COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 29, 2013) - The current U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Weekly update released on April 29 includes briefs on U.S. players.
HOOKER ANNOUNCES PREGNANCY: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas), the Best Spiker at the 2012 Olympic Games and 2012 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Athlete of the Year, announced on April 29 that she is pregnant via her Twitter account @destineehooker. To start the morning, she posted “Best news of my life today!!!! So thankful.” Hooker immediately followed with a second tweet of “Yes my husband and I are pregnant.” After congratulations started to pour in, she tweeted “Thank you everyone. It truly is a blessing. God has truly blessed (us)!! This is going to be an exciting year!!!” After tweeting “I can’t stop smiling,” Hooker re-assured her fans who had signed up for her camps that all are still on the schedule. “Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean any of my camps will be cancelled. Looking forward to seeing everyone!!!”
LARSON-BURBACH, BOWN WITH RUSSIA’S DINAMO KAZAN: Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) and Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), who have each won an Olympic silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are competing for Dinamo Kazan in the Russia Super League. Kazan, which concluded the regular season in first place, wrapped up its best-of-five semifinal round series with Omichka with a series sweep and two victories last week. Already leading 1-0 in the series, Kazan won the second match 25-20, 25-21, 25-18 on April 23. Larson-Burbach notched 13 points with 11 kills on 19 attacks with just two errors to go with two blocks. She added a 37 positive reception percent on 19 chances. Bown contributed four kills on seven errorless attacks, two blocks and an ace for seven points. For a photo gallery of the match, click here. Kazan concluded the series with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-11 victory on April 27 to advance to the final round and face second-seed Dinamo Moscow. In the final semifinal round match, Larson-Burbach tallied 20 points with a 45 positive reception percent, while Bown added 10 points with nine kills on 12 attacks and a block in the victory. The first three matches of the best-of-five championship round will take place May 6, May 7 and May 11.
AKINRADEWO WITH AZERBAIJAN’S RABITA BAKU: Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), a silver medalist with the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team at the 2012 Olympic Games, is competing for Rabita Baku in the Azerbaijan Super League. Rabita Baku, which had already clinched the league title, concluded the Azerbaijan Super League schedule by defeating Lokomotiv Baladzhary 25-19, 25-15, 25-12 on April 23 and with a 25-19, 28-26, 25-14 victory over Azerrail on April 26. Rabita Baku held a 14-point advantage in the league standings while producing a 69-15 set ratio. To view the awarding ceremony presenting Rabita Baku with the league’s gold medal, click here. During the week, Akinradewo was named as the Best Spiker of the Azerbaijan Super League.
DAVIS WITH GERMANY’S DRESDNER SC: Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), a two-time Olympic Games silver medalist as a libero with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, joined Dresdner SC late in the 2012-13 season. Dresdner, as the third seed, defeated Vilsbiburg 25-18, 25-21, 25-21 on April 24 in the third match of the best-of-three semifinal round to advance to the final round. Davis contributed a 73 positive reception percent on 15 chances in the victory. As a team, Dresdner attacked at a 41 positive percent with Davis patrolling the back row. To start the final round, Dresdner lost to Schweriner SC 25-15, 16-25, 25-21, 25-17 on April 27. Davis tallied a 64 positive reception percent on a match-high 28 serve-receive chances. She was selected as the match most valuable player for Dresdner, which still hit at a 44 percent for the match. The teams will meet again on May 1 and May 4, and if necessary, Mary 8 and May 11 in the best-of-five final round.
SCOTT-ARRUDA, ALISHA GLASS WITH PUERTO RICO’S MAYAGUEZ: Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.), a five-time U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team selection and two-time Olympic silver medalist, and Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), a setter for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball team, are competing for Mayaguez in the Puerto Rico Super League. In its best-of-seven semifinal round series with Caguas, Mayaguez fell behind 2-1 in matches after losing 25-21, 18-25, 25-22, 25-19 on April 23. Scott-Arruda notched 12 points including five blocks in the loss, while Glass set 22 assists to go with 12 digs and six points. Mayaguez answered with a 25-23, 21-25, 25-20, 25-21 victory on April 25 to even the series through four matches. Scott-Arruda scored 18 points with eight blocks. Glass turned in 24 assists, nine digs and two blocks in the victory. Mayaguez went up 3-2 in the series with a 26-24, 25-22, 25-16 victory on April 27. Scott-Arruda notched 13 points in the victory. Mayaguez closed out the series in the sixth match with a 25-17, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18 victory on April 28. No match statistics are available at this time. Mayaguez now meets Corozal, which includes 2008 U.S. Olympian Kim Willoughby, in the best-of-seven final series.
FAUCETTE WITH ITALY’S YAMAMAY BUSTO ARSIZIO: Juliann Faucette (San Diego), a U.S. outside hitter/opposite, is competing for Yamamay Busto Arsizio of the Italian Serie A1 for the 2012-13 season. Busto Arsizio (15-3, 46 points) finished the regular season in first place with an eight-point lead over second-place Rebecchi Nordmeccanica. Busto Arsizio started its best-of-three semifinal round series with Imoco Volley Conegliano on April 26 with a 25-16, 25-23, 25-19 victory. Faucette was a sub in the second and third sets recording just two attacks. The series continues on April 29, and if needed, May 1 will serve as the tiebreaker to decide which team advances to the final round.
HODGE, WILSON WITH AZERBAIJAN’S AZERRAIL BAKU: Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.), a silver medalist on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is playing for Azerbaijan’s Azerrail Baku in 2012-2013 along with fellow Penn State University alum Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.). Azerrail topped Lokomotiv 25-18, 28-30, 25-22, 25-15 on April 23. Azerrail ended the Azerbaijan Super League with a 25-19, 28-26, 25-14 loss to league-champion Rabita Baku on April 26. Despite the loss, Azerrail finished second in the league in a tie with Igtisadchi.
MIYASHIRO, SPICER WITH AZERBAIJAN’S LOKOMOTIV BAKU: Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii), a silver medalist with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, signed mid-season with Azerbaijan’s Lokomotiv Baku. Lokomotiv fell to Azerrail 25-18, 28-30, 25-22, 25-15 on April 23. Lokomotiv finished the regular season on a sour note, falling to Igtisadchi 19-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21 on April 26. Lokomotiv concluded the year in fourth place with 41 points and a 52-38 set ratio.
METCALF, PAOLINI WITH AZERBAIJAN’S IGTISADCHI BAKU: Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), an opposite on the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team with experience at the 2004 Olympic Games, and U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) are playing for Igtisadchi Baku of the Azerbaijan Super League in 2012-2013. Igtisadchi kept hopes alive for a second-place finish by defeating Baki Azeryolservis 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 on April 23. Igtisadchi ended the regular season with a 19-25, 25-15, 25-23, 25-21 victory over Lokomotiv on April 26. With Azerrail losing to Rabita Baku in three sets, Igtisadchi was able to climb into a second-place tie to conclude the season. Paolini was lauded last week with the Azerbaijan Super League Best Blocker award.
TAMAS WITH AZERBAIJAN’S BAKI AZERYOLSERVIS: Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.), a 2008 silver medalist with the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is playing for Baki Azeryolservis of the Azerbaijan Super League in 2012-2013. Baki Azeryolservis opened strong against Lokomotiv on April 17 before falling 18-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-16. Baki Azeryolservis lost its second match of the week to Azerrail 25-17, 25-18, 31-29 on April 20. Baki Azeryolservis concluded the regular season on April 23 with a 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 loss to Igtisadchi. The match represented Tamas’ final contest of her career as she has indicated her desire to step away from the game. The web site azerisport.com dedicated a photo gallery to Tamas following her last match, which can be viewed by clicking here.