U.S. Women's Update - May 12

May 12, 2010, 1:28 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 12, 2010) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on May 12 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 USA National Team Center facility at American Sports Centers in Anaheim, 2010 season stats and other fan interaction sections, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. Blair Brown and Arielle Wilson, now training with the U.S. Women’s National Team, may become the first collegiate players since 1996 to accomplish this feat when they return to Penn State this fall? 2. How many annual FIVB World Grand Prix events has the U.S. qualified to compete? 3. When was the last time the U.S. Women’s National Team won the FIVB World Grand Prix? Answers can be found on page three in the full PDF version (click here) of the current U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly update.

SPRING TRAINING BLOCK STARTS: The U.S. Women’s National Team started its spring training block on April 26 and currently has a total of 19 players training at the USA National Team Center located within the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. Joining the team in the past week include Ashley Engle (Yorba Linda, Calif.), along with Penn State seniors-to-be Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) and Ariel Wilson (Broadview, Ill.). The team training sessions 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. Players currently training include middle blockers Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), Tracy Stalls (Denver, Colo.), Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Ariel Wilson (Broadview, Ill.). Outside hitters/opposite include Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.), Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.), Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), Heather Hughes (Fallbrook, Calif.), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.), Brittany Moore (Orange, Calif.), Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah) and Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.). The setters training include Ashley Engle (Yorba Linda, Calif.), Bryn Kehoe (North Bend, Ohio) and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.). The libero position has Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) and Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) training with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

A2 TEAM GEARS UP FOR TRAINING, COMPETITION: The 2010 U.S. Women’s National A2 program is scheduled to train May 24-28 in Tempe, Ariz., before being split into two 12-player rosters to compete in the Open Division of the 2010 USA Open National Championships held in nearby Phoenix. The Open Division flight takes place May 29-June 1 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Additional information on the tournament can be found at www.usavolleyball.org/events/2245. Middle blockers selected for the A2 National program are Rachael Adams (University of Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio), Alyssa Davis (Auburn University, Oakland Park, Fla.), Jen Doris (University of Texas, Houston), Lindsay Fletemier (University of Dayton, Garden City, Mich.), Sabel Moffett (Northwestern University, Temecula, Calif.) and Dominique Olowolafe (Cal Poly, Lansing, Mich.). Setters selected for the A2 squad are Carli Lloyd (University of California-Berkeley, Bonsall, Calif.), Kelly Murphy (University of Florida, Wilmington, Ill.), Evan Sanders (Colorado State University, Lafayette, Colo.) and Paige Weber (University of Arizona, Indianapolis, Ind.). Liberos/Defensive specialists chosen for the A2 program are Ellie Blankenship (University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa), Laura Gonzalez (University of Albany, Carolina, Puerto Rico), Ashley Mass (Iowa State University, Muskego, Wis.) and Sydney Yogi (University of Texas, Honolulu). Outside hitters and opposites named to the A2 team are Kelsey Black (Texas A&M, Amarillo, Texas), Kanani Danielson (University of Hawaii, Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Laura DeBruler (University of Illinois, Downers Grove, Ill.), Whitney Dosty (University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.), Juliann Faucette (University of Texas, San Diego, Calif.), Nikki Fowler (University of Tennessee, Dallas, Texas), Monique Mead (Georgia Tech, Newnan, Ga.), Tarah Murrey (University of California-Berkeley, El Cerrito, Calif.), Juliane Piggot (UC Irvine, Newport Beach, Calif.) and Ali Troost (University of San Diego, Hemet, Calif.). For the full article, click here.

1964 AND 1968 OLYMPIANS TO BE HONORED AT BOYCE: Fanny Hopeau, a member of the 1968 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team, will be presented the Flo Hyman All-Time Great Player Award during the 65th Annual Dorothy C. Boyce Awards Ceremony held May 27 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Meanwhile, Jane Ward of the 1964 and 1968 U.S. Women’s Olympic Teams will be presented with the James E. Coleman National Team Award at the Boyce Banquet. For more information, click here.

BERG CLOSING IN ON ITALIAN FINALS BERTH: 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. Villa Cortese is the No. 2 seed in the Italian Serie A playoffs and will face top-seed Scavolini Pesaro in the best-of-five final round starting May 13. Last week, Villa Cortese concluded its best-of-five semifinals series with Foppapedretti Bergamo with a 3-1 series win following a 25-22, 26-28, 22-25, 25-19, 15-12 come-from-behind victory on May 7. Berg set Villa Cortese to a 44 kill percent for the match and .276 hitting efficiency in the contest. She added a kill and ace for two individual points. Meanwhile, Scavolini Pesaro advanced to the finals with a 3-1 series win over Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi. The final round will have matches on May 13, May 15 and May 18. If necessary, matches four and five will be played May 20 and May 23. Last season, Villa Cortese competed in the Italian Serie A2 division but earned a spot in this year’s upper division. To follow Berg throughout the season, check out her blog at lindseyberg.blogspot.com.

BOWN SEASON ENDS IN ITALY: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time Olympian with the U.S. Women’s National Team, competed for Monte Schiavo Banca Marche Jesi in the Italian Serie A professional league this past winter. Jesi, the No. 4 seed in the Italian Serie A Playoffs, lost its best-of-five semifinal series playoff with top-seed Scavolini Pesaro. In the fourth match of the series on May 6, Pesaro won 25-20, 25-20, 25-21 to clinch a spot in the final round. Bown turned in 10 points in the loss with seven kills on 18 swings and just one error to go with three blocks.

JOINES TAMAS, BUSSE VERSUS HOOKER IN PUERTO RICO FINALS: Jen Joines Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.) and Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.), both members of the U.S. Women’s National Team, are playing for 2009 Puerto Rico League champion Toa Baja in 2010. Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) joined Corozal of the Puerto Rico Super League late in the regular season and has made a difference in Pinkin advancing in the playoffs. The two teams are currently squaring off against each other in the league’s best-of-seven final round for the playoff title. Corozal rallied from a two-set deficit in the opening match on May 6 to win 19-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19, 16-14 on the strength of Hooker’s 41 kills and two aces for a post-season Puerto Rico League record 43 points. In the process, she had just three hitting errors and added 16 digs and 15 successful reception passes. Former U.S. Women’s National Team player Shonda Cole added 21 points in the Corozal victory. Joines Tamas led Toa Baja with 17 points via 15 kills and two blocks, while Busse added seven points in the loss. Corozal went up 2-0 in the series with an 18-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-21 victory on May 8. Hooker scored an eye-opening 39 points in the four-set victory, which included 35 kills, three blocks and an ace. For the second match in a row, Cole added 21 points thanks to 16 kills and a match-high five blocks. Busse produced 13 points in the loss, while American teammate Joines Tamas added eight kills. In the third match of the series held on May 10, Corozal captured a 27-25, 25-20, 25-20 victory to move within one victory of the tournament title. Hooker once again led Corozal with 26 points via 23 kills and three blocks, while Cole chipped in 18 points. Busse led Toa Baja with 13 points, all on kills, while Joines Tamas added 10 points. For the first three matches of the series, Hooker is averaging 9.0 points per set, including 8.25 kills per set. For photos of the match, click here. Corozal will attempt to close out the series on May 12. Toa Baja will hope to continue the series with matches also on May 14, May 16 and May 18.

TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. Brown and Wilson could become the first players since Washington University in St. Louis did it in 1996 to win NCAA titles in all four years of their collegiate careers; 2. The U.S. will play in its 17th FIVB World Grand Prix this summer, missing just the 1999 event since its inception in 1993; 3. The U.S. Women’s National Team won its last FIVB World Grand Prix championship in 2001. Team USA’s only other title in the event was in 1995.