U.S. Women's Update: Showcasing Talent

By Bill Kauffman | Jan. 12, 2015, 8:13 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 12, 2015) – The second of two USA Volleyball College All-Star Showcases on Jan. 16 wraps up the college players’ two-week Winter Training Block in Anaheim, Calif. Find additional details and individual National Team member highlights in the full U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly Update below.

QUICK HITS:

  • USA Volleyball will host the second of two Collegiate All-Star Showcase matches involving members of its winter training block of athletes on Jan. 16 contest at AIM Sports Complex (Seal Beach, Calif.). The match starts at 7 p.m. PT. Cost is $5 for adults and free for 18-and-under.
  • Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.), who led Penn State to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2013 and 2014 and played in the first USA Volleyball College All-Star Showcase on Jan. 9, has signed her first professional contract to play for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 to help shore up the setting position after an injury to Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.), who was the 2014 FIVB World Championship Best Setter as she helped Team USA to the gold medal in Italy. Both Glass and Hancock are products of the recent Penn State dynasty with five titles between them from 2007 to 2014 as the starting setter.
  • In the first USA Volleyball College All-Star Showcase on Jan. 9 at Irvine Valley College, Falyn Fonoimoana (formerly of Southern California) secured the most individual points with 11 kills and four blocks for 15 points and a 71 positive reception percent on a leading 28 chances. Karsta Lowe (UCLA) added 13 points with 12 kills and one block to go with a .450 hitting efficiency. Alaysia Brown (San Diego) hit .700 with seven kills and a block for eight points. Macey Gardner (Arizona State) contributed eight kills, two blocks and an ace for 11 points. Stevi Robinson (formerly Pepperdine/Southern California) held a 57 positive reception percent on seven chances to go with five digs. Taylor Simpson (Colorado) had seven kills, two aces and a block for 10 points, coupled with five digs and 20 receptions with a 45 positive reception percent. Lexi Dannemiller (Michigan) totaled 35 assists, two aces and a blocker, while Micha Hancock (Penn State) had 23 assists, one kill, two aces and a block. The Showcase featured six sets played to 15 points each.
  • USA Volleyball is in its second of two winter training block weeks with a roster mostly of collegiate athletes or individuals who just finished collegiate eligibility this past December. The training roster of aspiring U.S. Women’s National Team players includes opposites Jen Hamson (BYU), Alex Holston (Florida) and Karsta Lowe (UCLA); setters Madi Bugg (Stanford) and Lexi Dannemiller (Michigan); middle blockers Inky Ajanaku (Stanford), Rhamat Alhassan (Florida), Alaysia Brown (San Diego) and Haleigh Washington (Penn State); outside hitters Ali Frantti (Penn State), Falyn Fonoimoana (formerly of Southern California), Macey Gardner (Arizona State), Taylor Simpson (Colorado) and Nicole Walch (Florida State); and liberos Kayla Banwarth (Team USA, formerly of Nebraska), Kori Moster (Michigan State), Stevie Robinson (formerly of Pepperdine and Southern California).
  • U.S. Women’s National Team members Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa.) and Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa) along with Ryan Ammerman o the U.S. Men’s National Team, took part in the opening dedication of the Paul Revere Park at 160 Guinida Lane in Anaheim, Calif., the official host city for both the U.S. Women’s Men’s National Team. The park has a new sand volleyball court as well as exercise stations and playground equipment. The dedication was attended by Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait and city council members Kris Murray, Lucille King and Jordan Brandman. USA Volleyball distributed over 100 jerseys to neighborhood kids and signed autographs.

LIVE VIDEO STREAM MATCHES THIS WEEK: Several U.S. Women’s National Team members will be competing in CEV Champions League this week with matches streamed live on laola1.tv.

  • Jan. 13 at 7 a.m. PT: Eczacibasi (with Larson-Burbach) vs. Volero (with Thompson and N. Hagglund) - CLICK HERE
  • Jan. 13 at 11:30 a.m. PT: RC Cannes (with Faucette, Tom, Wopat) vs. Vakifbank - CLICK HERE
  • Jan. 14 at 5 a.m. PT: Impel Wroclaw (with J. Hagglund) vs. Omichka Omsk - CLICK HERE
  • Jan. 14 at 7 a.m. PT: Fenerbahce (with Hildebrand) vs. Nantes - CLICK HERE
  • Jan. 14 at 8 a.m. PT: Dresdner (with Jackson, Kreklow, Bartsch) vs. Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio - CLICK HERE
  • Jan. 15 at 5 a.m. PT: Rabita Baku (with Akinradewo, Dixon) vs. Agel Prostejov - CLICK HERE

OPEN TRYOUTS: The annual U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts will be held Feb. 20-22 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. A record 245 athletes participated in last year’s tryout, and a similar number is expected in 2015. Athletes eligible to participate are those who have concluded college eligibility, current collegiate athletes born in the years 1987-1997 inclusive and high school athletes born in 1997 or earlier. The tryout will be identifying athletes for the U.S. Women’s National Team Program, the U.S. Collegiate National Team and the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team (athletes born in 1996 and 1997). The tryout fee is $225, which includes housing, meals, local transportation and tryout expenses. For athletes not staying at the OTC, the fee is $150. For additional details and how to register for the tryout, click here.

AKINRADEWO, DIXON WITH RABITA BAKU: Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla., Twitter, Instagram), a 2012 U.S. Olympic Games starter at middle blocker, and Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) are competing for Rabita Baku in the Azerbaijan Super League and the CEV Champions League this club season. Rabita Baku defeated Azerbaijan Super League leader Lokomotiv Baku 19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 on Jan. 10. Akinradewo scored 10 points with six kills on 15 errorless attacks, three aces and a block. Dixon chipped in four points in a starting role with three kills and an block. She had the second most serves on the team with 19. In CEV Champions League action, Rabita (1-2) will seek to avenge its upset loss to Agel Prostejov as the two teams meet again on Jan. 15.

LLOYD WITH LOKOMOTIV BAKU: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif., Instagram) is setting for Lokomotiv Baku this winter in the Azerbaijan Super League. Lokomotiv Baku dropped a 19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 match to Rabita Baku in Azerbaijan Super League action. Lloyd set Lokomotiv to 41 kill percent as a team while adding three individual points via two blocks and a kill. In the CEV Cup, Lokomotiv will now play Russia’s Dinamo Krasnodar on Jan. 14 in the first match of the 4th Final Round home-and-home series.

HILL, KLINEMAN WITH NOVARA: Kim Hill (Portland, Ore., Twitter, Instagram), the most valuable player of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014, and Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara of the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Novara overwhelmed 10th-place Il Bisonte Firenze (3-10, 11 points) 25-17, 25-21, 25-14 on Jan. 11 in the second round of the second half to stay in first place in the Italian Serie A1. Hill contributed 14 points with 13 kills on 32 errorless attacks and an ace. She added a 73 positive service reception on 11 chances. Klineman did not play in the match. Novara (12-1, 35 points), which holds a five-point cushion over second-place Liu Jo Modena, continues Italian Serie A1 action on Jan. 18 against seventh-place Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio (8-5, 21 points). Novara starts its CEV Challenge Cup 8th Final Round home-and-home series against Altemo Apeldoorn on Jan. 14, followed by a Jan. 21 match.

GLASS, ADAMS WITH CONEGLIANO: Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich., Twitter, Instagram), the best setter of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014, and Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano of the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Conegliano lost to seventh-place Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio (8-5, 21 points) 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21 on Jan. 10 as Glass did not suit for the match due to a not serious ankle injury as reported on her personal Tumblr account. Adams, without the normal connection with Glass, was held to four points in the match with one kill on 11 attacks and two blocks. With Glass absent, Conegliano has signed setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.), who led Penn State to the last two NCAA titles. Conegliano (8-5, 24 points), which dropped one spot in the league standings to fourth, returns to Italian Serie A1 action on Jan. 18 against 12th-place Zeta System Urbino Volley (1-12, 3 points). Conegliano will meet Poland’s Atom Trefl in the CEV Cup 4th Final Round with home-and-home matches on Jan. 14 and Jan. 22.

GIBBEMEYER WITH CASALMAGGIORE: Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Pomi Casalmaggiore of the Italian Serie A1 in 2014-15. Casalmaggiore beat sixth-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (7-6, 23 points) 25-21, 20-25, 25-18, 25-23 on Jan. 11 in a key league match. Gibbemeyer tallied five kills on 10 swings to go with three blocks for eight points in the victory. Casalmaggiore (9-4, 26 points), which moved up one spot to third in the Italian Serie A1, moves into the second half’s third round against eighth-place Metalleghe Sanitars Montichiari (6-7, 19 points) on Jan. 18.

FAWCETT WITH KOREA EXPRESSWAY: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) is playing in the Korea V-League with Korea Expressway this winter. Fawcett scored 36 points in a closely contest 26-24, 29-27, 26-24 victory over Hyundai on Jan. 10. In just three sets, she tallied 35 kills on 83 swings. Korea Expressway will challenge the Pink Spiders on Jan. 13 in its next league match.

JENNA HAGGLUND WITH IMPEL WROCLAW: U.S. setter Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) signed with Impel Wroclaw of Poland’s Orlen Liga late in 2014 and has started to competition. On Jan. 5, she entered as a sub in the first two sets and started the third in a 25-20, 28-26, 25-17 victory over Developres Skyres Rzeszow. In the third set, Hagglund set Wroclaw to a 40 kill percent while adding an ace and block for two individual points. In her second match of 2015, Hagglund came off the bench to start the second and third sets but could not reverse the momentum as third-place PGE Atom Trefl Sopot won 25-14, 25-19, 25-15 on Jan. 10. Wroclaw (10-5, 30 points), sitting in fifth place, plays sixth-place Tauron Banimex MKS Dabrowa Gornicza (10-4, 27 points) on Jan. 17 in the next Orlen Liga match.

DAVIS, LICTHMAN WITH Le CANNET: Two-time U.S. Olympic libero Nicole Davis (Stockton, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) and outside hitter Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif., Twitter) are competing for Le Cannet in the French LAF this winter. In the French League, Le Cannet edged Istres 26-24, 26-24, 25-19 on Jan. 10. Lichtman provided five kills on 28 attacks and two aces for seven points in the victory. Davis held a 73 positive reception percent on 11 chances. Le Cannet (10-1, 28 points) meets league-leader RC Cannes on Jan. 17 in a pivotal French League match of the top two teams. Davis ranks second in receiving in the French League with a 39.4 percent on a total of 175 chances (leader has 41.0 percent on 100 chances). In the French Cup, Le Cannet has moved on to the Finals 1/2 (semifinals) to challenge ASPTT Mulhouse on Feb. 24. LeCannet moves into the CEV Challenge Cup 8th Final Round to face AON Pannaxiakos Naxos in a home-and-home series on Jan. 13 and Jan. 21.

FAUCETTE WITH RC CANNES: U.S. Women’s National Team opposite Juliann Faucette (San Diego, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) is playing with RC Cannes in France this winter, along with four-time U.S. Olympian Logan Tom and Carly Wopat. RC Cannes moved past Venelles 25-10, 25-13, 24-26, 25-19 on Jan. 10 in French League action. Faucette did not play in the victory. Tom scored 10 points with seven kills, two aces and a block while adding a 41 positive reception percent on 17 chances. Wopat started the final two sets and contributed five kills on six errorless attacks. RC Cannes (10-1, 31 points), which remains in first, challenges second-place Le Cannet on Jan. 17 in the next league match. In the French Cup, RC Cannes has advanced to the semifinals (1/2 Finals) to face Nantes on Feb. 24. In CEV Champions League, RC Cannes (3-0) will meet VakifBank Jan. 13.

KREKLOW, JACKSON WITH DRESDNER: Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn., Twitter, Instagram), who was in her first year with the U.S. National Team this past summer, and Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Dresdner SC of the German Bundesliga and in the European (CEV) Champions League. Dresdner rallied to defeat SC Potsdam 16-25, 27-25, 25-21, 25-22 on Jan. 7 to remain undefeated in the German Bundesliga. Jackson notched 11 points with nine kills on 16 attacks, one block and one ace. Kreklow was a sub in the first two sets. Dresdner continued its unbeaten streak on Jan. 10 with a 25-14, 25-12, 25-19 victory over Rote Raben Vilsbiburg. Kreklow returned to the starting lineup and set her team to a 48 kill percent and .318 hitting efficiency for the match. Jackson claimed 11 points for the second straight match with four kills on 11 attacks, four aces and three blocks. Dredsner is idle this coming week in German Bundesliga action. Dresdner is now 15-0 in the league with 42 points, nine points ahead of second-place Schweriner. In CEV Champions League, Dresdner (2-1) challenges Italy’s Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio on Jan. 14 in its next pool match.

MIYASHIRO WITH ALLIANZ MTV STUTTGART: Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii, Twitter), a 2012 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, joined Allianz MTV Stuttgart of the German Bundesliga in mid-November. Stuttgart swept Kopenicker SC Berlin 25-18, 25-21, 25-17 on Jan. 7 as Miyashiro was avoided mostly on serve reception with only six chances on 50 total team service receptions. Stuttgart won its second match of the week on Jan. 10 with a 25-21, 25-15, 25-27, 25-21 victory over VolleyStars Thuringen. Miyashiro handled 22 receptions with just one error in the victory. Stuttgart, now in third place with 32 points and a 10-4 record, faces Hamburg in the next German Bundesliga match on Jan. 14.

ROBINSON WITH BAIC MOTORS BEIJING: Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill., Twitter, Instagram) is competing for Beijing BAIC Motors in the Chinese League. BIAC Motors concluded the second of the round-robin playoffs with a 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 victory over Fujian on Jan. 6. Robinson scored nine kills on 16 attacks while chipping a perfect 14-of-14 on service receptions in the victory. BIAC Motors ended the round robin group in third place with a 4-4 record, one spot out of advancing to the semifinals.

WEBSTER WITH PRAIA CLUBE: Bailey Webster (Baltimore, Md.) is competing for Praia Clube in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Praia Clube swept Rio Do Sul 25-12, 25-22, 25-21 on Jan. 6 as Webster started for the third consecutive match. She tallied nine points, including five kills, two blocks and two aces. Praia Clube faces Camponesa/Minas on Jan. 13 in its next league match.

LARSON-BURBACH WITH ECZACIBASI: Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb., Twitter, Instagram), a 2012 U.S. Olympian and starting outside hitters, is playing for Eczacibasi Vitra of the Turkish League this winter. Eczacibasi rolled to a 25-19, 25-17, 25-19 victory over Nilufer on Jan. 10 as the Turkish League resumed action after the holiday break. Larson-Burbach did not play in the match. Eczacibasi challenges league-leader Vakifbank in the next Turkish League match on Jan. 18. In CEV Champions League Pool D, Eczacibasi (3-0) resumes action on Jan. 13 with a re-match against Volero Zurich.

HILDEBRAND WITH FENERBAHCE: Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Fenerbahce of the Turkish League this winter. Fenerbahce’s first match of the second half was delayed unil later this year. Fenerbahce takes on fifth-place Galatasaray Daikin on Jan. 18 in the second round of the Turkish League second half. In CEV Champions League action, Fenerbahce (3-0) will meet Nantes VB on Jan. 14 following the New Year hiatus.

HOOD WITH ILBANK: Regan Hood (Dallas, Texas, Instagram) is playing for Ilbank of the Turkish League in 2014-15, as well as the CEV Challenge Cup. In Turkish League action, Ilbank lost to Idman Ocagi 25-18, 25-16, 22-25, 25-16 on Jan. 11 as the league resumed action after the holiday break. Hood scored a match-high 18 points with 16 kills on 43 attacks and two aces. She chipped in a 70 positive reception percent on a team-best 30 chances. Ilbank, ranked 10th in the league, takes on seventh-place Bursa B. Sehir on Jan. 18. Ilbank begins the CEV Challenge Cup 8th Final Round home-and-home series against Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK with matches on Jan. 14 and Jan. 20.

NEWCOMBE WITH IDMAN OCAGI: Sonja Newcombe (Lake Arrowhead, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Trabzon Idman Ocagi of the Turkish League this winter. Idman Ocagi held off Ilbank 25-18, 25-16, 22-25, 25-16 on Jan. 11 as the Turkish League resumed action after the break. Newcombe pocketed 12 points with six kills, three aces and three blocks. She added an 86 positive reception percent on 14 chances. Idman Ocagi, now in sixth place, challenges last-place Bakirkoy BLD Yesilyurt on Jan. 18.

PAOLINI WITH HITACHI: Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich., Instagram) is playing for Hitachi in the Japan V-League this winter. Hitachi lost to NEC 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-22 on Jan. 10 as the V-League resumed from his holiday hiatus. Paolini contributed 10 kills on 24 attacks without an error to go with three blocks and an ace for 14 points. Hitachi bounced back the next day to down Ageo Medics 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20. Paolini chalked up 13 kills on 28 attacks and three blocks for 16 points. Hitachi moved into fourth place in the V-League with a 5-4 record and 18 points.

MURPHY WITH AGEO MEDICS: Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill., Twitter, Instagram) is competing in Japan this winter for Ageo Medics in the V-League’s top division. Ageo lost both of its matches last weekend as the V-League resumed from his holiday hiatus. Hisamitsu Springs claimed a 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 victory on Jan. 10. Murphy tallied nine kills on 31 attacks and one block for 10 points. In a 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20 loss to Hitachi, Murphy recorded 19 kills on 64 attacks, two blocks and an ace for 22 points. Ageo Medics fell one spot in the V-League standings to fifth place with a 3-6 record and 15 points.

THOMPSON, NATALIE HAGGLUND WITH VOLERO ZURICH: Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash., Twitter, Instagram) and Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Volero Zurich of the Swiss League this winter. Volero, undefeated in the Swiss League at 13-0 and having lost just six sets, takes on fourth-place Hotel Cristal VFM on Jan. 17. In CEV Champions League action, Volero Zurich (2-1) will look to rebound from its loss to Eczacibasi as the two teams meet again on Jan. 13.