U.S. Women's Update for April 4
Associate Director, Communications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 4, 2011) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on April 4 includes briefs on U.S. players competing overseas and other team news.
MONTREUX VOLLEY MASTERS POOLS DETERMINED: The U.S. Women’s National Team will compete in the Montreux Volley Masters event held June 7-12 in Montreux, Switzerland. The U.S. opens the tournament on June 7 versus Peru. After its off-day in pool play, Team USA faces Germany on June 9 followed by a June 10 match against China. Semifinal round matches will take place on June 11, followed by the classification matches on June 12. In the opposite Montreux Volley Masters Pool, the four teams competing for the title are Cuba, Italy, Japan and Netherlands.
KIRALY, MORRISON LEADING AUSTRIAN CLINIC: U.S. Women’s National Team Assistant Coach Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.) and U.S. Women’s National Team Technical Coordinator/Assistant Coach Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) will lead a coaches’ clinic in Austria on April 10. Morrison, who is serving as the head coach of the Austrian professional team Post Schwechat, helped organize the clinic. Among the topics Kiraly will speak on are: “Secrets of American Success,” “The Work of a U.S. National Team Coach,” “U.S. System of Block Defense” and “U.S. System of Service Reception.” Meanwhile, Morrison will discuss the efficient use of DataVolley in preparing for a competition as well as analysis and evaluation of matches. Post Schwechat has six Americans competing on the squad that has reached the Austrian Bundesliga final round after advancing to the Challenge Round of the CEV Cup.
BERG, HODGE WITH VILLA CORTESE IN ITALY: U.S. Women’s National Team setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) are competing for MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese in the Italian Serie A league during the 2010-11 professional club season. In Italian Serie A action, Villa Cortese (14-4, 39 points) edged first-place Norda Foppapedretti Bergamo (13-5, 40 points) 25-18, 25-20, 23-25, 21-25, 15-11 on April 3. Berg set the squad to a 43 kill percent for the match while chipping in a point each in kills, blocks and aces for three points. Hodge contributed 16 kills on 36 attacks, one block and one ace for 18 points from her outside hitter spot. Villa Cortese, now just a point out of first place, returns to the court on April 10 to face third-place Scavolini Pesaro (11-5, 35 points). During the Italian Cup Serie A, Villa Cortese has advanced to meet Yamamay Busto Arsizio in the semifinals on April 16, with the final on April 17.
PAOLINI WITH NOVARA IN ITALY: Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), a middle blocker on the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing this professional season in Italy with Asystel Volley Novara of the Italian Serie A Division. Novara (11-7, 34 points) topped third-place Yamamay Busto Arsizio (11-7, 35 points) 14-25, 25-21, 27-25, 17-25, 15-9 on April 3. Paolini charted 10 kills on 21 attacks to go with two blocks for 12 points in the victory. She also handled four service receptions with a 75 positive percent. Novara, now in fifth place with the victory, takes on 10th-place Despar Perugia (5-12, 16 points) on April 10 in its next league match.
HARMOTTO WITH LIU-JO VOLLEY MODENA IN ITALY: U.S. Women’s National Team middle blocker Christa Harmotto (Hopewell, Pa.) is playing for LIU-JO Volley Modena in Italy’s Serie A League during the 2010-11 professional club season. Modena (6-12, 19 points) moved into eighth place in the league standings following a 25-18, 25-21, 25-19 victory over sixth-place Spes Conegliano on April 3. Harmotto totaled 10 kills on 14 attacks as part of a 13-point performance that included three blocks. Modena returns to action on April 9 to face last place Riso Scotti Pavia (1-16, 5 points).
SYKORA, ALISHA GLASS SETTING TABLES FOR VOLEI FUTURO IN BRAZIL: Three-time U.S. Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) and U.S. Women’s National Team setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) are competing for Volei Futuro in the Brazilian Superliga during the 2010-11 professional club season. Volei Futoro, which entered the Brazilian Superliga best-of-three quarterfinal round as the number-three seed, captured the second match of the quarterfinals over Macae Sports with a 25-19, 24-26, 32-30, 25-18 victory on March 31. Sykora was the libero providing 21 digs on 32 chances, while Glass is still out with an injury. With the victory, Volei Futuro advances to the semifinal round to play Solly/Osasco in a best-of-three series. The first two matches are on April 12 and April 23 with a third match on April 26 if necessary.
FAWCETT IN BRAZIL WITH USIMINAS MINAS: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), a U.S. Women’s National Team opposite, is playing the 2010-11 professional club season in Brazil with Usiminas Minas. Usiminas, as the fifth-seed in the Brazilian Superliga best-of-three quarterfinal round, lost the final two matches of the playoff round to Pinheiros/Mackenzie after an opening victory. On March 29, Fawcett scored 17 kills on 42 attacks and a block in a 24-26, 25-22, 25-18, 25-13 loss. In the rubber match on April 2, Pinheiros/Mackenzie swept Usiminas 25-15, 25-22, 25-22. Fawcett scored seven points in the loss.
SCOTT-ARRUDA IN BRAZIL WITH SAO BERNARDO: Four-time U.S. Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) is back on the volleyball court after giving birth last spring and is playing for BMG Sao Bernardo in the Brazilian Superliga. Sao Bernardo, the eighth seed in the Brazilian Superliga playoffs, dropped both of its best-of-three quarterfinal series matches with top-seeded Unilever. Scott-Arruda scored two points in the 25-20, 25-16, 25-16 second match played on March 29.
TAMAS WITH AZERRAIL BAKU: Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.), a 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist playing middle blocker for Team USA, is playing for Azerrail Baku of the Azerbaijan Super during the 2010-11 professional club season. In CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup action, Azerrail faced country rival Lokomotiv Baku in the final round for the European title. In the first match of the home-and-home series, Azerrail rallied to win 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-22 on March 29. Tamas scored five kills on eight attacks to go with three aces and two blocks for 10 points. For a photo gallery of the match, click here. In the rematch on April 2, Azerrail again defeated Lokomotiv in four sets with scores of 30-28, 22-25, 25-13, 25-17. Tamas charted six kills on 18 attacks and three blocks for nine points. For photo galleries of the match, click here and click here. In the Azerbaijan Super League playoffs, third-seeded Azerrail defeated Shirvan 25-11, 25-13, 25-14 in the first match of the best-of-three quarterfinal round. With the CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup completed, the two teams will resume the playoff series.
DAVIS, METCALF, RICHARDS HEADLINE LOKOMOTIV BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: U.S. Olympians Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), along with 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), are playing for Lokomotiv Baku of the Azerbaijan Super League. In the CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup, Lokomotiv lost consecutive four-set matches to Azerrail Baku in the final round home-and-home series for the title. In the first match, Azerrail won 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-22 on March 29. Metcalf recorded 18 kills, two aces and two blocks for a team-high 22 points according to the team's stats. Richards added seven points and a 100 positive percent on 21 service reception attempts. Davis held a 91 positive percent on 23 service reception attempts. For a photo gallery of the match, click here. Needing a win in the second match and a Golden Set win, Lokomotiv could not pull out the victory as Azerrail won 30-28, 22-25, 25-13, 25-17 on April 2. Metcalf collected 19 kills on 39 swings, one block and an ace for a team-leading 21 points. Richards contributed 13 kills on 30 attacks with two blocks for 15 points. Davis handled 20 service receptions with a 60 positive percent. For photo galleries of the match, click here and click here. Lokomotiv, as the fourth seed in the Azerbaijan Super League playoffs, defeated Baki 25-19, 25-21, 25-15 in the first of a best-of-three series in the quarterfinal round. With the CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup completed, the two teams will resume the playoff series.
KIM GLASS WITH RABITA BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), a 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Rabita Baku of the Azerbaijan professional league in 2010-11. By finishing first in the Azerbaijan Super League regular season, Rabita received a quarterfinal round bye in the Azerbaijan Super League playoffs. The Final Round will take place April 19-21 as it has been delayed due to the successes of Azerbaijan teams in CEV competitions. In addition, Rabita competed in the CEV Champions League and was one match away from winning the prestigious European title.
IGTISADCHI LOADED WITH AMERICANS IN AZERBAIJAN: Two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) is playing for Igtisadchi of the Azerbaijan Super League. By finishing second in the Azerbaijan Super League regular season, Igtisadchi received a quarterfinal round bye of the Azerbaijan Super League playoffs and awaits its semifinal opponent. The Final Round will take place April 19-21 as it has been delayed due to the successes of Azerbaijan teams in CEV competitions.
MORRISON, SIX AMERICANS ON ONE AUSTRIAN TEAM: U.S. Women’s National Team Assistant Coach Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) is serving as head coach of the Austrian Post Schwechat team during the 2010-11 season. The team has six American players including Jill Collymore (Seattle), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Jessica Jones (Naperville, Ill.), Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii), Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.). Post Schwechat competes in the Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association (teams from Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia). Post Schwechat is nearing the completion of its 2010-11 season and is taking part in the Austrian Bundesliga Final round versus Linz. In the opening match of a best-of-seven series, Post Schwechat came away with a 25-13, 25-16, 25-17 victory on April 2. Pressey scored 15 points with 13 kills on 23 attacks and two aces, while Jones added nine points with five kills on seven errorless attacks, three blocks and an ace. Thompson started started just the first two sets, leading the squad to a50 kill percent during her time setting the squad. Miyashiro handled 12 service receptions with a 75 positive percent. The final round continues with matches on April 6, April 9, April 13, and if necessary, on April 16, April 20 and April 23.
TOM WITH GUANGDONG HENGDA IN CHINA UNDER FORMER U.S. HEAD COACH: Three-time U.S. Olympian Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) is playing for Guangdong Hengda (also known as Evergrande) in the Chinese club league’s top division. Evergrande, led by 2008 U.S. Olympic Games head coach “Jenny” Lang Ping, finished the regular season with a 16-2 record, but dug itself into a hole during the final round playoffs by losing the first match of a best-of-three series to Tianjin. However, Evergrande evened the series at one match apiece with a 25-23, 16-25, 13-25, 25-20, 15-12 comeback over Tianjin on April 2. Tom scored 11 kills, two blocks and two aces for 15 points in the victory. For a photo gallery of the second match, click here. In the deciding third match, Tianjin prevailed by rallying from two sets down in another five-set nail-biter 12-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-10 on April 3. Tom notched 13 kills and three aces for 16 points in the loss. “We have done a good job, not only in this final, but also in all season,” Lang Ping said after the third match of the final round series. “We have made progress and we did an excellent job in the first two sets today, but it is not good enough to realize our goal of a gold medal.”
LARSON WITH KAZAN IN RUSSIA: U.S. Women’s National Team outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is playing for Dinamo Kazan of the Russia Super League during the 2010-2011 pro club season. Kazan is now 18-1 on the season and atop the league standings after defeating second-place Dinamo Moscow (16-2) 25-23, 26-24, 23-25, 25-18 in its last match on March 25. Kazan challenges fifth-place Odintsovo (12-6) on April 7 in its next match, followed by fourth-place Uralochka-NTMK (13-6) on April 11 and sixth-place Omichka (11-8) on April 15.
BOWN WITH TURKEY’S ECZACIBASI: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time Olympic Games middle blocker for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing in Turkey for Eczacibasi during the 2010-11 professional club season. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi dropped a 20-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-22 match to Fenerbahce Acibadem (18-1) on April 2. Bown was not on the active roster for the match. Eczacibasi is now in a second-place tie with an 18-2 record on the season, while Fenerbahce moves into first place with the victory. CEV Champions League gold-medalists Vakifbank (18-2) is also tied for second place in the Turkish League standings. Eczacibasi will seek to start a new win streak on April 5 against 11th-place Karsiyaka Izka Insaat.
SPICER WITH POLAND’S GCB CENTROSTAL BYDGOSZCZ: Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.), a setter for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing in the Polish professional league this winter for GCB Centrostal Bydgoszrcz. Spicer’s side swept last-place Sandeco EC Wybrzeze TPS Rumia (0-18) on April 2. Bydgosrzcz, now 10-8 on the season and in a fifth-place tie, converted 34 percent of its attacks into points in the first two sets when Spicer was setting. She added one of her team’s seven blocks in the match. Bydgoszrcz ended the regular season in fifth place with a 10-8 record and 28 points. The same two teams will meet on April 8 in the Polish Cup quarterfinals.