COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Oct. 17, 2016) – The international club season is underway with several members of the U.S. Women’s National Team playing overseas, including the annual FIVB Women’s Club World Championship taking place this week in Manila, Philippines.
CLUB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Women’s National Team is on hiatus with the international club season underway, but several Americans are playing in the prestigious FIVB Women’s Club World Championship including five bronze medalists from the 2016 Olympic Games. The Club World Championship begins Oct. 17 and runs through Oct. 23.
Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) and Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) are representing defending champion Eczacibasi in the tournament. Larson was named most valuable player of last year’s event held in May 2015. Switzerland’s Volero Zurich has U.S. middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida) leading the squad. Turkey’s VakifBank employs U.S. outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon). Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California), a setter on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, is joined by middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota) on the Pomi Casalmaggiore roster.
Other Americans competing in the Club World Championship are: Lindsay Stalzer, Stephanie Niemer and Kristy Lynn Schmieder of host team PSL-F2 Logistics Manila; and Ashley Frazier. with Bangkok Glass.
The eight-team Club World Championship is divided into two pools of four teams. Pool A has host team PSL-F2 Logistics Manila playing Italy’s Pomi Casalmaggiore, Turkey’s Eczacibasi and Brazil’s Rexona-SESC. Pool B has Turkey’s VakifBank, Japan’s Hisamitsu Springs, Switzerland’s Volero Zurich and Thailand’s Bangkok Glass.
SCOTT-ARRUDA BEING INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME: Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), the only U.S. Women’s National Team member to play in five Olympic Games, will be enshrined into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame on Oct. 22 in Holyoke, Massachusetts – the sport’s birth place. Scott-Arruda, along with American Misty May-Treanor, Serbian Nikola Grbic, Brazilian Emanuel Rego and South Korean Man-Bok Park, comprise the Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Scott-Arruda earned back-to-back silver medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. She played in her first Olympic Games at age 24 at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Scott-Arruda earned Best Blocker at the 2002 FIVB World Championship as Team USA won the silver medal. She paced the Americans to six FIVB World Grand Prix medals, including four gold medals and two bronzes. Scott-Arruda was named most valuable player, Best Scorer and Best Blocker at the 2001 FIVB World Grand Prix. Scott brought home silver from the 2011 FIVB World Cup, as well as bronze medals in the 2003 and 2007 editions. To watch the live video stream of the Hall of Fame inductions, visit www.volleyhall.org. The ceremony begins at approximately 6 p.m. ET.
AKINRADEWO NAMED OFFICIAL AMBASSADOR OF CLUB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: U.S. middle Foluke Akinradewo, Best Blocker of the 2016 Olympic Games, is the official ambassador of the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Club Women’s World Championship as she competes in the eight-team tournament with Switzerland’s Volero Zurich. She said: “It’s such an honor. I think we as female volleyball players are role models for young girls around the world, too. That’s why I want to give something back – because that’s what sport is all about.”
DIETZEN SHARES MUSIC PLAYLIST: U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team captain Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania) and her teammates had just endured a heart-breaking five-set loss to Serbia in the Olympic Games semifinal match, ending Team USA’s hopes of its first Olympic gold medal. Coming back from such an emotional defeat to win the bronze medal showed the true character of the team. As part of the transition back into match mode following the loss, Dietzen partly credits her music playlist, which she shared in an espnW interview. To read the article and see her playlist, click here.
HILL FEATURED IN PORTLAND TRIBUNE: >Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon), a bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games and most valuable player of the 2014 FIVB World Championship, was featured in her hometown paper, the Portland Tribune, on Oct. 11. In the article, Hill talks about what she has been doing since returning from Rio and prior to leaving for Turkey for her international club season. She also talks about how the team regrouped from losing in the Olympic Games semifinal round and come back to win the bronze medal. To read the article, click here.
GLASS, DIETZEN SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES IN RIO ON RETURN TO PENN STATE: Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Michigan) and middle Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania), both bronze medalists at the 2016 Olympic Games and alumni of Penn State University, returned to their alma to take in a Penn State home volleyball followed by a football halftime recognition with other Nittany Lion Olympians and a speaking engagement on Sunday at Penn State’s All-Sports museum. During the weekend, both Glass and Dietzen shared their journeys to arrive in Rio and their experiences that included bouncing back to win the bronze medal. To read an article on their trip back to Penn State, click here.
THOMPSON HONORED AT SEAHAWKS HALFTIME: U.S. setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Washington), who helped Team USA win bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games, was honored at halftime of the NFL Seattle Seahawks game versus the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 25. The 69,000 fans watched as the Seahawks honored five Olympians with ties to the Seattle area. In a Seahawks.com story, Thompson said. “It’s pretty surreal, actually. I still pinch myself that I was fortunate enough to get to go to two Olympics, much less do cool stuff like this. I look up to these guys and (head coach) Pete Carroll and love what they do, love how they are with the fans and everything. So this is really special.” To watch the halftime presentation and view the photo gallery of the event, click here.
NCAA ON TV AND INTERNET: While the U.S. Women’s National Team is away for the winter, check out how some of the future Team USA players are doing during the NCAA collegiate season. USA Volleyball has cataloged hundreds of NCAA Division I matches that will be broadcasted on television or streamed on the Internet.
LLOYD, GIBBEMEYER WITH ITALY’S CASALMAGGIORE: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist setter for Team USA, and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota) have returned to Italy to compete for Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 league and the CEV Cup. In the Italian Serie A1 season opener, Casalmaggiore rallied to defeat Club Italia 22-25, 25-20, 13-25, 25-11, 15-11 on Oct. 12. Gibbemeyer scored 14 points with 12 kills on 20 errorless attacks and two blocks. Lloyd set the team to a 40 kill percent and added two kills, two aces and a block for five individual points. After returning from the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, Casalmaggiore takes on Suditrol Bolzano on Oct. 30.
BARTSCH WITH ITALY’S BOLZANO: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Illinois), an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is competing for Sudtirol Bolzano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. In the season opener, Bolzano fell to Igor Gorgonzola Novara 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 on Oct. 16. Bartsch started all three sets compiling eight points via six kills on 25 attacks and two blocks. She also added a 74 positive reception percent on a team-leading 31 chances. Bolzano has its home opener this coming weekend against Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio on Oct. 23.
KREKLOW WITH ITALY’S MODENA: Setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minnesota), an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is playing for Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League this winter. In the Italian opener, Kreklow was a sub in the second and third sets as Modena won 25-21, 25-23, 25-15 over Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio on Oct. 16. Modena has its home opener on Oct. 23 against Club Italia.
HANCOCK WITH POLAND’S IMPEL WROCLAW: Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), who played for the U.S. Women during the 2016 Pan American Cup and set the tournament record for aces in a match and tournament, is playing for Poland’s Impel Wroclaw in the Orlen Liga. Wroclaw won its league opener 25-14, 25-22, 25-17 over KSZO Ostrowiece on Oct. 16. Hancock, in a starting role, set Wroclaw to a 36 kill percent and added two individual kills and two aces for four points.
AKINRADEWO WITH SWITZERLAND’S VOLERO ZURICH: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida), the Best Blocker in the 2016 Olympic Games after leading the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team to a bronze medal, is playing for Volero Zurich in the Swiss League and in the European Champions League. After competing in this week’s FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, Volero opens the Swiss League on Oct. 29 against Volley Top Luzern.
LARSON, ADAMS WITH TURKEY’S ECZACIBASI: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) and middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), both members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team that won bronze in Rio, are playing for Eczacibasi of the Turkish League and as part of the European Champions League this winter. Eczacibasi is competing in this week’s FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in the Philippines before returning to Turkey to play its league opener against Bursa Be Sehir on Oct. 27.
HILL WITH TURKEY’S VAKIFBANK: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) a bronze medalist on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, returns this winter to play for Turkey’s VakifBank and in the European Champions League. Hill and VakifBank are playing in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship this week before starting the Turkish League and European Champions League.
FAWCETT, CRIMES WITH TURKEY’S SARIYER: Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) and middle Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California), both alternates to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are competing for Sariyer in the Turkish League this winter. Sariyer opens the Turkish League on Oct. 23 against Fenerbahce.
ROBINSON, LOWE WITH CHINA’S BAIC MOTORS: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California), both members of the 2016 bronze-winning U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are in China this winter playing for BAIC Motors Beijing.
MURPHY, EASY WITH CHINA’S HENAN: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois), a bronze medalist with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, and outside hitter Megan Easy (Boston, Massachusetts), a silver medalist with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are playing in the Chinese League this winter with Henan.