (2023 Purdue commit).
The team has traveled to La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico and will be playing its first match on Tuesday afternoon. The full schedule is below.
Women’s U21 Pan American Cup Schedule (All times CT)
- 3 p.m. — Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico
- 5 p.m. — Argentina vs. Canada
- 7 p.m. — United States vs. Costa Rica
- 9 p.m. — Mexico vs. Honduras
- 3 p.m. — Cuba vs. Puerto Rico
- 5 p.m. — Argentina vs. Costa Rica
- 7 p.m. — United States vs. Canada
- 9 p.m. — Mexico vs. Chile
- 3 p.m. — Costa Rica vs. Canada
- 5 p.m. — Dominican Republic vs. Cuba
- 7 p.m. — Chile vs. Honduras
- 9 p.m. — Argentina vs. United States
- Classification and Quarterfinals
- Classification and semifinals
- Classification and medal matches
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.