COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Jan. 16, 2017) – The first year of an Olympic quadrennial cycle usually has more new faces joining the U.S. Women’s National Team, and 2017 will be no different. If you have dreamed of playing for Team USA, the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts are just around the corner with online registration now open.
U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUT: The U.S. Women’s National Team will hold its annual open tryout March 3-5 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The three-day tryout is expected to draw 240 athletes with hopes of earning a spot in one of the U.S. Women’s National Team programs. Athletes who have come out of the tryout include Kim Hill, the 2014 FIVB World Championship most valuable player. This tryout is open to current college-age athletes and older born in the years 1989-1999* inclusive (Women’s Junior age group athletes born in 1998 or 1999 AND NOT currently enrolled in college must be invited to attend this tryout) AND high school athletes born in 1997 or earlier. Athletes born before 1988 must contact USA Volleyball at firstname.lastname@example.org for approval.
REMEMBERING FLO HYMAN: The late Flo Hyman, a 1984 Olympic silver medalist with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is set to be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 21 along with teammate Rita Buck-Crockett. Hyman, who was also enshrined into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988, was selected to USA Volleyball’s 75th Anniversary Women’s 1978-2002 All-Era Team and was most valuable player of the squad. She was named to the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team, but missed her opportunity to compete with the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games. The world got to know her better in 1981 as she was selected most valuable player of the 1981 FIVB World Cup. However, her life was cut short as she collapsed during a pro match in Japan in January 1986. What was first thought as a heart attack, it was later found that Hyman suffered from Marfan’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder. A year after her passing, National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) was established as a remembrance of her athletic achievements and dedication to promoting equality for women’s sports. NGWSD is celebrated annually across all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies and other celebratory activities. This year NGWSD will be celebrated on Feb. 1. For more on Hyman’s induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, click here.
HILL WITH TURKEY’S VAKIFBANK: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) 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. In the European Champions League, VakifBank (2-0, 5 points) held off Turkish rival Eczacibasi 25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 15-10 on Jan. 10 to remain undefeated in Pool D. Hill was a sub in all five sets and tallied three kills on eight swings with a 40 positive reception percent on five chances. VakifBank resumes action on Jan. 25 against Germany’s Dresdner SC (0-2, 0 points). In a break from Turkish League action, VakifBank eased past Nilufer 25-19, 25-15, 25-19 in the Turkish Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 15. Hill, who started the final two sets after being a reserve in the first set, tallied six kills on 13 swings and an ace for seven points. She was credited with a 67 positive reception percent on six chances. In the semifinals, VakifBank swept Bursa B Sehir 25-17, 25-19, 25-16 on Jan. 16. Hill recorded two kills in the victory as a reserve. VakifBank meets Fenerbahce in the Turkish Cup finals on Jan. 17. In the Turkish regular season, VakifBank is 11-0 through the first half.
LARSON, ADAMS WITH TURKEY’S ECZACIBASI: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) and middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram), 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. In European Champions League action, Eczacibasi (1-1, 4 points) nearly rallied for a two-set deficit to Turkish rival VakifBank before falling 25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 15-10 on Jan. 10. Adams pocketed 14 points with nine kills on 16 attacks, three blocks and two aces. Larson chipped in 10 points with eight kills on 22 attacks, one block and one ace. She added a 67 positive reception percent on nine chances. Eczacibasi returns to Champions League Pool D action on Jan. 24 against Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg (1-1, 3 points), which is in third place in the four-team pool. Eczacibasi slipped past Halkbank 25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-17 on Jan. 15 in the Turkish Cup quarterfinals. Larson scored 11 kills on 33 swings, two aces and a block for 14 points in the victory. Due to Turkish League rules with limits on number of foreigners playing, Adams did not play in the match. In the Turkish Cup semifinals against Fenerbahce, neither Larson or Adams suited up in Eczacibasi’s 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23 loss on Jan. 16. In the Turkish League regular season, Eczacibasi (8-3) is in second place in the Turkish League standings.
LLOYD, GIBBEMEYER WITH ITALY’S CASALMAGGIORE: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist setter for Team USA, and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) have returned to Italy to compete for Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 league and the CEV Cup. In CEV Cup action, Casalmaggiore overwhelmed Maccabi XT Haifa 25-20, 25-18, 25-13 to start the 16th Final Round home-and-home series at their home site in Cremona, Italy. Lloyd set the team to a 42 kill percent and added one kill and one block for two individual points. Gibbemeyer scored four kills on seven errorless attacks with a team-best three blocks for seven points. Casalmaggiore will look to advance to the 8th Final Round with a return match on Jan. 26. Casalmaggiore, second in the Italian League trailing league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano by a single point with one less match, begins the regular season second half on Jan. 18 against Club Italia Crai (1-10), which is in last place of the 12-team Serie A1 league. Casalmaggiore also faces 10th-place Saugella Team Monza (4-8, 12 points) on Jan. 22 in its second league match of the week.
BARTSCH WITH ITALY’S BOLZANO: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Illinois, Twitter), an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is competing for Sudtirol Bolzano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Bolzano absorbed a 25-23, 25-14, 19-25, 25-21 loss to third-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara on Jan. 15 to start the Italian League second half. Bartsch collected a team-high 16 points with 14 kills on 28 attacks and two blocks. She chipped in a 65 positive reception percent on 23 chances. Bolzano (4-8, 15 points), now in seventh place in the Italian League regular season, returns to the court on Jan. 22 against fifth-place Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio (8-4, 22 points).
AKINRADEWO WITH SWITZERLAND’S VOLERO ZURICH: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida, Twitter, Instagram), 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. In the CEV Champions League, Volero (1-1, 4 points) suffered a heart-breaking 25-17, 20-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-11 loss to Pool B leader Dinamo Moscow (2-0, 5 points) in the second leg on Jan. 12. Akinradewo totaled 12 points in the match with six kills on 16 attacks, four aces and two blocks. Volero will look to bounce back against fourth-place CS Volei Alba Blaj (0-2,0 points) on Jan. 25. In the Swiss League Volero stopped VC Kanti Schaffhausen 25-12, 25-15, 25-16 to remain undefeated at 14-0. Volero’s next Swiss League match is against VBC Cheseaux on Jan. 21.
ROBINSON, LOWE WITH CHINA’S BAIC MOTORS: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram), both members of the 2016 bronze-winning U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are in China this winter playing for BAIC Motors Beijing. BAIC Motors to Sichuan 18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-18 on Jan. 10 for its fifth straight setback. Robinson turned in 14 points with 13 kills on 25 attacks. Lowe did not play in the match. BAIC Motors broke the losing streak on Jan. 14 by beating Shenzhen 25-18, 25-22, 25-21. Lowe chalked up 13 points with 12 kills on 26 attacks. Robinson added 12 points in the victory. BAIC Motors (2-5) concludes the Group I playoffs on Jan. 21 against Sichuan.
CRIMES WITH TURKEY’S SARIYER: Middle Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California, Instagram), an alternate to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is competing for Sariyer in the Turkish League this winter. Sariyer dropped its Turkish Cup quarterfinal match to Fenerbahce by scores 25-11, 25-17, 25-20 on Jan. 15. Crimes notched seven points with four kills on 12 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Sariyer, in ninth place in the Turkish League regular season standings with a 3-8 record, was idle this week with the Turkish Cup putting the league on hiatus.
HANCOCK WITH POLAND’S IMPEL WROCLAW: Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Twitter, Instagram), 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 rallied past 13th-place BKS Profi Credit Bielsko-Biala 21-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-13 on Jan. 13. Hancock set Wroclaw to a stellar 49 kill percent as a team and added six individual kills on nine swings and two blocks for eight points. American teammate Megan Courtney hammered 13 kills on 28 swings in the victory. Wroclaw, in second place with a 12-4 record and 39 points, will challenge 10th-place Giacomini Budowlani Torun (5-11, 15 points) on Jan. 22 in its next league match.