COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 4, 2014) – The current U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Weekly update released on March 4 includes briefs on U.S. players.
UPCOMING TRAINING GROUP RED-BLUE MATCHES: The U.S. Women’s Volleyball Training Team plays its second of four scheduled USA Red-Blue matches on March 7 at the Fairgrounds Volleyball Center in Del Mar, Calif. A question and answer session with select athletes begins the evening at 5:15 p.m. PT and the match follows at 7 p.m. The contest, open and free to the public, will be hosted by Wave Volleyball Club where current Training Team members Kelly Reeves (San Diego) and Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) played club volleyball. The Training Team is in its eight-week Winter Training Block that started Jan. 27.
The Red-Blue roster features these athletes: Setters – Sydney Gedryn (Cal St. Northridge – San Jose, Calif.), Molly Kreklow (Missouri, Delano, Minn.) and Lauren Plum (Oregon, Poway, Calif.); Outside Hitters – Haley Eckerman (Texas, Waterloo, Iowa), Hayley Hodson (Tstreet Volleyball Club, Newport Beach, Calif.), Kat Luft (Loyola Marymount, Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Maddie Martin (Penn State, Tampa, Fla.), Kelly Reeves (San Diego, UCLA), Kelsey Robinson (Nebraska, Bartlett, Ill.) and Taylor Simpson (Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colo.); Liberos – Nicole Davis (Southern California, Newport Beach, Calif.), Natalie Hagglund (Southern California, Encinitas, Calif.), Betsi Metter (Loyola Marymount, Phoenix) and Stevi Robinson (Pepperdine/Southern California, Hermosa Beach, Calif.); Opposites – Kylin Munoz (Washington, Monroe, Wash.) and Bailey Webster (Texas, Baltimore, Md.); Middle Blockers – Chloe Ferrari (San Diego, Clovis, Calif.), Alexis Mathews (Michigan State, Detroit, Mich.), Alexis Olgard (Southern California, Spokane, Wash.) and Katie Slay (Penn State, Raleigh, N.C.).
REVIEWING FIRST RED-BLUE MATCH: Chloe Ferrari (Clovis, Calif.) paced the offense in the first Red-Blue match of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Training Team held Feb. 28 at Fullerton College. She scored a match-high 17 points with 14 kills, two blocks and an ace while converting 58 percent of her attacks from the middle blocker position. Six other players reached double-figure scoring, including Maddie Martin (Tampa, Fla.) scoring 16 points with 11 kills and a match-high five aces. Kelly Reeves (San Diego) tacked on 14 points and eight digs, while Kat Luft (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) provided 13 points and six digs. Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif.), a high-school senior-to-be in 2014, contributed 13 points, followed by Alexis Mathews (Detroit, Mich.) with 11 points and Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) with 10 points. Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) recorded a match-high 10 digs, while Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) added nine digs. The match was played using a modified scoring format with six sets played to 15 points each and players switching teams offering different lineup combinations.
CALVIN COLLEGE COACH PITCHING NEW TECHNOLOGY TO NATIONAL TEAM: Innovative ideas come from all segments of volleyball, and that is no exception in what Calvin College Head Coach Amber Warners will bring to the table during the U.S. Women’s Volleyball Training Team over the next two weeks. Warners, who led Calvin College to the 2013 NCAA Division III national title and was named AVCA Division III Coach of the Year, will work alongside Team USA head coach Karch Kiraly and his staff during the Training Team’s Winter Training Block. During this period, she will discuss with Kiraly how she created a new sophisticated wireless microphone system at Calvin College that allows her players and coaches to communicate through earpieces during practice. As part of the process, the team will be working on "self-talk vs. body language" studies, according to Kiraly. The concept was conceived to enhance her coaching as the play unfolded. For more details on her innovative wireless communication system, click here.
LICHTMAN BLOGS ON LOW EXPECTATIONS AND HAPPINESS: Cassidy Lichtman produced a different perspective on happiness based on expectations in a blog distributed on March 2. As part of her blog, she wrote “Karch was telling us about a book he had read which argued that happiness comes from low expectations. It might seem a little pessimistic at first glance but it’s really just about not taking things for granted.” Read her full blog on fulfilling happiness through expectations by clicking here.
GIBBEMEYER, 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, while middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) transferred to Conegliano in February. Conegliano rallied past Robur Tiboni Urbino 23-25, 25-20, 29-27, 25-20 on March 1. Gibbemeyer collected 12 points with eight kills on 19 attacks and four blocks. Lloyd set the squad to a 33 kill percent while adding seven individual points via four blocks and three kills on six attacks. Conegliano, currently in second place with a 10-3 record and 30 points, challenges fourth-place Liu Jo Modena(10-3, 28 points) on March 5 in its next league match followed by 11th-place Banca Di Forli (1-13, 4 points) on March 9.
MURPHY WITH NOVARA IN ITALY: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill.) joined Igo Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 league midway through the league schedule. Novara beat Liu Jo Modena 25-22, 17-25, 25-20, 25-20 on March 2 in Novara. Kelly pocketed 13 kills on 35 attacks, one block and one ace for 15 points in the victory. Novara, currently in fifth place with an 8-6 record and 24 points, will seek to continue the win streak on March 5 against 10th-place Ihf Volley Frosinone (2-12, 6 points) followed by sixth-place Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio (8-6, 23 points) on March 9.
ALISHA GLASS WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKEY: Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) is competing this winter with Fenerbahce in Turkey. In CEV Cup action, Fenerbahce swept Azeryol Baku for the second time in the home-and-home semifinal round with the latest meeting a 25-8, 25-17, 25-17 victory on March 1 in Azerbaijan. Glass set her team to a 40 kill percent while adding an individual kill and block for two points. Fenerbahce will now face Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg in the home-and-home final round on March 26 and March 29 for the CEV Cup title. In the Turkish League, Fenerbahce’s (17-1) eighth-round match versus 11th-place Canakkale (4-14) was held back until March 11 while it will face fourth-place Galatasaray (15-3) on March 8 in the regularly scheduled ninth round match.
HOOD WITH ILBANK IN TURKEY: Outside hitter Regan Hood (Dallas) is playing for Ilbank of the Turkish League this winter. Ilbank lost to league-leader VakifBank 28-26, 25-17, 25-18 on March 1. Hood secured nine points in the loss with six kills on 30 attacks, two blocks and an ace. She added an 82 positive reception percent on 17 chances. Ilbank, which remained in sixth place with a 9-10 record, returns to competition on March 9 against sixth-place Besiktas (9-9).
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. Korea Expressway downed Hyundai Engineering and Construction 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-13 on March 1 as Fawcett tallied 31 kills and a block in the victory to lead her squad. Korea Expressway, 12-14 overall with 36 points for fourth place, returns to action on March 8 versus second-place GS Caltex (18-8, 51 points).
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 Swiss League double round-robin playoffs, Volero defeated second-place Volley Koniz 25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20 on March 1 to remain undefeated in four matches. Volero takes on fifth-place TSV Dudingen I in consecutive matches on March 5 and March 9.
HAGGLUND, MIYASHIRO WITH VILSBIBURG IN GERMANY: 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. With both Hagglund and Miyashiro out of the lineup, Vilsbiburg defeated VolleyStars Thuringen 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 in the German Cup title match on March 2. Bartsch recorded 13 points with 12 kills on 36 attacks and an ace for 13 points. Lamb added five kills on nine errorless attacks and a team-high four blocks for nine points in the sweep. The squad returns to regular-season action on March 8 against Kopenicker SC Berlin. Vilsbiburg is in second place in the regular season with 37 points, four behind VC Wiesbaden.
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 lost to Toray 19-25, 25-18, 16-25, 25-19, 15-8 on March 1. Paolini contributed 17 kills on 35 errorless attacks to go with three blocks for 20 points. For the second time in two days, Hitachi lost a five-set match with a 28-26, 16-25, 25-19, 25-27, 15-13 loss to Toyota on March 2. Paolini charted 19 kills on 40 attacks and three blocks for 22 points. With the consecutive losses, Hitachi falls to sixth place with a 10-12 record.
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 is currently in second place with a 19-4 record and 56 points, one point ahead of third-place Unilever (19-4, 55 points). After a league hiatus with Carnival in Brazil, Amil returns to action with a home match on March 7 against third-place Unilever that can be watched on SporTV in Brazil.
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 challenges Sao Bernardo Volei on March 7 following a week hiatus for Carnival.
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, which is in seventh place with a 10-13 record and 35 points, returns to action on March 6 against fourth-place Sesi Sao Paulo after a week break for Carnival.
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 Tori Dixon 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 and has a direct spot in the semifinals.
LICHTMAN WITH LOKOMOTIV IN AZERBAIJAN: Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, joined Lokomotiv Baku late in the 2013-14 season to compete in Azerbaijan Super League. Lokomotiv lost to Azerrail Baku 25-22, 22-25, 25-13, 21-25, 15-13 on Feb. 21. Lichtman scored six kills and two aces in the loss. American Alexis Crimes also tallied 14 points with seven kills, six blocks and an ace in the setback.
ADAMS WITH TAURON BANIMEX 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 Banimex Dabrowa Gornicza. In the Polish Cup semifinals, Tauron will face Muszynianka on March 8 while the other semifinal match has Chemik playing Aluprof. In the Polish Orlen League Playoffs, Tauron opens the best-of-five quarterfinal round on March 16 against BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biala. 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. Sopot opens the best-of-five quarterfinal round on March 15 against Beef Master Budowlani Boat.
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 is resumes action on March 5 against Fakel Novy Urengoy after a 12-day layoff from the schedule. Kazan leads the 11-team standings with a 13-0 record, six points and two victories ahead of second-place Omichka. In CEV Champions League, Kazan will make its second appearance in the Final Four Tournament of the CEV Champions League. Kazan will travel to Baku, Azerbaijan for the Final Four scheduled for March 15-16.