Women's Update: Gibbemeyer Lifts Italian Trophy

By Bill Kauffman | May 17, 2015, 9:58 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 17, 2015) – U.S. Women’s National Team middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) helped her Italian club team Pomi Cassalmaggiore overcome a 2-1 match deficit in winning the Italian Serie A1 best-of-five championship playoffs last week, while many of her teammates were back in the United States competing in the first Red-Blue match of the season on May 15.

QUICK HITS:

  • The U.S. Women’s National Team will hold its second Red-Blue match on May 22 at Rancho Cucamonga High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The match starts at 7 p.m. PT, which will be preceded by head coach Karch Kiraly providing a chalk talk with fans at 5:45 p.m. followed by warmups at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for individuals 18-and-under.
  • Tayyiba Haneef-Park, who retired from the U.S. Women’s National Team with two Olympic Games silver medals, has been elected to the USA Volleyball Board of Directors as the indoor female athlete director. To read more about Haneef-Park and the USAV Board, click here.
  • Tickets are now on sale for all four matches of the women’s USA Volleyball Cup as the world’s No. 1 U.S. Women host No. 3 China at University of Hawaii in Honolulu (June 5-6), UC Irvine (June 9) and Cal State San Bernardino (June 12). The competition creates an intriguing rematch of the 2014 FIVB Women’s World Championship in which Team USA defeated China 3-1 in the gold-medal match. For tickets and more information on the series, click here.
  • Tickets for the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix Finals being held July 22-26 are now on sale. All-session passes allow you to watch all 15 matches over the five-day round-robin event, while daily passes get you in to watch all three matches per day. Matches played July 22-25 are scheduled for 3, 5 and 8 p.m. CT with the U.S. Women playing the last match each day, while the final day's matches are at 11:30 a.m., 3 and 5 p.m. CT with Team USA playing the first match of the day to accommodate a live television broadcast (details to come soon). To purchase tickets, click here.
  • U.S. Women’s National Team opposite Juliann Faucette (San Diego) tied the knot on May 16 as she married Roderick Johnson in Dripping Springs, Texas. For her wedding story, click here.
  • The U.S. Women's National Team hosted the coaching staffs for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team and the U.S. Girls' Youth National Team from May 12-15 at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif. - the official host city for the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams - and during the Red-Blue match on May 15 in Santa Ana, Calif. "Our Nationals Teams are at the top of the world level right now," U.S. Women's Junior National Team Head Coach Tom Hogan said. "We are seeing what they are doing and what they have done to win gold at the World Championship. We are going to try and implement as much as we can with our Youth and Junior Teams and try to build our pipeline stronger than what it already is."

GIBBEMEYER WITH CASALMAGGIORE: Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) capped her 2014-15 club season by helping Pomi Casalmaggiore capture the Italian Serie A1 playoff title against long odds. Casalmaggiore, as the second seed in the playoffs, trailed 2-1 in the best-of-five finals against top-seed Igor Gorgonzola Novara heading into match four and needing two consecutive victories to win the title. No fear – Casalmaggiore needed to rally from a 0-2 match deficit in the best-of-five semifinals just to rally to the final round. In the fourth match, Casalmaggiore edged Novara 25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 16-14 on May 12 to force a deciding fifth set. Gibbemeyer turned in 13 points in the victory with five kills, a team-leading six blocks and two aces on a team-best 22 serves as Casalmaggiore took advantage of her on the service line as well at the net. In the deciding contest, Casalmaggiore took the title with a 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20 victory on Novara’s home court. Gibbemeyer’s net defense continued to be stellar with a team-best five blocks to go with four kills for nine total points in the victory on May 16.

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, the Italian League playoffs’ top-seed, was unable to come away with the playoff title despite holding a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-five final round series against Pomi Casalmaggiore. In the fourth match, Casalmaggiore edged Novara 25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 20-25, 16-14 on May 12 to set up the deciding match for the title. Hill scored 18 points in the loss with 17 kills on 45 attacks and a block. She added a 62 positive reception percent on a team-leading 34 receptions. Klineman contributed 13 points via 11 kills and two blocks in the loss. She handled 31 receptions with a 65 positive percent. In the deciding match, Novara was unable to break Casalmaggiore’s momentum in a 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20 loss on May 16. Klineman scored a match-high 23 points with 18 kills on 44 attacks, three blocks and two aces. She tallied a team-best 25 receptions with a 52 positive percent. Hill added three points in the loss, all on kills.

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

RECAP OF MAY 15 RED-BLUE: USA Volleyball hosted a unique Red-Blue doubleheader on May 15 as both the U.S. Women and U.S. Men played scrimmages at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, Calif. In the first Red-Blue of the summer, the U.S. Women received outstanding play from a variety of athletes. Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), in her first season with the National Team, led all scorers with 19 points via 17 kills on 32 attacks, one block and one ace from her opposite position. Hayley Hodson (Newport Beach, Calif.), who starts college at Stanford University this fall, added 15 kills on 37 attacks, two aces and a block for 18 points to go with six digs at outside hitter. She also added six digs and served a scrimmage-leading 16 times. Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill., Twitter, Instagram) was 6-of-9 on positive receptions to go with 12 kills, two aces and a block for 15 points and eight digs. Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla., Twitter, Instagram) hit .571 with nine kills on 14 attacks to go with a block for 10 points. Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) had 34 assists and her hitter charted a 47 kill percent. Kayla Banwarth (Dubuque, Iowa, Twitter, Instagram) contributed a team-leading nine digs.