Women's Update: May Doubleheader

By Bill Kauffman | March 30, 2015, 12:27 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 30, 2015) – The U.S. Women's National Team summer training block starts in just a little more than a month, but April will be an exciting time as many of our athletes are working toward club championships overseas before donning the Team USA Mizuno uniform again in 2015.

QUICK HITS:

  • USA Volleyball will hold a unique Red-Blue doubleheader featuring both the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Teams playing back-to-back Red-Blue matches on May 15 at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, Calif. The U.S. Women will play the opening Red-Blue match at 5:30 p.m. PT, followed by the U.S. Men at 7:30 p.m. PT. An autograph session will follow at the conclusion of the men’s match. Admission is $5 to watch both matches. Youth 18 and under are admitted free, as are Starlings Club teams and parents. The doubleheader will be the first public Red-Blue matches for both programs in 2015. The U.S. Women, ranked No. 1 in the world by FIVB, is coming off winning the 2014 FIVB World Championship. The U.S. Men, ranked No. 5 in the world, is preparing to defend their FIVB World League title won in 2014.
  • A big weekend is on tap in Poland as the CEV Champions League comes to a close with the semifinals and finals. Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb.) and her Eczacibasi teammates will face Turkish rival VakifBank in the semifinals on April 4 with the winner moving on to the finals to challenge either host Chemik Police or Italy’s Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio on April 5. The Eczacibasi-VakifBank match can be watched online starting at 9 a.m. PT on April 4.
  • The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team lost a heart-breaking match in the 2012 Olympic Games to Brazil, but according to setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.), that setback has been one of her most inspiring moments of her career. To read the story behind the story, check out JamtheGym.com’s article.

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. Ponce secured a 25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 25-23 victory over sixth-place Carolina (8-13, 23 points on March 26. Robinson pocketed a match-best 27 points with 24 kills and three aces to go with 17 digs and 21 receptions. American teammate Haley Eckerman tallied 13 points in her Puerto Rico Super League debut. On the opposite side of the net American Rachel Kidder tallied 19 points in the loss. Ponce continued its domination since Robinson’s arrival with a 25-15, 25-15, 21-25, 25-14 victory over seventh-place Naranjito (1-21, 3 points) on March 28. Robinson tallied seven points in limited action, while Eckerman produced a match-high 17 points to go with 10 digs. Ponce, now in third place with a 13-9 record and 42 points, closes out the regular season with two matches next week against fifth-place Catano (9-13, 27 points) on April 1 and league-leader Mayaguez (16-6, 50 points) on April 4.

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

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 swept Volley 2002 Forli 25-16, 25-14, 25-16 on March 28 to end the Italian Serie A1 regular season with a victory and earning the No. 1 seed into the playoffs. Klineman contributed 13 points with eight kills on 19 attacks with just one error to go with four aces and a block. She added a 69 positive reception percent on a team-best 13 receptions. Hill collected 10 points with nine kills on 20 errorless attacks and an ace. She was 92 percent positive on 12 receptions. Novara, 19-3 in the regular season with 10-point lead over second-place Pomi Casalmaggiore, challenges eighth-seed Foppapedretti Bergamo (11-11, 34 points) in the best-of-three quarterfinals with opening matches on April 4 and April 11. If necessary, the tiebreaking match is scheduled for April 14. Through the regular season, Klineman was the 11th-leading scorer in the league with 277 points, while Hill was 12th in scoring with 267 points. Hill was eighth in best spiker among pin hitters with a 40.7 kill percent, while Klineman’s 39.9 kill percent was 10th-best in the league. Klineman also ranked 10th in Best Server with 19 total aces.

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 ended the Italian League Serie A1 regular season with a 25-22, 26-24, 25-20 loss to Nordmeccanica Rebecchi Piacenza on March 28. Adams scored a team-leading 14 points with 12 kills on 19 attacks, one ace and one block. Glass set the team to a 34 kill percent in the loss. On the opposite side of the net, American Arielle Wilson tallied 10 points for Piacenza. Conegliano, 13-9 overall with 37 points in the regular season, moves into the playoffs as the sixth seed and meets third-seed LIU JO Modena in the best-of-three quarterfinal round. The series opens on April 4 followed by an April 11 contest. If necessary, the rubber match will be played April 14. Adams led the league in the best spiker category with a 56.2 kill percent through the regular season. Adams also finished with 55 blocks for eighth-best in the league, but was sixth in blocks per set with 0.77 average.

GIBBEMEYER WITH CASALMAGGIORE: Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Pomi Casalmaggiore of the Italian Serie A1 in 2014-15. Casalmaggiore earned a hard-fought 27-25, 25-20, 13-25, 20-25, 15-8 victory over LIU JO Modena on March 28 to conclude the Italian League Serie A1 regular season in second place, leap-frogging Modena through tiebreakers as both finished with with 46 points. However, Casalmaggiore had a 16-6 overall record to Modena’s 14-8 record. Gibbemeyer contributed four kills on six errorless attacks in the victory while adding a match-high five blocks for a total of nine points. As the second seed in the playoffs, Casalmaggiore meets seventh-seed Metalleghe Sanitars Montichiari in the best-of-three quarterfinals with matches on April 4 and April 11. If the series is tied 1-1, the deciding match will be played April 14. Gibbemeyer had the sixth most blocks in the league with 60 total and was seventh in blocks per set with a 0.76 average.

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 downed Beziers 25-18, 25-18, 17-25, 25-12 on March 28 in the second to last regular season match a week after claiming the French Cup title. Lichtman provided a team-best 13 points with 12 kills on 32 attack with just on error to go with an ace. She chipped in a 79 positive reception percent with 19 chances. Davis was 70 percent positive on 10 reception chances in the victory. Le Cannet, which cannot move out of second place in the league standings, concludes the regular season on April 4 against seventh-place Venelles (9-12, 30 points).

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 blanked Vannes 25-15, 25-16, 25-12 on March 28 in the next to last regular season match. Faucette tallied eight points with seven kills on 12 attacks and a block while only starting the third set. Wopat, in a starting role, recorded five kills, two aces and two blocks for nine points. RC Cannes (20-1, 61 points), which already has the top seed wrapped up, ends the regular season on April 4 against third-place SF Paris St. Cloud (15-6, 44 points).

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, swept USC Munster 29-27, 25-21, 25-19 on March 25 in the deciding match of the best-of-three quarterfinal round. Miyashiro handled 10 of the team’s 64 receptions with a 70 positive percent. American teammate Nichole Lindow added a match-high 13 points, while Katherine Harms collected eight points. Stuttgart now faces Schwerin in the best-of-three semifinals with matches on April 1 and April 4. If the series is tied, the deciding match will be played on April 15 in Stuttgart.

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. In the German Bundesliga, Dresdner had the week off after sweeping its quarterfinal series against No. 8 seed Rote Raben Vilsbiburg. Dresdner, the top seed, will now challenge Wiesbaden in the best-of-three semifinals with matches on April 1 and April 4. If necessary, the tiebreaking match will be played April 12 at Dresdner.

U.S. Women hosting China in USA Volleyball Cup June 5-12

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, No. 3 seed Eczacibasi plays No. 6 seed Bursa B. Sehir in the quarterfinal round. Dates for the quarterfinals have yet to be determined. In the CEV Champions League, Eczacibasi will challenge Turkish rival VakifBank on April 4 in the semifinals with the winner moving on to the April 5 final to play the winner of Italy’s Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio and Polish host Chemik Police.

HILDEBRAND WITH FENERBAHCE: Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Fenerbahce of the Turkish League this winter. Fenerbahce, the second seed in the Turkish League playoffs, meets Sariyer in the quarterfinals. Dates for the quarterfinals have yet to be determined.

HOOD WITH ILBANK: Regan Hood (Dallas, Texas, Instagram) is playing for Ilbank of the Turkish League in 2014-15. Ilbank, the 10th seed in the Turkish League playoffs, won all three matches last weekend in the Playoff 9-12 round. Ilbank opened with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-20 victory over No. 11 Besiktas on March 27. Hood secured 12 points in the victory with 10 kills on 21 attacks and two blocks. She added a 40 positive reception percent on 10 chances. In the second match of the weekend, Ilbank blanked No. 12 Bakirkoy Yesilyurt 25-18, 25-15, 25-8 on March 28. Hood pocketed a match-leading 21 points with 17 kills on 24 attacks and a match-best four blocks. She added a 100 percent positive reception percent on 10 chances. In a battle of unbeaten teams from the weekend playoff, Ilbank edged No. 9 Canakkale 25-21, 25-19, 19-25, 25-27, 15-8 on March 29. Hood again scored a team-leading 24 points with 21 kills on 44 swings, two blocks and one ace. She added a 55 percent positive reception after receiving 49 of the team’s 92 receptions. The same teams will have a second round-robin playoff next weekend as Ilbank plays Canakkale on April 3, Bakirkoy Yesilyurt on April 4 and Besiktas on April 5. Hood is the second leading scorer in the league with 396 points, two points behind the league leader.

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 is the eighth seed in the Turkish League playoffs and will meet VakifBank in the quarterfinals. Dates for the quarterfinals have yet to be determined.

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 lost to NEC Red Rockets 25-22, 25-19, 25-21 in the Final 3 playoffs to determine which team would advance to the finals to face Hisamitsu Springs for the V-League title.

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 playoffs, Volero ended the double-round robin six-team playoff with a perfect 10-0 record after picking up two wins last week. Volero swept Sagres NUC I 25-15, 25-20, 25-20 on March 23, followed by a 25-17, 25-15, 25-19 victory over VC Kanti Schaffhausen I on March 25. Afterwards, Volero Zurich continued to triumph by capturing the Swiss Cup for the 10th time with a 25-13, 25-19, 25-12 victory over Guin. Thompson was the starting setter, while American teammate Emily Hartong scored two points in the victory.

FAWCETT WITH KOREA EXPRESSWAY: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) is playing in the Korea V-League with Korea Expressway this winter. After nearly a two-week layoff as the top-seed in the Korean V-League playoffs awaiting its championship opponent, Korea Expressway has got off to a rocky start to the best-of-five playoff series against IBK Altos. Korea Expressway opened the series with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-22 loss on March 27. Fawcett contributed a team-best 24 points in the loss with 22 kills on 62 attacks, one ace and one block. American Destinee Hooker led IBK Altos with a match-high 28 points. In the second match, IBK Altos scored a 25-21, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20 victory on March 29. Fawcett scored a match-high 34 points with 32 kills on 87 attacks, one ace and one block. Meanwhile, Hooker tallied 27 points in the IBK Altos victory. Korea Expressway now must win the final three matches on March 31, and if necessary April 2 and April 4.

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. In the CEV Cup, Rabita lost semifinal round home-and-home series opener to Russia’s Dinamo Krasnodar 25-20, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22 on March 24. Akinradewo collected 11 points with nine kills on 12 attacks and two blocks. Dixon added four kills on nine swings, three blocks and an ace for eight points. Rabita’s downfall came in serve-receive as Krasnodar had 13 aces. Rabita netted just four aces and had 10 service errors, double that of Krasnodar. “Dinamo showed an excellent performance tonight and of course we are not happy with the final result,” Akinradewo said. “I hope we will play much better on Saturday in Baku.” Rabita lost the rematch on March 28 as Krasnodar swept the series with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-20 second match victory in Azerbaijan. Dixon tallied six points with four kills on 10 swings and two blocks. Akinradewo was held to three points, all on kills via seven errorless attacks. The Rabita reception was only 30 percent positive and limiting the use of the two American middle blockers. In the Azerbaijan Super League, Rabita Baku was idle last week and still maintains a seven-point stranglehold on first place over second-place Azeryol and Lokomotiv who each have 32 points.

LLOYD WITH LOKOMOTIV BAKU: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif., Instagram) is setting for Lokomotiv Baku this winter in the Azerbaijan Super League. Lokomotiv, idle last week in league play, is tied for second place with 32 points, seven points behind league-leader Rabita Baku.

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. After losing the first match of the best-of-three quarterfinal round series, fourth-seed Impel Wroclaw bounced back to win twice last week to move on to the semifinal round. Impel defeated fifth-seed BKS Aluprof Bielsko-Biala 25-15, 25-19, 25-17 on March 26 as Hagglund was a sub in the opening set registering two serves. In the deciding match on March 27, Impel Wroclaw scored a 25-12, 25-19, 25-19 victory to win the series. Hagglund was a sub in the second set.