COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (April 3, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly Update dives into player updates from around the world, including a Rapid Fire Q&A with 2016 Olympian Carli Lloyd, the updated player transfer list and who was selected to the U.S. Collegiate National Team-Thailand Tour as up-and-coming players in the pipeline.
AKINRADEWO NAMED MVP OF SWISS LEAGUE: Two-time U.S. Olympian middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida, Twitter, Instagram) was presented the 2016-17 Swiss League most valuable player award on April 1 after leading Volero Zurich to an undefeated regular season. She is in her second season competing in the Swiss League for Volero.
RAPID FIRE WITH CARLI LLOYD: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram), a 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team bronze medalist, answered 20 questions that dives into life on and off the court for fans to get to know her better.
Athlete role model that you look up to?
I would just like to be Usain Bolt for one 100-meter race and feel what it feels like to run at his speed.
Favorite quote and by whom?
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine
Most used app on your phone?
Other than communication devices, what one personal item you must bring from home on road trips that you can’t live without?
My books and journal.
A little known fact about yourself that many would find interesting?
I love to write.
Top two things still on your bucket list?
Have a ski vacation in the mountains for at least a week with no obligation to volleyball!! Go on a silent meditation retreat
What is the first thing you notice about someone when you first meet?
Their mouth, smile, teeth and expression.
If you had access to a time machine where and when would you go?
I would go back to a time when my dad was still here.
After a long season outside the country, what would be your ideal first meal back in the States?
Definitely Mexican food, my mom’s tacos.
Favorite fun moment off the court during this club season?
Visiting one of my teammates homes in Croatia with three of my teammates and my Uncle and experiencing her family restaurant with live music, typical Croatian dancing, and incredible food!!
Instagram or Snapchat?
Neither. I am just as inactive on both accounts. :/
Go-to breakfast meal?
Here in Italy a cafe in the center for a couple of brioche’s filled with Nutella and a cappuccino. At home French toast bacon and scrambled eggs.
Favorite songs on your phone or music service?
I listen to a little bit of everything.
TV show you can’t miss, even while overseas?
Best place you have visited for vacation?
Italian Dolomiti Mountains
Favorite venue and city to play in overseas?
Palaradi in Cremona! Our home gym!!
In a movie about your life, who would play in you?
If not volleyball, what sport would you be playing?
Track and field
Funniest teammate on U.S. Women’s National Team?
WATCH AMERICANS IN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The CEV European Champions League Playoff 6 (quarterfinals) has two matches being streamed live with Americans representing three of the four teams. Both matches can be watched live on laola1.tv.
- April 4: Eczacibasi (Jordan Larson, Rachael Adams) vs. Fenerbahce, 9 a.m. PT, WATCH
- April 5: VakifBank (Kim Hill) vs. Volero (Foluke Akinradewo), 9 a.m. PT, WATCH
— USA Volleyball (@usavolleyball) April 3, 2017
COLLEGIATE NATIONAL TEAM-THAILAND TOUR ROSTER: USA Volleyball is proud to announce its 12-player U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team Thailand Tour (CNT-Thailand) roster comprised of current collegiate players who will train and compete in Bangkok from May 19-30. Middles selected to the elite CNT-Thailand squad are Kaz Brown (University of Kentucky, Waterloo, Iowa), Morgan Johnson (University of Texas, DeSoto, Texas) and Chiaka Ogbogu (University of Texas, Coppell, Texas). The outside hitters named to the roster are Lily Johnson (Missouri State University, Wildwood, Missouri), Madison Ridgon (University of Kansas, Plugerville, Texas), Micaya White (University of Texas, Frisco, Texas) and McKenna Woodford (Washington State University, Chandler, Arizona). The two opposites selected to the CNT-Thailand Tour are Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani (University of Texas, Los Angeles) and Jordan Thompson (University of Cincinnati, Edina, Minnesota). The setters are Taylor Hughes (Ohio State University, Carroll, Ohio) and Taylor Nelson (Cal Poly, Granite Bay, California). The libero will be Ashley Dusek (University of Kentucky, East Bernard, Texas). For the full release, click here.
UPDATED INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER LIST: USA Volleyball has processed 397 international transfer certificates (291 females, 106 males) allowing United States citizens to compete in foreign professional volleyball leagues for the 2016-17 season as of April 2 – an increase of six transfers since March 13, 2017. Additional transfers will be processed throughout the winter months. On the women’s side, athletes have transferred to play in 36 different countries with Germany attracting 53 players, England 28 players, Puerto Rico with 16 players, Finland and Sweden with 15 players each, Italy, and Philippines and Switzerland with 14 players apiece. Within the last month, Amber Roberson and I’Tiana Taylor had paperwork finalized to become the first two U.S. females to ever compete United Arab Emirates. For the full listing of athletes and where they have played overseas this winter, click here.
AMERICANS COMPETING IN FIVB CLUB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: The FIVB announced on Monday that Switzerland’s Volero Zurich and Turkey’s VakifBank and Eczacibasi – all with member of the U.S. Women’s National Team – have been selected as wild card teams to participate in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship set for May 9-14 in Kobe, Japan. Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) and Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) compete for Eczacibasi, which is the defending champion of the event. Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) plays for VakifBank, while Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida, Twitter, Instagram) is a star for Volero Zurich. For details on the tournament, click here.
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. Volero won the Cornercard Volley Cup 2017 trophy by defeating Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 on April 1. In the CEV Champions League, Volero will face VakifBank in the second match of the home-and-home Playoff 6 Round (quarterfinals) on April 5. Volero, which lost the opening match in four sets, will need to win the second match to force a Golden Set to determine which team advances to the semifinals on April 22. Volero, which went undefeated in the Swiss League regular season, will now meet TS Volley Dudingen in the Swiss semifinals with matches on April 5 and April 8 to start the best-of-three series with April 9 being the tiebreaker if necessary. Volero went undefeated during the regular season.
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 the Turkish League playoffs, Eczacibasi rallied past Canakkale Bld 24-26, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18 on March 29. Larson scored 19 points in the victory with 15 kills on 30 swings, two aces and two blocks. She added 15 receptions with a 47 positive reception percent. Adams did not play in the match due to foreigner limits on the court per Turkish League rules. Eczacibasi claimed a 25-22, 25-18, 25-20 victory over Canakkale on March 31. Larson contributed 13 points with seven kills on 18 swings and just one error to go with four blocks and two aces on 11 serves. Adams came off the bench to start the third set and scored three kills on four swings in the victory. The win secured Eczacibasi’s spot into the Turkish League semifinals. In European Champions League, Eczacibasi will challenge Turkish rival Fenerbahce on April 4 in the second match of the home-and-home Playoff 6 (quarterfinal) round and needing a win to force a Golden Set to determine which team advances to the semifinals on April 22.
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 Turkish League, VakifBank opened the playoffs with a 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 15-12 thrilling victory over Besiktas on March 28. Hill, who was a sub in the first four sets before starting the fifth set, provided five kills on 13 errorless attacks and a 71 positive reception percent on 14 chances in her limited time on the court. VakifBank won its second match of the playoffs with a 25-21, 25-15, 22-25, 25-14 victory over Besiktas on March 30. Hill, a sub in the final two sets, tallied two kills on three errorless attacks with three receptions. With its two wins over Besiktas, VakifBank advanced to the Turkish League semifinals. In the European Champions League, VakifBank meets Switzerland’s Volero Zurich on April 5 in the second match of the home-and-home Playoff 6 Round (quarterfinals). VakifBank won the opening match in four sets, but Volero can still rally to force a Golden Set to determine which team advances to the semifinals on April 22.
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 will play in the 9-12 relegation round matches with the first round taking place April 2-4 and the second cycle set for April 8-10.
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, which finished the regular season in eighth place, lost to ninth-seed Il Bisonte Firenze 28-26, 25-21, 25-21 on March 30 to open the first round of the Italian playoffs. Bartsch scored a match-high 19 points with 18 kills on 36 swings and a block. She also contributed a 77 positive reception percent on 22 chances. Bolzano needs to defeat Firenze in the return match on April 3 to have a chance to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
ROBINSON, FAWCETT WITH ITALY’S CONEGLIANO: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, and opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) are playing in the Italian Serie A1 after transferring midseason from teams China and Turkey, respectively. Conegliano (20-2, 56 points) ended the Italian regular season with a 10-point lead in the standings and four fewer losses than second-place Pomi Casalmaggiore. Conegliano received a first-round bye the Italian playoffs and were idle this past weekend. In the European Champions League, Conegliano receives a bye in the Playoff 6 (quarterfinal round) as the host to the Final Four that will be staged April 22-23.
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 lost to Italian rival Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio in both matches of the semifinal home-and-home series last week. Casalmaggiore suffered a 25-22, 25-20, 29-27 loss in the opener on March 28. Lloyd scored four points with three kills on seven errorless attacks and a block while setting the team to a 29 kill percent. Gibbemeyer was credited with three kills on 10 swings and an ace. In the second match, Busto Arsizio won 23-25, 23-25, 25-23, 29-27, 15-9 on April 1. Gibbemeyer collected 17 points with nine kills on 17 errorless attacks, seven blocks and an ace. Lloyd did not play due to injury. In the Italian League, Casalmaggiore (16-6, 46 points) ended the regular season in second place and has a first-round bye in the Italian playoffs and was idle this past weekend.
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, with the second seed in the Orlen Liga playoffs already in hand, lost to fourth-place Developres Skyres Rzeszow 25-22, 25-23, 25-22 on March 28 to conclude the regular season. Hancock set her team to a 35 kill percent for the match and added two kills and a block. American teammate Megan Courtney added 10 points with seven kills on 18 swings and three blocks. She also handled 25 of the team’s 67 receptions with a 48 positive reception percent. Wroclaw ended the regular season with a 21-5 record and three points behind league-leader Chemik Police, who Wroclaw defeated the previous week. In the playoffs, Wroclaw will face third-seed Grot Budowlani Lodz with matches on April 4 and April 10.