COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 25, 2013) – The current U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Weekly update released on Nov. 25 includes briefs on U.S. players.
RECAP OF GRAND CHAMPIONS CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team captured the silver medal at the FIVB World Grand Champion Cup by posting a 4-1 record in the round-robin event held Nov. 12-17 in Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan. Team USA lost its only match of the tournament to top-ranked and eventual winner Brazil in a closely contested 26-24, 26-24, 25-20 match to open the event. The Americans rebounded with wins over bronze medalist and No. 3 Japan, No. 5 Russia, No. 12 Thailand and No. 8 Dominican Republic. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) was the tournament’s second leading scorer with 91 points to with a 36.9 kill percent for 10th in Best Spiker and seventh in Best Receiver with a 41.8 efficiency. Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) ranked 10th in scoring with 57 points, eighth in spiking with a 37.9 kill percent and 10th in serving with 0.19 aces per set. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) ranked second in setting with 8.43 running sets average, in addition to being eighth in blocking with 0.57 blocks per set. Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.) and Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.), who were used predominately as serving specialists late in sets, ranked seventh and ninth in serving with averages of 0.24 and 0.19 aces per set, respectively. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) finished the tournament ranked second in digging with 3.19 digs per set.
INSIDE THE SEASON NUMBERS: Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.), who joined Team USA in May 2013, was the leading scorer for the U.S. Women in her freshman season. She posted 314 points for a 3.53 scoring average. Captain Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah) finished second in scoring with 291 points and a 2.94 scoring average. Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) ranked second in scoring average at 3.45 points per set with 238 points scored. Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) handled 1,073 of the team’s 1,485 assists in 2013 for a 10.22 set average. She also led the team in total blocks with 53 as part of a 0.50 block average, playing in a team-leading 105 sets out of a possible 118 on the season. Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) converted 49.8 percent of her attacks as part of a team-leading .381 hitting efficiency based on 50 percent of sets played. Fawcett led the team with 30 aces, or 0.43 average per set. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) accounted for 171 digs and a team-leading 2.25 digs per set while playing in 76 of 118 sets as the American libero. For additional statistics on the season, click here.
YOUTH IN 2013: U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly used a roster primarily of non-Olympians in 2013, and it paid off with a 25-6 record against several teams playing with multiple Olympians throughout the season. A total of 10 players played in at least 68 sets (57 percent of possible sets) in 2013, and all 10 players have not been part of an Olympic Games roster. Still, the U.S. finished 13-6 (68.4 percent) against teams ranked in the top 10 in the world in 2013. Team USA won the gold medal at the Pan American Cup and NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship, and the silver medal the season-ending FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. The non-Olympians accounted for 84.3 percent of all kills (12.91 of 1,531) and 84.5 percent of all points (1,733 of 2,052) scored in 2013. Further, 86.7 percent of all aces (169 of 195) and 83.7 of all blocks (273 of 326) were from non-Olympians. Among the group included first-year National Team players Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio), Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.), Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) and Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.).
SWEET TWEETS: Have you ever wondered what it is like for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team to compete overseas in the club season where they may be the only American on the team and away from family and friends for months at a time? You can get that inside peek into the players’ lives by checking out the USA Volleyball’s social media page at bit.ly/16aCEw0. Below are some sweet tweets from the week.
DAVIS HONORED BY HOMETOWN: Two-time Olympic Games silver medalist Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) was honored by her hometown with induction into the Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 20. In addition to being the U.S. libero at the past two Olympic Games, Davis starred at Lincoln High School in Stockton before going on to winning two NCAA championships at University of Southern California. She helped Lincoln High to two section championships, two league and two NorCal championships as an outside hitter and defensive specialist.
THOMPSON WITH VOLERO ZURICH IN SWITZERLAND: Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), a silver medal-winning setter on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, arrived in mid-November to play for Volero Zurich in the Swiss League. In her first match, Thompson helped Volero Zurich to a 25-17, 25-10, 25-14 victory over Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen on Nov. 24. She scored two aces in the victory. Thompson paced her squad to a 56 kill percent and .500 hitting efficiency (39-4-70) in starting all three sets. Thompson is the subject of a volleyball documentary entitled “Court & Spark”, which will debut during the week of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship held in Seattle Dec. 19-21. The documentary explores who Courtney Thompson is, how it is to live a life as a professional American Volleyball star overseas, how she has overcome staggering odds and mixed in with experts of the game speaking about her. The one-hour documentary is aimed at players, parents, coaches, fans, media and policymakers who can support the creation and maintenance of sports facilities and opportunities for our youth. To view the documentary preview, click here.
DONAHUE WITH SM’AESCH PFEFFINGEN IN SWITZERLAND: Caitlyn Donahue (Kansas City, Kan.), who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team this past summer, is playing for Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen I in the first division of the Swiss League. Donahue was named match most valuable player after leading Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen to a 21-25, 25-11, 25-21, 25-18 victory over Volley Toggenburg on Nov. 17. She scored four kills on four attacks, three blocks and two aces for nine points from her setter position. Donahue led her team to a 42 kill percent in the match with a .237 hitting efficiency (50-22-118). Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen lost to league-leader Volero Zurich 25-17, 25-10, 25-14 on Nov. 24 as Donahue provided one kill on two attacks and one block for two points. She added 20 assists in the loss. The match was a battle of American setters as 2012 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Thompson led Volero Zurich in a starting role. Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen (2-4) faces NUC Neuchatel in a Nov. 30 road match.
LARSON-BURBACH WITH DINAMO KAZAN IN RUSSIA: Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is competing once again for Dinamo Kazan in the Russia Super League. Kazan improved to 6-0 in the Russia Super League with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-13 victory over Tyumen on Nov. 23. Larson-Burbach contributed 14 points in the victory. To view a gallery of images from the match, click here. Kazan challenges league rival Dynamo Moscow on Nov. 30 in its next Russia Super League match. In CEV Champions League, undefeated Kazan (2-0) takes on Stiinta Bacau in the third leg of Pool F on Nov. 26.
HAGGLUND, MIYASHIRO WITH VILSBIBURG IN GERMANY: Libero Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii), a libero on the 2012 U.S. Olympic silver-medal team, and setter Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) are playing for Rote Raben Vilsbiburg in the German league this winter. In addition, Americans Dominique Lamb and Michelle Bartsch are competing on the squad. While Hagglund and Miyashiro were in Japan representing the U.S. at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, Vilsbiburg lost a heart-breaking 21-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 15-12 match to SC Potsdam on Nov. 9. Bartsch tallied 21 points with 18 kills, two blocks and an ace, while Lamb contributed 13 points with seven kills, four blocks and two aces. In its second match without Hagglund and Miyashiro, Vilsbiburg lost to USC Munster 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 on Nov. 13. Lamb pocketed 12 points with nine kills on 14 attacks and three blocks to lead Vilsbiburg, which was without an injured Bartsch as well as Hagglund and Miyashiro. On the opposite side of the net, American Ashley Benson was the match most valuable player after scoring nine kills on 12 errorless attacks, four blocks and an ace. Vilsbiburg got back into the win column with a 28-26, 25-22, 25-18 victory over Allianz MTV Stuttgart on Nov. 17. Lamb scored 10 points as Vilsbiburg’s offense produced five double-digit scorers. Vilsbiburg dropped a 25-19, 26-24, 25-20 match to Dresdner SC on Nov. 23. Although Hagglund set Vilsbiburg to a 39 kill percent, Dresdner managed a 46 kill percent in the victory. Bartsch added 15 points in the loss. On the opposite side of the, American Becky Perry scored a match-high 18 points to be named most valuable player. Vilsbiburg is now 17-11 (sets won-lost) with 15 points in eight matches for fourth place. During the German DVV Cup quarterfinals, Vilsbiburg edged Aachen 25-21, 21-25, 22-25, 25-20, 18-16 on Nov. 20. Hagglund returned to the team and provided three blocks, one kill and one ace as Vilsbiburg converted 36 percent of its attacks into points with her setting. In the process, she was named the match most valuable player. Bartsch returned from her injury and totaled a match-high 22 points with 19 kills. Lamb added 18 points.Vilsbiburg will now face Dresdner SC during the semifinals on Dec. 14. In CEV Cup action, Vilsbiburg will challenge LP Salo in the 8th Final Round home-and-home series with matches on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.
LLOYD WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALY: Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) is competing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A league for this winter season. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, Conegliano (3-0) defeated Robur Tiboni Urbino 22-25, 26-24, 25-18, 25-18 on Nov. 20. Lloyd started the first two sets and provided one kill and a block for two points. Conegliano challenges Liu Jo Modena (2-1) on Nov. 30 in its next Serie A1 match. Earlier this month Conegliano opened the Italian Serie A1 Cup with a 25-19, 18-25, 25-12, 25-14 victory over IHF Volley Frosinone on Nov. 10. Lloyd turned in two kills on three errorless attacks, three blocks and an ace for six points. She also led Conegliano to a 49 kill percent in the match. In the rematch on Nov. 17, Conegliano won 25-16, 25-17, 13-25, 25-20 to advance in the Italian Cup. Lloyd led Conegliano to a 39 kill percent for the match while starting the first two sets. In CEV Champions League action Conegliano (2-0) will face Azerbaijan’s Azeryol Baku on Nov. 28 in the third leg of Pool E.
ALISHA GLASS WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKEY: Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) is competing this winter with Fenerbahce in Turkey. In a battle of undefeated teams in the Turkish League, Fenerbahce blanked BLD Eregli 25-10, 25-9, 25-16 on Nov. 20. In its second match in four days, Fenerbahce swept BLD Canakkale 26-24, 25-19, 25-14 on Nov. 24. Fenerbahce (7-1) faces Galatasaray (7-1) on Nov. 30 as both teams are part of a three-way tie for second place in the Turkish League. In CEV Cup action, Fenerbahce has advanced to the 8th Final Round and will play Orbita-ZTMC-ZNU ZAPOROZHYE in a home-and-home series with matches on Dec. 5 and Dec. 11.
HARMOTTO WITH ECZACIBASI IN TURKEY: Middle blocker Christa Harmotto (Hopewell Township, Pa.), a 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist, is competing for Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul in the Turkish professional league. Eczacibasi blanked Halkbank 25-22, 25-19, 25-23 on Nov. 24. Eczacibasi (7-1), one of three times in a tie for second place in the Turkish League, plays 11th-place BLD Canakkale on Dec. 1in its next match. In CEV Champions League action, Eczacibasi returns to action until Nov. 28 when it faces France’s RC Cannes.
HOOD WITH ILBANK IN TURKEY: Outside hitter Regan Hood (Dallas) is playing for Ilbank of the Turkish League this winter. Ilbank topped Halkbank 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-18 on Nov. 20. However, Ilbank (4-4) couldn’t create the upset against VakifBank (8-0) on Nov. 23 as the league-leader won 25-15, 25-22, 25-16. Ilbank resumes action on Dec. 1 against fifth-place Besiktas (5-3).
HILL WITH ATOM TREFL SOPOT IN POLAND: Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is competing this winter with Atom Trefl Sopot in the Polish Oren Liga. After missing two Polish Orlen Liga victories due to competition with the U.S. National Team at the FIVB Grand Champions Cup, Hill returned to her club team and helped it to a 25-11, 25-17, 25-17 victory over KS Palac Bydgoszcz on Nov. 23. Hill came off the bench as a sub in the second set and started the third set. She provided two kills on seven attacks and an ace. Sopot, now 6-2 and in second place in the Orlen League standings, returns to regular season action on Nov. 29 against eighth-place Siodemka SK Bank Legionovia (2-6). Sopot resumes CEV Champions League action Pool C on Nov. 26 against Turkey’s VakifBank Istanbul.
ADAMS WITH TAURON MKS DABROWA IN POLAND: Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), a middle blocker on the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is playing in Poland this winter with Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza. Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza was edged by Impel Wroclaw 15-25, 25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 16-14 on Nov. 11 as Adams scored five points in starting the first three sets. Tauron bounced back with its own come-from-behind 18-25, 25-23, 13-25, 25-12, 15-9 victory over PGNiG Nafta Pila on Nov. 16. Adams started the first set and was a sub in the third, turning in one kill in the process. Beef Master Mudowlani Lodz got the best of Tauron 13-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-20 on Nov. 23. Adams scored eight points via five kills, two blocks and an ace in starting the first three sets. Tauron, now 3-5 with 10 points for seventh place, takes on ninth-place KS Palac Bydogszcz (1-7) on Dec. 1 in its next league match. In CEV Champions League action, Tauron MKS Dabrowa (1-1) returns to action on Nov. 28 against Switzerland’s Volero Zurich. Adams is maintaining a blog during her travels, and is open to the public at rachadams.com.
KIM GLASS WITH BANANA BOAT/PRAIA CLUBE IN BRAZIL: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), a 2008 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, is playing in the Brazilian Super League this winter with Banana Boat/Praia Clube. Banana Boat/Praia Clube resumes Brazil Super League play on Nov. 29 against Volei Amil after the league was on hiatus due to the FIVB Grand Champions Cup. To keep fresh, Banana Boat played Brasilia in two friendly matches last week and won both contests in five sets. To follow her blog, click here.
HILDEBRAND WITH AMIL IN BRAZIL: Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is playing this winter with Volei Amil in the Brazil Super League. With the Brazil Super League on hiatus due to the FIVB Grand Champions Cup, Amil gets back into league on Nov. 29 against Banana Boat/Praia Clube.
SCOTT WITH BRASILIA IN BRAZIL: Danielle Scott (Baton Rouge, La.), a five-time U.S. Olympian playing middle blocker and two-time Olympic silver medalist, is competing in Brazil this club season with Brasilia Volei. Brasilia has been idle since a Nov. 1 victory and will not resume Brazil Super League action until facing Minas on Dec. 3. During the break, Brasilia lost two five-set friendly matches to Banana Boat/Praia Clube.
BERGSMA WITH MINAS IN BRAZIL: Alaina Bergsma (Chandler, Ariz.), who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team in the summer of 2013 after winning the 2012 AVCA Division I National Player of the Year, is playing for Minas Tenis Clube in Brazil this season. After a Brazil Super League hiatus due to the FIVB Grand Champions Cup in Japan, Minas resumes league action on Nov. 29 against Unilever.
AKINRADEWO, BANWARTH, JACKSON WITH RABITA IN AZERBAIJAN: Middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), a 2012 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa), Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) and Brittnee Cooper are part of Rabita Baku for the 2013-14 club season. Rabita Baku stopped Azeryol 29-27, 24-26, 25-18, 25-21 on Nov. 23 in Azerbaijan Super League action. Jackson tallied six points with four kills and two aces, while Cooper added five kills. On the other side of the net, former U.S. Women’s National Team member Jessy Jones totaled 10 points for Azeryol with four kills, three blocks and three aces. After a short hiatus, Rabita Baku (2-0) resumes CEV Champions League action on Nov. 27 against Germany’s Dresdner SC.
WILSON, WILLOUGHBY WITH IGTISADCHI IN AZERBAIJAN: Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.), a middle blocker with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is competing for Igtisadchi of the Azerbaijan Super League in 2013-14, along with 2008 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.). Igtisadchi edged Azerrail Baku 26-24, 21-25, 23-25, 25-20, 16-14 on Nov. 23 in Azerbaijan Super League action. Match statistics are not available. In CEV Champions League action, Igtisadchi resumes Pool B action against Rebecchi Meccanica Piacenza on Nov. 27 in the third leg.
GIBBEMEYER, CRIMES AND DOSTY WITH LOKOMOTIV BAKU: Middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) is playing for Lokomotiv Baku in the Azerbaijan Super League. In addition, former National Team middle blocker Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and American Whitney Dosty are playing for Lokomotiv. Lokomotiv lost a tough five-set match (21-25, 25-11, 19-25, 26-24, 15-13) to Telekom on Nov. 23. Gibbemeyer tallied 14 points in the loss with 12 kills on 21 attacks and just one error, along with a block and ace. Crimes added 10 kills on 15 attacks and four blocks for 14 points. On the opposite side of the net, American Monique Mead scored a match-high 23 points. In CEV Cup action, Lokomotiv Baku faces Hapoel KFAR SABA in the 8th Final Round home-and-home series with matches on Dec. 5 and Dec, 11. To follow her blog throughout the year, click here.
DAVIS WITH DINAMO ROMPREST IN ROMANIA: Libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), a two-time Olympic Games silver medalist with the U.S., is playing for Dinamo Romprest Bucharest in Romania this winter. Dinamo Romprest dominated SCM “U” Craiova 25-10, 25-12, 25-21 on Nov. 9 in the sixth round of the Romania top division, then followed with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 victory over CSM Lugoj on Nov. 13. Dinamo Romprest continued its undefeated domestic league record with a 25-14, 25-9, 25-14 win over Penicilina Iasi on Nov. 16, followed by a 25-12, 25-14, 25-14 victory over CSU Medicina CSS Tirgu Mures on Nov. 23. Dinamo Romprest (9-0) looks to win a 10th straight league match on Nov. 30 against Stiinta Bacau. Dinamo Romprest will look for its first CEV Champions League win on Nov. 27 as it faces Gent Dames.
FAWCETT WITH EXPRESSWAY IN KOREA: Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), who was part of two medal-winning U.S. teams this past summer, is playing for Korea Expressway in the Korean Volleyball League for the second consecutive year. After missing three Korean League matches – all losses – while helping the U.S. earn silver at the 2013 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, Fawcett returned to the court and helped Korea Expressway to a 25-20, 20-25, 13-15, 28-26, 15-7 victory over IBK on Nov. 23 and was named the match most valuable player. To view highlights of the match, click here.
HODGE, FAUCETTE WITH EVERGRANDE IN CHINA: Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.), a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, and Juliann Faucette (San Diego) are playing in China this winter with Guangdong Evergrande, which is under the direction of 2008 U.S. Olympic head coach “Jenny” Lang Ping. Evergrande, the bronze medalist at the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship held in October, does not start its China National League regular season until Nov. 30. Evergrande is in Pool II with Beijing BAIC Motors, Shanghai Guohua Life, Jiangsu ECE, Shandong Laishang Bank and Henan. Evergrande played two exhibition matches versus Zhejiang last week. On Nov. 23, Evergrande won 4-1 (25-15, 15-25, 25-20, 29-27, 15-12) in the friendly match in which Hodge started and Faucette was a sub. Evergrande won the second friendly match 25-15, 25-15, 25-14, 18-25 on Nov. 24 with both Hodge and Faucette in the starting lineup. Match statistics are not available for the match.
OPEN TRYOUTS: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will hold its annual open tryout Feb. 21-23, 2014, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The tryout process will be used primarily to identify prospective athletes for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team. Athletes not invited to participate with the National Team may be invited to attend a second tryout as part of the U.S. Collegiate National Teams program (formerly U.S. Women’s Senior A2 Teams). To be eligible for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team through this tryout, athletes must have concluded their collegiate eligibility. This program could begin as early as the spring of 2014, or when the athlete’s academic year or professional club season has concluded. Athletes with remaining collegiate eligibility will be eligible for the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, as well as the U.S. Collegiate National Teams program, which consists of two different options if selected. For the complete press release, click here.