COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 7, 2019) – Foluke Akinradewo continues to excel in the Japan V-League, while five of her U.S. Women’s National Team teammates are battling in key European Champions League semifinal round matches this week.
TRIVIA QUESTION: The U.S. had three future Olympians on its 2004 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team that participated in the NORCECA Continental Championship. Who were they?
SCOTT INDUCTED INTO HOME STATE HALL OF FAME: Danielle Scott, the only five-time indoor volleyball Olympian in United States history, was inducted into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame on April 2. She was a stand-out athlete at Woodlawn High School where she left her mark in volleyball, basketball, softball and track. Scott was named All-Louisiana State in both volleyball and basketball, and was an indoor state shot put champion.
AKINRADEWO WITH HISAMITSU SPRINGS IN JAPAN: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, href=”https://twitter.com/fakinradewo” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Twitter, Instagram) has returned to Hisamitsu Springs of the Japanese V-League this winter. Hisamitsu Springs, which finished the Final 8 with an undefeated 7-0 record to advance the championship rounded, continued its winning ways with a 25-21, 25-13, 27-25 victory over Toray Arrows on April 6 in the first match of the finals. Akinradewo hammed eight kills on 13 swings while adding four blocks and an ace for 13 points in the victory. Prior to the match Akinradewo was recognized as the Japan V-League’s Best Spiker award with a 59.7 kill percent and Best Blocker with a 0.87 block average. Hisamitsu Springs can win the league playoffs on April 13 with a victory.
HILL, LOWE WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. In the European Champions League, Conegliano opened its home-and-home semifinal round series by sweeping Turkey’s Fenerbahce 25-21, 25-23, 26-24 on April 2. Hill notched eight kills on 31 attacks and was credited with a 40 positive reception percent after handling 10 receptions. Lowe did not play in the match. After the match, Hill said: “Fenerbahce is a very good team, but we played very well and played as a team. Now we are in paradise, but the way to Berlin (site of Champions League finals) is long. This is only the first step.” Conegliano can advance to the Champions League finals by winning series finale against Fenerbahce on April 9. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano opened its best-of-three quarterfinal round series with a 25-22, 25-19, 25-16 victory over eighth-seeded Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo on April 6. Hill, who started the first two sets, converted 10 of 22 attacks into points and added an ace for 11 points. She was credited with a 65 positive reception percent on 23 reception chances. Lowe, who was a sub in the second set and started the third set, added six kills on 13 errorless attacks in the victory. Conegliano, the top seed in the Italian playoffs, can close out the quarterfinal round series on April 13 with a victory.
BARTSCH-HACKLEY, CARLINI WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) and setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and the European Champions League this winter. In the European Champions League, Novara claimed a 25-17, 27-25, 25-15 victory over Turkey’s VakifBank to start the home-and-home semifinal round series with a key road victory on April 4. Bartsch-Hackley hammered 10 kills on 20 attacks to go with three blocks and an ace. She handled 25 errorless receptions in the victory. Carlini set Novara to a 48 kill percent and .289 hitting efficiency in the victory. She scored one kill, one block and one ace for three individual points. Novara, now 9-0 overall in this year’s Champions League, can earn its spot into the finals with a victory at home on April 10. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara was upset by seventh-seeded Il Bisonte Firenze 25-20, 25-22, 25-17 on April 7 to start their best-of-three quarterfinal round series. Bartsch-Hackley tallied three kills on and an 86 positive reception percent on 14 chances while starting the first two sets. Carlini, who also started just the first two sets, added one kill in the loss. Novara now must win its home match on April 13 to force a tiebreaking match against Firenze on April 15.
ADAMS AND HANCOCK WITH TEAM MONZA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Saugella Team Monza in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Challenge Cup this winter. In the Italian Serie A1, Team Monza nearly pulled off a big road victory to start its best-of-three quarterfinal round series with fifth-seeded Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio but fell 22-25, 25-17, 25-20-, 19-25, 15-12 on April 7. Adams secured 10 points in the loss with eight kills on 14 swings, one block and one ace. Hancock, who set Team Monza to a 36 kill percent, turned in three kills on five errorless swings. Team Monza, the fourth-seed in the playoffs will now need to defeat Busto Arsizio on April 13 force a tiebreaker on April 15.
LLOYD WITH PRAIA CLUBE IN BRAZIL: Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) is playing for Praia Clube in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Praia Clube also has former U.S. Women’s National Team member Nicole Fawcett playing at opposite. Praia Clube opened its best-of-three semifinal round series by sweeping Sesi Volei Bauru 25-15, 25-15, 25-20 on April 1. Lloyd set Praia Clube to a 53 kill percent and .434 hitting efficiency (40-7-76). Fawcett notched a team-leading 18 points with 11 kills on 19 swings, four aces on 10 serves and three blocks. Praia Clube can close out the series on April 8. If necessary, the tiebreaking match is on April 11 to decide which team advances to the finals.
WILHITE PARSONS, PAIGE TAPP, RIVERS AND McCAGE WITH MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), middles Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Twitter, Instagram) and Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), opposite Krystal Rivers and setter Madi Bugg are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. All but Bugg played for the U.S. Women in the 2018 season. Stuttgart (20-2, 59 points), the top seed in the German Bundesliga playoffs, defeated VC Wiesbaden 31-29, 25-21, 26-24 on April 3 to sweep its best-of-three quarterfinal round series. Rivers pocketed 17 points with 16 kills on 36 attacks and an ace. Wilhite Parsons provided 14 points with 11 kills on 35 swings, two blocks and an ace. McCage chipped in 10 kills on 15 attacks and an ace for 11 points. Tapp slammed seven kills on 11 attacks to go with an ace and a block for nine points. Bugg was a sub in the first and third sets, recording one kill on one attack. Stuttgart will now face Aachen in the best-of-five semifinals starting on April 11.
BENSON WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Dresdner SC in the German Bundesliga this winter. Dresdner (14-8, 45 points), the third seed in the German Bundesliga playoffs, evened its best-of-three quarterfinal round series with Aachen by winning 16-25, 25-22, 28-26, 23-25, 16-14 on April 3. Benson started only the opening set, recording six receptions. In the tiebreaker, Aachen came away with an 25-18, 26-24, 22-25, 25-21 victory on April 6 to eliminate Dresdner from the playoffs. Benson did not play in the match.
LARSON AND GIBBEMEYER WITH ECZACIBASI IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) are competing with Eczacibasi in the Turkish League this winter. Larson is serving as the team’s captain. In the Turkish League playoffs, top-seeded Eczacibasi will now face fourth-seed Galatasaray in the semifinal round.
ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Twitter, Instagram, Website) is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league and European Champions League this winter. In the European Champions League, VakifBank was stunned with a 25-17, 27-25, 25-15 loss at home to Italy’s Igor Gorgonzola Novara on April 4 to start its home-and-home semifinal round series. Robinson did not score a point in the match. VakifBank now must win the series finale on April 10 to have a chance to the advance to the finals. In the Turkish League playoffs, VakifBank has advanced to the semifinal round series to face Fenerbahce. Robinson has launched her own website, nomandplay.com on her passions for play, travel and food. In addition, Robinson has created her vlog on what it is like to be an American citizen and play professional volleyball overseas. To watch her vlogs, click here.
OGBOGU WITH CHEMIK POLICE IN POLAND: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Chemik Police in the Polish League and European Champions League this winter. In the Polish Orlen Liga, Chemik Police lost to Grot Budowlani Lodz 25-20, 25-16, 25-14 to start the best-of-three semifinal round series on April 6 following a long layoff in the playoffs after obtaining the top seed. (19-3, 57 points) has advanced to the semifinal round as the top seed. Ogbogu did not play in the match. Chemik Police will now need to win the second match on April 13 to force a tiebreaker on April 17.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Current Team USA members Foluke Akinradewo and Jordan Larson were part of the 2004 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team, along with Christa Dietzen. All three players have won two Olympic medals. The 12-player squad also boasted long-time national team members Nicole Fawcett and Cynthia Barboza while others such as Alexis Crimes, Marcie Hampton, Bryn Kehoe, Angie McGinnis and Nellie Spicer also represented the U.S. in senior level international competitions.