U.S. Women's Update: Past Meets Present

By Bill Kauffman | March 11, 2014, 8:38 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 11, 2014) – The current U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team Weekly update released on March 11 includes briefs on U.S. players.

REVIEWING SECOND RED-BLUE MATCH: Taylor Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who joined the U.S. Women’s Training Team last week, tallied 23 points in her first USA Red-Blue match played on March 7 in Del Mar, Calif. She scored 21 kills on 53 attacks along with two blocks. Bailey Webster (Baltimore, Md.) added 19 points with 14 kills on 33 attacks, three blocks and two aces. Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif.), the only high school athlete on the Training Team, contributed 18 points with 16 kills on 43 attacks and two blocks. Chloe Ferrari (Clovis, Calif.) charted 11 kills on 21 attacks, a team-high four blocks and an ace for 16 points. Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) chipped in 11 points with 10 kills on 24 attacks and one block. Slay and Ferrari both played some time at opposite during the match versus their normal middle blocker positions. Likewise, Webster shifted over to outside hitter from opposite at times. Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.) turned in 18 digs and just over a 60 positive reception percent on 47 chances. Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif.) pocketed 11 digs to go with a 66 positive reception percent on 54 chances. Lauren Plum (Poway, Calif.) and Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) were credited with 31 assists each in five sets.

UPCOMING TRAINING GROUP RED-BLUE MATCHES: The U.S. Women’s Volleyball Training Team plays its third of four scheduled USA Red-Blue matches on March 14 at the MAC Athletic Center in Carson, 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 Team Mizuno VBC. The Training Team is in its eight-week Winter Training Block that started Jan. 27.

  • March 14: at MAC Athletic Center in Carson, Calif. (hosted by Team Mizuno VBC)
  • March 19: at Coast Volleyball Club Facility in San Diego, Calif. (hosted by Coast VBC)

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 – 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) and Kelsey Robinson (Nebraska, Bartlett, Ill.); 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.).

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER COMING TO COLORADO SPRINGS: USA Volleyball will host concurrent men’s and women’s 2014 FIVB World Championship NORCECA third-round qualification tournaments May 15-18 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (OTC) Sports Center I in Colorado Springs. The World Championship, the pinnacle event of the FIVB, is held every four years with each of its five zones holding qualifying tournaments into the 24-country event for each gender. The U.S. Women host Guatemala, Honduras and Panama in round robin pool play May 15-17, followed by championship and third-place matches on May 18. The tournament winner receives a berth into the World Championship set for Sept. 23 to Oct. 12 in Italy. For more information on the tournament, click here.

PAST MEETS PRESENT IN ANAHEIM: The U.S. Women’s Volleyball Training Team had the opportunity to meet members of the original U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team and other past legends of the game on March 5 at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. Jane Ward (1964, 1968 Olympian) and Linda Murphy (1964 Olympian), who both played in the first-ever Olympic Games with volleyball, Marie Liba (1968 team manager) and Louise Gronich (1985 Maccabiah Games) shared stories with the current athletes who dream to reach the Olympics, and in some cases such as with Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) and Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif.), want to return to the grand stage in Rio De Janeiro in 2016. Hooker stated on Instagram account: “It was an honor meeting and speaking to 1964 USA Volleyball players Linda Murphy and Jane Ward.” Ward was selected as a USAV All-Time Great Player in 1969, followed by Murphy in 1971.

CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The CEV Champions League, the premier European club league, comes down to one last weekend March 15-16 with Americans facing off in the semifinal round in Baku, Azerbaijan. Russia’s Dinamo Kazan touts outside Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.), a 2012 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, on one side of the court against host Rabita Baku in the second semifinal at 7:30 a.m. PT on March 15. Rabita, with an international laden roster, has American libero Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa), middle blockers Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles) and Brittnee Cooper (Houston), and opposite Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn.) on the active roster. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla.) signed to play for Rabita this year but has missed the entire season due to injury. The first semifinal pits Turkish rivals Vakifbank against Eczacibasi at 13:00 CET. The semifinals and medal matches can be viewed online on laola1.tv (click here).

KELSEY ROBINSON AAU SULLIVAN AWARD NOMINEE: Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill.), who trained with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team last summer, is one of 19 nominees for the 2013 James E Sullivan Award, which honors the nation’s outstanding amateur athletes for outstanding athletic ability, strong character, leadership and sportsmanship. Robinson was named AVCA All-America First-Team after scoring 530 kills and averaging 4.45 kills per set for the University of Nebraska in 2013. The award’s public vote, which is open through March 23, accounts for one-third of the athlete’s overall score. For more details on the nominees and how to vote, click here.

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 blanked Fakel Urengoy 25-12, 25-12, 25-18 on March 5 after a 12-day league hiatus. Larson-Burbach collected 15 points with 12 kills on 17 attacks, two blocks and an ace. She added a 60 positive reception percent. Kazan leads the 11-team standings with a 14-0 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.

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 lost to GS Caltex 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 on March 8. Fawcett turned in 19 kills, four blocks and three aces for 26 points – 20 more than the second-best scorer on her team. Korea Expressway bounced back to defeat Heungkook 25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-11 on March 11. For the second time in her career, Fawcett scored 50-or-more points in a match with 52. She charted 43 kills, six blocks and three aces.

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 held off LIU Jo Modena (10-4, 28 points) 25-19, 25-21, 26-28, 25-23 on March 5 in a key mid-week battle. Gibbemeyer notched seven points with five kills on eight attacks and two blocks. Lloyd set Conegliano to a 40 kill percent as a team for the match while adding eight individual points with five kills on eight swings, two blocks and an ace from her setter position. Conegliano continued its winning ways on March 9 with a 25-21, 25-210, 25-22 victory over last place Banca Di Forli (1-14, 4 points). Gibbemeyer scored six kills on eight errorless attacks, two blocks and an ace for nine points. Lloyd did not play in the match. Conegliano, currently in second place with a 12-3 record and 36 points, challenges third-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (10-6, 32 points) on March 16.

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 defeated IHF Volley Frosinone 25-18, 25-18, 20-25, 25-23 on March 5. Murphy charted 18 points in the victory with 15 kills on 35 attacks, two blocks and an ace. However, Novara’s win streak came to a halt after losing to Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio 25-23, 25-22, 25-17 on March 8. Murphy, who came off the bench in the first two sets and started the third set, provided five kills, two aces and a block for eight points in the loss. Novara, currently in fifth place with a 9-7 record and 27 points, plays eighth-place Openjobmetis Ornavasso (5-10, 16 points) on March 16.

ALISHA GLASS WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKEY: Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) is competing this winter with Fenerbahce in Turkey. In the Turkish League, Fenerbahce (18-1) defeated Galatasaray 25-18, 23-25, 25-15, 25-17 on March 8. Glass did not play. In CEV Cup action, Fenerbahce will face Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg in the home-and-home final round on March 26 and March 29 for the CEV Cup title.

HOOD WITH ILBANK IN TURKEY: Outside hitter Regan Hood (Dallas) is playing for Ilbank of the Turkish League this winter. Ilbank edged Besiktas 16-25, 25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 15-12 on March 9. Hood scored 19 points in the victory with 13 kills on 34 attacks, four blocks and two aces. She added a 75 positive reception percent on 32 chances. Ilbank remains in sixth place with a 10-10 record.

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 swept TSV Dudingen twice in back-to-back matches. Volero won the first meeting 25-17, 25-15, 25-21 on March 5, followed by a 25-12, 25-21, 25-14 victory on March 9. Volero is 6-0 in the playoffs and one match ahead of Volley Koniz (5-1). Volero challenges third-place Sagres NUC (3-3) on March 13 followed by a March 15 contest against fifth-place VC Kanti Schaffhausen (1-5).

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 won a key five-set battle over third-place Unilever with scores of 21-15, 21-15, 19-21, 9-21, 15-9 on March 7. Hildebrand was credited with nine kills on 26 attacks and two blocks for 11 points. Amil dominated Uniara 21-17, 21-12, 21-15 on March 11 as Hildebrand scored nine points with seven kills and two blocks. She added a 67 positive reception percent in the match. For her overall performance against Uniara, Hildebrand was named most valuable player.

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 handled 10th-place Sao Bernardo Volei 17-21, 21-17, 21-17, 22-20 on March 7. Bergsma chalked up nine points in the victory.

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 lost tofourth-place Sesi Sao Paulo 21-12, 21-16, 21-19 on March 6. Scott totaled seven points with six kills and a block in the loss. Brasilia was handed a 21-16, 21-16, 16-21, 21-16 loss by league-leader Molico Nestle on March 9. Scott tallied a team-high 15 points nine kills on 17 attacks, five blocks and an ace.

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 defeated 11th-place Uniara 21-17, 21-14, 21-12 on March 7. Glass returned to the lineup, but was not inserted into the match. Glass made her long-awaited return on March 11 following injury and helped Banana Boat to a xxx win over Sao Bernardo Volei. She started the third set and scored one kill.

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 suffered a 25-18, 25-23, 20-25, 20-25, 15-13 loss to Pioneer on March 8. Paolini tallied 11 kills on 19 attacks and three blocks for 14 points. Hitachi ended its three-match losing streak with a 25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory over JT Marvelous on March 9. Paolini notched nine kills on 21 attacks and five blocks for 14 points. Hitachi is now 11-13 overall and in a tie for fifth place, one match behind fourth-place Toyota.

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. In the Azerbaijan Super League, Rabita Baku swept Azerrail 25-17, 25-17, 25-20 on March 6. Dixon scored a team-high 13 points with nine kills and four blocks, while Jackson added two points. Rabita maintained its first-place advantage by defeating Lokomotiv 25-21, 25-12, 22-25, 25-22 on March 7 to improve to 9-1 on the season.

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 league-leader Rabita Baku 25-21, 25-12, 22-25, 25-22 on March 7. Lokomotiv lost to Igtisadchi 25-20, 19-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-11 on March 10 to fall to fifth place.

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 lost a heart-breaking 23-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 17-15 match to Polski Cukier Muszynianka Fakro on March 8 after winning the first two sets. Adams collected 17 points in the loss with 12 kills on 21 attacks and five blocks. 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.

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 topped Kopenicker SC Berlin 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 on March 8. Bartsch secured 10 points in the victory.