COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 27, 2017) – Foluke Akinradewo was near perfect in two Japan V.League matches this weekend while the Italian Serie A1 and Turkish League had a shake-up at the top of their standings with members of the U.S. Women’s National Team involved among the top teams.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which current member of the U.S. Women’s National Team was also a two-time AVCA All-America First-Team in sand volleyball along with AVCA All-American First-Team for indoor volleyball in 2011?
2018 FIVB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SITES SELECTED: Japan is hosting the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Sept. 29 to Oct. 20 and the host sites for each stage have now been revealed. Yokohoma Arena, Sapporo’s Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, the Kobe Green Arena and Hamamatsu Arena have been selected to host four pool within the first round held Sept. 29 to Oct. 4. Second round sites include Nagoya’s Nippon Gaishi Hall and the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium from Oct. 7-11. The third round with two groups of three teams will take place Oct. 14-16 at Nagoya’s Nippon Gaishi Hall. The semifinals and medal matches return to Yokohoma Arena Oct. 19-20.
AKINRADEWO WITH JAPAN V-LEAGUE’S HISAMITSU SPRINGS: Two-time U.S. Olympic medalist Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Instagram, Twitter) is playing middle for Japan V.League’s Hisamitsu Springs this winter. Hisamitsu Springs held off Ageo Medics 25-13, 24-26, 25-21, 27-25 on Nov. 25 to stay unbeaten in the V.League. Akinradewo tallied 13 kills on 20 errorless attacks for a .650 hitting efficiency. She added one block for 14 points in the victory. Hisamitsu Springs overcame a slow start to defeat Hitachi Rivale 19-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-15 on Nov. 26. Akinradewo hammered 11 kills on 13 errorless attacks along with three blocks for 14 points. On the opposite side of the net, American and former U.S. Women’s National Team member Cursty Jackson scored 14 kills on 29 attacks, three blocks and an ace for 18 points. For the weekend, Akinradewo collected 24 kills on 33 errorless attacks for a 727 hitting efficiency. Hisamitsu Springs (11-0) hits the court again on Dec. 2 when it meets JT, followed by Toyota the following day.
LARSON, ADAMS WITH ECZACIBASI IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter), a two-time Olympic Games medalist, and middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Instagram, Twitter), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, are playing professionally with Eczacibasi in the Turkish League for the 2017-18 season. Eczacibasi blanked Seraminksan 26-24, 25-19, 25-12 on Nov. 25. Larson scored 12 points with eight kills on 17 attacks, two blocks and two aces on 15 serves. She chipped in a 50 positive reception percent on 10 chances. Adams claimed three kills on seven swings and an ace for four points in the win. Eczacibasi (8-1), which moved into a three-way tie for first and holding the tie-breaker, resumes Turkish League action on Dec. Dec. 2 against Bursa B. Sehir Bld. Eczacibasi begins the CEV Cup competition with a home-and-home series with VC Oudegem in the 16th Finals Round starting on Dec. 13 followed by a Jan. 10 match.
ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league this winter. VakifBank claimed a 25-18, 25-14, 25-27, 25-12 win over then-undefeated Fenerbahce on Nov. 25 to stay in the thick of the league title chase. Robinson was a sub in the second and third sets, providing four receptions in her limited action. VakifBank (8-1), which moved back into a three-way tie for first, will seek its third straight Turkish League win on Dec. 2 when it meets Seramiksan. In European Champions League action, VakifBank has advanced to the group phase that starts next month. They are part of Pool D, where it will face Grot Budowlani Lodz, Dinamo Moscow and Turkish rival Galatasaray in double round-robin action. VakifBank opens against Galatasaray on Dec. 14.
GIBBEMEYER WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: U.S. Women’s National Team middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing her 2017-18 professional season with Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1. Novara swept then-second-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-18, 27-25, 25-21 in a key of undefeated teams on Nov. 22. Gibbemeyer piled up five kills on 13 errorless attacks along with one block and one ace for seven points in the three-set win. Novara remained undefeated to start the Italian Serie A1 by rallying past eighth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (2-6, 8 points) 24-26, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20, 16-14 to avoid a major upset from the visitors who entered the week in 10th place. Gibbemeyer, playing her former pro team for the first time since transferring to Novara this season, notched 10 kills on 14 attacks and three blocks for 13 points in the come-from-behind win. To watch a replay of the match on ESPN3, click here. Novara (8-0, 22 points), now in first place as the lone undefeated team in the Italian Serie A1, returns to Italian League action on Dec. 3 against seventh-place Saugella Team Monza (3-5, 10 points). Novara is also participating in the European Champions League this winter and will have a bye into fourth round. They are part of Pool B, where it will face Agel Prostejov, Fenerbahce and Imoco Volley Conegliano in a double round-robin format. Novara challenge Italian rival Conegliano on Dec. 13 to start the European Champions Cup.
HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, href=”https://www.instagram.com/kimjayehill” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Instagram), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, is playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano edged Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 26-24, 25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 15-11 on Nov. 22. Hill secured 23 points on 21 kills via 49 attacks, one block and one ace. Conegliano lost its first match of the Italian regular season after falling to fifth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (5-3, 13 points) 25-21, 25-21, 15-25, 9-25, 15-12 on Nov. 26. Hill connected for 21 kills on 44 attacks, three blocks and an ace for 25 points. She added a 75 positive reception percent after handling 24 of the team’s 80 receptions. Conegliano (7-1, 21 points), which dropped to second place and one point behind league-leader Novara, faces third-place Savino Del Bene Scandici (7-1, 20 points) on Dec. 3. In the European Champions League, Conegliano will take part in the main group phase in December. They are grouped in Pool and will face Agel Prostejov, Fenerbahce and Igor Gorgonzola in a double round-robin format. Conegliano meets Italian rival Novara on Dec. 13 to start Pool B.
CARLINI WITH SCANDICCI IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter), who played her first year with the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is playing her first pro season with Savino Del Bene Scandicci in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Scandicci lost its first match of the Italian Serie A1 with a 25-18, 27-25, 25-21 setback to now league-leader Igor Gorgonzola Novara (8-0, 22 points) on Nov. 22. Carlini set the team to a 31 kill percent in the loss. Scandicci rebounded with a 25-13, 25-16, 25-22 victory over Sab Volley Legnano on Nov. 26. Carlini notched one kill and one block in the victory while setting Scandicci to a 45 kill percent for the match. Scandicci (7-1, 20 points), now in third place but only two points behind league-leader Novara, will seek a second straight win on Dec. 3 as it meets second-place Imoco Volley Conegliano (7-1, 21 points).
BARTSCH-HACKLEY, WILHITE WITH ITALY’S UNET E-WORK BUSTO ARSIZIO: Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) and Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter), both outside hitters for the U.S. Women’s National Team, are playing their 2017-18 pro season for Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Serie A1. Busto Arsizio lost a heart-breaker at home to league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano 26-24, 25-17, 23-25, 24-26, 15-11 on Nov. 22. Bartsch-Hackley notched a team-best 23 points with 21 kills on 55 swings, one block and one ace. She also handled 36 of the team’s 98 receptions with a 69 positive percent. Wilhite did not play in the match. Fourth-place Busto Arsizio, 5-2 on the season with 16 points, meets sixth-place Mycicero Volley Pesaro (4-4, 13 points). Busto Arsizio is also competing in the European CEV Cup with a home-and-home series in the 16th Finals Round against ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo Brcko on Dec. 12 and the return match in early January.
DIXON, HANCOCK WITH MONZA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter), an alternate to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Team, and U.S. Women’s National Team setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Saugella Team Monza in the Italian Serie A1 this winter after missing the 2016-17. Team Monza fell to Mycicero Volley Pesaro 25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 22-25, 15-12 on Nov. 22. Dixon contributed 15 kills on 27 attacks with just one hitting error in the loss. Hancock, who started the first two sets and was a sub in the fifth set, helped Team Monza to a 38 kill percent for the match. She added one individual kill on three swings. Team Monza bounced back to defeat Lardini Filottrano 15-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-20 on Nov. 26. Dixon charted nine kills on 18 errorless attacks, two aces on 14 serves and one block for 12 points. Hancock, who started all but the third set, helped Team Monza to a 38 kill percent and tallied five aces on 23 serves, three individual kills on four attacks and one block for nine points. Team Monza (3-5, 10 points), now in seventh place, will look to keep the winning streak alive on Dec. 3 as it meets league-leader Igor Gorgonzola Novara (8-0, 22 points).
HANNAH TAPP WITH FIRENZE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter), who played her first season with the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is playing her pro season with Il Bisonte Firenze in the Italian Serie A1. Firenze was clipped by Foppapedretti Bergamo 23-25, 27-25, 27-25, 19-25, 15-13 on Nov. 22. Tapp pocketed 21 points with 17 kills on 27 attacks and four blocks in the loss. Firenze (2-5, 6 points), now in 10th-place, will try to avoid a losing streak as it meets fourth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (5-2, 16 points) on Nov. 27 and fifth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccania Modena (5-3, 13 points) on Dec. 3.
DREWS, NEWCOMBE WITH LEGNANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter), who was a rookie with the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing for Sab Volley Legnano in the Italian Serie A1 alongside fellow American and former U.S. Women’s National Team member Sonja Newcombe (Lake Arrowhead, California, Instagram, Twitter). Legnano dropped a 25-18, 19-25, 26-28, 25-20, 15-10 match to Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena on Nov. 22. Drews tallied two kills on five errorless attacks as a sub in the first and fifth sets. Newcombe scored 10 points in the loss. To watch a replay of the match on ESPN3, click here. Legnano lost its second match of the week to Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-13, 25-16, 25-22 on Nov. 26. Drews, who was a sub in the first two sets and started the third set, provided six kills on 19 attacks in the loss. Newcombe added five kills and an ace for six points. Legnano (2-6, 7 points), now in ninth-place, faces eighth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (2-6, 8 points) on Dec. 3.
WOPAT WITH BAIC MOTORS IN CHINA: Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California, Instagram, Twitter), a middle for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is playing for BAIC Motors in Beijing as part of the Chinese professional league. BAIC dominated Hebei 25-11, 25-12, 25-11 on Nov. 25. Wopat was credited with eight kills on 13 swings as part of an 11-point performance. BAIC (4-2), now in third place in Group B of the regular season, gets back on the court on Dec. 2 against Tianjin.
McMAHON WITH SOVERATO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: U.S. Women’s National Team opposite Liz McMahon (Liberty Township, Ohio, Instagram) is playing for Volley Soverato in the Italian Serie A2 this winter. Soverato won its third straight match with a 25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 25-20 victory over Zambelli Orvieto on Nov. 26. McMahon piled up 17 kills on 36 swings with just two errors to go with one block and one ace for 19 points. Soverato, now in first place with an 8-1 record and 22 points, will look to keep the win streak alive as it faces 14th-place Golem Olbia (3-7, 8 points) on Nov. 29 and seventh-place Conad Olimpia Teodora Ravenna (6-3, 17 points) on Dec. 3.
KINGDON WITH KOREA V-LEAGUE’S IBK: Outside hitter Madi Kingdon (Hermosa Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter), a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, is playing her second consecutive professional season with IBK of the Korea V-League. IBK lost to Hyundai 25-17, 25-21, 25-13 on Nov. 22. Kingdon collected 13 points with 12 kills on 36 attacks and one block. IBK bounced back to rally past the Pink Spiders 17-25, 25-21, 15-25, 26-24, 15-13 on Nov. 25. Kingdon pocketed 27 kills on 74 attacks, two blocks and an ace. She added 16 digs in the victory. IBK (5-4), now in third place with 15 points, meets Korea Expressway on Nov. 28 and a return match against the Pink Spiders on Dec. 2.
McCAGE WITH ALLIANZ MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Middle Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is playing professionally this winter with Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. The regular season was idle this past week, which enabled Stuttgart to edge USC Munster 25-20, 25-19, 21-25, 25-27, 15-11 in the DVV Cup Quarterfinal on Nov. 26. McCage charted nine kills on 19 attacks with one attack error in the victory, along with five blocks and two aces for 16 points. Stuttgart (4-1, 13 points), which moved into second place in the Bundesliga, is idle in the Bundesliga until Dec. 2 when it meets sixth-place Wiesbaden (4-2, 11 points). Stuttgart is also competing in the CEV Cup this winter and has a 16th Finals Round home-and-home series against VK Up Olomouc on Dec. 13 and Jan. 10.
BUGG WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Setter Madi Bugg (Apex, North Carolina, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing in the German Bundesliga with Dresdner SC this winter. The league was idle this past week, which allowed for the DVV Cup Quarterfinals to take place. Dresdner edged SC Potsdam 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16 on Nov. 25 in the quarterfinals. Bugg did not play in the match. Dresdner (5-1, 15 points), now in second place, resumes German Bundesliga action on Dec. 9 against Schwerin. Dresdner is competing in the CEV Cup this winter and begins 16th Finals Round home-and-home competition against Pays d’Aix Venelles VB on Dec. 13.
AMBER ROLFZEN WITH BEZIERS IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Middle Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing with Beziers in the French League this winter. Beziers rallied past Le Cannett 25-17, 23-25, 23-25, 25-15, 15-13 on Nov. 25. Rolfzen scored five kills on 12 attacks in the victory, but two of the kills came on three attacks in the final set to win the match. Beziers (6-1, 17 points), in second place and one point behind league leader RC Cannes (6-1, 18 points) meets ninth-place Quimper (2-5, 7 points) on Dec. 2 in its next league match.
DANNEMILLER WITH MULHOUSE IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Setter Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio, Instagram, Twitter), a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing for ASPTT Mulhouse in the French League this winter. Mulhouse lost to then-sixth-place Venelles 25-19, 22-25, 25-27, 25-21, 15-12 on Nov. 24. Dannemiller started and played in just the first set, leading Mulhouse to a 38 kill percent in the opening frame victory and added two individual kills on as many attempts with one ace for three points. Mulhouse (5-2, 15 points), which fell from first to third with the loss, seeks to rebound on Dec. 2 against new league-leader RC Cannes (6-1) in its next French League match. Mulhouse will also compete in the European Champions League this year and has a bye into the main format, or fourth round. They are grouped in double-round-robin Pool A with CSm Volei Alba Blaj, Volero Zurich and Developres SkyRes Rzeszow. Mulhouse faces Rzeszow on Dec. 13 to start the Champions League schedule.
BENSON WITH VANDOEUVRE NANCY IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing for Vandoeuvre Nancy in the French professional league this winter. Vandoeuvre Nancy lost to Quimper 25-17, 15-25, 25-20, 25-20 on Nov. 25. Benson was credited with an 80 positive reception percent on 10 chances in the loss. Vandoeuvre Nancy, now 2-5 with 5 points in 11th place, faces Chamalieres on Dec. 1. In the league’s eighth round.
TRIVIA ANSWER: During the same academic year, Kim Hill was an AVCA All-American First-Team for indoor volleyball as well as West Coast Conference player of the year in 2011, followed by AVCA All-America First-Team for sand volleyball during the 2012 season.