COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 4, 2019) – Jordan Thompson, Dana Rettke and Mary Lake – the three active collegiate players who helped the U.S. Women’s National Team win gold at this year’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League and helped Team USA earn a berth into the 2020 Olympic Games – are having stellar seasons for their collegiate teams.
REFINERY29 PUBLISHES PIECES BY ROBINSON, LARSON: Refinery29.com recently published articles on Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) and Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska), both outside hitters who played on the 2016 Olympic Team for Team USA and competed the University of Nebraska. In Larson’s self-written article, she talks about learning true strength by watching her mother battle breast cancer and how adidas has helped her show her devotion to her mother, who passed away in 2009. “Watching her ability to fight through all the trauma that she endured, it taught me that no matter the outcome of an event, you should never setter. Never settle for mediocrity,” Larson wrote in her Refinery29 article. For Robinson, she hopes to inspire young women through sport. She said she is most powerful when “I’m on the court and surrounded by my teammates. There’s something really calming about knowing you’re in it together with really powerful women around me.” For the complete articles, visit:
THOMPSON BIG MATCH ON SENIOR NIGHT: Jordan Thompson (Edina, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) had a breakout season with the U.S. Women’s National Team during its gold-medal run in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games before heading back for her senior season at University of Cincinnati. To say she has been dominant for the Bearcats may be an understatement. On senior night, Thompson broke her own Cincinnati and American Athletic Conference record with 50 kills as the Bearcats defeated Connecticut in five sets. She is the only player to reach 50 kills in the NCAA rally scoring era, and just the seventh player overall to break the 50-kill barrier and first since September 1999. Thompson did so with a .530 hitting efficiency (50-6-83) and adding an ace and 11 digs. She was awarded with being the No. 4 ESPN Sports Center’s Top 10. For the season, she has 575 kills (6.39 per set) with a .362 hitting efficiency. Thompson, playing outside versus her opposite position with the national team, has added 2.78 digs per set. She has reached 35 or more kills in a match on four occasions as a senior. For her career, Thompson has 2,104 kills in 403 sets played (5.22 per set average) with a .316 hitting efficiency.
RETTKE LEADING WISCONSIN: Middle Dana Rettke (Riverside, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter), who was part of the U.S. Women’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League gold-medal team along with the 2020 Olympic qualification tournament, has helped University of Wisconsin to a 16-4 record and perfect 12-0 mark in the Big Ten as a junior this season. Rettke was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 4, the third such honor for her in 2019. She has averaged 5.06 points per set, including 3.94 kills, 0.40 aces and 1.27 blocks per set. Rettke is hitting .425 (244-43-473) through the first 20 matches of the season, posting 15 matches with double-figure kills. Wisconsin is ranked No. 4 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Top 25 poll.
LAKE PROVIDING STELLAR DEFENSE FOR BYU: Libero Mary Lake (Palm Springs, California, Instagram, Twitter), who played for the U.S. Women during their gold-medal FIVB Volleyball Nations League season and helped Team USA qualify for the 2020 Olympics, has led No. 11 BYU to a 20-3 record during her senior season with stellar defensive play. She has averaged 3.48 digs per set with just eight reception errors. For her career, Lake now has 1,778 digs, 15 behind the school record with six regular season matches to go.
LARSON WITH SHANGHAI IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Shanghai in the Chinese Super League this winter. Shanghai defeated Hebei 25-14, 25-11, 25-12 on Nov. 2. Larson scored 12 kills on 27 attacks, two aces and a block for 15 points. She was credited with a 45 positive reception percent on 11 chances. Shanghai returns to action on Nov. 5 against Zhejiang.
BARTSCH-HACKLEY, DIXON WITH BEIJING AUTO IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Beijing Auto in the Chinese Super League this winter. Beijing Auto begins its three-team Group A action on Nov. 5 against Fujian Anxi Tieguanyin.
CARLINI WITH DINAMO MOSCOW IN RUSSIA LEAGUE: Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dinamo Moscow in the Russia Super League and the European Champions League. Dinamo Moscow defeated Dinamo-Metar 25-14, 25-14, 25-15 on Oct. 28. Carlini, playing in her first match with Dinamo Moscow, set her team to a 48 kill percent while scoring an individual kill and block for two points. Dinamo Moscow (1-2), resumes Russia Super League action against Zarechye-Odintsovo on Nov. 9. Dinamo Moscow won its Russia Super Cup match versus Lipetsk 21-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-19 on Nov. 3. Carlini set her team to a 48 kill percent and added three kills on three attempts to go with two blocks for five points. Dinamo Moscow then swept Dinamo Krasnodar 25-21, 25-15, 25-12 on Nov. 4. Carlini set Dinamo Moscow to a 47 kill percent while scoring a kill and block. Dinamo Moscow has been drawn into Pool E of the European Champions League main phase along with Russian rival Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg, France’s RC Cannes and Martiza Plovdiv. Champions League fourth round action begins the week of Nov. 19.
OGBOGU, HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Instagram, Twitter) and outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) are playing in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League for Imoco Volleyball Conegliano this winter. Conegliano edged Golden Tulip Volalto 2.0 Caserta 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13 on Oct. 31. Hill collected a team-high 19 points with 15 kills on 27 attacks, two aces and two blocks. She was credited with an 85 positive reception percent on 13 chances. Ogbogu added nine kills on 12 attacks and a block for 10 points. Conegliano (5-0, 14 points), which sits atop the Italian Serie A league as the lone undefeated team, returns to action on Nov. 4 versus 10th-place Zanetti Bergamo (1-3, 5 points) followed by a Nov. 9 match against second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (5-1, 14 points). Conegliano is in Pool D of the European Champions League with Nantes, C.S.M. Volei Alba Blaj and the winner of Vasas Obuda Budapest and Partizani Tirana. Champions League fourth round action begins the week of Nov. 19.
COURTNEY, HANCKOCK WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League this winter. Novara battled past Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 28-26, 31-29, 23-25, 25-22 on Oct. 30. Hancock set her team to a 39 kill percent and totaled eight aces on 28 swings to go with one block and one kill for 10 points. Courtney added 12 points with 11 kills on 36 swings and a block. She was credited with a 79 positive reception percent on 19 chances. Novara edged Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-19, 20-25, 22-25, 25-20, 18-16 on Nov. 3. Courtney scored 16 points, including 12 kills on 43 swings and four blocks. She was credited with a 70 positive reception percent on a team-high 44 chances. Hancock set Novara to a 38 kill percent while placing four kills on four attacks on the scoresheet. Novara (5-1, 14 points) plays Imoco Volley Conegliano (5-0, 14 points) in a battle of the top two teams on Nov. 9 in its next league match. Novara is grouped in Pool C of the European Champions League with Poland’s LKS Comercecon, Poland’s Allianz MTV Stuttgart and the winner of VK Up Olomouc and Khimik Yuzhny. Champions League fourth round action begins the week of Nov. 19.
WASHINGTON, LOWE WITH BUSTO ARSIZIO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Cup this winter. Busto Arsizio was without Washington and Lowe to start the season as they were still competing for Team USA in the NORCECA Championship. Busto Arsizio lost a close four-set battle (28-26, 31-29, 23-25, 25-22) to Igor Gorgonzola Novara on Oct. 30. Lowe collected a team-high 23 points with 19 kills on 54 swings, three aces and a block. Washington added eight kills on 18 attacks and six blocks in the loss. Busto Arzisio (2-2, 7 points), now in fourth place, faces last-place Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia (0-4, 1 point) on Nov. 7 followed by a Nov. 10 contest against 11th-place Golden Tulip Volalto 2.0 Caserta (1-4, 4 points). Busto Arsizio is in the 16th Finals Round of the CEV Cup where it awaits the loser of VK Up Olomouc and Khimik Yuzhny from the third round of the Champions League.
FOECKE WITH FIRENZE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Mikaela Foecke (West Point, Iowa, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Il Bisonte Firenze in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-2020 season. Firenze swept Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 on Oct. 31. Foecke, as a sub in all three sets, piled up five kills on 13 errorless attacks and two aces for seven points in her limited action. She also handled 11 receptions with a 55 positive percent. Firenze dropped a 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 match to Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia on Nov. 3. Foecke, starting the first two sets and subbing in the third, scored two kills and an ace in the loss while holding a 42 positive reception percent on 12 chances. Firenze (4-2, 12 points), which remains in third place, challenges ninth-place Bosca Sao Bernardo Cuneo (2-3, 6 points) on Nov. 10.
POULTER WITH CHIERI IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-20 pro season along with American Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska). Chieri lost to Il Bisonte Firenze 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 on Oct. 31. Poulter set Chieri to a 38 kill percent and added one individual block in the loss. Rolfzen tallied four blocks, two kills and an ace for seven points. Chieri bounced back to claim a 23-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-23 win over Bosca Sao Bernardo Cuneo on Nov. 2. Poulter set Chieri to a 42 kill percent and added an ace and block for two individual points. Rolfzen provided eight kills on 12 swings and three blocks for 11 points in the win. Chieri (3-2, 9 points), in sixth place, faces seventh-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (3-2, 7 points) on Nov. 10.
ALHASSAN WITH CASERTA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Golden Tulip Volato 2.0 Caserta in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Caserta nearly upset league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano on Oct. 31 before falling 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13. Alhassan scored six kills on 21 swings and a block for seven points. Caserta came back to sweep Saugella Monza 26-24, 25-22, 25-18 on Nov. 3. Alhassan tallied five kills on 12 errorless attacks and two blocks for seven points. Caserta (1-4, 4 points), which is in 11th place, takes on eighth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (2-2, 7 points) on Nov. 10 in its next league match.
CUTTINO WITH CASALMAGGIORE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Epiu Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2019-2020 pro season. Casalmaggiore edged Zanetti Bergamo 25-17, 25-22, 24-26, 20-25, 15-13 on Oct. 31. Cuttino tallied seven kills on 27 attacks in the victory. Casalmaggiore blanked Lardini Filottrano 25-23, 25-18, 27-25 on Nov. 3. Cuttino scored eight kills on 28 attacks in the victory. Casalmaggiore (3-2, 9 points), which moved up five spots to fifth place with the two wins, returns to action on Nov. 9 against fourth-place Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (4-2, 11 points).
JONES-PERRY WITH BRESICA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Roni Jones-Perry (West Jordan, Utah, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Brescia blanked Bosca Sao Bernardo Cuneo 25-18, 27-25, 25-23 on Oct. 31. Jones-Perry was a sub in the third set, registering one positive reception on as many chances. Brescia followed with a 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 win over Il Bisonte Firenze on Nov. 3. Brescia (4-2, 11 points), now in fourth place, faces fifth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (3-2, 9 points) on Nov. 9.
ROBINSON WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) is playing for Fenerbahce in the Turkish League and European Champions League this winter. Fenerbahce came away with a big 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 win over VakifBank on Oct. 29. Robinson, in her first start of the season for Fenerbahce, scored 10 kills on 16 swings while providing a 50 positive reception percent on 10 chances against her former team from last year. Fenerbahce lost a heart-breaking 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12 match to undefeated Eczacibasi on Nov. 2. Robinson notched 13 kills on 19 swings in the match while adding a 60 positive reception percent on 20 chances. Fenerbahce (4-2, 12 points), now in fifth place, returns to the court on Nov. 9 against 12th-place Beylikduzu Voleybol Ihtisas (0-6, 0 points). Fenerbahce is part the European Champions League main phase and in Pool A along with Turkish rival Eczacibasi, Poland’s Budowlani Lodz and LP Salo. Champions League fourth round action begins the week of Nov. 19.
KINGDON-RISHEL WITH THY IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Turk Hava Yollari (THY) in the Turkish League this winter. THY lost its third five-set match of the young season with a 26-24, 16-25, 18-25, 25-16, 15-11 setback to Nilufer on Oct. 29. Kingdon Rishel started two of the five sets and subbed in the tiebreaker. She was credited with a 57 positive reception percent on seven chances. THY edged Karayollari 25-19, 28-26, 20-25, 18-25, 15-10 on Nov. 2 for its fourth five-set match in six Turkish League contests. Kingdon Rishel piled up 19 kills on 44 swings and three blocks for a team-leading 22 points. She also was credited with a 64 positive reception percent on 25 chances. THY (2-4, 8 points), now in eighth place, returns to action on Nov. 9 against ninth-place Besiktas (2-4, 5 points).
DREWS WITH JT MARVELOUS IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing in the Japan V-League this winter with JT Marvelous. JT lost to Toray 19-25, 25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 15-11 on Nov. 2. Drews connected for 26 kills on 71 attacks, two blocks and an ace for 29 points. JT bounced back to down PFU Blue Cats 27-25, 29-27, 19-25, 25-16 on Nov. 3. Drews hammered 29 kills on 49 swings to go with four blocks for 33 points. JT Marvelous returns to action on Nov. 9 against Ageo Medics followed by a Nov. 10 contest versus Toyota.
LEE WITH KUROBE IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Outside hitter Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Kurobe Aqua Fairies in the Japan V-League this winter. Kurobe defeated PFU Blue Cats 25-23, 29-27, 25-17 on Nov. 2. Lee contributed 24 kills on 44 swings, three aces and two blocks for 29 points in the three set victory. Kurobe lost to Toray 25-12, 16-25, 25-16, 25-18 on Nov. 3 in its second weekend match. Lee pocketed 16 kills on 47 swings and two blocks for 18 points. The Aqua Fairies return to action on Nov. 9 versus Toyota and Nov. 11 against Ageo Medics.
HANNAH TAPP WITH HITACHI IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing with Hitachi Rivale in the Japan V-League this winter. Hitachi gained key 19-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 15-13 victory over Hisamitsu Springs on Nov. 2. Tapp, playing in her first match, scored nine kills on 28 attacks, five blocks and two aces for 16 points. Hitachi was unable to keep the momentum in a 25-19, 31-29, 25-20 loss to Victorina Himeji on Nov. 3. Tapp tallied eight kills on 20 attacks and three blocks for 11 points. Hitachi returns to action on Nov. 9 against NEC Red Rockets.
RIVERS, ROSENTHAL WITH STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Jenna Rosenthal (Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga and the European Champions League. Stuttgart defeated NawaRo Straubing 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 25-20 on Nov. 2 in the German Cup round of 16. Rivers totaled a match-high 25 points with 23 kills on 56 swings and two blocks. Rosenthal added a kill in the victory. Stuttgart will now face Erfurt in the German Cup quarterfinals during the weekend of Nov. 23-24. Stuttgart (4-0, 12 points), which leads the Bundesliga regular season, returns to action on Nov. 9 against Potsdam. Stuttgart has been drawn into the European Champions League Pool C with Italy’s Igor Gorgonzala Novara, Poland’s LKS Commercecon and the winner of VK Up Olomouc and Khimik Yuzhny.
WONG-ORANTES WITH SCHWERIN IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for SSC Palmberg Schwerin in the German Bundesliga this winter. Schwerin dropped Rote Raben Vilsbiburg 25-15, 25-22, 25-27, 22-25, 15-10 on Oct. 30 for its third Bundesliga victory. Wong-Orantes split duties at libero in the final two sets. In a break from Bundesliga action, Schwerin posted a 25-17, 25-17, 25-18 victory over VC Wiesbaden in the German Cup round of 16 on Nov. 2. Wong-Orantes did not play in the match. Schwerin (3-1, 9 points), which ranks third in the Bundesliga regular season, returns to action on Nov. 13 against Munster. Schwerin is in the CEV Cup 16th Finals Round in which it plays home-and-home matches against Sliedrecht Sport on Dec. 4 and Dec. 17.
KADIE ROLFZEN WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dresdner in the German Bundesliga and the CEV Challenge Cup. In a break in the Bundesliga regular season, Dresdner topped Stuttgart II 25-8, 25-14, 25-14 in the German Cup round of 16 on Nov. 3. Individual match stats are not available. Dresdner (1-3, 4 points), in seventh place, returns to action Nov. 9 against Erfurt. Dresdner is in the 16th Finals Round of the CEV Challenge Cup where it will face LLC Kamienskie in a home-and-home series starting Nov. 5.
SELIGER-SWENSON WITH BEZIERS IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson (Minnetonka, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Beziers in the French League and the CEV Challenge Cup along with American teammate Alexa Smith (Colorado Springs, Colorado). Beziers lost to Marcq-en-Baroeul 15-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 15-13 on Nov. 1. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 38 kill percent and added three kills on five attacks and a block. Smith, who was a sub in the second, fourth and fifth sets, tallied two kills on three errorless attacks with seven receptions and a 43 positive reception percent. Beziers (5-1, 16 points), which falls to second place in the French league, returns to action on Nov. 9 against sixth-place Vandoeuvre Nancy (3-3, 9 points). Beziers begins its CEV Challenge Cup 16th Finals Round the week of Nov. 11 against RSR Walferdange.
BENSON WITH NUC IN SWISS LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Instagram) is playing for Viteos NUC in the Swiss League and CEV Cup this winter along with American teammates Tia Scambray (Dana Point, California) and Kyra Holt (Hercules, California). NUC swept Zesar-VFM 25-15, 25-18, 25-22 on Nov. 3. Benson was credited with a 53 positive reception percent on 19 chances. Holt scored 11 kills on 27 swings, three aces and two blocks for 16 points. NUC (4-1), now in third place, challenges Volley Lugano I on Nov. 9 in its next Swiss match. NUC faces Minchanka Minsk in the CEV Cup 16th Finals Round that begins the week of Dec. 3.
WILHITE PARSONS WITH SESI BAURU IN BRAZILIAN SUPERLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Sesi Bauru in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Sesi Bauru defeated Sao Paulo Barueri 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 on Oct. 29 in the Paulista Cup semifinal opener. To watch the match replay, click here. Sesi Bauru lost to Sao Paulo Baureri 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 in the return match plus 25-16 in the golden set. Individual stats are unavailable. The team begins regular season action on Nov. 12 against Esporte Clube Pinheiros.