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U.S. Women's Update for April 18

April 18, 2011, 9:16 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Associate Director, Communications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 18, 2011) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on April 18 includes briefs on U.S. players competing overseas and other team news.

SYKORA INJURED IN BUS ACCIDENT IN BRAZIL: U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team libero Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas), a three-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic silver medalist, was injured in a bus accident on April 12 as her Brazilian professional volleyball team Volei Futuro was traveling to the gymnasium to compete in the first match of the best-of-three semifinal round Superliga playoff. For the USA Volleyball statement, click here.

HOOKER REHABBING IN ANAHEIM: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) is currently rehabilitating in Anaheim, Calif., at the USA National Teams headquarters in the American Sports Centers. Hooker, who left her Italian Serie A team Scavolini Pesaro due to injury in early March, underwent a necessary and successful knee surgery. Shortly after her surgery, Hooker arrived in Anaheim to work with U.S. Women’s National Team Athletic Trainer Jill Wosmek and the team’s medical support staff to rehabilitate her knee. She is not the only athlete this year who has returned from their pro season to rehab under the guidance of Wosmek. After an early season injury with Modena in the Italian Serie A league, Christa Harmotto (Hopewell, Pa.) went through a rehabilitation plan in Anaheim and has since returned to her club team in Italy and rejoined the starting lineup. Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.) returned to Anaheim to rehab an injury suffered during the current Russia Super League season. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), who had finger surgery earlier this year, has been in Anaheim rehabbing following the injury suffered in the Brazilian Superliga. Jill Collymore (Seattle), who had her professional season in Austria cut short due to injury, has also undergone rehab in Anaheim this winter and spring.

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. Villa Cortese took a break from the regular season action to compete in the Italian Cup semifinal and final rounds April 16-17. In the semifinal round, Villa Cortese defeated Yamamay Busto Arsizio 25-19, 25-23, 25-22. Berg set the squad to a 44 kill percent and .337 attack efficiency in the victory, while adding a kill and block. Hodge scored a team-high 15 points with 11 kills on 25 attacks and four blocks from the outside hitter position. For a photo gallery of the semifinal match, visit click here. In the championship match, Villa Cortese topped Norda Foppapedretti Bergamo 24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 25-20 on April 17 in front of 5,600 fans in Catania. Hodge scored a match-high 26 points with 21 kills on 40 swings, three blocks and two aces. For her efforts, she was named the most valuable player of the Italian Cup. Berg set the squad to a 47 kill percent and .344 hitting efficiency. For a photo gallery of the Italian Cup championship match, visit click here. Villa Cortese, 15-4 in the Italian Serie A regular season and in second place with 41 points, will have another meeting with third-place Yamamay Busto Arsizio (12-7, 37 points) on April 23, which will air live on Rai Sport 1.

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. After a weekend off from the Italian Serie A regular season due to the Italian Cup, Modena (7-12, 22 points) returns to Italian Serie A action on April 23 against third-place Scavolina Pesaro (11-8, 37 points).

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 (11-8, 35 points), now in fifth place, takes on top-ranked Norda Foppapedretti Bergamo (14-5, 43 points) on April 23 in its next league match after a break in to the regular season due to the Italian Cup.

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 swept Uralochka 25-11, 25-23, 25-15 on April 11. Larson started and played only the first set of the match, compiling two kills and two blocks as the regular rested in the match with the league title nearly in hand. Kazan finished the regular season with a 25-12, 25-17, 25-12 loss to Omichka on April 15, despite already having the regular season championship locked up following the win over Uralochka. Kazan, with its 20-2 record in the regular season, will take the top seed the Russia Super League playoffs and will face eighth-seed Proton in a best-of-three with matches on April 19, April 22 and April 25 if necessary.

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 captured the best-of-seven Austrian Bundesliga Final Round with a 25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 25-16 victory on April 13 to sweep the series. Thompson set the squad to a 51 kill percent and added a block and ace. Pressey tallied a match-high 17 points with 16 kills on 29 attacks and a block. Crimes chipped in nine kills on 14 attacks and two blocks for 11 points.

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. By defeating Baki in the quarterfinal round, Lokomotiv advanced to play in the Azerbaijan Final Four Round. Lokomotiv upset regular season champion Rabita 22-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 19-17 on April 18 to start the Final Four Round. Lokomotiv will play Azerrail on April 19 and Igtisadchi on April 20. All matches of the Azerbaijan Final Four Round will be televised live on Idman Azerbaijan TV at click here.

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 the Azerbaijan Super League playoffs, third-seeded Azerrail defeated Shirvan 25-11, 25-13, 25-14 in the quarterfinal round to advance to the Final Four Round. Azerrail opened the Final Four Round with a 25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22 victory over Igtisadchi on April 18. Azerrail continues the Final Four Round against Lokomotiv on April 19 and Rabita on April 20. All matches of the Azerbaijan Final Four Round will be televised live on Idman Azerbaijan TV at click here.

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. During the Final Four Round, Lokomotiv upset Rabita 22-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 19-17 on April 18. Rabita will play Igtisadchi on April 19 and Azerrail on April 20. All matches of the Azerbaijan Final Four Round will be televised live on Idman Azerbaijan TV at click here.

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. During the Final Four Round opener, Igtisadchi lost to Azerrail 25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22 on April 18. Igtisadchi continues the Final Four Round against Rabita on April 19 and Lokomotiv on April 20. All matches of the Azerbaijan Final Four Round will be televised live on Idman Azerbaijan TV at click here.

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 Bydgoszcz. In the best-of-five Polish League quarterfinal round, GCB Centrostal Bydgoszcz split a pair of matches this past weekend with BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biała. On April 16, BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biała earned a 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 victory to open the series. Spicer’s team converted just 28 percent of its attacks with 20 errors on 86 swings. However, GCB Centrostal Bydgoszcz came back the following night to win 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20. In contrast to the first match, Spicer led the team to a 46 kill percent in the victory while adding three kills and two aces. For a photo gallery of the second match, click here. The series continues on April 30, May and if necessary, May 4.

SYKORA SETTING TABLES FOR VOLEI FUTURO IN BRAZIL: Three-time U.S. Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) is competing for Volei Futuro in the Brazilian Superliga during the 2010-11 professional club season. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) was playing for the squad until an injury curtailed her first professional season. Volei Futoro’s best-of-three semifinal series with Sollys/Osasco has been delayed due to a bus accident involving Volei Futuro on its way to the first match originally scheduled on April 12. In the bus accident, Sykora was injured and hospitalized. For the initial USA Volleyball statement released on April 13, visit click here.

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. Eczacibasi defeated Vakifbank 20-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-23 on April 16 in the Turkish Cup semifinal round. In the Turkish Cup final, Eczacibasi defeated Nilufer in straight sets to capture the title. The same two teams that met in the Turkish Cup Final will meet again on April 22.

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.

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