COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 10, 2019) – Mary Lake represented Team USA well this past summer and has used that experience to bolster Brigham Young University this fall in her senior season, surpassing the BYU all-time dig mark this past week. Meanwhile, other members of the U.S. Women’s National Team are getting into a rhythm during in the first month of the overseas pro leagues in Europe, Asia and South America.
ROBINSON AND TEAM USA BEHIND-THE-SCENES AT FIVB WORLD CUP: Kelsey Robinson and the U.S. Women’s National Team was given a GoPro by the FIVB to film behind-the-scenes content at the FIVB World Cup in September. Check out the video above the final production.
LAKE DIGGING RECORDS FOR BYU: Mary Lake (Palm Springs, California, Instagram, Twitter), who played for the U.S. Women during their gold-medal FIVB Volleyball Nations League season and helped Team USA qualify for the 2020 Olympics, has led BYU to a 22-3 record during her senior season with stellar defensive play. She became the Cougars’ all-time career dig leader as BYU knocked off Santa Clara on Nov. 7, breaking the previous mark of 1,793. After the 11th-ranked Cougars defeated San Francisco on Nov. 9, Lake now has 1,812 digs in her four-year career. In 2019, she has 20 double-digit dig performances in 25 matches or 3.57 digs per set.
WICHITA TO HOST WOMEN’S HOME VNL MATCHES IN 2020: The U.S. Women’s National Team has one tournament prior to heading to the 2020 Olympic Games, and Wichita, Kansas, will be front-and-center on Team USA’s journey to Tokyo. The U.S. Women will host Japan, Turkey and Belgium during their FIVB Volleyball Nations League domestic preliminary round matches held June 9-11. The four-team round-robin match format will take place at Charles Koch Arena on the Wichita State University campus. All-session tickets are now on sale at goshockers.com. For the full story, click here
OGBOGU, HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Instagram, Twitter) and outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) are playing in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League for Imoco Volleyball Conegliano this winter. Conegliano swept Zanetti Bergamo 25-21, 29-27, 25-16 on Nov. 4. Hill tallied 12 points with 11 kills on 20 attacks and a block. She was credited with an 83 positive reception percent on 23 chances. Ogbogu notched four kills on nine swings and an ace for five points. Conegliano finished its week with a 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18 win over then-second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara on Nov. 9. Hill contributed 13 kills on 31 attacks and a 67 positive reception percent on 24 chances. Ogbogu did not play in the match. Conegliano and Novara meet again on Nov. 16 in the Italian Super Cup finals. Conegliano (7-0, 20 points), which sits atop the Italian Serie A league as the lone undefeated team, returns to action on Nov. 12 versus 11th-place Bosca Sao Bernardo Cuneo (2-4, 6 points). Conegliano is in Pool D of the European Champions League with Nantes, C.S.M. Volei Alba Blaj and the winner of Vasas Obuda Budapest and Partizani Tirana. Champions League fourth round action begins the week of Nov. 19.
COURTNEY, HANCKOCK WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League this winter. Novara lost to league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18 on Nov. 9. Courtney scored 12 points with 10 kills on 33 attacks and two blocks. Hancock, who set Novara to a 41 kill percent, added two kills in the loss. Novara and Conegliano meet again on Nov. 16 in the Italian Super Cup finals. Novara (5-1, 14 points) plays 12th-place Golden Tulip Volalto Caserta (1-5, 4 points) on Nov. 12 in its next league match. Novara is grouped in Pool C of the European Champions League with Poland’s LKS Comercecon, Poland’s Allianz MTV Stuttgart and the winner of VK Up Olomouc and Khimik Yuzhny. Novara begins Champions League play on Nov. 20 against Khimik Yuzhny.
WASHINGTON, LOWE WITH BUSTO ARSIZIO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Cup this winter. Busto Arsizio held off Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia 25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 25-13 on Nov. 7. Lowe captured 20 points with 17 kills on 38 swings, two blocks and an ace. Washington scored nine kills on 20 attacks and a block for 10 points. Busto Arsizio rallied past Golden Tulip Volalto Caserta 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 on Nov. 10. Lowe pounded out 25 points on 20 kills via 41 attacks, three aces and two blocks. Washington added five kills on 14 swings, one block and one ace for seven points. Busto Arzisio (4-2, 13 points), now in fourth place, faces ninth-place Zanetti Bergamo on Nov. 17 in its next league match. Busto Arsizio is in the 16th Finals Round of the CEV Cup where it awaits the loser of VK Up Olomouc and Khimik Yuzhny from the third round of the Champions League.
POULTER WITH CHIERI IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-20 pro season along with American Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska). Chieri pushed Savino Del Bene Scandiccit to a fifth set before falling 15-25, 25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 15-9 on Nov. 10. Poulter set Chieri to a 43 kill percent and added three blocks and two individual kills on three attacks. Rolfzen added eight points with four blocks, three kills and an ace. Chieri (3-3, 10 points), in seventh place, faces 13th-place Lardini Filottrano (1-5, 2 points) on Nov. 17.
ALHASSAN WITH CASERTA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Golden Tulip Volato 2.0 Caserta in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Caserta lost to Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 on Nov. 10. Alhassan turned in five kills on 11 swings and two blocks for seven points. Caserta (1-5, 4 points), which is in 12th place, faces third-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (5-2, 14 points) on Nov. 12 in its next league match.
FOECKE WITH FIRENZE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Mikaela Foecke (West Point, Iowa, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Il Bisonte Firenze in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-2020 season. Firenze topped Bosca Sao Bernardo Cuneo 25-27, 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 on Nov. 10. Foecke was a sub in the first and third sets, registering one block. Firenze (4-2, 12 points), which moved up to second place, eighth-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (4-2, 9 points) on Nov. 17.
CUTTINO WITH CASALMAGGIORE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Epiu Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2019-2020 pro season. Casalmaggiore rallied to defeat Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia 25-27, 25-20, 25-19, 26-24 on Nov. 9. Cuttino hammered 17 kills on 43 attacks with three blocks for a team-high 20 points. Casalmaggiore (4-2, 12 points), which is in fifth place, returns to action on Nov. 17 against 10th-place Saugella Monza (2-4, 7 points).
JONES-PERRY WITH BRESICA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Roni Jones-Perry (West Jordan, Utah, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Brescia lost to Pomi Casalmaggiore 25-27, 25-20, 25-19, 26-24 on Nov. 9. Jones-Perry came off the bench in the second set and started the final two sets, scoring eight kills on 20 attacks, two aces and a block. She was credited with an 80 positive reception percent on 15 chances. Brescia (4-3, 11 points), now in fourth place, faces last-place Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia (0-6, 2 points) on Nov. 16.
BARTSCH-HACKLEY, DIXON WITH BEIJING AUTO IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Beijing Auto in the Chinese Super League this winter. Beijing Auto opened its Group A pool with a 25-15, 25-23, 25-16 victory over Fujian on Nov. 5. Bartsch-Hackley slammed 11 kills on 30 swings with a block and kill for 13 points. She was credited with an 83 positive reception percent on 12 chances. Dixon claimed four kills on five errorless attacks and a block for five points in playing the first two sets. Beijing Auto won its second match of the season with a 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 victory over Nanchang on Nov. 9. Bartsch-Hackley started the final two sets and compiled 12 kills on 23 attacks, two aces and two blocks for 16 points. She was 80 percent positive on five receptions. Dixon added eight kills on 15 swings, four blocks and an ace for 13 points in the win. Beijing Auto resumes action on Nov. 19 against Fujian followed by a Nov. 23 match versus Nanchang to close out the three-team double round-robin Pool A.
LARSON WITH SHANGHAI IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Shanghai in the Chinese Super League this winter. Shanghai topped Zhejiang 21-25, 25-12, 25-16, 25-15 on Nov. 5. Larson notched 16 kills on 36 swings, one block and one ace for 18 points. She was credited with a 60 positive reception percent on 15 errorless chances. Shanghai swept Shandong 25-21, 28-26, 25-22 on Nov. 9. Larson connected for 13 kills on 23 attacks while holding an 87 positive reception percent on 15 chances. Shanghai (3-0) moves into the fourth round of Pool C on Nov. 16 against Hebei (0-3).
ROBINSON WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) is playing for Fenerbahce in the Turkish League and European Champions League this winter. Fenerbahce swept Beylikduzu Voleybol Ihtisas 25-12, 25-15, 25-8 on Nov. 9. Robinson, starting just the first set, scored two kills and two aces for four points while recording four receptions. Fenerbahce (5-2, 15 points), now in fourth place, returns to the court on Nov. 13 against fifth-place Aydin B.Sehir (4-3) before meeting 11th-place Nilufer (1-6) on Nov. 16. Fenerbahce is part the European Champions League main phase and in Pool A along with Turkish rival Eczacibasi, Poland’s Budowlani Lodz and LP Salo. Fenerbahce opens Champions League against Turkish rival Eczacibasi on Nov. 19.
KINGDON-RISHEL WITH THY IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Turk Hava Yollari (THY) in the Turkish League this winter. THY downed Besiktas 25-22, 25-19, 25-6 on Nov. 9. Kingdon Rishel scored nine points with four kills, three aces and two blocks. THY (3-4, 11 points), now in seventh place, returns to action on Nov. 13 versus third-place Galatasaray (6-1) followed by a Nov. 16 contest against league-leader Eczacibasi (7-0).
DREWS WITH JT MARVELOUS IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing in the Japan V-League this winter with JT Marvelous. JT edged Saitama Ageo Medics 25-17, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23 on Nov. 9. Drews notched 21 kills on 40 swings – six winners from the backrow – plus three blocks and two aces for 26 points. For a replay of the match, click here. JT picked up its second win of the weekend with a 25-14, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18 victory over Toyota on Nov. 10. Drews collected 21 kills on 47 attacks, including 7-of-11 from the back row. She added three aces and two blocks for 26 points. JT Marvelous (7-2), in second place behind Star Conference leader Toyota (7-1), resumes action on Nov. 16 against Kurobe Aqua Fairies (1-8).
LEE WITH KUROBE IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Outside hitter Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Kurobe Aqua Fairies in the Japan V-League this winter. Kurobe nearly upset Toyota before falling 20-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-21, 15-9 on Nov. 9. Lee secured 22 kills on 45 swings and two blocks for 24 points. She was credited with 16 positive receptions on 27 chances. Kurobe lost to Saitama Ageo Medics 25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22 on Nov. 10. Lee pounded down 18 kills on 55 attacks with two blocks for 20 points. Kurobe (1-8), in fifth place in the Star Conference, faces second-place JT Marvelous (7-2) on Nov. 16.
HANNAH TAPP WITH HITACHI IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing with Hitachi Rivale in the Japan V-League this winter. Hitachi lost to NEC Red Rockets 25-18, 30-28, 25-20 on Nov. 9. Tapp scored two kills and a block for three points in starting the first two sets. Hitachi (3-5), in fifth place in the Premier Conference, faces division leader Denso (6-0) on Nov. 16 followed by a Nov. 17 match against third-place Okayama Sea Gulls (3-3).
THOMPSON CONTINUES LEADING CINCINNATI: Jordan Thompson (Edina, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) had a breakout season with the U.S. Women’s National Team during its gold-medal run in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games before heading back for her senior season at University of Cincinnati. After scoring 50 kills and 51 total points in a win over Connecticut on Nov. 3, Thompson helped the Bearcats to a 3-0 win over University of South Florida on Nov. 8 and a four-set win over University of Central Florida on Nov. 10. Thompson piled up 21 kills in the win over USF and 19 in the victory over UCF. Cincinnati is now 22-5 overall and leads the American Athletic Conference with a 13-1 record with two regular season league matches remaining. She has reached 35 or more kills in a match on four occasions as a senior in 2019. For her career, Thompson has 2,144 kills in 410 sets played (5.23 per set average).
RETTKE LEADING WISCONSIN: Middle Dana Rettke (Riverside, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter), who was part of the U.S. Women’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League gold-medal team along with the 2020 Olympic qualification tournament, has helped University of Wisconsin to a 17-5 record and 13-1 mark in the Big Ten as a junior this season. She has averaged 4.99 points per set, including 3.86 kills, 0.42 aces and 1.28 blocks per set. Rettke is hitting .414 (266-51-519) through the first 22 matches of the season, posting 17 matches with double-figure kills.
CARLINI WITH DINAMO MOSCOW IN RUSSIA LEAGUE: Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dinamo Moscow in the Russia Super League and the European Champions League. Dinamo Moscow defeated St. Petersburg 22-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-13 on Nov. 5 in the Russia Cup quarterfinals. Carlini set Dinamo to a 46 kill percent and added two aces and an individual kill for three points. Dinamo will face Uralochka in the Russia Cup semifinals on Dec. 25. Dinamo lost to Odintsovo 22-25, 14-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-13 on Nov. 9. Dinamo Moscow (1-3), resumes Russia Super League action against Lokomotiv on Nov. 16. Dinamo Moscow has been drawn into Pool E of the European Champions League main phase along with Russian rival Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg, France’s RC Cannes and Martiza Plovdiv. Dinamo Moscow opens Champions League against Russian rival Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg on Nov. 21.
RIVERS, ROSENTHAL WITH STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Jenna Rosenthal (Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga and the European Champions League. Stuttgart blanked SC Potsdam 25-20, 25-22, 25-17 on Nov. 9. Rivers totaled 14 points, all on kills via 30 attacks. Rosenthal did not play in the match. Stuttgart (5-0, 15 points), which leads the Bundesliga regular season, returns to action on Nov. 16 versus second-place Aachen (5-0). Stuttgart has been drawn into the European Champions League Pool C with Italy’s Igor Gorgonzala Novara, Poland’s LKS Commercecon Lodz and the winner of VK Up Olomouc and Khimik Yuzhny. Stuttgart plays LKS Commercecon Lodz on Nov. 19 in its Champions League opener.
WONG-ORANTES WITH SCHWERIN IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for SSC Palmberg Schwerin in the German Bundesliga this winter. Schwerin was idle in the German Bundesliga this past week. Schwerin (3-1, 9 points), which ranks third in the Bundesliga regular season, returns to action on Nov. 13 against sixth-place Munster (2-3). Schwerin is in the CEV Cup 16th Finals Round in which it plays home-and-home matches against Sliedrecht Sport on Dec. 4 and Dec. 17.
KADIE ROLFZEN WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dresdner in the German Bundesliga and the CEV Challenge Cup. Dresdner handled Erfurt 25-18, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23 on Nov. 9. Rolfzen scored seven kills on 18 swings in the victory while handling 28 receptions. Dresdner (2-3, 7 points), in seventh place, returns to action Nov. 13 versus fifth-place Vilsbiburg (3-2). Dresdner is in the 16th Finals Round of the CEV Challenge Cup where it will face LLC Kamienskie in a home-and-home series on Dec. 12 and Dec. 18.
SELIGER-SWENSON WITH BEZIERS IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson (Minnetonka, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Beziers in the French League and the CEV Challenge Cup along with American teammate Alexa Smith (Colorado Springs, Colorado). Beziers bounced back from its first French League loss of the season with a 25-19, 25-16, 25-19 victory over Vandoeuvre Nancy on Nov. 9. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 38 kill percent and scored one individual kill. Beziers (6-1, 19 points), which falls to second place in the French league, returns to action on Nov. 15 against fourth-place Cannes (5-2, 15 points). Beziers opens its CEV Challenge Cup 16th Finals Round with a home-and-home series Dec. 4 and Dec. 12 against RSR Walferdange.
BENSON WITH NUC IN SWISS LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Instagram) is playing for Viteos NUC in the Swiss League and CEV Cup this winter along with American teammates Tia Scambray (Dana Point, California) and Kyra Holt (Hercules, California). NUC stopped Lugano 25-20, 25-22, 25-18 on Nov. 9. Benson handled 13 reception with a 62 positive percent. Holt scored 27 points in the victory while Scambray added 16 points. NUC (5-1), now in third place, challenges ninth-place Raiffeisen Volley Toggenburg I (1-5) on Nov. 17 in its next Swiss match. NUC faces Minchanka Minsk in the CEV Cup 16th Finals Round that begins the week of Dec. 3.
WILHITE PARSONS WITH SESI BAURU IN BRAZILIAN SUPERLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Sesi Bauru in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Sesi Bauru begins regular season action on Nov. 12 against Esporte Clube Pinheiros.