COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 18, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team has nine players on four teams who are vying for spots into the European Champions League semifinal round as quarterfinals wrap up on March 19.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which U.S. Women’s National Team player represented the USA at the 2011 FIVB Beach Youth World Championship and finished ninth with partner Sara Hughes?
NATIONAL TEAM SPRING TRAINING BLOCK: The U.S. Women’s National Team has invited 17 players to participate in a spring training block held March 16-23 in Anaheim, California – host city for the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Teams – at the American Sports Centers. All 17 athletes will be evaluated for additional training this summer with the full U.S. Women’s National Team with the opportunity to make international rosters including the Pan American Games and Pan American Cup.
AKINRADEWO WITH HISAMITSU SPRINGS IN JAPAN: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Twitter, Instagram) has returned to Hisamitsu Springs of the Japanese V-League this winter. Hisamitsu Springs, which finished the Japan V-League in first place overall, edged Ageo Medics 20-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17, 15-10 on March 16. Akinradewo scored 24 points including 11 kills on 19 swings and five blocks. Hisamitsu Springs came back the following day to sweep JT Marvelous 25-18, 25-22, 25-16. Akinradewo contributed seven kills on 16 attacks, two blocks and an ace for 10 points. Hisamitsu Springs, now 6-0 in the eight-team round robin playoff, faces NEC Red Rockets on March 24.
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 European Champions League, Eczacibasi swept Italy’s Imoco Volley Conegliano 25-21, 27-25, 25-22 on March 13 to start the home-and-home quarterfinal round series. Larson tallied eight kills on 23 swings and an ace for nine points in the victory. She was credited with a 68 positive reception percent on 25 of the team’s 65 receptions. Gibbemeyer added four kills on eight errorless attacks to go with two aces for six points. Eczacibasi can advance to the semifinals on March 19 with a second win over Conegliano. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi faces Kameroglu Beylikduzu in the home-and-home quarterfinal round with matches on March 28 and March 30. Before the playoffs begin, Eczacibasi will compete in the Turkish Cup with a quarterfinal round match against Nilufer on March 22.
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 European Champions League, VakifBank lost a heart-breaking 20-25, 25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 15-13 match to Russia’s Dinamo Moscow on March 13 in Moscow to start the home-and-home quarterfinal round series. Robinson picked up 12 kills on 31 attacks and two blocks for 14 points in the loss. She was credited with a 55 positive reception percent on handling 42 of the team’s 95 receptions without an error. VakifBank, which had its 28-match Champions League win streak snapped, is in a must-win situation on March 20 to have a chance to advance to the semifinals. In the Turkish League, VakifBank swept Nilufer 25-18, 25-20, 26-24 to open the quarterfinal playoff round. Robinson scored five kills on 16 attacks and an ace for six points. She also handled 14 receptions with a 64 positive percent. The teams meet again on March 28. Before the playoffs resumes, VakifBank will play in the Turkish Cup quarterfinals versus Besiktas on March 22. Robinson has launched her own website, www.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.
DREWS AND LEE WITH BEYLIKDUZU IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Twitter, Instagram) and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Twitter, Instagram) are competing with Kameroglu Beylikduzu Voleybol Ihtisas alongside fellow American setter Kelly Hunter in the Turkish League for the 2018-19 season. Beylikduzu will face top-seeded Eczacibasi in the Turkish League home-and-home quarterfinals on March 28 and March 30.
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 lost at home to Turkey’s Eczacibasi 25-21, 27-25, 25-22 on March 13 to open its home-and-home quarterfinal round series. Hill provided seven kills on 27 attacks and a 63 positive reception percent on 16 chances in the loss. Lowe, a sub in the third set, added two kills on four swings. Conegliano now must win the series finale on March 19 to have a chance to advance to the semifinals. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano topped eighth-place Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo 25-16, 29-27, 25-13 on March 16 to claim the regular season title with two matches remaining on the schedule. Lowe, who started the third set after being a sub in the second set, tallied three kills on seven attacks and two blocks for five points. Hill did not play in the match. Conegliano (19-3, 57 points), which remains in first place with a seven-point lead, plays ninth-place Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (9-13, 28 points) on March 24 in its second to last regular season match.
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 defeated Germany’s Allianz MTV Stuttgart 25-19, 26-24, 19-25, 25-20 on March 12 to open their home-and-home quarterfinal round series. Bartsch-Hackley tallied 13 kills on 32 swings and an ace for 14 points. She had a 61 positive reception percent on a team-leading 31 chances. Carlini set Novara to a 41 kill percent and added three blocks and two kills on six attacks for five points. Novara can advance to the semifinals with a win over Stuttgart on March 21. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara bounced back from its upset loss to 12th-place Chieri by sweeping fifth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 30-28, 25-18, 25-21 on March 16. Bartsch-Hackley produced 10 kills on 23 attacks with a 55 positive reception percent on 22 chances. Carlini set Novara to a 50 kill percent and added three individual kills on five errorless attacks. Novara (16-6, 50 points), which remains in second place, resumes action on March 24 against eighth-place Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo (12-10, 33 points).
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 stopped 11th-place Lardini Filottrano’s upset bid with a 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18 come-from-behind victory on March 17. Adams hammered nine kills on 15 swings to go with two blocks and an ace. Hancock was stellar in phases of the game. In addition to setting Team Monza to a 42 kill percent, she tallied three kills on five errorless attacks, four aces and three blocks for 10 points. For video highlights of the match, click here. Team Monza (15-8, 45 points), which is in fourth place in the Italian Serie A1, is idle in the second to last regular season weekend. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Team Monza will face Aydin BBSK in the home-and-home championship final on March 20 and March 27.
COURTNEY AND HANNAH TAPP WITH BERGAMO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Zanetti Bergamo in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2018-19 pro season. Bergamo was idle this past weekend. Bergamo (9-13, 28 points), now in 10th place, challenges third-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (17-5, 47 point) on March 23 in the second to last regular season match.
WASHINGTON WITH BRESCIA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Brescia blanked 12th-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri 25-23, 25-15, 25-23 on March 17. Washington did not play in the match. Brescia (9-13, 28 points), now in ninth place, will meet regular season champion Imoco Volley Conegliano (19-3, 57 points) on March 24.
WHITNEY WITH FILOTTRANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, New Jersey, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Lardini Filotrrano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Filottrano lost to fourth-place Saugella Team Monza 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18 on March 17. Whitney contributed 13 points with 12 kills on 34 swings and an ace. Filottrano (5-18, 14 points), in 11th-place, resumes action on March 24 against seventh-place Il Bisonte Firenze (11-12).
LLOYD WITH PRAIA CLUBE IN BRAZIL: Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram) 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 downed Hinode Barueri on March 12. Lloyd set Praia Clube to a 46 kill percent and added in two individual kills on two swings and two blocks for four points. Fawcett collected 21 points with 18 kills on 34 attacks and three aces. Praia Clube lost to third-place SESC RJ 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 on March 15 to close out the Superliga regular season. Lloyd set Praia Clube to a 35 kill percent and added two blocks. Fawcett, who started the first two sets, was held to three kills on 12 attacks. Praia Clube (19-3, 55 points), which finished the regular season in second place, will play seventh-seeded Fluminense in the quarterfinals.
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. In the European Champions League, Stuttgart lost to Italy’s Igor Gorgonzola Novara 25-19, 26-24, 19-25, 25-20 on March 12 to open its home-and-home quarterfinal round series. Rivers scored a team-best 16 points with 14 kills on 36 swings and two aces. McCage totaled eight kills on 16 swings and two blocks for 10 points. Wilhite Parsons chipped in seven kills on 22 attacks and a block for eight points. She was credited with 29 receptions and a 38 positive reception percent. Tapp pocketed four kills on 12 attacks and three blocks for seven points. Bugg, a sub in the first three sets before starting the fourth, provided a block and ace in her limited action. The series concludes on March 21 with a spot into the semifinals on the line. In the German Bundesliga, Stuttgart lost its first match of the regular season in a 16-25, 25-23, 25-22, 24-26, 15-13 setback to second place SSC Palmberg Schwerin. Rivers notched 32 points in the loss, including 29 kills on 58 swings and three blocks. Wilhite Parsons contributed seven kills on 21 swings and an ace. She was credited with a 39 positive reception percent on 23 chances. Both McCage and Tapp scored six points in the loss. Bugg started only the tiebreaking set and added one kill and done block. Stuttgart bounced back to sweep VfB Suhl Lotto Thuringen 25-21, 25-16, 25-18 on March 16. Rivers posted 18 points with 14 kills on 26 attacks, three blocks and an ace. Wilhite Parsons hammered 10 kills on 22 swings to go with one block and one ace for 12 points. Tapp chipped in three kills on four swings, two blocks and an ace. Bugg set the squad to a 48 kill percent as the starting setter and added three blocks and two aces for five individual points. McCage did not play in the match. Stuttgart (20-1, 58 points) concludes the Bundesliga regular season on March 23 against Pottsdam.
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 lost to VC Wiesbaden 25-20, 25-22, 25-18 on March 13. Benson handled 23 of the team’s 68 receptions with a 30 positive percent. Dresdner (13-8, 42 points), in third place, concludes the Bundesliga regular season on March 23 against 10th-place Straubing (5-16, 16 points).
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 third-place LKS Commercecon Lodz 28-30, 14-25, 25-15, 25-18, 15-10 on March 16 to conclude the regular season. With Chemik Police already securing the regular season title over two weeks ago. Ogbogu did not suit for the match. Chemik Police, (19-3, 57 points) has advanced to the semifinal round as the top seed, and will await the winner of the quarterfinal round series of fourth- and fifth-place seeds.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Justine Wong Orantes partnered with Sara Hughes to finish ninth at the 2011 FIVB Beach Youth World Championships. Wong Orantes is the youngest known player to earn a AAA CVBA rating at the age of 12.