COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 7, 2014) – The current U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Weekly update released on Jan. 7 includes briefs on U.S. players.
DESTINEE’S CHILD MOTIVATES HER COMEBACK ON THE COURT: Destinee Hooker-Coulter, a silver medalist with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, added yet another fan to her thousands of followers in December 2013. And this fan is the most special to her and her husband, Steven Coulter Jr. Hooker-Coulter, 26, and her husband welcomed the birth of their first child, daughter Keitany Coulter, in the early morning hours on Dec. 12. Since her birth, Keitany has provided inspiration and motivation to her mother to come back to volleyball even stronger than before. “My daughter has brought so much joy to my life,” Hooker-Coulter said. “It only motivates me to get back on the court and play not only for me, but more for her. I love her so much. She's my heartbeat. I'm motivated more than ever and nothing is going to stand in my way.” For the full feature, click here.
‘ATHLETES ABROAD’ GIVES INSIGHT INTO ATHLETE LIVING OVERSEAS: Rachael Adams, a middle blocker on the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, and Geena Urango launched on Jan. 1 the website Athletes Abroad, a consolidated location housing blogs written by male and female volleyball players as well as other sports athletes competing around the world. According to the Athletes Abroad website, the site was created to fill a void allowing new and veteran foreign athletes playing overseas to conveniently seek relevant information, connect and share informative and funny stories when it comes to living overseas as a professional and foreign athlete. Adams went on to say “We know how hard it is to be a professional athlete and live overseas for more than half of the year away from friends and family. To keep up with everyone all over the world, many people create personal blogs to share our experiences. As a way to congregate everyone's lives virtually as well as give advice to those first experiencing this way of life, we created ‘Athletes Abroad’. On our website, there are different categories that will be our focus: Living, Love, Travel, Food and Health, Countries, and Athletes. Think of it as an athlete lifestyle website.” Athletes Abroad currently includes 14 female bloggers including National Team athletes Kayla Banwarth, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Jenna Hagglund, Sonja Newcomb and Adams. The site includes Max Holt, Erik Shoji, Murphy Tory, Andy Hein and Dustin Watten. To follow Athletes Abroad and get the inside skinny on how athletes live overseas, visit the group on Facebook by clicking here or visit on Twitter at @AthletesAbroad1.
2013 YEARBOOK: Take a look at the 2013 U.S. Women's Yearbook with 118 pages recapping the season through match-by-match pictorial recaps, team and individual season stats, player bios, analysis of the season from the coaching staff and much more. Click here to view the yearbook.
PAOLINI WITH HITACHI IN JAPAN: Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), a middle blocker with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, is playing for Hitachi Rivale in the Japanese V-League top division. Hitachi edged Hisamitsu Springs 28-26, 20-25, 25-27, 25-20, 16-14 on Dec. 21. Paolini totaled 20 points with 16 kills on 31 attacks, three blocks and an ace in the victory. However, the tables were reversed on Dec. 22 as Hitachi lost a tough five-set match to Okayama with scores of 25-13, 25-27, 17-25, 23-25, 15-5. Paolini pocketed 18 points for Hitachi with 15 kills on 34 attacks, two blocks and an ace.
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. In the Russia Super League, Kazan (8-0) dominated Hara Morin 25-22, 25-14, 25-19 on Dec. 20. Larson notched nine points with six kills, two aces and a block to go with a 42 positive reception percent on 12 chances. For a photo gallery of the match, click here. Kazan, the only undefeated team in the Russia Super League, resumes regular season action on Jan. 8 against Ufimochka-UGNTU. In CEV Champions League, Kazan advanced to the Playoff 12 Round where it will face Russian rival Dinamo Moscow in a home-and-home series on Jan. 15 and Jan. 22. Kazan concluded the League stage atop Pool F with a 5-1 record, while Moscow finished 4-2 in Pool B for second place.
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. Amil rallied to defeat Unilver 21-18, 14-21, 18-21, 21-14, 15-9 on Dec. 17 in Round 11 of the Brazil Super League. Hildebrand secured 10 points to go with 20 digs in the victory. Amil powered past Uniara 21-12, 21-13, 21-17 on Dec. 20 as Hildebrand notched a match-high 11 points with 11 kills on 18 attacks. Volei Amil, currently in third place with a 10-2 record and 29 points, concludes the first half of the Brazil Super League on Jan. 7 against sixth-place Brasilia Volei (5-7, 18 points).
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. Minas was handed a heart-breaking 16-21, 21-13, 21-18, 18-21, 17-15 loss by Sao Bernardo Volei on Dec. 17 in the 11th Round of the Brazil Super League. Bergsma netted a match-high 19 points with 15 kills on 52 attacks, two blocks and two aces. Minas lost to Rio Do Sul 21-14, 21-17, 16-21, 21-14 on Dec. 20. However, Bergsma totaled a match-high 18 points with 16 kills on 33 attacks, one block and one ace. Minas, now 2-10 with seven points, concludes the first half of the Brazil Super League on Jan. 7 against sixth-place Sao Cristovao Saude (6-6, 18 points).
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 earned a key 21-17, 21-14, 20-22, 21-15 victory over Sesi Sao Paulo on Dec. 17 in the 11th stage of the Brazil Super League. Scott collected nine blocks as part of her 11-point performance in the victory. Brasilia could not maintain the same level in its next match, losing to Molico/Nestle 23-21, 21-18, 21-12. Scott totaled seven points in the loss with three kills, three blocks and a block. Brasilia Volei, currently in a sixth-place tie with a 5-7 record and 18 points, finishes the first half of the Brazil Super League on Jan. 7 against third-place Volei Amil (10-2, 29 points).
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 downed Uniara 21-10, 21-13, 18-21, 21-15 on Dec. 18. Glass tallied 10 points and 11 digs in the victory. Banana Boat captured a hard-fought 14-21, 21-13, 21-18, 21-15 victory over Sao Bernardo on Dec. 20. Glass did not play in the match. Banana Boat, currently in fifth place with an 8-4 record and 23 points, finishes the first half of the Brazil Super League on Jan. 7 against 14th-place Maranhao Volei (2-10, 5 points). To follow her blog, 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 dominated Henan Xin Yuan 25-20, 25-8, 25-15 on Dec. 21 to move to 6-0 in the regular season. Hodge picked up 18 points with 16 kills on 21 attacks, one block and one ace. Faucette added 10 points with nine kills on 12 attacks. However, Evergrande lost its first match of the season with a 25-20, 25-16, 25-19 setback to Beijing Automotive on Dec. 24. Faucette led the team with seven kills on 12 attacks, while Hodge played just the first set netting three points. Evergrande recovered in its next match to top Shanghai 25-19, 27-25, 17-25, 25-21 on Dec. 29. Faucette moved over to outside hitter and scored 27 points with 25 kills on 55 attacks, one block and one ace. Hodge did not play in the match. Evergrande won its second straight match with Hodge by defeating Jiangsu 25-18, 25-17, 25-19 on Jan. 2. Faucette tallied nine points in the victory. Evergrande dropped its second match of the season on Jan. 5 to Shandong, 31-29, 25-20, 25-18. Faucette recorded 10 points in the loss. Evergrande, now 8-2 overall in its regular season pool, holds a two-match lead over second place Shanghai and Beijing Automotive (6-4).
BOWN, SPICER WITH SHANGHAI IN CHINA: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team selection and silver medalist in 2008, and former U.S. National Team member Nellie Spicer are competing for Shanghai in the Chinese League this winter. Shanghai lost a five-set match to Jiangsu 22-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 23-21 on Dec. 21. Bown pocketed 17 points 15 kills on 24 attacks, one block and one ace. Shanghai came back to defeat Shandong 25-19, 25-23, 25-20 on Dec. 24. Bown totaled 12 points in the victory, including three blocks. Shanghai was not able to keep the momentum going as it lost to Evergrande 19-25, 27-25, 25-17, 25-21 on Dec. 29. Bown led Shanghai with 15 points including five blocks, while Spicer came off the bench to start the last two sets and score three kills and 36 assists. Shanghai rebounded with a 25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 25-14 victory over Beijing Automotive on Jan. 2. Bown charted 21 points with 13 kills on 17 attacks, six blocks and two aces. Spicer started the first three sets to contribute 23 assists and one kill. Shanghai overpowered Henan Xin Yuan 25-18, 25-12, 25-16 on Jan. 5. Spicer started all three sets helping Shanghai to convert 42 kills on 58 attack attempts, including three kills of her own. Bown did not play in the match. Shanghai is tied for second place with a 6-4 record, two matches behind Group II leader Evergrande (8-2).
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. Conegliano lost to Italian Serie A1 leader Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza 21-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-17 on Dec. 22. Lloyd tallied three blocks in the loss. Conegliano bounced back to defeat Openjobmetis Ornavasso 25-21, 20-25, 25-18, 25-18 on Dec. 26. Lloyd set her team to a 36 kill percent while scoring four individual points with two blocks, an ace and a kill. Conegliano, now in fourth place with a 5-3 record and 15 points, resumes the Italian League regular season on Jan. 12 against sixth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (4-4, 12 points). In CEV Champions League action Conegliano has advanced to the Playoff 12 round where it will take on Russia’s Omichka Omsk in a home-and-home series with matches on Jan. 15 and Jan. 23. Conegliano ended the League phase with a 4-2 record and in second place in Pool E. Omichka concluded Pool A with a 4-2 record and in second place.
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 the CEV Champions League, Volero meets Italy’s Rebecchi Meccanica Piacenza in a home-and-home Playoff 12 round with matches on Jan. 16 and Jan. 21. Volero finished the League round with a 4-2 record and in second place in Pool F, while Piacenza led Pool B with a 5-1 record.
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.
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. In the Polish Orlen League, Tauron had its 12th round match versus league-leader KPS Chemik Police on Dec. 21 postponed until Jan. 22. Tauron, now in fifth place with a 6-5 record and 18 points, Polski Cukier Musynianka on Jan. 8 in its next Olen League match. Adams is maintaining a blog during her travels, and is open to the public at rachadams.com.
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. In the Polish Orlen League, Sopot had its last match of 2013 match versus Polski Cukier Musynianka postponed until Jan. 30. Atom Trefl will now play BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biala on Jan. 8. In CEV Champions League, Atom Trefl will face Turkey’s Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul in the Playoff 12 Round with home-and-home matches slated for Jan. 15 and Jan. 21. Atom Trefl secured its spot into the Playoff 12 Round by finishing Pool C with a 4-2 record for second place, while Eczacibasi went 6-0 in Pool D.
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 was selected to host the CEV Champions League Final Four scheduled for March 15-16. Baku had concluded the League Round with a 6-0 record to lead Pool A.
WILLOUGHBY WITH IGTISADCHI IN AZERBAIJAN: Kim Willoughby (Napoleonville, La.), a 2008 U.S. Olympic Games silver medalist, is competing for Igtisadchi of the Azerbaijan Super League in 2013-14. In CEV Champions League action, Igtisadchi challenges Turkey’s VakifBank Istanbul in a home-and-home Playoff 12 Round series with matches on Jan. 16 and Jan. 22. Igtisadchi ended the League Round with a 3-3 record and in third place in Pool B. VakifBank concluded Pool C with a perfect 6-0 record.
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. In CEV Cup action, Lokomotiv will face Polski Cukier Fakro Muzyna in the 4th Final Round home-and-home series on Jan. 14 and Jan. 21. To follow her blog throughout the year, visit laurengibby.blogspot.com.
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. Vilsbiburg resumes league action on Jan. 11 against Aurubis Hamburg following the holiday break.
HOOD WITH ILBANK IN TURKEY: Outside hitter Regan Hood (Dallas) is playing for Ilbank of the Turkish League this winter. Ilbank resumes the regular season against CET Halkbank on Jan. 11 following the holiday hiatus.
ALISHA GLASS WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKEY: Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) is competing this winter with Fenerbahce in Turkey. In the Turkish League, Fenerbahce faces Eregli Bld on Jan. 11 following the break for the holidays. In CEV Cup action, Fenerbahce will face LP Salo in the home-and-home series on Jan. 14 and Jan. 21.
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 plays Besiktas on Jan. 11 to open the 2014 portion of the Turkish League regular season In CEV Champions League action, Eczacibasi ended Pool D with a 6-0 record to advance to the Playoff 12 Round where it will face Poland’s Atom Trefl Sopot in a home-and-home series on Jan. 15 and Jan. 21. Atom Trefl finished the League Round with a 4-2 record and in second place in Pool C.
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.