USA Volleyball Communications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 9, 2012) – The current U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Weekly update released on April 9 includes briefs on U.S. players competing overseas and other team news.
QUICK SET 1 – U.S. SETTERS IN CLUB TITLE HUNTS: Two U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team setters – Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) – are starting for their respective teams in the Italian Serie A1 best-of-five championship round. Berg, a two-time Olympian, is the starting setter for second-seed MC Carnaghi Villa Cortese. Lloyd, who just joined Team USA last summer, has helped Yamamay Busto Arsizio to the playoff championship round after leading the squad to the regular season title in her first professional club season. On March 27, U.S. setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) played a key role in her Polish club Atom Trefl Sopot winning the Plus Liga playoff title. Meanwhile, Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) has led her Puerto Rico Super League team Catano into the playoff championship round with a 4-0 series sweep over Mayaguez in the semifinal round. Not to be out-done, U.S. setter Nelly Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) helped Rabita Baku win the Azerbaijan Super League regular season title and is currently 4-0 in the playoffs.
QUICK SET 2 - ON DECK THIS WEEK: Three Americans are embroiled in the best-of-five Italian Serie A1 championship round series. Setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and Makare Wilson (Gardena, Calif.) hope to lead MC Carnaghi Villa Cortese back from a 1-0 match deficit to setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) and her top-seeded Yamamay Busto Arsizio squad. The series resumes on April 9 and 11, with matches on April 13 and April 15 if necessary. U.S. opposite and FIVB Hero Destinee Hooker (San Antonio) and her Sollys/Nestle teammates will look to win the Brazil Super League title on April 14 against Unilever. In the Russia Super League, Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) and her Dinamo Kazan squad hold a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five championship series with Dinamo Moscow. The series resumes on April 9, followed by an April 12 contest. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), Angie Forsett (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Jessica Jones (Naperville, Ill.) have led Catano into the Puerto Rico Super League Final Round against Caguas. The first two matches will be played on April 10 and April 12. The Azerbaijan Super League, with several Americans aiming for the playoff title, wraps up its second final round April 11-15 with Rabita Baku assisted by Americans Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) and Nelly Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) in first place.
QUICK SET 3 - RETURNING TO ANAHEIM: As the club season winds down across the various continents, members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will have started to trickle into the American Sports Centers, which serves as the USA National Team Center in Anaheim, Calif. – the Official Host City of USA Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams. It is expected that nearly all members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will arrive back by May 1 for the beginning of the summer training block in preparation for the Olympic Games. The U.S. Women, currently ranked No. 1 in the current FIVB world ranking and already qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, opens their season at the FIVB World Grand Prix held June 8 to July 1 in various countries. Prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, the U.S. Women will compete in the 11th Annual Pan American Cup scheduled for July 11-21 in Mexico. The Olympic Games will take place July 27 to Aug. 12.
LLOYD WITH BUSTO ARSIZIO IN ITALY: U.S. Women’s National Team setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) is playing for Yamamay Busto Arsizio of the Italian Serie A1 for the 2011-2012 season. After finishing the Italian Serie A1 regular season with a 19-1 record and 57 points to claim the regular season title, playoff-top-seed Busto Arsizio was forced into a deciding match in a best-of-three semifinal round series against fourth-seed Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza after falling 22-25, 25-19, 14-25, 25-20, 18-16 on April 2 only a day removed from winning the CEV Cup title. Lloyd led Busto Arsizio to a 37 kill percent for the match while adding five blocks and two kills in the loss. Busto Arsizio regained its focused to defeat Piacenza 25-17, 25-20, 25-22 on April 4 to advance to the best-of-five championship series against MC Carnaghi Villa Cortese. Lloyd set Busto Arsizio to a 46 kill percent in the win over Piacenza, along with providing three blocks, three kills on five attacks and an ace for seven points. In the best-of-five championship series opener against Villa Cortese, Busto Arsizio rallied for a 15-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-23 victory on April 7. Lloyd set Busto Arsizio to a 38 kill percent, despite only a 25 percent in the opening set loss. She added two kills on five attacks and an ace for three points. The two teams will meet again on April 9 and April 11, and if necessary, matches four and five will be played April 13 and April 15.
BERG, WILSON WITH VILLA CORTESE IN ITALY: U.S. Women’s National Team setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and past U.S. National Team player Makare Wilson (Gardena, Calif.) are playing for MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese in the Italian Serie A1 in 2011-2012. Villa Cortese clinched a spot into the Italian Serie A1 playoff best-of-five championship series against top-seed Yamamay Busto Arsizio after defeating Norda Foppapedretti Bergamo 25-19, 26-24, 25-13 on April 4 in the deciding match of the best-of-three semifinal round. Villa Cortese, behind Berg’s setting, converted 48 percent of its attacks into points with a .343 hitting efficiency. Wilson contributed six kills on 10 attacks, along with four blocks and an ace for 11 points. Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Puerto Rico’s Aury Cruz, both NCAA All-Americans while playing college, contributed 21 and 13 points, respectively. In the opening championship round match against Busto Arsizio, Villa Cortese opened strong with a 25-15 victory, but dropped the next three sets 25-17, 25-23, 25-23 to fall behind 1-0 in the best-of-five series. Berg set Villa Cortese to a 41 kill percent while adding three kills on three attacks and an ace for four points. Wilson chipped in seven kills on 19 errorless attacks and three blocks for 10 points. The two teams will meet again on April 9 and April 11, and if necessary, matches four and five will be played April 13 and April 15.
DAVIS, RICHARDS WITH PIACENZA IN ITALY: U.S. Women’s National Team libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and outside hitter Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) are part of the Italian Serie A1 Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza squad in 2011-2012. After being idle for nearly a week, Piacenza resumed its best-of-three semifinal round series with top-seed Yamamay Busto Arsizio on April 2. Despite the layoff, Piacenza edged Busto Arsizio 22-25, 25-19, 14-25, 25-20, 18-16 to force a deciding third match in the series. Davis handled 16 receptions with a 56 positive percent, while Richards provided two kills on four errorless chances off the bench in the third set. In the rubber match of the semifinal series, Busto Arsizio came away with a 25-17, 25-20, 25-22 victory to end Piacenza’s season. Davis provided a 73 positive reception percent on 11 chances in the loss, while Richards scored a kill as a sub in the first set.
PAOLINI WITH ICOS CREMA IN ITALY: U.S. Women’s National Team middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) is playing for Icos Crema Volley in the Italian Serie A2 Division for 2011-2012. Icos Crema (20-6, 58 points) was upset by fourth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (20-6, 60 points) 25-20, 25-23, 25-23 on April 7. Paolini converted 10 of 14 attacks into kills with only two errors while also adding a block for 11 points. Icos Crema, which dropped to fourth place following the loss while Casalmaggiore moved into a tie for second place, returns to action on April 15 against 11th-place Puntotel Sala Consilina (9-17, 28 points).
HOOKER WITH SOLLYS/NESTLE IN BRAZIL: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) is competing for Sollys/Nestle in the Brazil Superliga during the 2011-2012 club season. Sollys/Nestle was idle all last week as it wrapped up its best-of-three semifinal round series in two matches. It will face second-seed Unilever in the championship round. Unilever reached the title round by defeating Volei Futuro in deciding match of its best-of-three semifinal round on April 6. The teams will fight for the title for the eighth consecutive time on April 14, which will be broadcast by TV Globo. Sollys/Nestle will enter the match having not played a match since wrapping up its semifinal series on March 30. To follow Hooker in social media platforms, visit destineehooker19.blogspot.com for her blog and click here for her Facebook athlete page.
SYKORA WITH VOLEI FUTURO IN BRAZIL: Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) has returned to Brazil to compete with her club team Volei Futuro in the Brazil Superliga. Sykora returned to the court for her first official appearance on Jan. 20 after suffering serious injuries in an April 2011 bus accident as Volei Futuro was traveling to a post-season match in the Brazil Superliga. As the third seed in the Superliga playoffs, Volei Futuro lost its chance to win the title after falling to second-seed Unilever 25-23, 25-23, 25-22 on April 6 in the deciding match of its best-of-three semifinal round series. Sykora did not suit for the match.
LARSON WITH DINAMO KAZAN IN RUSSIA: U.S. Women’s National Team outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is competing for Dinamo Kazan of the Russia Super League. After ending the Russia Super League regular season in first place with a 17-5 record and 49 points, Kazan met Dinamo Moscow on April 8 to start its best-of-five championship series and came away with an impressive 25-20, 25-13, 25-17 victory to take a 1-0 lead. The second and third matches of the championship series are scheduled for April 9 and April 12. If necessary, matches four and five will be played with dates not announced. To read Larson’s blog, visit usavolleyball.org/blogs/blog-for-jorndan-larson.
AKINRADEWO WITH DINAMO KRASNODAR IN RUSSIA: U.S. Women’s National Team middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) is competing for Dinamo Krasnodar of the Russia Super League in 2011-2012. Krasnodar, which finished the regular season in fifth place, completed its season in fifth place following the second final round for places five through eight. Krasnodar, which was 2-1 after the first final round, edged District-Odintsovo 23-25, 17-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-13 on April 6. In the first final round, District-Odintsovo rallied from two sets down to win in five sets just as Krasnodar had in the second final round. However, Krasnodar could not come away with a victory on April 7 as Proton battled back to a 25-21, 21-25, 23-25, 27-25, 15-12 five-set victory. To close out the playoffs, Krasnodar topped Torch 12-25, 25-21, 30-28, 22-25, 15-12 to finish the playoffs in fifth place.
KIM GLASS, SPICER WITH RABITA BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: U.S. Women’s National Team outside hitter Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) and setter Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) are competing for Rabita Baku of the Azerbaijan Super League. Rabita Baku enters the Azerbaijan Super League playoffs as the top seed after finishing the regular season 11-0. Rabita opened the playoffs with a 25-10, 25-18, 25-16 victory over Lokomotiv on April 4. Rabita improved to 2-0 with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-15 victory over Igtisadchi on April 5. Neither Glass or Spicer played in the match. Rabita gained an impressive 25-16, 25-20, 25-23 victory over Baki on April 6 to climb to 3-0 with nine points. Rabita ended the playoff’s first round with an 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Azerrail on April 8. Rabita is in first place after the first round with a 4-0 record and the maximum 12 points, six points better than second-place Lokomotiv. The second round of the playoffs takes place April 11-15.
METCALF, THOMAS WITH LOKOMOTIV BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: U.S. Women’s National Team opposite Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) and middle blocker Elisha Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.) are playing for Lokomotiv Baku of the Azerbaijan Super League in 2011-2012. In the Azerbaijan Super League, Lokomotiv finished fifth in the regular season with a 6-5 record and has advanced to the five-team, double-round round playoff. Lokomotive opened the playoffs on April 4 with a 25-10, 25-18, 25-16 loss to top-seed Rabita Baku. However, Lokomotiv regrouped to top Azerrail 25-23, 25-21, 30-28 on April 5 to even its record. Lokomotiv’s playoff round continued to see-saw with a 25-17, 25-12, 26-24 loss to Baki on April 6. Lokomotiv swept Igtisadchi 25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-20 to move to 2-2 in the playoffs with six points, good for second place after the first round. The second round robin of the playoffs takes place April 11-15.
BOWN, TAMAS WITH AZERRAIL BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: U.S. Women’s National Team middle blockers Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) are playing for Azerrail Baku in the Azerbaijan Super League in 2011-2012. In the Azerbaijan Super League, Azerrail finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and second-place finish. Azerrail opened the double-round robin playoffs with a 25-23, 25-16, 25-19 victory over Baki on April 4. Azerrail dropped its next match to Lokomotiv 25-23, 25-21, 30-28 on April 5. Azerrail rebounded with a 25-21, 20-25, 27-29, 25-13, 25-10 victory over Igtisadchi on April 6. Azerrail lost to top-seed Rabita 18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 on April 8 to end the first round of the playoffs. Azerrail concluded the first round with a 2-2 record and in third place with five points. The second round-robin of the playoffs takes place April 11-15.
HANEEF-PARK WITH IGTISADCHI BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: U.S. Women’s National Team opposite Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) is playing in the Azerbaijan Super League with Igtisadchi Baku in 2011-2012. Igtisadchi finished the regular season with a 6-6 record and in fourth place. Igtisadchi dropped its playoff opener 25-16, 25-19, 25-15 to top-seed Rabita Baku on April 5. Haneef-Park scored 12 points with 11 kills on 27 attacks and an ace. Igtisadchi lost its second playoff match in heart-breaking fashion, a 25-21, 20-25, 27-29, 25-13, 15-10 loss to Azerrail on April 6. Igtisadchi dropped to 0-3 with a 25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-20 loss to Lokomotiv on April 6. Igtisadchi concluded the first round of the playoffs with a 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 victory against Baki on April 8. Igtisadchi finishes the first round with a 1-3 record and four points for fourth place. The second round-robin of the playoffs takes place April 11-15.
TOM WITH FENERBAHCE UNIVERSAL IN TURKEY: U.S. Women’s National Team outside hitter Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) is competing for Fenerbahce Universal of the Turkish League in 2011-2012. Fenerbahche defeated Yesilurt 25-13, 25-11, 25-20 on April 3 to start the Turkish playoffs as Tom notched 11 points via nine kills on 18 attacks, one ace and a block. She added a 61 positive reception percent on a team-high 18 chances. In the second match of the first round, Fenerbahce dispatched IBA Kimya TED Kolejliler 25-18, 25-15, 25-22 on April 4 as Tom did not play. Fenerbahce concluded the first round with a 21-25, 25-17, 29-27, 25-16 victory over Galatasaray on April 5 to advance to the semifinals. Tom provided 10 points, all on kills and a 55 positive reception percent on a team-high 33 chances. However, Fenerbahce’s run in the Turkish playoffs ended with a heart-breaking 20-25, 25-22, 27-29, 25-17, 15-13 loss to VakifBank on April 7. Tom played as a reserve in only the fourth set.
FORSETT, THOMPSON, JONES, WITH CATANO IN PUERTO RICO: U.S. Women’s National Team setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), outside hitter Angie Forsett (Lake Mary, Fla.) and middle blocker Jessica Jones (Naperville, Ill.) are playing for Catano in the Puerto Rico Super League. Catano advanced to the Puerto Rico Super League final round with two victories last week to clinch its best-of-seven semifinal round series against Mayaguez in four matches. Catano stopped Mayaguez 25-17, 30-28, 25-22 on April 3 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series. Forsett scored 15 points with 16 digs, while Thompson provided 10 assists and 14 digs. Jones added nine points in the victory. Catano closed out the semifinal series with a 22-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Mayaguez on April 4. Forsett collected 22 points, including five blocks, while Jones added 13 points with six blocks. Thompson provided 20 assists and 10 digs to go with three points. The first two matches will be played on April 10 and April 12. The entire Final Round will be televised on DirecTV 161 and on WAPA 2.
OTHER AMERICAN HIGHLIGHTS IN PUERTO RICO: Stephanie Niemer tallied 11 points and 15 digs in a semifinal loss to Catano on April 3. Erin Moore add nine points, while Sydney Anderson set 12 assists to go with 11 digs and three points… Kelly Murphy scored 18 points and nine assists in Guaynabo’s three-set loss to Caguas on April 3. Kristy Jaeckel added 11 points in the loss…Niemer and Moore tallied 19 and 16 points, respectively in the semifinal loss to Catano on April 4. Anderson added 22 assists and 13 digs…Jaeckel scored seven points in Guaynabo’s three-set loss to Caguas in the final match of the semifinal round on April 5. Morgan Beck added six points in the loss, while Murphy charted nine assists and two points.