COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Jan. 2, 2017) – While many in the United States were off from work and enjoying the holiday season, U.S. Women’s National Team members playing overseas continued with their club seasons. For the latest team news from around the club, read the latest Women’s National Team update.
DID YOU KNOW?: Many already know that Karch Kiraly, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is the only player – male or female – to win gold in both indoor and beach volleyball. But did you know that he is only the fourth person to earn an Olympic volleyball medal as well as leading a team to an Olympic medal as its head coach?
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. Casalmaggiore rallied to defeat 10th-ranked Metalleghe Montichiari 19-25, 25-14, 20-25, 25-12, 15-12 on Dec. 26. Lloyd set her team to a 47 kill percent for the match and added one individual kill and a block for two points. Gibbemeyer slammed seven kills on 13 attacks with just one error to go with a team-best seven blocks for 14 points. Casalmaggiore, now in first place with 28 points and a 10-1 record at the conclusion of the season’s first half, will resume Italian League action on Dec. 26 against 10th-ranked Metalleghe Montichiari (2-8, 6 points). Casalmaggiore begins the second half on Jan. 15 against Club Italia Crai (1-10), which is in last place of the 12-team Serie A1 league. In CEV Cup action, Casalmaggiore will face Maccabi XT Haifa in the 16th Final Round with dates of the home-and-home series with the first match set for Jan. 12 and the return match on Jan. 26.
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 handled seventh-place LIU Jo Nordmeccanica Modena 25-23, 20-25, 25-17, 25-23 on Dec. 26 to conclude the regular season first half. Bartsch collected 19 points with 13 kills on 41 swings, five blocks and an ace. She added 18 receptions with a 78 positive reception percent. Bolzano (4-7, 12 points), now in seventh place, begins the second half on Jan. 15 against third-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (7-4, 23 points).
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, Eczacibasi defeated Besiktas 25-17, 25-13, 25-21 on Dec. 20 to close out the 2016 portion of the schedule. Larson tallied 12 points with eight kills on 18 swings, three aces and a block. She added eight receptions in the victory. Adams did not suit in the match due to limits on foreigners to play a match in the Turkish League. With the victory, Eczacibasi (8-3) moved up one spot to second place in the Turkish League standings. In European Champions League action, Eczacibasi (1-0) returns to action on Jan. 10 against Turkish rival VakifBank (1-0).
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. VakifBank eased past Bursa B. Sehir Bld 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 on Dec. 21 to remain the only undefeated team in the Turkish League at 11-0. Hill was a sub in the second set, registering one kill on a single attack and three service receptions. In the European Champions League, VakifBank (1-0) resumes action on Jan. 10 against Turkish rival Eczacibasi (1-0).
FAWCETT, CRIMES WITH TURKEY’S SARIYER: Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) and middle Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California, Instagram), both alternates to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are competing for Sariyer in the Turkish League this winter. Sariyer broke a three-match losing streak by defeating Idman Ocagi 25-20, 21-25, 27-25, 25-21 on Dec. 21. Fawcett collected 18 points, all on kills via 51 attacks. Crimes pocketed 13 points with seven kills on 15 swings, five blocks and an ace. Sariyer moved up two spots in the Turkish League standings to 9th place with a 3-8 record.
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 swept Volley Top Luzern 25-12, 25-22, 25-13 on Dec. 21 after blanking Hotel Cristal VFM 25-17, 25-20, 25-21 on Dec. 17 in Swiss League action. In the CEV Champions League, Volero (1-0) will face Dinamo Moscow (1-0) in the second leg of Pool B on Jan. 12.
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, after winning its first match of the playoffs, dropped three tough matches last week starting with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-21 loss to Tianjin on Dec. 20. Robinson totaled a team-high 15 points in the loss, including 12 kills on 34 swings and three blocks. Lowe added nine on 18 swings in just the opening two sets. BAIC Motors dropped a 25-19, 25-27, 25-14, 25-20 match to Liaoning Radio and TV on Dec. 24. Lowe slammed down 19 kills on 30 swings as part of a 20-point performance in starting the first three sets. Robinson did not play in the match. BAIC Motors nearly upset Tianjin in a return match before falling 25-20, 23-25, 20-25, 25-18, 15-8 on Dec. 31. Lowe tallied 17 points in the loss with 15 kills, on 40 swings one block and one ace. Robinson collected nine kills and an ace for 10 points. BAIC Motors will look to break the three-match losing streak on Jan. 7 when it faces Shenzhen.
MURPHY, EASY WITH CHINA’S HENAN: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram), a bronze medalist with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, and outside hitter Megan Easy (Boston, Massachusetts), a silver medalist with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are playing in the Chinese League this winter with Henan. Henan, which finished the six-team Group 1 regular season in sixth place, ended the second tier playoffs with a 1-3 record after losing its final three matches. Henan, after winning its opening match, was trimmed by Shandong 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 25-22, 17-15 on Dec. 20. Easy scored a match-high 37 points with 36 coming on kills via 82 swings. Murphy added five points in the loss. Henan lost to Dianchi 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22 on Dec. 24. Easy again led the squad with 24 points with 22 kills on 33 swings. Murphy chipped in eight points, starting just the first two sets. Henan dropped its final match of the playoffs, a 25-14, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22 loss to Shandong on Dec. 31. Easy scored a team-high 21 points with 20 kills on 38 swings. Murphy collected 20 points in the match, including 19 kills on 33 attacks.
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 ended its 2016 portion of the regular season with a 25-17, 25-23, 25-21 victory over fourth-place Developres SkyRes Rzeszow on Dec. 23. Hancock led Wroclaw to a 46 kill percent as a team while adding three individual kills and two aces for five points. Wroclaw, in third place with a 9-4 record and 30 points, will challenge 11th-place KSZO Ostrowiec (8-4, 25 points) on Jan. 4.