COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 22, 2018) – While current U.S. Women’s National Team members are overseas in their pro leagues working to improve daily, preparations are underway for the squad’s annual open tryout that will seek the next generation of players wearing red, white and blue.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Who served as captains for the U.S. Women at the three most recent Olympic Games?
WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUTS: The U.S. Women’s National Team will hold its annual open tryout on March 2-4 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The tryout, under the direction of U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly, will identify prospective athletes for the following programs:
- U.S. Women’s Senior National Team: Athletes who have concluded their college eligibility and who wish to be invited to be a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team on a full-time basis. This program could begin as early as the spring of 2018, or when the athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded. Also considered for training with this group will be athletes who have remaining college eligibility. Their participation will begin in mid-May or when their scholastic calendar ends for 2018.
- U.S. Collegiate National Teams (CNT): Athletes born 1999 or earlier and with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2018 collegiate season may also be invited to participate in one of three possible U.S. Collegiate National Teams. 1) CNT Asia from May 20-31; 2) CNT Europe July 4-15; 3) CNT-Detroit June 22-July 1.
All three CNT programs are considered extended tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team and are thereby eligible for necessary expenses to be paid for by the athlete’s school if that school so chooses.
The tryout is open to U.S. citizens who are current college-age athletes and older born in the years 1990-1999 inclusive.
Athletes have the opportunity to take advantage of on-site lodging at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (OTC) dorms and take meals in the dining hall, or they may choose to stay off-site. Those choosing to stay off-site will have OTC meal privileges. For athletes staying at the OTC, the total tryout registration fee will be $350, which includes lodging, meals, local transportation and tryout expenses. For athletes not staying at the OTC, the fee will be $200. There are no hotels within walking distance to the OTC. Athletes will have the opportunity to add on-site lodging ($150) to their registration at the time that they register. Registration fee will increase to $225 ($375 including on-site lodging) on Feb. 25.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE STREAMS: Four European Champions League matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players will stream live on laola.tv as the main phase reaches its second leg this week.
- Jan. 24: Champions League – VakifBank (Kelsey Robinson) vs. Dinamo Moscow, 8 a.m. PT
- Jan. 24: Champions League – ASPTT Mulhouse (Lexi Dannemiller) vs. CS Volei Alba Blaj, 11 a.m. PT
- Jan. 25: Champions League – Imoco Volley Conegliano (Kim Hill) vs. Fenerbahce, 8 a.m. PT
- Jan. 25: Champions League – Igor Gorgonzola Novara (Lauren Gibbemeyer) vs. Agel Prostejov, 11:30 a.m. PT
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 the Turkish League, Eczacibasi rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat Galatasaray 23-25, 22-25, 25-23, 25-14, 16-14 on Jan. 17. Larson chipped in 16 points with 13 kills on 33 swings, two aces and a block. She handled 21 receptions with a 52 positive percent. Adams, a sub in the first two sets before starting the final three, collected 10 points with six kills on 15 swings, three blocks and an ace. Eczacibasi blanked Nilufer 25-13, 25-7, 25-21 on Jan. 21. Adams pocketed 11 points with seven kills on 12 attacks, three blocks and an ace. Larson did not play in the match. Eczacibasi (14-1), which is in first place with tiebreakers over VakifBank (14-1), faces Ilbank on Jan. 28 next week in the Turkish League. In CEV Cup action, has advanced to the CEV Cup 8th Finals Round and will have a home-and-home series versus Italy’s Yamamay E-Work Busto Arsizio with the first match taking place on Jan. 24 and the return match on Feb. 8.
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 topped Besiktas 25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20 on Jan. 17. Robinson scored a match-high 14 points, all on kills via 33 attacks. She also handled 31 of the team’s 75 receptions with a 61 positive percent (45 excellent percent). VakifBank concluded the week with a 25-12, 16-25, 25-22, 26-24 victory over Galatasaray on Jan. 20. Robinson was a sub in the final three sets compiling four kills on six errorless attacks with a 50 positive reception percent on four chances. VakifBank (14-1), in second place on tiebreakers to Eczacibasi (14-1), resumes Turkish League action on Jan. 28 against Nilufer. In European Champions League action, VakifBank (2-0) returns to action on Jan. 24 versus Russia’s Dinamo Moscow. Robinson has launched her own website, nomandplay.com, on her passions for play, travel and food. Check out her article on how to make long international flights easier by clicking here.
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 defeated Sab Volley Legnano 25-20, 25-11, 25-15 on Jan. 17. Hill provided eight kills on 16 attacks in the victory. She handled 11 receptions with a 36 positive percent. American teammate Simone Lee, making her Italian Serie A1 debut, scored two kills on five errorless attacks to go with one block as a sub in the final two sets. She was credited with a 33 positive reception percent on three chances. For video highlights of the match, click here. Conegliano claimed a 25-22, 24-26, 25-13, 25-15 victory over 10th-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (5-11, 13 points) on Jan. 21. Hill hammered 18 kills on 35 swings with one block for 19 points. She was credited with a stellar 96 positive reception percent on 26 chances. Lee, as a sub in the fourth set, turned in two kills on two attacks. Conegliano (15-1, 44 points), which holds on to first place, meets fifth-place Saugella Team Monza (8-8, 25 points) on Jan. 28 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. In the European Champions League, Conegliano closes out the Pool B first half with a Jan. 25 match with Turkey’s Fenerbahce.
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, Novara was upset by last-place Lardini Filotrrano 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 15-25, 17-15 on Jan. 17. Gibbemeyer contributed 11 points in the loss with 10 kills on 16 swings and a block. Novara answered its mid-week loss with a 25-22, 29-27, 25-23 victory over seventh-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena on Jan. 21. Gibbemeyer produced three kills on 10 errorless swings in the victory. Novara (13-3, 39 points), which remains in second place, resumes Italian League action on Jan. 28 versus 10th-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (5-11, 13 points). In the European Champions League, Novara (1-1) Agel Prostejov on Jan. 25 in its next Champions League Pool B match.
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 swept Il Bisonte Firenze 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 on Jan. 17. Carlini set her team to a 44 kill percent. She tallied two kills on four errorless chance and a block for three individual points. Scandicci knocked down last-place Lardini Filottrano 22-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-17 on Jan. 21. Carlini, starting just the first two sets, helped her squad to an overall 43 kill percent. Scandicci (13-3, 36 points), which stays in third place, resumes regular season action on Jan. 28 against sixth-place Mycicero Volley Pesaro (8-8, 25 points).
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 defeated Pomi Casalmaggiore 25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 25-20 on Jan. 17. Dixon tallied eight kills on 15 attacks with just two errors in the victory. Hancock set the team to a 40 kill percent while adding three individual kills on eight swings and three aces on 17 serves for six points. To watch highlights of the match, click here. Team Monza lost to fourth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (10-6, 32 points) 25-23, 26-24, 25-18 on Jan. 21. Dixon scored seven kills on nine swings in the loss. Hancock set the squad to a 40 kill percent and chipped in two aces and a kill for three individual points. Team Monza (8-8, 25 points), now in fifth place, challenges first-place Imoco Volley Conegliano (15-1, 44 points) on Jan. 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. In the Italian Serie A1, lost to Foppapedretti Bergamo 21-25, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-10 on Jan. 17. Bartsch-Hackley scored 14 kills on 37 swings to go with two blocks and an ace for 17 points. She handled 39 of the team’s 96 service receptions with a 79 positive percent. Wilhite scored two kills on five swings and two blocks for four points. Novara responded from its mid-week loss by defeating fifth-place Saugella Team Monza (8-8, 25 points) on Jan. 21. Bartsch-Hackley scored a team-best 18 points with 14 kills on 29 attacks with just one error to go with three blocks and an ace. She was credited with an 82 positive reception percent on 17 chances. Wilhite was a sub in the final two sets. Busto Arsizio (10-6, 32 points), which stays fourth in the standings, meets 11th-place Sab Volley Legnano (4-12, 11 points) on Jan. 27. In the CEV Cup, Busto Arsizio has advanced to the 8th Finals Round where it will face Turkish power Eczacibasi in a home-and-home series with the two match dates taking place on Jan. 24 and Feb. 8.
DREWS WITH CASALMAGGIORE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter), who played her first season with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is currently playing for Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 after transferring from Sab Volleyball Legnano. In the Italian Serie A, Casalmaggiore lost to Saugella Team Monza 25-20, 25-18, 17-25, 25-20 in Drews’ debut with her new squad. As a sub in the first two sets, Drews scored two kills on six attacks. With Drews taking a starting role, Casalmaggiore started strong against Mycicero Volley Pesaro before falling 19-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21 on Jan. 20. Drews scored 14 points in the loss with 13 kills on 36 swings and an ace. To watch a replay of the match on ESPN3, click here. Casalmaggiore (3-13 14 points), now in ninth-place, meets Il Bisonte Firenze on Jan. 28 in its next Italian league match. In the CEV Cup, Casalmaggiore begins an 8th Finals Round home-and-home series with Linamar Bekescsabi RS KFT on Jan. 23 with the return match on Feb. 7.
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 league-leader Korea Expressway 25-13, 20-25, 25-17, 25-15 on Jan. 17. Kingdon notched 21 kills on 49 attacks and two blocks for 23 points. IBK (13-7, 38 points), now in second place, returns to action on Jan. 27 against the Pink Spiders.
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 lost to Shenzhen 25-20, 25-16, 22-25, 19-25, 15-13 on Jan. 19, marking its first playoff loss in five matches. Wopat tallied 10 points, including a team-best two blocks. BAIC returns to Stage 2 playoff action on Jan. 23 against Liaoning, followed by a Jan. 27 rematch with Shenzhen.
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 swept league-leader LPM Bam Mondovi 25-23, 25-16, 25-15 on Jan. 17. McMahon turned in 13 points with 11 kills on 23 swings and two blocks. To close out the week, Soverato edged 12th-place P2P Givova Baronissi 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-12 on Jan. 21. McMahon charted 11 kills on 32 attacks and three blocks for 14 points in the victory. Soverato (13-7, 37 points), which remains in seventh place, resumes action on Jan. 28 against 14th-place Bartonccini Gioiellerie Perugia (5-14, 14 points).
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 German Bundesliga regular season, Stuttgart battled past Aachen 25-19, 23-25, 25-19, 27-25 on Jan. 17. McCage tallied 16 points with 10 kills on 16 attacks with just one error to go with six blocks. Tapp pocketed four kills on eight errorless swings, two blocks and an ace. Stuttgart overwhelmed 10th-place Erfurt (2-10, 6 points) 25-19, 25-13, 25-20 on Jan 20. McCage totaled nine points with seven kills on 10 swings and two blocks. Tapp added four kills on seven swings in the victory. Stuttgart (11-2, 34 points), which is in second place in the Bundesliga, returns to regular season Bundesliga action on Jan. 28 versus league-leader Dresdner (13-1, 38 points). In the CEV Cup, Stuttgart has advanced to the CEV Cup 8th Finals Round home-and-home series with Asterix Avo Beveren. The first match is scheduled for Jan. 24.
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. In the German Bundesliga, Dresdner beat SC Potsdam 22-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-11 on Jan. 17. Bugg started the first set, registering one kill and setting the team to a 28 kill percent. Dresdner won its second match of the week with a 25-20, 25-17, 27-25 win over VC Wiesbaden on Jan. 20. Bugg did not play in the match. Dresdner (13-1, 38 points), which remains in first place, faces second-place Stuttgart (11-2, 34 points) on Jan. 28. In the CEV Cup, Dresdner has moved on to the 8th Finals Round home-and-home series against TS Volley Dudingen. The first match is slated for Jan. 24.
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. In the French League, withstood a challenge from fourth-place Venelles to win 25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-11 on Jan. 20. Rolfzen charted five points with two kills and three blocks. Beziers (13-1, 35 points), now in second place based on standings points, meets fifth-place SF Paris St Cloud (6-8, 18 points) on Jan. 28 in its next French League match. In the CEV Cup, Beziers has advanced to the 8th Finals Round where it will play Minchanka Minsk on Jan. 24 to start the home-and-home series.
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. In the French League, Mulhouse edged Evreux 25-14, 25-18, 19-25, 22-25, 15-10 on Jan. 20. Dannemiller started the third set as Mulhouse converted 35 percent in the frame. Mulhouse (9-5, 27 points), which is in third place, resumes French League action on Jan. 27 against 10th-place Nantes (4-10, 16 points). In the European Champions League, Mulhouse (1-1) challenges CSM Volei Alba Blaj on Jan. 24 in its next Pool A match.
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 defeated sixth-placed SF Paris St Cloud 21-25, 25-15, 25-22, 29-27 on Jan. 20. Benson was credited with a 54 positive reception percent on 13 chances. Nancy (6-8, 16 points), now in ninth place, resumes French League action on Jan. 29 against sixth-place Le Cannet (8-6, 18 points).
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. First-place Hisamitsu Springs (19-0) was idle this week and resumes play on Jan. 27 against Ageo Medics followed by Toray Arrows on Jan. 28.
TRIVIA ANSWER: The three most recent captains of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Teams are Robyn Ah Mow-Santos at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Lindsey Berg at the 2012 London Olympic Games and Christa Dietzen at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.