COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 19, 2018) – Foluke Akinradewo finished out an impressive season with Hisamitsu Springs this weekend while several of her teammates on the U.S. Women’s National Team are getting deep into pro playoffs across the world.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Where did Mickisha Hurley, a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, attend college?
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, CEV CUP STREAMS: Three European Champions League quarterfinal round matches and two European CEV Cup semifinal matches will feature U.S. Women’s National Team players. Catch all the action live on laola1.tv this week.
- March 20: CEV Cup – Eczacibasi (Jordan Larson, Rachael Adams) vs. SSC Palmberg Schwerin, 9 a.m. PT
- March 20: CEV Cup – Allianz MTV Stuttgart (Molly McCage, Paige Tapp) vs. Minchanka Minsk, 9 a.m. PT,
- March 21: Champions League – Igor Gorgonzola Novara (Lauren Gibbemeyer) vs. Galatasaray, 9 a.m. PT,
- March 21: Champions League – Imoco Volley Conegliano (Kim Hill) vs. Dinamo Moscow, 12:30 p.m. PT
- March 22: Champions League – VakifBank (Kelsey Robinson) vs. Volero Zurich, 9 a.m. PT
GIBBEMEYER CONVERSATION WITH ALMA MATER: Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) took a few minutes to speak with her alma mater, University of Minnesota. She answered questions on the transition to her new Italian team after years with a different pro club, winning the Italian Cup, playing against her Team USA teammates in the pro season and the bonds she shares with other Minnesota alums.
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 defeated JT Marvelous 25-14, 25-21, 25-20 on March 17 to capture the Japan V.League title with its second straight sweep in the two-match finals round. Hisamitsu Springs avenged its only loss of the regular season and playoffs – a setback to JT Marvelous in the final match of Playoff 6 Round. Akinradewo hit a blistering 83.3 percent with 10 kills on 12 attacks and added one ace for 11 points in the victory. “I love this group so dearly and I‘m extremely honored to have been a part of this season’s journey,” Akinradewo said on her Instagram account. “The BIGGEST thanks to my teammates, coaches, and staff for welcoming me into the Hisamitsu Springs family. This season flew by, and it’s clearly because I was having a fantastic experience!! Thanks to our fans for all of your support!” Akinradewo was named to the V.League’s Best Six all-star team following the championship round.
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. In CEV Cup action, Eczacibasi swept Germany’s SSC Palmberg Schwerin 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 on March 13 in the first semifinal round home-and-home series. Larson tallied nine kills on 16 attacks with one ace for 10 points in the win. She added a 67 positive reception percent on six chances. Adams pocketed 10 points in the victory with a match-high six blocks and four kills on 10 swings. Eczacibasi will look to close out the series on March 20 with a berth in the finals at stake. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi rallied from a slow start to defeat Fenerbahce 13-25, 25-23, 25-8, 25-15 on March 17 to start its two-match semifinal round series. Larson totaled 13 points in the victory with nine kills on 33 swings, two aces and two blocks. She added 11 receptions in the win. Adams was a sub in the first two sets. The two teams meet again on March 25.
ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter, Website), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league this winter. In the Turkish League, VakifBank blanked Galatasaray 25-15, 25-23, 25-19 in the semifinal round on March 16. Robinson was a sub in the second set, providing two receptions with a 50 positive percent. VakifBank and Galatasaray will meet again on March 27 in the second semifinal match of the series. In European Champions League action, VakifBank will face Switzerland’s Volero Zurich in a home-and-home quarterfinal round series on March 22 and April 5. Robinson has launched her own website, www.nomandplay.com, on her passions for play, travel and food. To read her blog on four easy day trips from Instanbul, click here.
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. In the Italian Serie A1 playoff opener, top-seeded Novara defeated Il Bisonte Firenze 25-20, 25-15, 24-26, 25-16 on March 17 to start the best-of-three quarterfinal round. Gibbemeyer contributed seven kills on 20 attacks, two aces and a block for 10 points. Novara can close out the series on March 25. If necessary, the tiebreaker will be played on March 28. In the European Champions League, Novara has advanced to the quarterfinal home-and-home series where it meets Turkish rival Galatasaray on March 21 and April 5.
HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, is playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. In its Italian Serie A1 playoffs, third-seeded Conegliano blanked sixth-seeded Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena 25-16, 25-16, 25-16 to open the best-of-three quarterfinal round on March 18. Conegliano had lost its last three regular season matches, dropping from first to third in the standings. Hill contributed eight kills on 15 errorless attacks. She added a 78 positive reception percent on nine chances. Conegliano will look to close out the quarterfinal round series with a win on March 25. If necessary, the tiebreaker will be played on March 28. In the European Champions League, Conegliano has moved on to the quarterfinal home-and-home round where it meets Russia’s Dinamo Kazan on March 21 and April 4.
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, seeded second in the playoffs, opened its best-of-three quarterfinal round series with a 25-15, 25-21, 25-21 victory over seventh-seeded myCicero Volley Pesaro on March 18. Carlini set Scandicci to a 47 kill percent and .421 hitting efficiency (48-5-102). She added one kill on one swing along with an ace for two points. Scandicci can close out the series on March 25. If necessary, the tiebreaker will be played on March 28.
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, seeded fifth in the playoffs, rallied past fourth-seed Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23 on March 17 to start the best-of-three quarterfinal round. Dixon pounded out eight kills on 17 swings with one block for nine points in the victory. Hancock set the team to a 41 kill percent. She added four individual kills on six swings, one ace and one block for six points. edged Foppapedretti Bergamo 21-25, 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13 on March 10 to end the regular season. Team Monza will look to close out the series against Busto Arsizio on March 25. If necessary, the tiebreaker is set for March 28.
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. Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio lost to fifth-seeded Saugella Team Monza 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23 on March 17 to start the best-of-three quarterfinal round. Bartsch-Hackley collected 18 points with 15 kills on 41 attacks and three blocks. She handled 30 of the team’s 78 receptions with a 67 positive percent. Wilhite did not play. Busto Arsizio, the fourth seed, will play Team Monza again on March 25 needed a victory to force a tiebreaking match on March 28.
LLOYD WITH BARUERI IN BRAZIL: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram), a 2016 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist, joined Hinode Barueri of the Brazil Superliga in January after successfully recovering from an injury during the 2017 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. Barueri lost to fourth-seeded Volei Nestle Osasco 25-18, 17-25, 25-21, 26-24 on March 17 to lose its second match of the best-of-three quarterfinal round series. Lloyd set Barueri to a 43 kill percent for the match and added a block.
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 swept Hyundai 25-15, 25-21, 25-20 on March 17 to open the playoffs. Kingdon notched 20 kills on 54 swings, two blocks and one ace for 23 points. IBK will face Hyundai again on March 19, and if necessary, on March 21 in the best-of-three format. The winner advances to meet regular season champion Korea Expressway in the best-of-five finals that start on March 23. Kindgon finished the regular season ranked second in scoring with 852 points behind American Alaina Bergsma Coble’s 864 points. Kingdon was the leader in attack with a 43.7 kill percent. For the season, Kingdon averaged 7.34 points and 3.81 digs per set.
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 blanked Golden Tulip Volalto Caserta 25-13, 25-14, 25-17 on March 18. McMahon scored 10 points with eight kills on 21 swings, one block and one ace. Soverato (18-10, 51 points), which is in seventh-place place, plays sixth-place Delta Informatica Trentino (18-11, 56 points) on March 21 and fourth-place Battistelli S.G. Marignano (18-9, 56 points) on March 25 this week.
PAIGE TAPP, McCAGE WITH ALLIANZ MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Middles Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) and Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Instagram), who were part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, are playing professionally this winter with Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. In the CEV Cup, Stuttgart lost a heartbreaking 25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 11-25, 15-8 match to Minchanka Minsk in the first semifinal round match on March 13. McCage tallied eight kills on 17 swings, two aces and a block for 11 points. Tapp added two kills on eight swings and two blocks for four points. Stuttgart meets Minsk again on March 20 with a berth to the finals at stake. In the German Bundesliga playoffs, top-seeded Stuttgart blanked eighth-seeded Rote Raben Vilsbiburg 25-19, 25-15, 25-14 on March 17 in the quarterfinals. McCage notched seven points with five kills on 11 attacks and two blocks. Tapp added four kills on nine swings and a block for five points. The two teams meet again on March 21. At the conclusion of the regular season, McCage ranked ninth overall Bundesliga scoring with 231 points including a second-best 57.1 kill percent. She also had a league-best 61 blocks.
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. Dresdner was upset by Potsdam 16-25, 25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 15-10 to open the quarterfinal round playoff series. Bugg, who was a sub in sets two and three before starting the final two sets, tallied two kills on three swings. Dresdner now is in a must-win situation on March 21 against Potsdam.
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 defeated Evreux 25-21, 24-26, 25-13, 25-17 on March 17. Rolfzen slammed seven kills on 15 swings with one ace for eight points in the win. Beziers (18-3, 51 points), now in first place after RC Cannes lost to Venelles this past weekend, takes on eighth-place Nantes (8-13, 27 points) on March 24 to close out the regular season.
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 swept Le Cannet 25-16, 25-19, 27-25 on March 17 to close out the regular season. Dannemiller set Mulhouse to a 45 kill percent while adding two individual kills and a block for three points. Mulhouse (15-6, 45 points), which is in third place, ends the regular season March 24 against last-place Chamalieres (2-18, 5 points).
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. Nancy lost to St. Raphael 25-23, 25-19, 25-14 on March 17 to end the regular season. Nancy (8-13, 23 points), now in ninth place, concludes the French League regular season on March 24 against second-place RC Cannes (17-4, 51 points).
TRIVIA ANSWER: Mickisha Hurley played for NCAA Division II’s Barry University. She led Barry to the NCAA Division II national title in 1995 as a senior. In 1999, she helped the U.S. win bronze at the Pan American Games and led all starters with a .338 hitting efficiency at the World Cup.