U.S. Women's Update for Feb. 14
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 14, 2011) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on Feb. 14 includes briefs on U.S. players competing overseas and other team news.
McCUTCHEON ACCEPTS POSITION AT MINNESOTA: Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand), who has served as either the U.S. Women’s or U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach since 2005, has accepted the University of Minnesota offer to become its head women’s volleyball coach according to Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi. McCutcheon will continue to fulfill his current obligations with USA Volleyball and join the Gophers as their full-time head coach at a mutually agreed upon date in the future. Current Minnesota assistant coach Laura Bush, who has twice been a NCAA Division I head coach during her career, will serve as the interim head coach at this time while McCutcheon is with the U.S. Women's Volleyball Team. “I am honored and excited to coach the women’s volleyball program at the University of Minnesota,” McCutcheon said. “This is a wonderful opportunity, both personally and professionally, and I hope we can continue the (Minnesota) team’s strong history of success. It is and continues to be an honor and privilege to coach the U.S. Women’s National Team.” McCutcheon, 41, has served as the head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team for the past two seasons after leading the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. “We always want the best for our employees and we are trying to develop a win-win situation that works for USA Volleyball, Hugh and his family and the University of Minnesota,” USA Volleyball Chief Executive Officer Doug Beal said. “We value very much Hugh as a coach of our U.S. Women’s National Team and want what is best for him in the long-term. Hugh has been remarkably successful and we hope that success can continue. But ultimately, we want what is best for Hugh.” For the full press release, click here.
U.S. WOMEN’S TEAM OPEN TRYOUTS: USA Volleyball projects a record 215 athletes will participate in open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team, U.S. Women’s National A2 Program and U.S. Women’s Junior National Team. The tryouts are set for Feb. 25-27, 2011, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryouts are open to current college-age athletes and older. The U.S. Women’s National Team program is open to athletes who have concluded their college eligibility and who wish to train full-time. This program could begin as early as March 2011, or when an athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded. Athletes who will have remaining collegiate eligibility may still participate in the program with participation beginning May 2011 or when their scholastic calendar ends. Athletes in college with collegiate eligibility remaining for the 2011 season and not selected to the USA Women’s National Team may be invited to participate in the U.S. Women’s National Senior A2 Team. This program is tentatively scheduled to take place in Dallas from May 23 through June 1. A projected 36 athletes will be invited to participate in the program, which will include training and competition in the 2010 USA Volleyball Open National Championships in the Open Division from May 28-31. USA Volleyball considers the event as the National Championship for the sport of volleyball in the United States. Tryout participants born in either 1992 or 1993 will be also considered for the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team program. The U.S. Women’s Junior National Team will compete in the FIVB Women’s Junior (U-20) World Championship to be held July 21-30 in Peru. A full roster of tryout participants will be available later this week once all tryout participants are confirmed.
U.S. WOMEN’S TRAINING BLOCK ADDS PLAYER: The U.S. Women’s National Team is holding its winter training block from Jan. 17 to mid-April at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. Ellie Blankenship (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), a libero who just finished her collegiate eligibility at University of Northern Iowa, was added to the U.S. Women’s National Training Team roster which now numbers 16 players. The training roster includes setters Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.), Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio), Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) and Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill.); middle blockers Ashley Benson (Bloomington, Ind.), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.), Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn.) and Dominique Olowolafe (Lansing, Mich.); outside hitters Becky Perry (Austin, Texas), Kari Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Julianne Piggott (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Kaitlin Sather (Santa Rosa, Calif.); opposite Kindra Carlson (Eaton, Colo.); and liberos Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa), Blankenship and Cami Croteau (Orange, Calif.). Pestolesi will also see training time at libero. Additional players may be added to the roster during the course of the training block.
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. In addition to the Azerbaijan Super League, Glass’ Rabita Baku squad is competing in the CEV Champions League Playoff 12 Round. After losing a hard-fought five-set match in the initial contest of the home-and-home series with Czech Republic’s VK Modranska Prostejov, Rabita Baku dominated the second match on its own court with a 25-21, 25-23, 25-19 victory. Glass scored eight kills on 19 swings, four blocks and an ace for 13 points in the victory. With both teams having won a match in the home-and-home series, Rabita Baku earned the right to advance to the Playoff 6 Round by capturing the Golden Set 15-11. For the photo gallery, click here. Rabita Baku will meet Poland’s Bank BPS Fakro Muszyna in the Playoff 6 Round home-and-home scheduled for between Feb. 22 and March 3. To view highlight clips of Rabita Baku from this season, 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 addition, Azerrail continues its success in the CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup as it won both its Playoff Round 8 matches this past weekend to advance to the Playoff 4 Round. Azerrail will face the Playoff 8 winner LP Salo of Finland in the Playoff 4 Round with home-and-home matches held between Feb. 22 and March 3.
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. Igtisadchi continued its success in the CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup by winning both its home-and-home series matches against Romania’s Stinta Bacau in the Playoff 8 Round to advance to the Playoff 4 Round. Igtisadchi will face Playoff 8 winner Kralovo Polo Brno of Czech Republic in a home-and-home series in the Playoff 4 Round held between Feb. 22 and March 3.
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 advanced to the Playoff 4 Round by winning both its home-and-home matches with Cyprus’ Apollon Limassol in the Round of 8. Lokomotiv advances to the Playoff 4 Round to face the Playoff 8 winner Schweriner SC of Germany in a home-and-home series held between Feb. 22 and March 3.
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). In CEV Cup action, Post Schwechat lost to Galatasaray 25-18, 12-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11 on Feb. 9 in the second match of the home-and-series. Crimes produced nine kills on 17 swings, a match-high seven blocks and three aces for 19 points in the victory. Pressey added 10 kills on 50 attacks and five blocks for 15 points. With both teams having won a match in five sets in the series, a Golden Set was played to determine which team would advance to the Challenge Round. Like the two full matches, the Golden Set produced its own drama as Post Schwechat walked away with a nail-biting 16-14 victory despite taking an early 5-1 lead. Pressey scored three kills and a block in the Golden Set, while Jones added three key blocks and a kill. Post Schwechat will now face Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda Beograd in the Challenge Round with home-and-home matches taking place between Feb. 22 and March. 3. Post Schwechat improved to 13-2 in the MEVZA following a 25-6, 25-14, 25-17 victory over A. LINZ-Steg on Feb. 12. Pressey pocketed eight kills on 10 attacks to go with two aces for 10 points. Jones added 10 points with seven kills on nine attacks and two blocks. Thompson, who started just the first two sets, led Post Schwechat to a 73 kill percent. Crimes added five points in the victory, while Miyashiro had 14 service receptions with a 57 positive percent.
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 Futuro improved to 3-0 in the second half of the league with a hard-fought 26-24, 25-18, 19-25, 20-25, 15-10 victory over BMG/Mackenzie on Feb. 11. Sykora was the libero for both matches, while Glass was still absent with an injury. To view the entire match, click here.
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 knocked off Banana Boat/Praia Clube on Feb. 14 as Fawcett scored 19 points in the victory. She was credited with 12 kills on 29 attacks, six blocks and an ace.
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. Scott scored nine points with five kills and three blocks in a 25-22, 28-26, 25-17 loss to Unilever on Feb. 12.
HOOKER WITH ITALY’S PESARO: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas), who played her first season with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2010, is currently competing for Scavolini Pesaro of the Italian Serie A League. In CEV Champions League action, Pesaro edged Russia powerhouse Dinamo Moscow for the second time in Playoff 12 home-and-home series with a 25-17, 19-25, 26-28, 25-12, 15-8 victory on Feb. 10. Hooker notched 21 kills on 45 attacks with only two hitting errors. She added six blocks and an ace for a match-high 28 points. Hooker also handled 35 of the team’s 87 service receptions with a 57 positive percent. Pesaro advances to the Playoff 6 Round and will challenge Switzerland’s Volero Zurich in a home-and-home series set for between Feb. 22 and March 3. For the photo gallery, click here. In the Italian Serie A league, Pesaro had its four-match win streak snapped on Feb. 13. Hooker did not compete in the five-set loss to Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza. Pesaro ended the first half with a 7-4 record, but captured first place with 24 points as second-place Spes Conegliano (8-3, 22 points) lost in straight sets to MC Carnaghi Villa Cortese to end the first half on Feb. 13. Pesaro begins the Italian Serie A second half on Feb. 20 versus Riso Scotti Pavia.
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. After taking a five-set loss to Poland’s Bank BPS Fakro Muszyna in the first match of the Playoff 12 round, Villa Cortese forced a Golden set with a 25-23, 18-25, 25-19, 8-25, 17-15 victory on Feb. 9. Berg set the squad to a 36 kill percent and added a kill and ace in the process. Hodge started just the second set and subbed in the fourth set. However, Villa Cortese could not keep the momentum in the Golden Set losing 15-11 and bowing out of the Champions League playoff. In Italian Serie A action, Villa Cortese (7-4) swept second-place Spes Conegliano 25-21, 25-16, 25-19 on Feb. 12 to finish with 19 points and in a tie for sixth place in the first half. Continuing her play as an opposite, Hodge scored 12 kills on 31 swings to go with a block and ace for 14 points. Berg set the squad to a 44 kill percent while adding two kills on three swings. Villa Cortese opens the Italian Serie A second half on Feb. 20 against Chateaux d’Ax Urbino Volley.
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. On Feb. 13, Novara defeated LIU-JO Volley Modena 25-23, 25-17, 21-25, 25-23 to improve to 6-5 on the season. Paolini was error-free in the match with nine kills on 14 swings to go with three blocks for 12 points. She also turned in six service receptions for an 83 positive and excellent percent. Novara finished the first half with 20 points and in fourth place. Novara starts the second half of the season on Feb. 20 against Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza.
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 CEV Champions League action, Eczacibasi swept France’s RC Cannes for the second time in the Playoff 12 home-and-home series with a 25-21, 25-14, 25-21 victory on Feb. 9. Bown charted 10 kills on 15 swings with just one error to go with three aces and two blocks for a team-high 15 points. Eczacibasi advances to the Playoff 6 Round and will face VakifGunes Telekom in an all-Turkey home-and-home series set for Feb. 22 to March 3. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi topped MKE Ankaragucu 21-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21 on Feb. 12. Bown did not compete in the contest.
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. She helped Kazan to a 25-16, 25-16, 26-24 victory over Avtodor-METAR on Feb. 13. Kazan, now 11-1 on the season and in second place in the Russia Super League, resumes action on Feb. 16 against Torch and on Feb. 20 against Dinamo-Yantar.
BARBOZA IN RUSSIA WITH KRASNODAR: Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), an outside hitter for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Dinamo Krasnodar of the Russia Super League in the 2010-11 professional club season. Krasnador topped Leningradka 25-14, 25-15, 25-17 on Feb. 13 to improve to 10-2 on the season and remain in third place in the league standings. Barboza, who has been in the starting lineup much of the season, was absent from the active roster for the second consecutive match. Krasnador resumes Super League action on Feb. 16 against Proton, followed by a Feb. 20 contest against Odintsovo. In CEV Cup action on Feb. 10, Krasnodar swept Switzerland’s Sagres Neuchatel Universite 25-10, 25-9, 25-15 in the second and final match of a home-and-home series in the Playoff 4 Round. Krasnador advances to the Challenge Round to face Italy’s Norda Foppapedretti Bergamo in a home-and-home series played between Feb. 22 and March 3.
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 topped AZS Bialystok 25-16, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22 on Feb. 12 in the 11th round. Spicer set her squad to a 40 kill percent while she added one individual kill in the victory. GCB Centrostal Bydgoszrcz will challenge Impel Gwardia Wroclaw on Feb. 18 in the 12th round of the Polish league.
AKINRADEWO WITH TOYOTA IN JAPAN: Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), a middle blocker with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is currently playing for Toyota Autobody in Japan’s V-League for the 2010-11 professional season. Toyota improved to 9-11 on the season after splitting a pair of matches this past weekend. Toyota stopped NEC 25-16, 25-22, 25-17 on Feb. 12 as Akinradewo pocketed 15 kills on 27 swings to go with three blocks for a total of 18 points. However, JT ended Toyota’s three-match win streak with a 21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 victory on Feb. 13. Akinradewo charted 20 kills on 41 swings in the loss. Toyota returns to the court versus Hisamitsu on Feb. 19 and JT on Feb. 20. Both matches will be played at Saga.
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, snapped a two-match losing streak by defeating August Keming Flour Industry on Feb. 12. Tom scored 17 kills on 22 attacks to go with three aces and two blocks for 22 total points. The squad, 9-2 and in second place, takes on Jiangsu East China on Feb. 15 in its next match.
U.S. WOMEN TO HOST JAPAN GIRLS’ YOUTH TEAM: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will host the Japanese Girls’ Youth National Team in Anaheim, Calif., from Feb. 25 to March 4. The visiting squad, which includes former U.S. Women’s National Team volunteer assistant coach Gen Kawakita as an assistant coach, will train at the American Sports Centers and scrimmage against local junior clubs and the U.S. Women’s National Training Team at venues in the Southern California Orange County area. A full detailed schedule will be available later this month once all details are determined.