COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 20, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team had several outstanding performances this past week as they led their pro club teams overseas.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which U.S. Women’s National Team player was the first three-time selection for the U.S Women’s National A2 Program (now known as the U.S. Collegiate National Team)?
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 Denso 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-18 on Nov. 18. Akinradewo pocketed 17 kills on 31 swings with just two errors. She added seven blocks and an ace for 25 points in the victory. Hisamitsu Springs defeated NEC 26-24, 26-24, 25-19 in a close three-set match on Nov. 19. Akinradewo contributed seven kills on 13 attacks and two blocks for nine points in the victory Hisamitsu Springs, in first place with a spotless 9-0 record, challenges Ageo Medics on Nov. 25, followed by Hitachi Rivale on Nov. 26.
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 swept VakifBank 25-23, 25-22, 25-9 on Nov. 14 in a battle of undefeated teams in the Turkish league. Larson scored nine points with seven kills on 18 attacks and two blocks. She added a 55 positive reception percent on 11 chances. Adams did not play in the match. Eczacibasi was unable to win its second straight match against an undefeated team as it fell to Fenerbahce 25-23, 25-20, 28-30, 17-25, 15-11 on Nov. 18. Adams, a sub in the first two sets before starting the final three sets, chipped in 11 kills on 16 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Larson contributed five kills on 24 attacks and two aces on a team-leading 25 serves. Eczacibasi, 7-1 overall and in second place in the Turkish League, challenges ninth-place Seramiksan (4-4) on Nov. 25 in its next match. 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 lost its first match of the Turkish League season on Nov. 14, falling to undefeated Eczacibasi 25-23, 25-22, 25-9. Robinson, a sub in the first set and starter in the third set, tallied two kills on five attacks to with five receptions of serve. VakifBank bounced back to defeat Canakkale Bld 25-17, 25-22, 25-19 on Nov. 18. Robinson was a sub in all three sets, turning in one kill on one swing with four serves coming off the bench. VakifBank (7-1), now in third place, faces undefeated Fenerbahce (8-0) on Nov. 25 in its next Turkish League match. 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.
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 Italian Serie A1, Conegliano stopped Foppapedretti Bergamo 25-18, 22-25, 25-17, 25-19 on Nov. 15. Hill scored 19 points in the victory, thanks in part to 16 kills on 33 swings, two blocks and an ace. She added a 62 positive reception percent on 21 chances. Conegliano remained undefeated in the Italian League with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-20 sweep of Saugella Team Monza on Nov. 18. Hill scored a match-high 13 points with 10 kills on 27 attacks and three blocks. She was credited with an 84 positive reception percent while handling 19 of the team’s 38 service receptions. To watch a replay of the match, visit http://es.pn/111817ImocoMonza. Conegliano (6-0), one of three teams with a 6-0 record, faces fourth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (5-1, 15 points) in a key showdown on Nov. 22 followed by fifth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (3-3, 9 points) on Nov. 26. 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.
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 fifth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (3-3, 9 points) 25-21, 25-20, 25-21 on Nov. 15 for its fifth straight win. Gibbemeyer hammered six kills on 11 errorless attacks to go with two blocks for eight points. Novara remained undefeated through the sixth round by blanking last-place Foppapedretti Bergamo 25-18, 25-16, 25-22 on Nov. 19. Gibbemeyer did not play in the match. Novara (6-0, 17 points), tied for second place as one of three undefeated teams, meets second-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (6-0, 17 points) on Nov. 17 in a key showdown before facing 10th-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (1-5, 4 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.
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 sixth straight match to start the Italian Serie A1 regular season, but it wasn’t easy with a 23-25, 25-20, 25-12, 18-25, 15-10 victory over seventh-place Mycicero Volley Pesaro (2-4, 8 points). Carlini set Scandicci to a 38 kill percent and .278 hitting efficiency in the victory Scandicci, one of three undefeated teams in the league with a 6-0 record and tied for second place with 17 points, looks to remain undefeated when it meets Igor Gorgonzola Novara (6-0, 17 points) in a battle of second-place teams on Nov. 22, followed by a Nov. 26 match against eighth-place Sab Volley Legnano (2-4, 6 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 swept Sab Volley Legnano 30-28, 25-9, 25-15 on Nov. 19. Bartsch-Hackley knocked down 12 kills on 30 swings to go with three blocks for 15 points. She added a 73 positive reception percent on 15 chances. Wilhite did not play in the match. Fourth-place Busto Arsizio, 5-1 on the season with 15 points, meets league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano (6-0, 18 points) on Nov. 22. 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.
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 rallied to defeat Pomi Casalmaggiore 19-25, 25-27, 25-17, 25-22, 15-11 on Nov. 19 to snap a four-match losing streak. Tapp pocketed 14 points with 11 kills on 19 attacks, two aces and a block in the victory. Firenze, now in ninth-place with a 2-4 record and five points, will try to keep the win streak going on Nov. 22 as it meets 12th-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (0-6, 0 points).
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 lost to fourth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 30-28, 25-9, 25-15 on Nov. 19. Newcombe charted five kills on 27 attacks and one block for six points. Drews, who was a sub in the second and third sets, scored three kills on 12 attacks in the loss. Legnano, now in eighth-place, faces fifth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (3-3, 9 points) on Nov. 22 in its next Italian Serie A1 match before meeting second-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (6-0, 17 points) on Nov. 26.
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 lost to league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano (6-0) 25-18, 25-13, 25-20 on Nov. 18. Dixon notched five points with three kills on 10 swings and two blocks. Hancock provided one kill, one ace and one block for three points while setting Monza to a 29 kill percent. Team Monza (2-4, 6 points), now in seventh place, will look to end the losing streak with matches against sixth-place Mycicero Volley Pesaro (2-4, 8 points) on Nov. 22 and 11th-place Lardini Filottrano (1-5, 3 points) on Nov. 26.
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 blanked Shandong Lottery 25-15, 25-23, 25-21 on Nov. 14. Wopat provided six kills, four aces and two blocks for 12 points in the victory. In its second match of the week, BAIC lost to Zhejiang 18-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 on Nov. 18. Wopat popped in 11 points, including a team-best five blocks. BAIC returns to action on Nov. 25 against Hebei.
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 second straight match with a 28-30, 25-14, 25-20, 25-22 victory over Club Italia Crai on Nov. 18. McMahon chalked up eight points with seven kills on 17 attacks and a block. Soverato, now in third place with a 7-1 record and 19 points, will seek a third consecutive win on Nov. 26 as it faces Zambelli Orvieto.
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 suffered a heartbreaking 25-21, 19-25, 22-25, 25-20, 20-18 loss to GS Caltex on Nov. 16. Kingdon scored 34 kills on 39 attacks, three blocks and an ace. She added 15 positive receptions on 40 chances and 18 digs. IBK (4-3, 13 points), which dropped from first the third with loss, resumes action on Nov. 22 against Hyundai followed by a Nov. 25 match against the Pink Spiders.
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 swept Vilsbiburg 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 on Nov. 18. Match statistics were not available. 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.
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 blanked USC Munster 25-5, 27-25, 25-22 on Nov. 19. McCage fired off 13 kills on 23 errorless attacks to go with four blocks and an ace for a match-high 18 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.
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 topped St. Raphael 26-24, 25-15, 25-19 on Nov. 19 in the French League’s sixth round. Dannemiller set Mulhouse to a 45 kill percent and .377 hitting efficiency for the match. She added five individual kills on seven errorless attempts and a block for six points. Mulhouse (5-1, 14 points), one of three teams with just one loss record, faces sixth-place Venelles (3-3, 9 points) on Nov. 24 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.
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 blanked Vandoeuvre Nancy 25-19, 25-18, 25-13 on Nov. 18. Rolfzen had three kills on six errorless attacks and a block for four points. Beziers (5-1, 15 points), which ranks atop the league standings, returns to action on Nov. 25 against fifth-place Le Cannet (4-2, 10 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 lost to Le Cannet 25-22, 25-21, 25-18 on Nov. 15. Benson handled 20 receptions with a 35 positive percent in the loss. On Nov. 18, Vandoeuvre Nancy lost to league-leader Beziers 25-19, 25-18, 25-13. Benson handled 13 receptions with a 69 positive reception percent. Vandoeuvre Nancy, now 2-4 with 5 points in 10th place, faces Quimper on Nov. 25 in the seventh round of the regular season.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Carli Lloyd was the first player to become a three-time selection for the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program. She was selected to the USA Volleyball Open National Championships all-tournament team in three consecutive years after leading her teams to gold (2008 and 2010) and bronze (2009).