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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 14, 2010) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on April 14 includes briefs on U.S. players competing overseas, player information, Volley-Tweets, trivia questions and much more.
For the complete PDF version including a complete list of players training at the USA National Team Center facility at American Sports Centers in Anaheim, the U.S. international transfer list, 2010 season stats and other fan interaction sections, click here.
TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. Who was the youngest player on the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team? 2. Who was the older player on the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team? 3. Who were the two oldest players on the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team? Answers can be found on page three in the full PDF version (click here) of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.
SECOND TRAINING BLOCK CONCLUDES: The U.S. Women’s National Team ended its second winter training block on April 9 with a total of 16 players and will be on hiatus until April 26. The team training sessions, held at the USA National Team Center located within the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., are open to the public. Training times are generally Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while Fridays often vary on times. Players that ended the training block were middle blockers Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Mekana Barnes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Brittnee Cooper (Houston). Outside hitters/opposite include Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.), Brittany Moore (Orange, Calif.), Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.), Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) and Aneli Otineru (Hale’iwa, Hawaii). The setters training include Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio) and Nicole Vargas (Seal Beach, Calif.). The libero position has Jessica Fine (Tarzana, Calif.) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) training with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Some players could leave for pro opportunities or other circumstances.
HODGE NAMED FINALIST FOR AAU SULLIVAN AWARD: Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) has been named one of six finalists for this year’s AAU Sullivan Amateur Award. The winner will be announced on April 14 at the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Ceremony at the New York Athletic Club. Hodge, after a brief training period with the U.S. Women’s National Team last summer, she led Penn State to its third straight NCAA Division I title and extended the Nittany Lions’ win streak to 102 matches dating back to the 2007 season. She earned AVCA Division I National Player of the Year last December after being selected AVCA All-America First-Team for the fourth consecutive year. Hodge, who also earned this year’s Honda Award for volleyball, competed with the U.S. Women’s National Team on its three-match trip to China early this year.
INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS: USA Volleyball officially process several international transfer paperwork for American players competing in overseas professional leagues. Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) and Cheryl Weaver (Washington, D.C.), who have been in Azerbaijan the last couple months training and competing, are playing for Igtisadchi Baku of the Azerbaijan professional league. The other transfers relate to Puerto Rico Superliga teams making a late signing for the current postseason. Shonda Cole moved from Caguas to Corozal, which also signed Destinee Hooker who finished her season early in Korea. Christal Morrison is now with her third different Puerto Rico league team of 2010 after transferring to Catano from Corozal. For a full listing of the 166 international transfers for American female players to other countries to play professional volleyball, visit the full PDF version of the U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly Update.
BARBOZA WITH TORAY IN JAPAN: Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Team and alternate on both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games rosters, is playing in her first professional volleyball season in Japan V-League with Toray. After finishing the regular season with a 21-7 record and a second-place finish, Toray finished second in the four-team round-robin semifinal with regular season winner JT coming out on top. In the final match to declare the V-League champion on April 10, Toray swept JT 28-26, 25-21, 25-16 to claim its third consecutive championship. Barboza, who started the title match and was a reserve in the second set, scored two points on kills in the championship deciding victory. As the V-League champions, Toray will face the winner of Korea’s pro league between April 22-25. Barboza and Toray’s season will conclude with a tournament held May 1-6.
JOINES TAMAS, BUSSE WITH TOA BAJA: Jen Joines Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) and Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.), both members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, are playing for 2009 Puerto Rico League champion Toa Baja in 2010. Toa Baja finished the regular season with a five-match lead in the standings, thanks to a 21-match win streak after losing its opening match. The Llaneras also won the regular season and tournament title in 2009. Entering the postseason tournament as the top-seed, Toa Baja topped Juncos 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 on April 12. Busse contributed 14 kills for all her points, while Joines Tamas added eight kills, three aces and a block for 12 points. Toa Baja is in the quarterfinal round pool with No. 4 seed Corozal, No. 5 seed Caguas and No. 8 seed Juncos.
THOMPSON, SALVO WITH CATANO: Setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) and outside hitter Airial Salvo (Farmington, Utah), both members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team and products of University of Washington, are playing for Catano de Lancheras of the Puerto Rico Superliga. Prior to the playoffs starting, Catano added another Washington Husky in Christal Morrison. With second place already wrapped up, Catano dropped a 20-25, 25-17, 16-25, 25-22, 17-15 match to Bayamon in its final match of the regular season. Salvo was credited with 19 kills, a block and ace for 21 points to go with 19 digs for a double-double. Thompson added 12 assists and two blocks in the five-set loss. Catano ended the regular season with a 16-6 overall record. As the second overall seed, Catano opened the playoff with a 25-12, 25-23, 25-21 victory over Bayamon on April 13. Morrison and Salvo had 17 and 16 points, respectively. Thompson was credited with eight assists and seven digs. Catano is in quarterfinal round Pool B with No. 3 seed Mayaguez, No. 6 seed Carolina and No. 7 seed Bayamon.
METCALF, HODGE LATE SIGNEES WITH CAGUAS: Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) and Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) signed late in the Puerto Rico Superliga season in hopes of rejuvenating the team and advancing into the playoffs. They join past U.S. Women’s National Team member Shonda Cole on the team. Hodge, who competed with the U.S. Women’s National Team on a trip to China earlier this year, started her professional career with Caguas on March 27. Metcalf rattled home a match-high 25 points – all on kills – to lead Caguas to a 25-23, 25-23, 25-17 victory over Ponce on April 9. Hodge added 12 points in the victory. Caguas, with its late roster additions, finished the year with a 10-12 record and tied for fourth in the regular season. In its playoff opener against Corozal on April 12, Metcalf collected 24 kills, two blocks and an ace for 27 points in Criollas’ 25-20, 26-28, 28-26, 19-25, 15-11 loss. Hodge added 13 points and 16 digs in the loss. Caguas’ quarterfinal round pool consists of No. 1 Toa Baja, No. 4 Corozal and No. 8 Juncos.
PRESSEY JOINS BAYAMON LATE: Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Team, joined Bayamon of the Puerto Rico Superliga just in time for the playoffs. In the team’s final regular season match, she tallied a match-high 28 points with 22 kills, four blocks and two aces to go with 11 digs in a 20-25, 25-17, 16-25, 25-22, 17-15 upset of Catano. Bayamon earned a playoff spot after ending the regular season with a 9-13 record and tied for sixth place. Pressey’s Bayamon squad opened the playoffs with a 25-12, 25-13, 25-21 loss to Catano on April 13. She scored eight points in the match. Bayamon’s quarterfinal pool includes No. 2 Catano, No. 3 Mayaguez and No. 6 Carolina.
HOOKER WITH COROZAL: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio), who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team in spring of 2008 before heading back to University of Texas to complete her final two collegiate seasons, signed late with Corozal of the Puerto Rico Superliga. On April 9, she tallied 21 points with 14 kills, five blocks and two aces in a 27-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-17 victory over Juncos to match the total produced by Shonda Cole, a former U.S. Women’s National Team member. Corozal ended the regular season tied for fourth place with a 10-12 record. To open the playoffs, Hooker scored 33 points with 31 kills and two blocks to go with seven digs and 14 receptions in Pinkin’s 25-20, 26-28, 28-26, 19-25, 15-11 victory over Caguas on April 12. Cole added 26 points and 17 digs in the win. Corozal is grouped with No. 1 Toa Baja, No. 5 Caguas and No. 8 Juncos in its quarterfinal round playoff.
KIMMICH, HAMPTON WITH GUAYNABO: Katie Wilkins Kimmich (Lakeside, Calif.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for the Mets of Guaynabo in the Puerto Rico Superliga. She recorded a team-high 10 points with nine kills and a block in Guaynabo’s final match of the season, a 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 loss to Carolina on April 10. Guaynabo was denied a playoff berth as it ended the year with a 4-18 record.
SPICER WITH PONCE: Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.), a setter with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Ponce of the Puerto Rico Superliga in 2010. She recorded six assists, 12 digs, an ace and a kill in Ponce’s 25-23, 25-23, 25-17 loss to Caguas on April 10. Ponce failed to earn a spot into the eight-team playoffs as it ended the regular season with an 8-14 record and in ninth place.
OTHER AMERICAN HIGHLIGHTS IN PUERTO RICO: Kelly Wing scored 16 points in Juncos’ four-set loss to Corozal on April 9…Christal Morrison tallied 20 points and Sonja Newcombe scored 12 in Ponce’s loss to Caguas on April 10…Kaithlin Sather charted 14 points and teammate Jessica Jones added 13 in leading Carolina to a three-set victory over Guaynabo on April 10…Erin Moore tallied 18 points in Bayamon’s five-set win over Catano on April 10…Kelly Wing provided Juncos eight points in its three-set loss to Toa Baja on April 12 to open the playoffs…Kaithlin Sather provided 13 points for Carolina in its April 13 quarterfinal round four-set loss to Mayaguez, while teammate Jessica Jones added 12 points.
RICHARDS, SYKORA HELPING OMICHKA TO RUSSIAN FOREFRONT: Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), an outside hitter and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, and three-time U.S. Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) are playing in the Russia Super League with Omichka in Omsk. As the third-seed in the Russia Super League Championship Playoffs, Omichka faced Dinamo Krasnodar in the quarterfinal best-of-three playoff series. After getting off to a good start with a sweep in the first match, Dinamo Krasnodar came back to knot the series at 1-1 with a 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, 24-26, 15-11 victory on April 8 to force a deciding match on April 11. Richards totaled 21 points in the match with 18 kills on 38 swings, two aces and a block. Sykora accepted 37 of the team’s 95 service receptions on the night. In the rubber match of the series, Dinamo-Krasnador edged Omichka 25-21, 22-25, 27-29, 25-20, 15-11 on April 11 to advance to the semifinals and ending Omichka’s season. Richards charted 10 points in the final match, while Sykora had 39 service receptions out of the team’s 101 chances. Omichka ended the regular season with a 15-7 record behind only Zarechye-Odintsovo (17-5) and league-leader Dinamo Moscow (21-1).
LARSON PUSHING DINAMO KAZAN TO NEW HEIGHTS: Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is playing in her first professional season of her career in the Russia Superliga with Dinamo Kazan. Dinamo-Kazan finished the Russia Super League regular season with an 11-11 overall record and 33 points for seventh place. As the seventh-seed, Dinamo Kazan pushed second-seed Zarechye-Odintsovo to the max. After losing in a heart-breaking five-set match to open the best-of-three quarterfinal playoffs, Dinamo Kazan evened the series with its own five-set victory – 23-25, 13-25, 25-21, 25-22, 15-13 – after coming back from a two-set deficit to stay alive in the playoffs. Larson scored a team-high 16 points with 14 kills, a block and an ace. She also handled a team-high 38 receptions – 15 more than any of her teammates. On April 11, Zarechye-Odintsovo captured the playoff series with a 30-28, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21 hard-fought victory to earn a berth in the semifinals.
FAWCETT SCORING IN RUSSIA: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), a U.S. Women’s National Team player, continues to pay dividends for Dinamo-Yantar after joining the team in mid-season. Dinamo-Yantar finished the regular season in eighth place and opened the Russia Super League quarterfinal round with No. 1 seed Dinamo Moscow. As the eighth-seed, Dinamo-Yantar is playing regular-season champion Dinamo Moscow in the best-of-three quarterfinal playoffs. Already up 1-0 in the series, Dinamo Moscow defeated Dinamo-Yantar 25-18, 25-19, 25-13 on April 8 to advance to the semifinals. Fawcett led her team with 11 points via nine kills on 32 swings and two aces. With the loss, Fawcett’s season with Dinamo-Yantar has come to a close.
NNAMANI, GLASS PACING PROSTEJOV IN CZECH REPUBLIC: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) and Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) continue to lead their Czech Republic professional team Prostejov. Despite resting Nnamani and Glass, Prostejov defeated TJ Sokol Sternberk 25-17, 25-16, 25-21 on April 7 to wrap up its best-of-five quarterfinal playoff round in the minimum three matches. Prostejov will take on Olymp Praha in the one best-of-five semifinal playoff round, while Frydek-Mistek plays Brno in the opposite semifinal. The semifinals take place from April 14 to April 21, followed by the finals from April 24 to May 1.
TOM, ASYSTEL VOLLEY NOVARA: Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), a three-time Olympian and member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Games silver medal roster, is competing for Asystel Volley Novara in the Italian Serie A professional league this winter. Novara, seeded eighth in the Serie A playoffs, started its best-of-three series versus ninth-place Cfg Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte on April 11, and Tom scored a match-high 22 points in Novara’s 25-16, 31-29, 25-23 victory. She totaled 17 kills on 33 swings with just two errors, along with five blocks. In the second match, Tom pocketed 20 points in leading Novara to a 25-16, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19 victory on Nov. 14. She earned 15 kills on 47 swings, four aces and a block for 20 points. As the knock-out series winner, Novara advances to the quarterfinal round to face regular season champion Scavolini Pesaro.
BERG PUSHING ITALIAN TEAM TO TOP: Lindsey Berg (Honolulu), a setter on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team which won the silver medal in Beijing, is playing for MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese of the Italian Serie A professional league this winter. Villa Cortese was idle over the past weekend as it prepares for the Italian Serie A playoffs. Both Villa Cortese and Pesaro ended the regular season with a 17-5 record, but Pesaro earned 53 points to Villa Cortese’s 51 points (three points for a three- or four-set victory, two points for a five-set victory and one point for a five-set loss) to earn the playoff’s top seed. Last season, Villa Cortese competed in the Italian Serie A2 division but earned a spot in this year’s upper division. Villa Cortese will face the playoff knockout winner between Yamamay Busto Arsizio and Riso Scotti Pavia in the quarterfinal round scheduled between April 21-27. Before its quarterfinal round series begins, Villa Cortese has a date in the Italian Serie A Cup semifinals. It will face Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi on April 17 in the semifinal round of the Italian Cup. The winner will face either Scavolini Pesaro or Foppapedretti Bergamo in the championship match on April 18. During the Italian Serie A League regular season, Berg set Villa Cortese to a 43.5 kill percent, second-best in the league behind Bergamo’s 43.9 percent. She also led Villa Cortese to a league-best .364 hitting efficiency for the regular season. To follow Berg throughout the season, check out her blog at lindseyberg.blogspot.com.
BOWN COMPETING FOR JESI: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time Olympian with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi in the Italian Serie A professional league. Jesi finished the regular season in fourth place with a 13-9 record and 39 points. During the best-of-three quarterfinal playoff round, Jesi will play fifth-place Chateau d’Ax Urbino Volleyball between April 21 and April 27. During the regular season, Bown ranked third among all league middle blockers in scoring with 274 points. She averaged 2.55 kills per set with a 50.7 kill percent and .388 hitting efficiency. Bown added a 0.64 block average as part of her 3.30 points per set average. Before its playoff schedule starts, Jesi has a date in the Italian Serie A Cup held April 17-18. It faces MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese in the semifinal round on April 17. The winner will face either Scavolini Pesaro or Foppapedretti Bergamo in the championship match on April 18.
DAVIS PICKS UP AZERBAIJAN: Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), the U.S. Women’s National Team libero during the 2008 Olympic Games, has shifted her professional season from China to Azerbaijan. After helping the Evergrande Volleyball Club to a perfect 12-0 season in the Chinese club season, she is now part of Lokomotiv of the Azerbaijan Super League. Her team has nine points and is in third place – one point out of first place – after the second round of the second phase of the Azerbaijan Super League. According to azerisports.com, Lokomotiv plays Azerreyl on April 16 and April 18 in the Azerbaijan Super League semifinal playoff round. If necessary, the teams will play April 20 as part of the best-of-three series. Azerreyl is led by U.S. Women’s National Team member Elisha Thomas.
THREE AMERICANS WITH IGTISADCHI IN AZERBAIJAN: Three Americans with ties to the U.S. Women’s National Team are competing for Igtisadchi of the Azerbaijan professional volleyball League. Setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) and middle blocker Cheryl Weaver (Washington, D.C.), both current members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, arrived in Azerbaijan in time to compete in the league’s second half. Patrice Arrington, a former member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, is also part of the squad. Igtisadchi plays Rabita on April 15 and 17 in a best-of-three semifinal round playoff match. If necessary, the teams will meet again on April 19 to decide who advances to the final round.
TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Kim Glass; 2. Ogonna Nnamani; 3. Tara Cross-Battle and Keba Phipps