U.S. Women's Update for Feb. 28

Feb. 28, 2011, 8:48 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 28, 2011) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly update released on Feb. 28 includes briefs on U.S. players competing overseas and other team news.

U.S. WOMEN’S TEAM OPEN TRYOUTS: USA Volleyball had a record 204 athletes participate in open tryouts for the U.S. Women’s National Team, U.S. Women’s National A2 Program and U.S. Women’s Junior National Team in sessions held Feb. 25-27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Despite the record shattering tryout participants – previous record was 174 athletes taking part in the 2010 tryouts – the level of play on the court did not suffer. “I thought this was by far the best Open Tryouts we have ever had for the U.S. Women’s National Team pipeline program,” USA Volleyball Managing Director of High Performance Tom Pingel said. “It was the best overall in regards to the technical level of the players and the depth on the court.” The U.S. Women’s National Team coaching staff – including head coach Hugh McCutcheon (Christchurch, New Zealand) and assistant coaches Karch Kiraly (San Clemente, Calif.) and Paula Weishoff (Irvine, Calif.) – led the evaluation oversight process. According to McCutcheon, the tryouts this weekend were a success. “Overall, I am very happy with the tryouts this weekend,” McCutcheon said. “We had a great group of athletes on the court, and our court coaches and stat crew did well in evaluating the talent. This was a good opportunity for the players to show what they could do.” For the U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts home page that includes the full recap of the event, 748 photos in seven image galleries and feature stories on the participants, click here.

U.S. WOMEN’S TRAINING GROUP SCHEDULES TWO EXHIBITIONS: The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Training Team will participate in two friendly exhibition matches versus Japan’s Girls’ Youth National Team on March 1 and March 2 in the Southern California area. The March 1 exhibition will take place at 7 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Episcopal High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The March 2 exhibition is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Concordia University in Irvine, Calif. Admission to either event will be $5 per person with all tickets purchased at the door. In addition, the Japan Girls’ Youth National Team is scheduled to train several times in Anaheim, Calif., at the American Sports Centers, the training headquarters for both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams. The U.S. training squad is in the middle of its Winter Training block that started on Jan. 17 and will last through mid-April. Tentatively, 14 of the 16 players on the training roster will compete in the two scrimmages. For the full press release, click here.

FORMER NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS LAND COLLEGE JOBS: Lindsey Hunter (Papillion, Neb.), a former U.S. Women’s National Team setter, has been hired as an assistant coach for the University of Missouri women’s volleyball program. Meanwhile, former National Team Training member Ellen Herman was tabbed as an assistant coach at University of Connecticut. Hunter competed on the National Team from 2006 to 2008 and was on the roster for both the 2006 FIVB World Championship and 2006 FIVB World Grand Prix. Hunter, who played collegiately at Missouri from 2002 to 2005, was the first Tiger alum to earn a volleyball medal at a major competition – the bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games. For more details on Hunter, click here. Herman trained with the U.S. Women’s National Team during the summer of 2009 after a four-year career at Ohio University. She was named the most valuable player of the USA Volleyball Open National Championships while playing for the U.S. Women’s A2 Program. For more information on Herman, click here.

SYKORA INDUCTED INTO HOMETOWN HALL OF FAME: Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas), a three-time U.S. Olympic Volleyball player and the 2010 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Athlete of the Year, was inducted into the Burleson Independent School District Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class on Feb. 26. Sykora, who helped the U.S. win the silver medal at the 2008 Olympic Games, was a 1995 graduate of Burleson High School where she was a four-sport standout (volleyball, basketball, cross country, track and field) earning all-district honors in all four disciplines. Sykora earned all-state honors in both volleyball and basketball.

NORIEGA SET TO BE ENSHRINED IN HALL: Sarah Noriega Sulentor, a 2000 Olympian with the U.S. Women’s Volleyball Team, will be one of eight individuals to be enshrined into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor on March 5. She was selected the 1997 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and AVCA All-America First-Team the same season. Noriega Sulentor helped the Lions to three WCC championships and paced LMU to the NCAA Division I Tournament Sweet 16 in 1996. For her LMU career, she ranks fifth all-time in kills (1,446), second in kill average (4.71) and third in attack percentage (.319). Noriega Sulentor still holds the NCAA record for kills in a four-set match, when she record 47 kills versus University of San Diego on Nov. 7, 1997.

HOOKER WITH ITALY’S PESARO: Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas), who played her first season with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2010, is currently competing for Scavolini Pesaro of the Italian Serie A League. In the Italian Serie A league, Pesaro rallied to defeat sixth-place Yamamay Busto Arsizio 23-25, 27-29, 25-22, 25-22, 15-9 on Feb. 27 as returned from a brief absence in Serie A competition. She scored a match-high 31 points with 26 points coming via 56 attacks and five blocks. Hooker added a 54 percent positive service reception on a team-high 39 attempts. Pesaro, now 9-4 overall and in first place with 29 total points, challenges second-place Norda Foppapedretti Bergamo (9-4, 27 points) on March 6 in its next league match. In CEV Champions League action, Pesaro rallied to defeat Switzerland’s Volero Zurich 25-27, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 in the first home-and-home series of the Playoff 6 Round on Feb. 23 for Feb. 23. Hooker notched 21 points with 15 kills, four aces and two blocks in the victory. The two team will meet again on March 3.

BERG, HODGE WITH VILLA CORTESE IN ITALY: U.S. Women’s National Team setter Lindsey Berg (Honolulu) and Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) are competing for MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese in the Italian Serie A league during the 2010-11 professional club season. In Italian Serie A action, Villa Cortese (9-4, 25 points) held off eighth place Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza (6-7, 15 points) 25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 25-20 on Feb. 27. Hodge, continuing her play at the opposite position, rattled off a match-high 25 points with 22 kills on 45 swings and three blocks. Berg set her team to a 43 kill percent while adding four individual kills on seven attempts. Villa Cortese, now in fourth place in the Italian Serie A standings, challenges 11th-place Despar Perugia (3-10, 11 points) on March 6 in its next match.

PAOLINI WITH NOVARA IN ITALY: Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), a middle blocker on the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing this professional season in Italy with Asystel Volley Novara of the Italian Serie A Division. On Feb. 27, Novara defeated seventh-place Chateau d’Ax Urbino Volley (8-5, 21 points) 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 to improve to 8-5 overall on the season. Paolini totaled seven points with five kills on 11 errorless attacks to go with two blocks. Novara, now in third place in the Italian Serie A with 26 points, plays 12th-place Riso Scotti Pavia (1-12, 4 points) on March 5 in its next match.

KIM GLASS WITH RABITA BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.), a 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Rabita Baku of the Azerbaijan professional league in 2010-11. Rabita opened the CEV Champions League Playoff 6 Round home-and-home with a convincing 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 victory over Poland’s Bank BPS Fakro Muszyna on Feb. 24. Glass started just the first set and subbed into the third set, compiling five kills on 12 attacks with one error. She added an ace for six total points. The two teams meet again on March 3 for the deciding match as to which squad advances.

TAMAS WITH AZERRAIL BAKU: Jennifer Tamas (Milpitas, Calif.), a 2008 Olympic Games silver medalist playing middle blocker for Team USA, is playing for Azerrail Baku of the Azerbaijan Super during the 2010-11 professional club season. In CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup action, Azerrail rallied to defeat Finland’s LP Salo 19-25, 25-15, 24-26, 25-14, 15-9 to open the 4th Final Round home-and-home series on Feb. 23. The two teams will meet again on March 2 to decide who advances to the semifinals.

IGTISADCHI LOADED WITH AMERICANS IN AZERBAIJAN: Two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Tayyiba Haneef-Park (Laguna Hills, Calif.) is playing for Igtisadchi of the Azerbaijan Super League. In CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup action, Igtisadchi topped Czech Republic’s Kralovo Polo Brno 25-20, 25-19, 25-17 on Feb. 23 to open the Playoff 4 Round home-and-home series. The teams will meet again on March 2, a must-win match for Kralovo Polo Brno to force a Golden Set. The Playoff 4 Round winner advances to the semifinal round to be played between March 15-20 in a home-and-home format.

DAVIS, METCALF, RICHARDS HEADLINE LOKOMOTIV BAKU IN AZERBAIJAN: U.S. Olympians Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) and Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa), along with 2008 U.S. Olympic Team alternate Kristin Richards (Orem, Utah), are playing for Lokomotiv Baku of the Azerbaijan Super League. In the CEV GM Capital Challenge Cup, Lokomotiv swept Germany’s Schweriner SC 25-23, 25-19, 25-16 in the Playoff 4 Round home-and-home opener on Feb. 22. The teams will close out the series on March 1. Lokomotiv will advance to the event’s semifinal round with a match victory or a Golden Set win should Schweriner SC take the second match.

TOM WITH GUANGDONG HENGDA IN CHINA UNDER FORMER U.S. HEAD COACH: Three-time U.S. Olympian Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) is playing for Guangdong Hengda (also known as Evergrande) in the Chinese club league’s top division. Evergrande, led by 2008 U.S. Olympic Games head coach “Jenny” Lang Ping, is on a four-match win streak following a 25-14, 25-22, 25-16 victory over Brilliance China Automotive Liaoning on Feb. 26. Tom scored 14 kills on 20 swings to go with a block for 15 points in the victory. Evergrande, 12-2 and now tied for first place following Tiajin’s five-set loss to Zhejiang New Century on Feb. 26, takes on Zhengzhou High-Tech Zone on March 1 in its next match.

SYKORA, ALISHA GLASS SETTING TABLES FOR VOLEI FUTURO IN BRAZIL: Three-time U.S. Olympian Stacy Sykora (Burleson, Texas) and U.S. Women’s National Team setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) are competing for Volei Futuro in the Brazilian Superliga during the 2010-11 professional club season. Volei Futuro lost for the first time in the second half in six matches as it dropped a 25-18, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20 match to Pinheiro/Mackenzie on Feb. 22. Volei Futuro rebounded in its next match to upset Sollys/Osasco 21-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17. Sykora was the libero in both matches, while Glass continues to miss action with an injury. Volei Futuro is now 14-4 on the season.

FAWCETT IN BRAZIL WITH USIMINAS MINAS: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio), a U.S. Women’s National Team opposite, is playing the 2010-11 professional club season in Brazil with Usiminas Minas. Usiminas battled to a 25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 22-25, 15-9 victory over Sao Bernardo on Feb. 24. Fawcett led the way with 28 points via 24 kills on 61 attacks and four blocks. Usiminas did not fare as well in its second five-set match of the week as it lost 13-25, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12 to Sao Caetano on Feb. 26. Fawcett charted 13 kills on 41 swings and a block as part of a 14-point match. Usiminas ranks fifth in the league standings with a 12-6 record.

SCOTT-ARRUDA IN BRAZIL WITH SAO BERNARDO: Four-time U.S. Olympian Danielle Scott-Arruda (Baton Rouge, La.) is back on the volleyball court after giving birth last spring and is playing for BMG Sao Bernardo in the Brazilian Superliga. Scott-Arruda scored a season-high 23 points on Feb. 24, but her squad could not complete the comeback against Usiminas in a 25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 22-25, 15-9 loss. She was successful on half her 40 attacks in the match while adding three blocks. Two days later, Sao Bernardo dropped a 26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22 match to BMG/Mackenzie as Scott-Arruda continued to score well with 21 points off 16 kills and 32 attacks. She added five blocks in the loss. Sao Bernardo is now 6-12 on the season and in seventh place.

LARSON WITH KAZAN IN RUSSIA: U.S. Women’s National Team outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) is playing for Dinamo Kazan of the Russia Super League during the 2010-2011 pro club season. She helped Kazan to a 26-24, 25-22, 25-18 victory over Nugget on Feb. 27. Kazan, now 14-1 on the season, leap-frogged Dinamo Moscow for the top spot in the Russia Super League with the victory. Kazan resumes play on March 6 against Leningradka.

BARBOZA IN RUSSIA WITH KRASNODAR: Cynthia Barboza (Long Beach, Calif.), an outside hitter for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing for Dinamo Krasnodar of the Russia Super League in the 2010-11 professional club season. Krasnador upset Russia Super League leader Dinamo Moscow 25-20, 25-18, 23-25, 25-16 on Feb. 27. Barboza, who was in the starting lineup much of the early season, was absent from the active roster for the fifth consecutive match. Krasnador resumes Super League action on March 6 against Torch. In CEV Cup, Krasnador lost to Italy’s Norda Foppapedretti Bergamo 25-23, 25-19, 25-21 to open the Challenge Round home-and-home series on Feb. 23. Barboza was not available for the match. The two teams will meet again on March 23.

BOWN WITH TURKEY’S ECZACIBASI: Heather Bown (Yorba Linda, Calif.), a three-time Olympic Games middle blocker for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing in Turkey for Eczacibasi during the 2010-11 professional club season. In CEV Champions League action, Eczacibasi lost the first match of the Playoff 6 Round home-and-home series to country-rival VakifGunes Telekom 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 on Feb. 23. Bown scored five kills on 10 errorless attacks to go with three blocks for eight points. For Eczacibasi to advance out of the Playoff 6 Roudn, it will need to defeat VakifGunes Telekom in the rematch on March 3, then win the Golden Set later that day. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi topped Konya Eregrli Belediyesi 25-13, 29-27, 25-10 on Feb. 26 as Bown did not on the active roster.

SPICER WITH POLAND’S GCB CENTROSTAL BYDGOSZCZ: Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.), a setter for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing in the Polish professional league this winter for GCB Centrostal Bydgoszrcz. Spicer’s side edged KPSK Stal Mielec 25-20, 14-25, 25-23, 13-25, 16-14 on Feb. 27. Spicer tallied two kills and a block while helping her squad to a 34 kill percent for the match – 43.4 percent in the three sets won. GCB Centrostal Bydgoszrcz will challenge BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biata on March 4 in the 14th round of the Polish league.

AKINRADEWO WITH TOYOTA IN JAPAN: Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.), a middle blocker with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is currently playing for Toyota Autobody in Japan’s V-League for the 2010-11 professional season. Toyota is now 10-14 on the season and in sixth place after splitting a pair of matches this past weekend. Toyota defeated Denso 22-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-22 on Feb. 26 as Akinradewo secured 18 kills on 37 swings and four blocks for 22 points. However, Toyota dropped the second match of the weekend 25-21, 16-25, 25-16, 25-13 to NEC on Feb. 27. Akinradewo provided 14 kills on 27 attacks with one block for 15 points in the loss. Toyota looks to move up the standings next weekend as it plays Okayama on March 5 and Pioneer on March 6 in Ehime, Japan.

MORRISON, SIX AMERICANS ON ONE AUSTRIAN TEAM: U.S. Women’s National Team Assistant Coach Jamie Morrison (Dana Point, Calif.) is serving as head coach of the Austrian Post Schwechat team during the 2010-11 season. The team has six American players including Jill Collymore (Seattle), Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Jessica Jones (Naperville, Ill.), Tamari Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii), Angie Pressey (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.). Post Schwechat competes in the Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association (teams from Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia). In CEV Cup action, Post Schwechat lost its first home-and-home series match versus Serbia’s Crvena Zvezda Beograd in the Challenge Round on Feb. 23. Pressey scored 17 points with 14 kills on 36 attacks, two blocks and an ace in the loss. Jones chipped in five kills on 10 attacks and five blocks. The teams will meet for the second contest in Austria on March 3. Post Schwechat will need to win the second meeting as well as the Golden Set to advance to the next round. Post Schwechat improved to 16-2 in the MEVZA following a 20-25, 20-25, 25-11, 25-17, 15-13 come-from-behind victory over Croatia’s Zok Rijeka on Feb. 25. Preseey contributed a match-high 21 points with 19 kills, one block and one ace. Crimes chipped in 12 kills on 19 swings with just one error to go with three blocks and an ace for 16 points. Jones added a match-high seven blocks to go with three kills and an ace for 11 points. Thompson set her squad to a 41 kill percent for the match, while Miyashiro was credited with a 65 percent positive service reception on 17 attempts.

U.S. WOMEN’S TRAINING BLOCK ROSTER: The U.S. Women’s National Team is holding its winter training block from Jan. 17 to mid-April at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. The U.S. Women’s National Training Team roster currently has numbers 15 players training. The training roster includes setters Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.), Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio) and Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif.); middle blockers Ashley Benson (Bloomington, Ind.), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.), Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn.) and Dominique Olowolafe (Lansing, Mich.); outside hitters Becky Perry (Austin, Texas), Kari Pestolesi (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Julianne Piggott (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Kaitlin Sather (Santa Rosa, Calif.); opposite Kindra Carlson (Eaton, Colo.); and liberos Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa), Ellie Blankenship (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Cami Croteau (Orange, Calif.). Pestolesi will also see training time at libero. Additional players may be added to the roster during the course of the training block.