Brendan McKay Receives Invite to Team USA Training Camp

Louisville freshman lefty pitcher and first baseman Brendan McKay has earned an invitation to compete for a roster spot on the 2015 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

A native of Darlington, Pennsylvania, McKay is scheduled to participate in the team’s training camp starting June 18 and will compete for one of the openings on the final 24-man roster. McKay is the third member of the Cardinals to receive the call from Team USA this spring as sophomore pitcher Zack Burdi and sophomore outfielder Corey Ray accepted roster spots last month.

Named as a semifinalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and chosen as the ACC Freshman of the Year, McKay has an 8-3 record with a 1.71 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 89.2 innings and 19 appearances on the mound, including 12 straight weekend starts. An All-ACC First Team selection as a pitcher and a Second Team honoree as a utility player, McKay is hitting .315 with three home runs, 32 RBI, 38 walks and 31 runs scored in 55 starts as a hitter.

The USA Collegiate National Team will compete in international friendship series against Chinese Taipei and Cuba in North Carolina, as well as participating in the Americas Baseball Festival against the Canadian Senior National Team, the Cuban National Team and the USA Baseball Pan American Games Team. The summer schedule begins on June 20 against the Holly Springs Salamanders of the Coastal Plain League at the National Training Complex and will continue through July 8.

McKay is the 10th Louisville player to earn an invitation from the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team joining Zack Burdi (2015), Corey Ray (2015), Kyle Funkhouser (2014), Nick Burdi (2013), Ryan Wright (2010), Phil Wunderlich (2009), Tony Zych (2009), Justin Marks (2008) and Mark Jurich (2002). McKay is also the 17th player coached or signed by Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell, who served as an assistant with the 2009 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, to earn international baseball experience.

No. 3 national seed Louisville (46-16) will host 11th-ranked Cal State Fullerton (37-22) in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional starting Saturday at 11 a.m., ET at Jim Patterson Stadium.

Chinanu Onuaku to Participate in USA Basketball Training Camp

University of Louisville sophomore forward/center Chinanu Onuaku is among 24 players who have accepted invitations to participate in the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team training camp that will be staged June 12-26 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The training camp will be utilized to select the 12-member roster for the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team. The USA will look to defend the USA’s 2013 U19 gold at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship that will be held June 27-July 5 in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. Athletes eligible for this team must be U.S. citizens who are 19 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1996).  Former UofL forward Montrezl Harrell was a member of the 2013 gold medal winning team.

The 6-10, 230-pound Onuaku from Lanham, Md., started 26 games as a freshman in helping the Cardinals post a 27-9 record last season, reaching the final eight teams in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last eight years.  An All-ACC Academic team selection, Onuaku averaged 3.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and was ninth in the ACC with 42 blocked shots last season.

“It should be looked upon as a tremendous honor to be selected to tryout for this team, because the competition is so strong,” said Jim Boeheim Syracuse Hall of Fame head coach and chair of the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee, which is responsible for selecting players and coaches for the team. “Our committee does a great job identifying players who will represent our country in international competition. We know that even in the training camp, the competition will be fierce.”

The returning gold medalists include: Isaiah Briscoe (Roselle Catholic H.S./Union, N.J.); Jalen Brunson (Stevenson H.S./Lincolnshire, Ill.); Terrance Ferguson (Homeschooled/Flower Mound, Texas); Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/Winston-Salem, N.C.); Josh Jackson (Prolific Prep, Calif./Southfield, Mich.); Diamond Stone (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.); Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.); Jayson Tatum (Chaminade College Prep/St. Louis, Mo.); Allonzo Trier (Findlay Prep, Nev./Seattle, Wash.); and Seventh Woods (Hammond School/Columbia, S.C.).

Also attending camp will be: Tyus Battle (St. Bernard’s School/Edison, N.J.); Justin Bibbs (Virginia Tech/Dayton, Ohio); Brekkott Chapman (Utah/Roy, Utah); Vince Edwards(Purdue/Middletown, Ohio); Jawun Evans (Kimball H.S./Dallas, Texas); Riley LaChance (Vanderbilt/Brookfield, Wis.); T.J. Leaf (Foothills Christian H.S./Lakeside, Calif.); Silas Melson(Gonzaga/Portland, Ore.); Malik Monk (Bentonville H.S./Lepanto, Ark.); Chinanu Onauku (Louisville/Lanham, Md.); Eric Paschall (Villanova/Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.); L.J. Peak (Georgetown/Gaffney, S.C.); Malik Pope (San Diego State/Sacramento, Calif.); and Thomas Welsh (UCLA/Redondo Beach, Calif.).

Coaching the 2015 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Championship Team will be head coach Sean Miller (Arizona) and  assistants Ed Cooley (Providence) and Archie Miller (Dayton).

Training camp will begin on the evening of June 13, followed by two practices each day. Finalists for the team are expected to be announced on June 15, and the roster will be selected prior to the team’s departure for Greece.

In addition to Boeheim the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team Committee includes: NCAA appointees Bob McKillop (Davidson), Matt Painter (Purdue) and Lorenzo Romar(Washington); and athlete representative Curtis Sumpter, who won a gold medal with USA Basketball at the 2004 FIBA Americas U20 Championship and a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Molly Sauer named to USA Volleyball’s National Junior Team

University of Louisville recruit Molly Sauer was named to the USA Volleyball 12-player U.S. Women’s Junior National Team (WJNT) roster that will train and compete this summer.

Tom Hogan, head coach of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, and his staff have selected four outside hitters, three middle blockers, one opposite, two setters and two liberos to represent the United States at the Global Challenge held July 13-16 in Pula, Croatia.

The Louisville native and USA Today All-USA High School Preseason 1st team selection joins the Cardinals after a successful prep career at Assumption High School. Under head coach Ron Kordes, Sauer helped her team to two KHSAA State Championships, as well as two regional championships and three district championships.

The libero was a member of the KVCA First-Team All-State (AAA) in 2014 and the KHSAA All-Region Team in 2013. Additionally, she was named as PrepVolleyball’s No. 25 Senior Ace.

In previous international competition, Sauer was a member of the 2013 Girls Youth National Team that won the USA Volleyball Team of the Year and was a silver medalist in the 2013 FIVB World Championships. She was also a member of the 2014 USA Women’s Junior National Team that won the gold medal at the 2014 USA NORCECA Championships.

As a club volleyball player for KIVA, Sauer was an AAU All-American in 2012 and was an AAU National Champion and JVDA National Champion in 2011. She also was named to the Under Armour All American second team.

Outside hitter tabbed to the WJNT are Adora Anae (Laie, Hawaii), Lauryn Gillis (New Castle, Ind.), Hayley Hodson(Newport Beach, Calif.) and Carli Snyder (Macomb, Mich.). Middle blockers chosen for the WJNT are Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Md.), Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Orie Agbaji (Kansas City, Mo.).

Audriana Fitzmorris (Overland Park, Kan.) is the lone opposite on the team, though other front-row hitters could fill in. Setters named to the elite roster are Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colo.) and Taylor Tashima (Wilmette, Ill.). Libero selected for the roster are Molly Sauer (Louisville, Ky.) and Caroline Knop (Pasadena, Calif.).

“On behalf of the entire coaching staff, we could not be more pleased with the roster for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team,” Hogan said. “These players are among the top in the country and the world at this age group. These 12 players, as well as our staff, have an immense pride in representing our country. It’s a privilege we take seriously and one we’re excited to experience this summer.”

The squad has six veteran returnees from the 2014 WJNT roster that captured gold in the 2014 NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship. Alhassan, Cuttino, Fitzmorris, Hodson, Poulter and Sauer are all back for the second season of the cycle.

Kaz Brown (Waterloo, Iowa) and Madison Duello (Liberty, Mo.) will serve as alternates on the team and will be called to train and compete with the team should an injury occur.

Along with Hogan, the WJNT coaching staff will consist of assistant coaches Erin Virtue and Stacy SykoraJared Goldberg will serve as the technical coordinator. Both Hogan and Virtue were part of the 2014 WJNT staff. Hogan, who was an assistant coach during Team USA’s silver-medal run at the 2008 Olympic Games, also serves as associate head coach at University of Denver. Virtue, who was a setter for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2005-06, is an assistant coach at the University of Michigan. Sykora, a three-time Olympic Games libero, is making her first appearance as a coach in the program. Goldberg recently accepted a position with Morehead State University.

In addition to the Global Challenge, the WJNT will train and play matches from July 4-12 in Trieste, Italy and Maribor, Slovenia. The squad has scheduled matches against the senior national teams for Croatia and Israel prior to competition in the Global Challenge. The U.S. will also play their junior national team counterparts from Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, as well as Hungary’s U22 team. Other matches are being discussed while training and competing in Europe.

The U.S. qualified to participate in the 2015 FIVB Women’s Junior World Championship by winning gold at last year’s NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship. However, this year’s World Championship event changed locations from Cyprus to Puerto Rico, along with the dates of the competition from early July to Sept. 9-21. With the lack of available athletes during September due to academic concerns and the collegiate and prep volleyball seasons, USA Volleyball opted to pull out of the World Championship and compete in the Global Challenge.

Tom Pingel, senior director at USA Volleyball, believes the planned alternative training and competition schedule in Europe this summer will help fill a the void left by the World Championship changing dates and location.

“While we are very disappointed that this team will be unable to participate in the FIVB U20 World Championship, the opportunity to travel to Europe and compete at a high level will help fill the void and keep this group of athletes on a strong path within the USA Pipeline.”

Hogan feels the planned summer training and match schedule will ultimately push the selected players to greater heights and benefiting the U.S. Women’s National Team in the future.

“The primary goal of the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team is to prepare the top players at the junior level for the National Team and the Olympics through high-level training and international competition,” Hogan said. “We will teach and train the U.S. Women’s National Team system and concepts in our gym, and we will compete against some of the top junior national teams in the world. We think this trip has the potential to create an Olympic impact on some of the players on our roster, and we look forward to seeing them develop through this high level experience.”

2015 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team
Name (Position, Height, Hometown, College/High School, Youth Club, Region)
Orie Agbaji (MB, 6-3, Kansas City, Mo., Oak Park High School, Club North, Club North) 
Rhamat Alhassan (MB, 6-4, Glenarden, Md., University of Florida, Metro American, Chesapeake Region) 
Adora Anae (OH, 6-1, Laie, Hawaii, University of Utah, Imi Ike, Aloha) 
Danielle Cuttino (MB, 6-4, Indianapolis, Ind., Purdue University, Circle City, Hoosier) 
Audriana Fitzmorris (OPP, 6-4, Overland Park, Kan., St. James Academy, Invasion VBC, Heart of America) 
Lauryn Gillis (OH, 6-1, New Castle, Ind., University of Wisconsin, Munciana, Hoosier) 
Hayley Hodson (OH, 6-2, Newport Beach, Calif., Stanford University, Tstreet, Southern California) 
Caroline Knop (L, 5-8, Pasadena, Calif., University of Michigan, San Gabriel Elite, Southern California) 
Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-0, Aurora, Colo., University of Illinois, Front Range, Rocky Mountain) 
Molly Sauer (L, 5-7, Louisville, Ky., University of Louisville, KIVA, Pioneer) 
Carli Snyder (OH, 6-0, Macomb, Mich., University of Florida, Michigan Elite, Lakeshore) 
Taylor Tashima (S, 6-0, Wilmette, Ill., Northwestern University, Wildcat Juniors, Great Lakes) 

 Head Coach: Tom Hogan
Assistant Coaches: Erin Virtue, Stacy Sykora
Technical Coordinator: Jared Goldberg
Team Leader: Denise Sheldon

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