Women's Update: Follow Your Favorite Athletes

By Bill Kauffman | March 09, 2015, 2:27 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 9, 2015) – The 2014-15 pro club season is inching to a close as many overseas leagues are beginning the playoff season with several U.S. Women’s National Team members in contention for titles.

QUICK HITS:

  • Kim Hill (Portland, Ore.) was featured in Pallavoliamo magazine in Italy, capturing her love of the game with the article titled “Flavoring Smile.” Along with dual-language article in Italian and English, the 14-page spread has loads of photos of Hill off the court. Check it out by clicking here.
  • Juliann Faucette (San Diego) was interviewed by Schiacciami, an Italian web site. As part of the article, she lists her favorite sports motto as “The harder you work, the harder it is surrender.” To read the feature, click here.
  • The U.S. Women’s National Team is leading the sport in talent, triumphs, and, now, technology. USA Volleyball coaches and athletes are incorporating VERT into their every day practices to gauge jump load data in order to improve play and performance, and to collect jump data quicker and more efficiently during National Team tryouts. For details, click here

Get your Tickets: FIVB World Grand Prix Finals (July 22-26 in Omaha)

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 concludes this week with all matches able to be viewed live online at laola1.tv.

  • 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

FAWCETT WITH KOREA EXPRESSWAY: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) is playing in the Korea V-League with Korea Expressway this winter. Korea Expressway downed Hyundai 2-22, 24-26, 25-14, 25-18 on March 7 to claim the Korea V-League regular season title with two matches left on the schedule. Fawcett contributed 38 kills on 84 swings, five blocks and three aces in the four-set victory. She ranks second in the league in scoring with 896 points. With the regular season already in hand, Fawcett did not play in Korea Expressway’s three-set loss to the Pink Spiders on March 9. Korea Expressway closes out the regular season against KGC on March 12. By entering the playoffs as the top seed, Korea Expressway will be idle until March 27 when it begins its championship series against the playoff winner between the second- and third-place team.

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 CEV Champions League, Eczacibasi opened its Playoff 6 home-and-home series with Switzerland’s Volero Zurich by capturing a 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 victory on March 5 in Istanbul. Larson-Burbach tallied 12 points with nine kills on 31 attacks, two blocks and an ace. She added an 81 positive reception percent on 16 chances. Eczacibasi needed to rally from early deficits in the first and third sets (down 8-4 in the first and trailing 8-5 in the third) to complete the sweep. The two teams meet again on March 12 with Eczacibasi one step closer to reaching the CEV Champions League semifinals. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi stopped fourth-place Galatasaray 25-17, 26-28, 25-23, 25-18 on March 7 without Larson-Burbach taking the floor. Eczacibasi, in third place and two points behind second-place Fenerbahce, plays fifth-place Idman Ocagi on March 15.

HILDEBRAND WITH FENERBAHCE: Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Fenerbahce of the Turkish League this winter. In the CEV Champions League, Fenerbahce lost to Turkish rival VakifBank 25-23, 28-26, 19-26, 25-16 to open the quarterfinal Playoff 6 home-and-home series on March 5. Hildebrand was a sub in the first set registering one serve. Fenerbahce now must win the return match on March 12 in 3-0 or 3-1 (plus Golden set) in order to advance to the semifinals. In the Turkish League, Fenerbahce downed sixth-place Nilufer 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 on March 8 as Hildebrand did not suit for the match. Fenerbahce, in second place and three points behind league-leader VakifBank, challenges 11th-place Besiktas on March 15.

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 dropped a 15-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-15 match to Canakkale on March 8. Hood scored a team-leading 13 points with 10 kills on 31 attacks, two aces on 23 serves and an ace. She added an 81 positive reception percent on 32 of her team’s 77 reception chances. Ilbank dropped to 10th place in the standings as Canakkale overtook them in the standings with a two-point edge for ninth place. Ilbank faces eighth-place Sariyer on March 15.

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 lost to Bursa Sehir 25-16, 25-23, 25-17 on March 8 on the road. Newcombe totaled four kills on 11 swings and an ace for five points in the loss. Idman Ocagi, in a fifth-place tie with Bursa Sehir, looks to avoid a two-match losing streak on March 15 as it faces third-place Idman Ocagi.

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. Italian Serie A leader Novara captured a key five-set victory (25-23, 25-11, 19-25, 19-25, 15-13) on March 8 over second-place Liu Jo Modena to create a larger cushion at the top of the leaderboard. Klineman scored a team-leading 24 points with 17 kills on 42 attacks, match-high five blocks and two aces. She chipped in 35 receptions with a 51 positive percent. Hill did not suit for the match. Novara (17-2, 49 points), now with a seven-point leader over Modena (13-6, 42 points), takes on seventh-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (10-9, 31 points) on March 14 for a match that can be seen on Rai Sport 1 in Italy.. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Novara lost a 24-26, 25-15, 25-19, 25-22 home match to Germany’s Schweriner SC on March 4 in the 4th Final Round. Klineman, who started the first two sets, charted nine points with seven kills and two aces. Hill was held to seven points with six kills on 28 swings and an ace. The teams conclude the home-and-home series on March 12 in Germany with Novara needing to win plus capture the Golden Set to advance to the semifinals.

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. Conegliano withstood a challenge from 11th-place Volley 2002 Forli on March 8 for a 16-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-15 victory. Glass set her squad to a 44 kill percent for the match while adding two blocks and one individual kill on two attacks. Adams returned to action with five kills on eight errorless attacks, one block and one ace for seven points in just the first two sets. Conegliano (12-7, 35 points), which remains in fourth place, returns to action on March 15 against second-place Liu Jo Modena (13-6, 42 points).

GIBBEMEYER WITH CASALMAGGIORE: Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Pomi Casalmaggiore of the Italian Serie A1 in 2014-15. Casalmaggiore swept last-place Zeta System Urbino Volley 25-17, 25-8, 25-16 on March 8 to remain in third place in the Serie A standings. Gibbemeyer produced six points with five kills on 11 attacks and a block. Casalmaggiore (14-5, 41 points), which now trails Liu Jo Modena by just one point for second place, returns to action on March 15 against ninth-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (7-12, 21 points).

ROBINSON WITH PONCE IN PUERTO RICO: Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill., Twitter, Instagram), who played for BIAC Motors in the short-season Chinese professional league to start the 2014-15 season, has transferred to Ponce in the Puerto Rico Super League. In her league debut, Robinson connected for 15 points on 13 kills, one block and one ace as Ponce swept Carolina 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 on March 5. She chipped in 10 digs and 12 receptions in the victory. Ponce played Naranjito on March 8, but results have not been posted. Next week Ponce faces Catano on March 12 and Mayaguez on March 14.

Details on USA Volleyball Cup | U.S. Women vs. China June 5-11 in Hawaii/Southern California

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 Medics, which finished the regular season in fourth place, defeated Toray 25-17, 25-16, 22-25, 25-12 on March 7 in the playoffs. Murphy scored 16 kills on 46 attacks and just one error, three blocks and an ace for 20 points. In the six-team round-robin playoffs, Ageo Medics is 2-0 and are tied with Hisamitsu Springs. Ageo Medics will face NEC (2-1) on March 14 and Hisamitsu Springs (2-0) on March 15.

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, defeated NEC 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 on March 8 in the playoff round. Paolini pocketed 15 kills on 32 attacks and one ace for 16 points in the sweep. Hitachi is now 1-1 in the playoffs. Hitachi challenges Okayama (0-2) on March 14 in the next round of the six-team playoffs.

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. In the CEV Cup, Rabita handled Beziers 25-22, 26-28, 25-14, 25-21 on March 3 to start the challenge round home-and-home series. Akinradewo converted 11 of 14 attacks into kills without a single error and added a block and ace for 13 points. Dixon added seven kills on 19 errorless attacks and a block for eight points. The American middle blocker duo combined for a .545 hitting efficiency in the match without an error. Rabita will host Beziers on March 12 and needs just a simple victory to move on to the CEV Cup semifinals. Rabita downed Azerreyl 25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23 on March 7 and now has an eight-point lead over second-place Azeryol.

LLOYD WITH LOKOMOTIV BAKU: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif., Instagram) is setting for Lokomotiv Baku this winter in the Azerbaijan Super League. Lokomotiv, in third place in the Azerbaijan Super League but with two less matches than league-leader Rabita, defeated Azeryol 14-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-22 on March 2. Lloyd set the squad to a 42 kill percent while chipping in four kills on six attacks and three blocks for seven 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. In the CEV Champions League, Volero lost to Eczacibasi 25-21, 25-19, 25-22 in Istanbul to open its Playoff 6 Round (quarterfinals) home-and-home series on March 5. Thompson set the squad to a 34 kill percent while adding one individual kill. Volero now must win the return match at home on March 12 and win a golden set to advance to the semifinals on April 4. In the Swiss League, Volero improved to 4-0 in the playoffs with a 25-21, 25-13, 25-22 victory over VC Kanti Schaffhausen on March 7. Volero concludes the first half of the playoffs on March 14 against fifth-place Hotel Cristal VFM before facing third-place Sagres NUC on March 15.

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 RC Cannes raced to a 25-17, 25-22, 25-7 victory over St. Raphael on March 7 to maintain its top ranking in the French League. Wopat scored 10 points with eight kills on 14 errorless swings, one block and one ace. Faucette did not suit for the match. Tom, starting just the first two sets, tallied four kills and a block for five points. RC Cannes (18-1, 55 points), which remains in first-place with a 10-point lead over second-place Le Cannet, challenges sixth-place Mulhouse (12-7, 34 points) on March 14.

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 topped 10th-place Terville Florange 22-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-18, 15-8 on March 7. Lichtman pocketed 18 points with 16 kills on 44 attacks and two blocks. Davis handled 10 receptions without an error in the victory. Le Cannet advanced to the French Cup finals after defeating Mulhouse 17-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-22 on Feb. 25. Le Cannet (16-3, 45 points), with a five-point lead over third-place SF Paris St. Cloud, returns to action on March 14 against fourth-place Nantes (12-7, 37 points) on March 16. Le Cannet will RC Cannes in the French Cup finals on March 21.

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 defeated BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biala 25-18, 25-20, 25-18 on March 7 to advance to the Polish Cup semifinals that take place on March 14 with the finals on March 15. 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 starting on March 21.

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, the number-two seed in the Bundesliga playoffs, faces seventh-seed Munster on March 14 and March 18 to start the best-of-three playoffs. The third match, if necessary, has not been secheduled.

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 CEV Champions League. In the German Bundesliga, Dresdner (21-1), the top seed in the tournament, meets eighth-seed Vilsbiburg on March 14 and March 18 to start the best-of-three playoffs. If necessary, the teams will play March 21 in the tiebreaker.