USA 7s Women's coach Ric Suggitt has named the 24 women who will represent the USA at the Women's International Invitational 7s, Feb. 10-12 in Las Vegas.
The USA will enter two sides: Eagles and Stars & Stripes. The USA contains four of the eight recently contracted 7s athletes who are in the process of moving to Chula Vista's Olympic Training Center: Katie Dowty, Kelly Griffin, Vanesha McGee and Deven Owsiany.
The professional athletes support a very experienced lineup, including Teena Mastrangelo, Amy Daniels and Lauren Hoeck - all of whom have been playing for the USA 7s since the 2009 Sevens World Cup. Veterans Beth Black and CJ Hildreth have been in the game for years, and 15s stars Vanesha McGee, Vix Folayan, Irene Gardner and Emilie Bydwell have all found a home in the 7s sphere.
The Stars & Stripes team is significantly less experienced but no less exciting. The recent high performance players' camp exposed Suggitt to some new talent, many of whom came from other national teams. The USA U20s lent Bui Baravilala, who is one of the eight professional players, and Amy Naber. Some of the traditional 15s players also caught Suggitt's eye, like Jill Potter, Sylvia Braaten and Erica Cavanaugh, who all earned their first 7s invite.
Katie Lorenz and Tyra McGrady both played on last year's 7s team in Las Vegas, while Ryan Carlyle debuted in Hong Kong, and Kimber Rozier (professional player), Kaelene Lundstrum and Rebekah Siebach got their first 7s caps in Dubai.
The USA and Stars & Stripes will be joined by Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, Maple Leafs and the Netherlands. The invitational will mark the first opportunity for American fans to view the country's first women's professional 7s athletes.
Stars & Stripes
*Professional 7s players