COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 13, 2017) – Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) and Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) led their respective club teams to two victories this past weekend, which advanced Imoco Volley Conegliano and VakifBank into the European Champions League group stage starting in December.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which U.S. Women’s National Team player found volleyball by accident as she was reading a book during her best friend’s incoming freshman volleyball camp, then she herself was asked to join?
USAV PROCESSES 358 INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS: USA Volleyball has processed 358 international transfer certificates (261 females, 97 males) allowing United States citizens to compete in foreign professional volleyball leagues for the 2017-18 season as of Nov. 8 – an increase of 59 players since the Oct. 13 report. Additional transfers are expected to be processed throughout the winter months. On the women’s side, athletes have transferred to play in 34 different countries with England and Germany attracting 36 players apiece, France with 25 players, Switzerland with 22 players, Italy with 15 players, and Finland and Sweden with 13 players each. Notable new transfers since Oct. 13 include 2012 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Destinee Hooker with Brazil’s Minas Tenis Clube, and current U.S. Women’s National Team players Carly Wopat with Beijing BAIC Motor Volleyball Club in China and Aiyana Whitney with Endeavor Academy in Australia.
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. In European Champions League action, VakifBank won both its home-and-home matches against Minchanka Minsk in the third round to advance to the main format next month. VakifBank blanked Minsk 25-17, 25-20, 29-27 on Nov. 7 to open the series. Robinson totaled nine points with eight kills on 22 attacks and an ace. She added a 45 positive reception percent on a team-leading 22 chances. VakifBank completed the sweep on Nov. 11 as it won 25-21, 25-16, 25-16. Robinson, as a sub in the first set and starter in the third set, contributed four kills on 10 errorless attacks in the victory. She also was credited with a 60 positive reception percent on 10 chances. VakifBank (6-0) was idle in the Turkish League this week and resumes action on Nov. 14 against Eczacibasi.
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, 6-0 overall in the Turkish League, was idle this past week and meets VakifBank on Nov. 14 during the seventh round. 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.
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 rallied to defeat Ageo Medics 20-25, 27-25, 25-18, 25-18 on Nov. 11. Akinradewo scored 16 kills on 26 attacks with just two errors for a .538 hitting efficiency. She added three blocks in the victory as part of her 19-point performance. To watch a replay of the match, click here. Hisamitsu eased past Toyota Auto Body 25-17, 25-19, 25-12 on the following day. Akinradewo converted nine of 12 errorless attacks for a .750 hitting efficiency and added two blocks and an ace for 12 points. Hisamitsu Springs, in first place with a spotless 7-0 record, takes on fifth-place Denso (3-4) on Nov. 18, followed by seventh-place NEC (2-5) on Nov. 19 in its next Japan V.League matches.
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 the European Champions League, Conegliano overwhelmed Sliedrecht Sport in the home-and-home third-round series to advance to the main format starting in mid-December. Conegliano defeated Sliedrecht Sport 25-15, 25-23, 25-21 in the first meeting on Nov. 7. Hill pocketed nine kills on 22 attacks and two aces for 11 points. She added a 50 positive reception percent by handling 28 of the team’s 28 total receptions. Conegliano wasted little time in the rematch at home by winning 25-10, 25-12, 25-7 in a 57-minute match. Hill, who started the first two sets and was lifted in the middle of the second set with advancement already secured, provided five kills on 11 attacks, two blocks and an ace for eight points. She handled four receptions with a 50 positive reception percent. To watch a replay of the match on ESPN3, click here. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano was idle due to its two European Champions League matches. Conegliano (4-0, 12 points), one three undefeated teams in the Italian Serie A1 and in second place with one less match played than league-leader Scandicci, challenges last-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (0-4, 0 points) on Nov. 15 in its next regular season match, followed by seventh-place Saugella Team Monza (2-3, 6 points) on Nov. 19.
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 won its fifth straight match to start the Italian Serie A1 regular season following a 25-17, 25-18, 25-19 victory over 11th-place Lardini Filotrrano (1-4, 3 points) on Nov. 12. Carlini set Scandicci to a 46 kill percent for the match with a .304 hitting efficiency. She recorded one block for an individual point. Scandicci, in first place in the Italian League standings with a 5-0 record and 15 points, looks to remain undefeated when it meets fifth-place Mycicero Pesaro (2-3, 7 points) on Nov. 19.
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 topped Saugella Team Monza 25-23, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21 on Nov. 12. Bartsch-Hackley scored a match-high 20 points with 17 kills on 43 attacks, two blocks and an ace. She was credited with a 59 positive reception percent on 22 chances. Wilhite did not play. Third-place Busto Arsizio, 4-1 on the season with 12 points, meets eight-place Sab Volley Legnano (2-3, 6 points) on Nov. 19 in its next Italian League match. 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.
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 U.S. Women’s National Team member Sonja Newcombe (Lake Arrowhead, California, Instagram, Twitter). Legnano (2-3, 6 points) edged Il Bisonte Firenze 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 30-28 on Nov. 11. Newcombe scored nine points with eight kills on 26 attacks and just one error along with a block. She handled 30 of the team’s 86 receptions with a 60 positive percent. Drews was a sub in the third set, record one kill on two attacks. To watch a replay of the match on ESPN3, click here. Legnano, now in eighth-place, faces third-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (4-1, 12 points) on Nov. 19 in its next Italian Serie A1 match.
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 was edged by undefeated Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 25-23, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21 on Nov. 12. Dixon notched seven points with five kills on 17 attacks and two blocks. Hancock, who set the team to a 37 kill percent, added three added and an individual kill for four points in the loss. Team Monza (2-3, 6 points), now in seventh place, will try to get back to .500 on Nov. 18 as it faces undefeated Imoco Volley Conegliano (4-0, 12 points) in a match that can be watched live on ESPN3 at 2:45 p.m. ET.
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 lost to host Sab Volley Legnano (2-3, 6 points) 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 30-28 on Nov. 11. Tapp provided five kills on nine errorless attacks, two blocks and an ace for eight points while starting the final three sets. To watch a replay of the match on ESPN3, visit click here. Firenze, in 11th-place with a 1-4 record and three points, will look to break its four-match losing streak on Nov. 19 against 10th-place Pomi Casalamaggiore (1-4, 3 points).
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 was idle this past week in the Italian Serie A1. Novara, with a 4-0 record and 11 points as one of three undefeated teams, returns to action on Nov. 15 when it faces sixth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (2-2, 6 points), followed by last-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (0-4, 0 points) on Nov. 19. Novara is also participating in the European Champions League this winter and will have a bye into fourth round.
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 swept Yunnan Dianchi 25-21, 25-18, 25-21 on Nov. 11. Wopat collected eight points in the victory. BAIC returns to action on Nov. 14 versus Shandong Lottery, followed by a Nov. 18 match against Zhejiang Jiashan Xitang.
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, which lost its first match of the season on Nov. 1, overcame the setback to defeat 11th-place Sorelle Ramonda Ipag Montecchio (3-4, 8 points) 25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 29-27 on Nov. 12. McMahon tallied nine kills on 30 attacks and five blocks for 14 points in the victory. Soverato, now in third place with a 6-1 record and 16 points, will seek a second consecutive win on Nov. 18 as it faces eighth-place Club Italia Crai (4-4, 12 points).
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 a heartbreaker to KGC 19-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-14, 15-12 on Nov. 7. Kingdon notched 28 kills on 69 attacks and two blocks for 30 points. She added 18 digs in the match. On the opposite side of the net, American Alaina Bergsma Coble tallied a match-high 37 points. IBK rebounded to defeat KGC 25-22, 25-14, 25-20 in a rematch on Nov. 11. Kingdon totaled 16 kills on 41 attacks in the victory, along with four blocks and three aces for 23 points. Bergsma Coble tallied 20 points in the loss. IBK (4-2, 12 points), which remains in first place, resumes action on Nov. 16 against fifth-place GS Caltex (3-3, 6 points).
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 rallied to defeat Allianz MTV Stuttgart 25-17, 20-25, 25-27, 28-26, 15-5 on Nov. 8. Bug was a sub in the second set. Dresdner (4-1, 12 points), now in third place, resumes German Bundesliga action on Nov. 18 against Vilsbiburg. 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.
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. Stuttgart lost a tough five-set match to Dresdner 25-17, 20-25, 25-27, 28-26, 15-5 on Nov. 8. McCage tallied nine kills on 15 swings, three blocks and an ace for 13 points in the loss. Stuttgart (3-1, 10 points), which falls to fourth place in the Bundesliga, looks to get back in the win column on Nov. 19 as it faces Munster. Stuttgart is also competing in the CEV Cup this winter and has a 16th Finals Round home-and-home series in December against VK Up Olomouc.
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 defeated Nantes (1-4) 25-22, 25-17, 25-12 on Nov. 11. Dannemiller set Mulhouse to a 38 kill percent while chipping in two kills and three blocks for five individual points. Mulhouse (4-1, 11 points), one of four teams with just one loss record, faces fourth-place St. Rapael (3-2, 11 points) on Nov. 19 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.
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 swept SF Paris St. Cloud 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 on Nov. 10. Rolfzen notched five kills on nine errorless attacks along with an ace and block for seven points. Beziers (4-1, 12 points), which ranks atop the league standings, returns to action on Nov. 18 against Vandoeuvre Nancy (2-2, 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. Vandoeuvre Nancy, 2-2 overall and with five points in seventh place, was idle this past week. The squad meets Le Cannet on Nov. 15 in its next league match before facing league-leader Beziers (4-1, 12) on Nov. 18.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Rachael Adams was reading a book when she was asked to tryout for her high school freshman volleyball team. Four years later she led her Mount Notre Dame High to its second straight state title match and was selected for inclusion in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd section. Adams also was selected to the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team after finding the sport by accident.