COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 21, 2019) – After nearly a month break, the European Champions League resumes action this coming week with U.S. Women’s National Team members competing on six of the 20 teams still in contention for the crown.
- Imoco Volley Conegliano (Kim Hill, Karsta Lowe) and Igor Gorgonzola Novara (Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Lauren Carlini) both qualified for the Italian Cup semifinals after home-and-home quarterfinal sweeps this past week.
- Jordan Larson was added to Hall of Fame for Russian power club Dinamo Kazan in a ceremony over the week. Larson, who currently competes for the Turkish club Eczacibasi, is in Kazan this week as the two teams meet in European Champions League action on Jan. 22.
- Alisha Glass Childress, the starting setter on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team that won bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games, has accepted a high-profile assistant coach position in the NCAA.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which current U.S. Women’s National Team player has a father who boxed professionally?
ROBINSON CRUISES ISTANBUL IN VLOG #3: Kelsey Robinson has distributed her third vlog highlighting life as a pro volleyball player competing overseas. In this third edition, she cruises parts of Istanbul showing off the city’s beauty. Along the way, Robinson provides history lessons on the city. To watch the video, click here. To watch Robinson’s other vlogs in her series, visit her YouTube channel.
LARSON INDUCTED IN DINAMO KAZAN HALL OF FAME: Jordan Larson was inducted into Dinamo Kazan’s Hall of Fame this past weekend. While her pro career as now taken her to Turkey’s Eczacibasi, Larson starred for Kazan from 2009-2014 and helped the club win the 2013-14 European Champions League and the 2014 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The U.S. Women’s National Team will have members competing on six teams in the European Champions League third leg this week. All six matches can be streamed on flovolleyball.tv.
- Jan. 22: Eczacibasi (Jordan Larson, Lauren Gibbemeyer) vs. Dinamo Kazan
- Jan. 22: Igor Gorgonzola Novara (Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Lauren Carlini) vs. RC Cannes
- Jan. 22: Imoco Volley Conegliano (Kim Hill, Karsta Lowe) vs. LKS Commercecon Lodz
- Jan. 23: VakifBank (Kelsey Robinson) vs. Beziers
- Jan. 23: Allianz MTV Stuttgart (Sarah Wilhite Parsons, Paige Tapp, Molly McCage) vs. Maritza Plovdiv
- Jan. 24: Chemik Police (Chiaka Ogbugu) vs. Dinamo Moscow
ALISHA GLASS CONTINUING COACHING CAREER: Alisha Glass Childress, who was a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team from 2010-2016 and helped Team USA win bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games, has accepted a position as assistant coach with defending NCAA champions Stanford University. She was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team coaching staff this summer and helped the Americans win gold at the Pan American Cup in July. Glass Childress was selected as the Best Setter at the 2016 Olympic Games and was twice named USA Volleyball Female Indoor Player of the Year (2013, 2014). She earned gold medals in three consecutive FIVB World Grand Prix events (2010, 2010, 2011). Glass Childress is married to former Stanford basketball star Josh Childress. “I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to join such a great volleyball program and hope to contribute in a way that helps continue the championship culture,” Glass Childress said.
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 swept Toyota 25-20, 25-17, 25-23 on Jan. 19. Akinradewo scored 11 kills on 18 errorless attacks and four blocks for 15 points in the victory. Hisamitsu Springs edged Hitachi Rivale 23-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 15-12 on Jan. 20. Akinradewo notched 16 points with nine kills on 19 errorless attacks, five blocks and two aces. Hisamitsu Springs (13-1, 39 points), in first place in the V-League Western Conference and leads both divisions, plays Eastern Conference leader Ageo Medics (8-7, 22 points) on Jan. 26 followed by NEC Red Rockets (6-7, 21 points) on Jan. 27.
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 a break from the regular season, Conegliano swept its home-and-home Italian Cup quarterfinal round series with Saugella Team Monza. In the first match, Conegliano swept Team Monza 25-23, 25-13, 25-19 on Jan. 16. Hill notched 15 points with 13 kills on 25 attacks and two aces. Lowe did not play in the match. Conegliano closed out the series with a 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 25-15 victory on Jan. 20. Lowe, playing in just the final three sets, scored a team-leading 19 points with 18 kills on 38 attacks and an ace. Hill pocketed 14 points with 10 kills on 28 swings, three blocks and an ace. She was credited with a 55 positive reception percent on 20 chances. Conegliano will now face Savino Del Bene Scandicci in the semifinals on Feb. 2. Conegliano (11-3, 34 points), which is in third place in the Italian Serie A1, challenges league-leader Igor Gorgonzola Novara (12-3, 37 points) on Jan. 26 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. In the European Champions League, Conegliano (1-1) returns to Champions League action on Jan. 23 against Poland’s LKS Commercecon Lodz (1-1).
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 a break from the Italian Serie A1 regular season schedule, Novara took both matches versus Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo in the Italian Cup quarterfinal home-and-home series. Novara won the opening match 25-12, 25-16, 25-22 on Jan. 16. Barstch-Hackley hammered down 12 kills on 27 errorless attacks with two blocks for 14 points. She was credited with a 100 positive reception percent on a team-leading 24 chances. Carlini set Novara to a 51 kill percent and added one individual kill on as many attempts. Novara closed out the series on Jan. 20 with a 25-23, 25-16, 13-25, 25-23 victory. Carlini, who started and played in just the opening stanza, set Novara to a 35 kill percent in her set of action. Bartsch-Hackley did not play in the match. Novara will now face Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Cup semifinals on Feb. 2. Novara (12-3, 37 points), in first place in the Italian Serie A1, challenges third-place Imoco Volley Conegliano (11-3, 34 points) on Jan. 26 in its next league match. In the European Champions League, Novara (2-0) returns to Pool C action on Jan. 23 against France’s RC Cannes (1-1).
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. Team Monza lost both ends of its Italian Cup quarterfinal home-and-home series with Imoco Volley Conegliano. In the first match, Team Monza lost 25-23, 25-13, 25-19 on Jan. 16. Hancock scored six points, all on kills via seven errorless swings. She also set Team Monza to a 39 kill percent. Adams was held to five points with four kills on 10 swings and an ace. Team Monza dropped the second match 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 25-15 on Jan. 20. Hancock, starting the first three sets, helped Team Monza to a 36 team kill percent and added two blocks, two aces and two kills for six points. Adams provided three kills on 11 swings and two blocks for five points. Team Monza (8-7, 27 points), which is in fifth place during the Italian Serie A1, faces 12th-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (1-14, 5 points) on Jan. 27 in its next league match. During the break from the Italian regular season schedule, Team Monza will face Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Cup quarterfinals with home-and-home series matches on Jan. 16 and Jan. 20. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Team Monza leads its 8th Finals Round home-and-home series 1-0 against VDK Bank Gent and the series concludes on Jan. 23.
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 week as it did not qualify to compete in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Bergamo (7-8, 20 points), now in ninth place, will play seventh-place Il Bisonte Firenze (7-8, 23 points) on Jan. 27 in its next league match.
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 along with American Courtney Schwan. Filottrano was idle this past week as it did not qualify for the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Filottrano (4-10, 11 points), in 11th-place, resumes action on Jan. 27 against eighth-place Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (7-8, 20 points).
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 was idle this past week as it did not qualify for the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Brescia (7-8, 20 points), now in eighth place, challenges 11th-place Lardini Filottrano (4-10, 11 points) on Jan. 27 in its next league 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, Eczacibasi swept Halkbank 25-14, 25-15, 25-15 on Jan. 16. Gibbemeyer contributed four kills and three blocks for seven points in the victory. Larson did not play in the match. Eczacibasi rallied to defeat Beylikduzu 24-26, 25-13, 25-17, 25-20 on Jan. 19 to remain undefeated in the Turkish League. Larson powered down 16 kills on 37 attacks to go with four aces for 20 points. Gibbemeyer added 10 kills on 20 swings and a block for 11 points. Eczacibasi (14-0), in first place in the Turkish League as the only undefeated team, resumes domestic league action on Jan. 27 against third-place Fenerbahce (10-4). In the European Champions League, Eczacibasi (2-0) challenges Russia’s Dinamo Moscow (1-1) on Jan. 24 in its next European Champions League match.
ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Twitter, Instagram) is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league and European Champions League this winter. In the Turkish League, VakifBank edged Besiktas 18-25, 25-14, 25-20, 16-25, 15-9 on Jan. 16. Robinson scored a team-leading 22 points with 18 kills on 40 attacks, three aces and a block. She was credited with a 54 positive reception percent on 28 chances. VakifBank concluded the week with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-23 victory over third-place Fenerbahce on Jan. 20. Robinson pocketed seven kills on 13 swings, three blocks and an ace for 11 points. She was credited with a 56 positive reception percent on 16 chances. VakifBank (13-1) returns to Turkish League action on Jan. 27 against fourth-place Galatasaray (9-5). In European Champions League, VakifBank (2-0) returns to action on Jan. 23 against France’s Beziers (1-1). 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.
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 lost to Fenerbahce 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 on Jan. 16 to open the week. Drews notched 15 points with 14 kills on 24 swings and three blocks. Lee, who started the first two sets, added seven points with five kills on 14 swings and two blocks. She also handled 21 receptions. Hunter set the squad to a 30 kill percent as a team and added two blocks, one ace and one kill for four points. After taking the first set against league-leader Eczacibasi on Jan. 19, Beylikduzu couldn’t hold momentum and lost 24-26, 25-13, 25-17, 25-20. Lee bounced back to collect 17 points, all on kills from 31 swings. She handled 43 of the team’s 92 receptions with a 30 positive percent. Drews totaled 12 points with 11 kills on 34 swings and a block. Hunter set Beylikduzu to a 34 kill percent while contributing three blocks, one ace and one kill for five individual points. Beylikduzu (5-9), which fell to 10th place, returns to Turkish League action on Jan. 27 against fifth-place Turk Hava Yollari (8-6).
DIXON AND KINGDON-RISHEL PLAYING FOR BEIJING BAIC IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) and Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Beijing BAIC Motors Volleyball Club in China during the 2018-19 pro season. BAIC Motors dropped a 20-25, 25-20, 25-17, 16-25, 16-14 match to seventh-place Guangdong Evergrande on Jan. 19. Dixon notched eight kills on 19 swings, four blocks and an ace for 13 points. Kingdon Rishel, who started the first two sets, scored two aces in the loss. BAIC Motors (9-4, 25 points), which is in third place and only one point behind second-place Shanghai, concludes the second round on Jan. 22 against Jiangsu Zhongtian Iron and Steel.
MURPHY WITH SHANGHAI VOLLEYBALL CLUB: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Shanghai Volleyball Club this winter. Shanghai lost a heartbreaking 19-25, 20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-9 match to league-leader Tianjin on Jan. 19 after winning the first two sets. Murphy scored 16 points, all via kills on 45 swings. Shanghai (9-4, 26 points), which remains in second place, resumes league action on Jan. 22 against Liaoning Yingkou Bayuquan.
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, Chemiki Police swept ninth-place E.Leclerc Radomka Radom (4-10, 13 points) 25-18, 25-13, 25-22 on Jan. 16. Ogbogu contributed 10 kills on 12 attacks and a block for 11 points. However, Chemik Police dropped its second match of the season with a 19-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-20 loss to third-place Developres SkyRes Rzeszow (11-3, 32 points) on Jan. 20. Ogbogu turned in 11 points with eight kills on 18 swings and three blocks. Chemik Police (13-2, 40 points), which remains comfortably in first place with a five-point cushion, returns to Polish Orlen Liga action on Jan. 26 against seventh-place Enea PTPS Pila (5-7, 15 points). In European Champions League action, Police (0-2) returns to action on Jan. 24 against Russia’s Dinamo Moscow (1-1).
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 defeated last-place Volei Balneario Camboriu 25-15, 25-17, 25-16 on Jan. 18. Lloyd did not suit for the match. Fawcett scored 10 points via seven kills on 20 attacks, two aces and a block. Praia Clube (11-1, 33 points), which is tied for first place in the Brazilian Superliga, takes the court again on Jan. 25 against eighth-place Curitiba Volei (5-7, 16 points).
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 German Bundesliga, Stuttgart rallied to defeated SC Potsdam 25-22, 21-25, 20-25, 25-20, 15-3 while scoring the final 11 points of the tiebreaking set on Jan. 16. Rivers posted 22 points with 22 kills on 45 swings, McCage chipped in 12 points with nine kills on 18 swings and three blocks. Tapp added six kills on 16 swings and two blocks for eight points. Bugg, who started the first three sets, helped Stuttgart to a 36 kill percent. Wilhite did not play in the match. Stuttgart eased passed Rote Raben Vilsbiburg 25-17, 26-24, 25-21 on Jan. 20. Rivers notched 17 points with 14 kills on 27 swings and three blocks. McCage tacked on 10 points with seven kills on 11 attacks and three blocks. Tapp turned in five kills on 10 swings, two blocks and an ace. Bugg set Stuttgart to a 43 kill percent as a team. Wilhite, who was listed as a libero on the scoresheet, did not play in the match. Stuttgart (12-0, 34 points) resumes Bundesliga action on Jan. 27 against seventh-place Wiesbaden (6-7, 16 points). In the European Champions League, Stuttgart (1-1) resumes Champions League action on Jan. 23 against pool leader VakifBank (2-0).
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 was upset by NawaRo Straubing 25-23, 6-25, 25-23, 18-25, 15-13 on Jan. 16. Benson handled 22 receptions with a 41 positive reception percent. Dresdner bounced back to sweep USC Munster 25-21, 25-12, 25-19 on Jan. 19. Benson was credited with seven receptions and helped Dresdner to a 51 kill percent as a team. Dresdner (9-3, 28 points), in third place, resumes Bundesliga action on Jan. 26 against 11th-place Erfurt (2-10), 7 points).
TRIVIA ANSWER: Micha Hancock’s father Michael was a professional boxer, competing in the heavyweight division from 1982-85.