Women's Update: Raising More Trophies

By Bill Kauffman | March 02, 2015, 11:50 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 2, 2015) – This week’s U.S. Women’s National Team Update highlights Americans playing in overseas pro leagues that are winding down. The U.S. Women’s summer training block is a mere two months away as they begin work for 2016 Olympic Games qualification in 2015, though many athletes will return to the Team USA gym in Anaheim prior to the May 4 start.

QUICK HITS:

  • Two European teams with U.S. Women’s National Team players captured titles over the weekend, including Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) and Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) in the Italian Cup and Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii) in Germany’s DVV Cup. Read full details below and along with links to multi-media of both championships.
  • U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly was interviewed by the official Brazilian Federal Government web portal for the 2016 Olympic Games. He talks about being and Olympic champion at home, the differences of the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games where he won gold indoor and on the beach, memories of his final match in Los Angeles, the importance of the 1984 generation for Brazil and the United States, comparisons he gets to being the Michael Jordan of volleyball, losing to Brazil in the 2012 Olympic Games gold medal match, his biggest challenge as an athlete and now as a coach, the Rio 2016 Games, the possibility of another USA-Brazil matchup in Brazil and more. Read the full article by clicking here.
  • Technology the size of a USB stick could play a vital role in whether the U.S. Women’s National Team can qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games at this year’s FIVB World Cup and possibly win its first-ever Olympic Games gold medal. USA Volleyball partner Vert provides technology that counts the number of jumps a player takes which can assist in injury prevention, as well how high an athlete gets off the ground to help U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff evaluate team hopefuls. For a full description of the technology and how Team USA uses it, click here for a Sports Illustrated article highlighting Vert.

CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTERFINAL ROUND BEGINS: The U.S. Women’s National Team has four players competing in the CEV Championship League Playoff 6 Round (quarterfinals) that begins this week with all matches able to be viewed live online at laola1.tv.

  • March 5 at 7:30 a.m. PT – Eczacibasi (Larson-Burbach) vs. Volero Zurich (Thompson, N. Hagglund) - CLICK HERE
  • March 5 at 10:30 a.m. PT – Fenerbahce (Hildebrand) vs. VakifBank - CLICK HERE
  • March 12 at 9:30 a.m. PT – Fenerbahce (Hildebrand) vs. VakifBank - CLICK HERE
  • March 12 at 10 a.m. PT – Eczacibasi (Larson-Burbach) vs. Volero Zurich (Thompson, N. Hagglund) - CLICK HERE

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. In a break from the Italian Serie A1 regular season, Novara handled Imoco Volley Conegliano 25-21, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24 in a close four-setter in the Italian Serie A1 Cup semifinal round on Feb. 28. Hill and Klineman both took huge role in the offense and passing with each scoring 17 points. Hill totaled 15 kills on 39 attacks to go with two blocks and a 79 positive reception percent on 34 chances. Klineman amassed a team-leading six blocks to go with 10 kills and an ace. She added a 75 positive reception percent on a team-best 36 chances. To view a photo gallery of the match, click here. In the Italian Cup gold-medal match, Novara won the title with a 25-19, 28-30, 30-28, 25-23 thrilling victory over Liu Jo Modena on March 1. Klineman produced 17 points with 12 kills on 38 swings, four aces and a block. Hill recorded 13 points, all on kills coming via 39 attacks. She also was credited with an 87 positive reception percent on 30 chances, while Klineman had a 69 percent positive reception on a team-leading 35 chances. To view a photo gallery of the match, click here. Ironically, Novara and Modena meet again next weekend as part of the next round of the regular season. Novara (16-2, 47 points) takes on second-place Liu Jo Modena (13-5, 41 points) on March 8. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Novara will face Germany’s Schweriner in the quarterfinal round with matches scheduled for March 4 and the second match prior to March 12.

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. Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.), the 2014 AVCA Division I Player of the Year, was signed in mid-January as Glass recovers from an injury. In the Italian Serie A1 Cup semifinals, Conegliano fell to Igor Gorgonzola Novara 25-21, 27-25, 20-25, 26-24 on Feb. 28. Glass set her squad to a 35 kill percent while adding two kills on four attacks. Adams did not play in the match. To view a photo gallery of the match, click here. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, fourth-place Conegliano (11-7, 32 points) returns to action on March 8 against 11th-place Volley 2002 Forli (1-17, 5 points).

GIBBEMEYER WITH CASALMAGGIORE: Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Pomi Casalmaggiore of the Italian Serie A1 in 2014-15. With the Italian Serie A1 Cup semifinals and finals taking place this weekend, the regular season was on hiatus and Casalmaggiore was idle. Casalmaggiore (13-5, 38 points), now with a six-point lead over fourth-place Piacenza and Conegliano, plays last place Zeta System Urbino Volley (1-16, 4 points) on March 8 in the next league match.

SUMMER EVENTS: USA Volleyball Cup (June 5-11 in Hawaii/California) | FIVB World Grand Prix Finals (July 22-26 in Omaha)

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 captured the 2015 DVV Cup title by rallying for a 17-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13 victory over Aachen on March 1. Miyashiro handled 14 receptions with a 64 positive percent. American teammate Nichole Lindow scored seven points, while Heather Meyers and Katherine Harms added four and three points. For video highlights of the match, click here. Stuttgart, the number-two seed in the Bundesliga playoffs, awaits its quarterfinal round opponent for the best-of-three series taking place March 14-22.

JACKSON, KREKLOW WITH DRESDNER: Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles, Twitter, Instagram) and Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Dresdner SC of the German Bundesliga and in the European (CEV) Champions League. In the German Bundesliga, Dresdner (21-1), the top seed in the tournament, awaits its quarterfinal round playoff opponent as it plays again March 14-22 in a best-of-three series to advance to the semifinals.

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, which finished the regular season in fourth place, topped Hitachi Rivale 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 on Feb. 28 in Osaka. Murphy notched 16 kills on 43 attacks, one block and one ace for 18 points in the sweep. Ageo faces Toray on March 7 in the next round of the V-League playoffs. To view a photo gallery of Murphy playing for Ageo Medics, courtesy of Team USA super fan Nahoko Mori of Japan, click here. To watch a video highlight package of Murphy, click here.

PAOLINI WITH HITACHI: Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich., Instagram) is playing for Hitachi in the Japan V-League this winter. Hitachi, which finished the regular season in sixth place, lost to fourth-place Ageo Medics 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 on Feb. 28. Paolini was credited with six kills on 18 swings, wo blocks and an ace for nine points. Hitachi plays NEC on Feb. 8 in the next round of the V-League playoffs.

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. In the Swiss League, Volero improved to 3-0 in the playoffs with victories over Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen I 25-10, 24-26, 25-20, 25-15 on March 25 and Volley Koniz 25-20, 25-22, 25-18 on Feb. 26. In the CEV Champions League, Volero advances to meets Turkey’s Eczacibasi in the home-and-home Playoff 6 Round series with matches on March 5 and March 12. The winner of the Playoff 6 Round advances to the semifinals on April 4.

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. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi rallied to defeat seventh-place Sariyer 19-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 15-7 as the victors rested many of its key players including Larson-Burbach who did not suit for the match. Eczacibasi, in third place and two points behind second-place Fenerbahce, plays fourth-place Galatasaray on March 7. In the CEV Champions League, Eczacibasi moves on to the Playoff 6 home-and-home series and will challenge Switzerland’s Volero Zurich on March 5 and March 12.

HILDEBRAND WITH FENERBAHCE: Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Fenerbahce of the Turkish League this winter. In the Turkish League, Fenerbahce blanked Bakirkoy Yesilyurt 25-21, 25-12, 25-15 on March 1. Hildebrand notched 15 points with 10 kills on 23 attacks, four aces and a block. She also handled 14 of the team’s 45 service receptions. Fenerbahce, in second place and three points behind league-leader VakifBank, challenges sixth-place Nilufer on March 8. In the CEV Champions League, Fenerbahce will now face country rival VakifBank in the Playoff 6 home-and-home series on March 5 and March 12.

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. Ilbank produced a 25-21, 27-25, 25-10 victory over 11th-place Besiktas on March 1 to avoid a two-match losing streak. Hood pocketed a match-high 19 points with 17 kills on 29 attacks and two blocks. She added an 87 positive reception percent on 15 chances. Ilbank, in ninth place with 19 points, plays 10th-place Canakkale on March 8 in the next Turkish League round.

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 rallied to defeat Nilufer 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 on March 1. Newcombe collected 15 points with 11 kills on 25 swings and just one error to go with a team-best four blocks. She added a 53 positive reception percent on 24 reception attempts. Idman Ocagi, which leap-frogged Nilufer for fifth place with the victory, faces seventh-place Bursa Sehir on March 8.

FAWCETT WITH KOREA EXPRESSWAY: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) is playing in the Korea V-League with Korea Expressway this winter. Korea Expressway lost to IBK Altos 19-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-16 on March 25. Fawcett scored 21 kills on 60 attacks as part of a 22-point performance. American and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Destinee Hooker led IBK Altos with 38 points. Korea Expressway looks to avoid a two-match losing skid as it faces Hyundai on March 7 followed by the Pink Spiders on March 9.

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 dispatched Nantes 25-17, 25-19, 25-16 in the French Cup semifinals to advance to the final match against Le Cannet on March 21. In French League regular season RC Cannes topped Venelles 25-18, 25-19, 25-18 on Feb. 28. Faucette charted 17 points with 15 kills on 29 attacks and two blocks. Wopat, in a starting role, totaled nine points with five kills on 10 attacks, two blocks and two aces. RC Cannes (17-1, 52 points), which remains in first-place, challenges St. Raphael on March 7.

DAVIS, LICHTMAN 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. Le Cannet advanced to the French Cup finals after defeating Mulhouse 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-22 on Feb. 25. Le Cannet will now face RC Cannes in the finals on March 21. Le Cannet captured its third straight victory in the regular season with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 victory over Isters on Feb. 28. Lichtman tallied 10 kills on 25 attacks and an ace while holding a 69 positive reception percent on 16 chances. Davis, who was the libero for the first two sets, was 78 positive percent on nine receptions. Le Cannet (15-3, 43 points), with a nine-point cushion for second place, will look for a fourth straight league win on March 7 against 10th-place Terville Florange (4-14, 12 points).

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. Impel Wroclaw swept KSZO Ostrowiec 25-13, 25-22, 26-24 on March 2 to conclude the regular season. Hagglund was a sub in the third set. Impel Wroclaw finished the regular season in fourth place with a 16-6 record and will play fifth-seed BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biala in the quarterfinal round.

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 knocked off Azeryol 25-23, 17-25, 25-15, 25-22 on Feb. 25. Rabita, after a fourth-place League Round finish in the CEV Champions League, falls to the CEV Cup and the Challenge Round where it will face Beziers VB in a home-and-home series on March 3 and a return date before March 12.

LLOYD WITH LOKOMOTIV BAKU: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif., Instagram) is setting for Lokomotiv Baku this winter in the Azerbaijan Super League. Lokomotiv came back from an opening set loss to defeat Azeryol 14-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-22 on March 2 and move into second place in the Azerbaijan Super League.