U.S. Women's Update - Jan. 26

Jan. 26, 2010, 6:21 p.m. (ET)

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 26, 2010) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on Jan. 26 includes briefs on U.S. players competing overseas, player information, Volley-Tweets, trivia questions and much more.

For the complete PDF version including a complete list of players training at the team’s facility at American Sports Centers in Anaheim, the U.S. international transfer list, 2009 season stats and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. What is Nellie Spicer’s given first name? 2. Which U.S. Women’s National Team member earned is the daughter of a 1980 and 1984 USA Olympic Water Polo Team player? Which current U.S. Women’s National Team player started playing club volleyball with Fitness Plus 14s? Answers can be found on page four in the full PDF version (click here) of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.

TRAINING TRIP TO CHINA: The U.S. Women’s National Training Team will travel to China Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 for an exhibition against Guangdong Evergrande Women’s Volleyball Team of the Chinese professional league. The Chinese team is coached by 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team Head Coach “Jenny” Lang Ping and includes U.S. Women’s National Team players Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.). The match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the new Guangzhou Gymnasium in Guangzhou. The match will be aired on national television in China on CCTV, which is available in some United States television markets. The match can also be viewed online at http://sports.cntv.cn. An additional scrimmage may take place against Evergrande prior to the scheduled match. The American roster, led by U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand), includes Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.), Ellen Herman (Toledo, Ohio), Megan Hodge (Raleigh, N.C.), Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), Katie Kimmich (Lakeside, Calif.) and Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) as outside and opposite hitters. Middle blockers on the trip will be Mekana Barnes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Tracy Stalls (Denver) and Cheryl Weaver (Washington, D.C.). Setters are Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) and Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio). Liberos traveling to China will be Jessica Fine (Tarzana, Calif.) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii). All but Glass, Herman and Hodge are currently training with the U.S. Women’s National Team in Anaheim. Glass and Hodge, who recently helped Penn State win its third consecutive NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship last month, are seniors at Penn State and working to complete their degree requirements. Likewise, Herman is still senior at Ohio University. Collymore and Miyashiro finished their collegiate careers at the University of Washington last month. The U.S. Women’s National Training Team took a trip to China in spring of 2008 with Lang Ping leading a young group of American athletes playing against Chinese professional teams. The Chinese and American National Volleyball Teams have a healthy rivalry dating back 30 years, and the upcoming Feb. 2 match celebrates those 30 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. For the full release, visit click here.

UPDATE TO INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER LIST: Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.), a setter with the U.S. Women’s National Team, has signed a professional contract to play for Leonas de Ponce of the Puerto Rican Superliga in 2010. Other members of the U.S. Women’s National Team may be nearing the formalization of transfer paperwork to play in the Puerto Rico league that starts in mid-February, but USA Volleyball cannot make such announcements until international transfers are finalized. Other recent international transfers include Shonda Cole signing to play for Caguas in Puerto Rico, Kelly Wing returning to Puerto Rico to play for Juncos Valencianas, Nichole Clark signing with Switzerland’s VBC Fribourg, Jessica Hohl signing to play for Spain’s CV Miranda, Savannah Noyes and Quin Verdin playing for VK Dporastav Bratislava in Slovakia and Carrie Beck leaving her Spanish Club CV Benidorm on Jan. 10. For the full transfer list that has been approved, see pages 2 and 3 of the PDF version of the current U.S. Women’s Team Weekly Update.

UPDATE TO SECOND TRAINING SESSION ROSTER: A total of 18 players are currently training with the U.S. Women’s National Team during its second winter training block that ends April 9, including three college players making the trip to China for an exhibition match against Evergrande. The team training sessions held at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., are open to the public. Training times are generally Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while Fridays often vary on times and location. Middle blockers include Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Cheryl Weaver (Washington, D.C.), Mekana Barnes (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Brittnee Cooper (Houston). Outside hitters/opposite include Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.), Katie Wilkins Kimmich (Lakeside, Calif.), Brittany Moore (Orange, Calif.), Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.) and Airial Salvo (Farmington, Utah). Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and Ellen Herman (Toledo, Ohio) are part of the trip to China, but will return to Penn State and Ohio University, respectively, to continue their educations. The setters training include Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio) and Nicole Vargas (Seal Beach, Calif.). Alisha Glass (Leland, Calif.) is taking a break from classes at Penn State to join Team USA against Evergrande this coming week. The libero position has Jessica Fine (Tarzana, Calif.) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) training with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Further, Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) and Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) will join the training team in February. Davis and Harmotto, who play for Evergrande in the Chinese professional league, will return to Anaheim after facing their own teammates in the Feb. 2 exhibition. Some players could leave for pro opportunities or other circumstances, while the training group could expand at the end February following the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts set for Feb. 19-21 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS AT HP COACHES’ CLINIC: Six U.S. Women’s National Team players and all three coaching staff members of the team took part in the Seventh Annual USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches’ Clinic held Jan. 21-23 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The clinic attracted 140 participants, including a handful of international coaches. Middle blockers Jennifer Joines Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) and Tracy Stalls (Denver), outsides Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.), and setters Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) served as demonstrators for the clinic. U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) was the headline speaker. Among others making presentations were U.S. Women's National Team Assistant Coach Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.), U.S. Women's National Team Assistant Coach/Technical Coordinator Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.), Director of Sports Medicine and Performance to the U.S. National Volleyball Teams Aaron Brock (Storm Lake, Iowa), USA Volleyball Managing Director of Indoor High Performance Tom Pingel (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Dr. Roberta Kraus provided three sessions on sports psychology. Panelists included Shelton Collier (head coach at Wingate University), Paula Weishoff (head coach at UC Irvine) and Melissa Wolter (head coach at University of West Florida). Since 2004, the USA Volleyball High Performance Department has featured this clinic as a way to bring together great coaching minds to network and share the most current, pertinent and critical issues in the sport. The theme for the clinic is “Getting Up to Speed for London” in reference to the site of the 2012 Olympic Games. For photo galleries of the clinic with the athletes demonstrating and the U.S. Women’s National Team staff presenting, visit www.usavolleyball.org/multimedia/photo_galleries.

NNAMANI, GLASS PACING PROSTEJOV IN CZECH REPUBLIC: Ogonna Nnamani (Bloomington, Ill.) and Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) continue to lead their Czech Republic professional team Prostejov to a 16-0 start. Nnamani tallied seven points while starting the first two sets in a 25-8, 25-13, 25-12 victory over Liberec on Jan. 23. She scored all her points on kills via 10 attack attempts. Glass did not enter the match against the league’s last-place team. Prostejov has three fewer losses than second-place Frydek-Mistek (14-3). Prostejov played Ostrava (5-11) on Jan. 28 and Prerov (4-12) on Jan. 30. In CEV Indesit Champions League play, Prostejov finished 2-4 and in third place in the first-round Pool C to advance to the round of 12. It will face Italy’s Scavolini Pesaro in a home-and-home series on Feb. 11 and a match date between Feb. 16-18. Pesaro won Pool B with a 5-1 record.

RICHARDS, SYKORA HELPING OMICHKA TO RUSSIAN FOREFRONT: Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), an outside hitter and 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate, and three-time U.S. Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) are playing in the Russia Super League with Omichka in Omsk. Omichka defeated Indesit-Lipetsk 27-25, 25-11, 25-22 on Jan. 23 to improve to 10-2 on the season and is currently tied for first place with Dinamo Moscow as both teams have 22 points (although Dinamo Russia has played one less match). Omichka faces Zarechie-Odintsovo on Jan. 27 in a match against the league’s third-place team. Omichka won the first meeting against Odintsovo in a five-set match on Oct. 21. Richards scored 11 points in the that match, and Sykora had yet to join the team.

FAWCETT SCORING IN RUSSIA: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), a U.S. Women’s National Team player, continues to pay dividends for Dinamo-Yantar after joining the team in mid-season. She tallied 19 points with 17 kills on 49 attacks and two aces as Yantar topped Khabarovsk 26-24, 18-25, 25-21, 25-17 on Jan. 23. Fawcett added 15 receptions with a 47 positive percent. Yantar, now 5-7 on the season with 17 points for a tie for seventh place, continues league action on Jan. 27 against Leningradka.

LARSON HELPS DINAMO KAZAN TO WIN: Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is playing in her first professional season of her career in the Russia Superliga with Dinamo Kazan. On Jan. 23, her squad lost to Zarechie-Odintsovo 15-25, 25-27, 25-21, 25-19, 18-16. Statistics for the match are unavailable at this time. Kazan falls to 5-7 on the season and is in a three-way tie for seventh tie with 17 points. Dinamo Kazan returns to action on Jan. 27 against Avtodor-Metar.

DAVIS, HARMOTTO WITH LANG PING: Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), the libero on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that won the silver medal, and Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.) are playing for Guangdong Evergrande Volleyball Club in the Chinese Professional League under the direction of “Jenny” Lang Ping, who served as head coach for Team USA at the 2008 Olympic Games. Evergrande finished its regular season with a 12-0 record after sweeping Shandong Women’s Volleyball Club 25-19, 25-21, 25-19 on Jan. 26. Shadong was the second-place team in the final standings with a 9-3 record. In its second to last match, Evergrande topped Wuhan Institute of Women’s Volleyball Club 25-10, 25-10, 25-14 on Jan. 18. Harmotto totaled nine points in the victory with seven kills and two blocks. Davis helped the offense to a total of 47 kills with her back-row defense. Harmotto now has 125 points while playing in 10 of the 11 matches. Evergrande has secured a place in next year’s Chinese League A Division after clinching the Division B 2009-2010 title. Established in 2009, the Evergrande team is the first of its kind in the Anta China Women’s Volleyball League as it is the only non-provincial/city-run team. Despite being in the B Division of the league, the squad has received unprecedented media coverage as Central Chinese Television (CCTV) has rebroadcast all of the team’s home matches. League action concludes on Jan. 26, just in time to reunite with members of the U.S. Women’s National Training Team. Team USA travels to China to train and face Evergrande in a Feb. 2 exhibition match in Guangzhou. Davis was part of a similar U.S. training trip to China in the spring of 2008 prior to the Olympic Games in Beijing.

BOWN COMPETING FOR JESI: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda,Calif.), a three-time Olympian with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi in the Italian Serie A professional league. After an idle week in the Italian Serie A Division, Jesi remains 9-4 on the season and in a tie for second place with MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese as both teams have 26 points. Jesi faces sixth-place Yamamay Busto Arsizio on Jan. 31 in its next Serie A match. Bown currently holds the fourth-highest point total among middle blockers in the league with 153 points via 120 kills, 32 blocks and two aces in 48 sets played. She is converting 49.4 percent of her attacks into points with a .366 hitting efficiency.

TOM, ASYSTEL VOLLEY NOVARA: Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah), a three-time Olympian and member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Games silver medal roster, is competing for Asystel Volley Novara in the Italian Serie A professional league this winter. The Italian Serie A Division was idle over the past week. Novara is 7-6 on the season and is in eighth place with 19 points. Novara takes on Cfg Recycle Florens Castellana Grotte on Jan. 31 in its next Serie A match. Tom ranks seventh in scoring among league outside hitters with 210 points off of 177 kills, 23 blocks and 10 aces in 52 sets played. In CEV Indesit Champions League play, Novara has a round of 12 home-and-home series versus Poland’s Enion Energia Dabrowa Gornicza on Feb. 9 or 11 and a match date between Feb. 16-18. Novara’s round of 12 opponent finished third in the first-round Pool B with a 2-4 record. Novara won the first-round Pool D with a 4-2 record.

BERG PUSHING ITALIAN TEAM TO TOP: Lindsey Berg (Honolulu), a setter on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team which won the silver medal in Beijing, is playing for MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese of the Italian Serie A professional league this winter. With the Italian Serie A Division schedule being idle the past week, Cortese remains 9-4 on the season and maintains its second-place ranking with Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi. Cortese will play Zoppas Industries Conegliano on Jan. 31 in its next Serie A match. As a team, Berg has set Cortese to a 41.8 kill percent for fourth-best in the league, despite the squad only having the seventh-best excellent reception percent (43.8) out of the 12-team division. To follow Berg throughout the season, check out her blog at lindseyberg.blogspot.com.

METCALF GEARING UP FOR BRAZIL START: Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Games roster, is in Brazil playing for Usiminas/Minas of the Brazilian Superliga. Usiminas edged Sport/Banco BMG 25-17, 25-18, 23-25, 22-25, 15-12 on Jan. 21 to improve to 6-4 on the season. Metcalf tallied four points in the win. Usiminas challenges Volei Futuro on Jan. 28 and Praia Clube/Banana Boat on Jan. 30 in its next two matches.

BARBOZA STARTS PROFESSIONAL CAREER: Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), an outside hitter with the U.S. Women’s National Team and alternate on both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games rosters, is playing in her first professional volleyball season in Japan V-League with Toray. As a sub on Jan. 23 against Okayama, Barboza entered as a sub in the second and third sets as her team won 26-24, 25-15, 27-25. Barboza subbed into second and third sets in a Jan. 24 three-set loss to Hisamitsu as she tallied two kills on six swings. Toray, now 7-5 on the season and in fourth place, travels to Kanagawa on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 for matches against NEC and Denso.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUTS: USA Volleyball will hold its annual open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team and Associated Training Programs Feb. 19-21, 2010, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Hugh McCutcheon, the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach, will lead the evaluation process for the tryout. As part of the tryout, athletes will compete for spots on the U.S. Women’s Volleyball National Team program and the U.S. Women’s Senior A2 teams. The U.S. Women’s National Team program is open to athletes who have concluded their college eligibility and who wish to train full-time. This program could begin as early as February 2010, or when an athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded. Athletes who will have remaining collegiate eligibility may still participate in the program with participation beginning May 2010 or when their scholastic calendar ends. For the full press release, click here.

TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Mary is Nellie Spicer’s given first name; 2. Nicole Vargas’ father, Joe, played on the 1980 and 1984 USA Olympic Water Polo Teams; 3. Heather Hughes