Women's Update: Players Excelling in Club Season

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Nov. 02, 2015, 3:35 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 2, 2015) – Members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team continue to fare well overseas in their professional club season. For a full recap of their accomplishments in the last week, read the weekly update below.

FAWCETT FINALIST FOR USOC’S BEST OF OCTOBER: Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) was one of five female finalist for the USOC’s Best of October honor. She was selected most valuable player of the biennial NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship as she led No. 1 Team USA to its third straight championship in the event. She scored 15 kills on 36 attacks, one block and one ace for 17 points in the gold-medal victory over world’s No. 7 Dominican Republic. For the tournament, Fawcett scored 51 points (46 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace) and converted 42.2 percent of her attacks into points. Other finalists for the award are triathlete Summer Cook, Paralympic track and field athlete Rachael Morrison, alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin and fencer Mariel Zagunis. Online fan voting for the honor continues through Nov. 2 at teamusa.org/awards.

GLASS, ROBINSON, EASY, ADAMS ALL WITH ITALY’S IMOCO CONEGLIANO: Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich., Twitter, Instagram), the 2013 and 2014 USA Volleyball Female Athlete of the Year, outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Ill., Twitter, Instagram), outside hitter Megan Easy (Boston, Mass.), a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, and Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) are all playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano of the Italian Serie A1 League this winter. Conegliano edged Pomi Casalmaggiore 25-19, 25-19, 24-26, 18-25, 15-11 on Nov. 1 in a battle of undefeated teams in the third weekend of the Italian Serie A1. Easy scored a team-high 24 points with 21 kills on 46 attacks, two blocks and an ace. She added a 70 positive reception percent on a team-high 46 reception chances. Robinson contributed 15 kills on 46 swings and three aces for 18 points. Adams was named the match most valuable player with 15 points coming on eight kills via 13 attacks, five blocks and two aces. Glass was not available for the match. Conegliano (3-0, 8 points), atop the league standings at 3-0, will face 10th-place Sudtirol Bolzano (1-2, 3 points) on Nov. 4 in its next Italian Serie A1 match, followed by a Nov. 8 match against ninth-place Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio (1-2, 3 points).

GIBBEMEYER, LLOYD WITH ITALY’S POMI CASALMAGGIORE: Middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) and setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif., Instagram), the MVP of the Pan American Games, are playing for Pomi Casalmaggiore of the Italian Serie A1 league this winter and the CEV Champions League. Casalmaggiore absorbed its first Italian Serie A1 loss, but nearly came back from an 0-2 deficit to league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano before falling 25-19, 25-19, 24-26, 18-25, 15-11 on Nov. 1. Gibbemeyer notched nine kills on 19 attacks and two blocks for 11 points. Lloyd set Casalmaggiore to a 37 kill percent as a team and added two individual kills on four attempts and two blocks for four points. Second-place Casalmaggiore (2-1, 7 points) faces seventh-place Metalleghe Sanitars Montichiari (1-2, 3 points) on Nov. 4 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. Casamaggiore returns to CEV Champions League action on Nov. 11 with a 1-0 record to face Poland’s Chemik Police.

LOWE, JENNA HAGGLUND WITH ITALY’S BUSTO ARSIZIO: Opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif., Twitter, Instagram), MVP of the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix, and setter Jenna Hagglund (West Chester, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) are competing for Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio of the Italian Serie A1 League this winter. Busto Arsizio dropped a 25-18, 25-20, 25-15 match to Liu Jo Modena on Nov. 1. Lowe was the only player on her squad to reach double-figures with 3 points with 12 kills on 34 attacks and a block. Hagglund set the squad to a 30 kill percent while adding an ace. Busto Arsizio (1-2, 3 points), in six-way tie for seventh place, takes on 11th-place Obiettivo Risarcimento Vicenza (1-2, 3 points)on Nov. 4 in its next Italian Serie A1 match before concluding the week on Nov. 8 against league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano (3-0, 8 points).

PAOLINI WITH JAPAN’S HITACHI RIVALE: Middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich., Twitter, Instagram), a middle blocker on Team USA, is playing her second consecutive season with Hitachi Rivale of the Japan V-League. Hitachi started the weekend with a 15-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 victory over over Denso on Oct. 31. Paolini pocketed 19 kills on 38 attacks to go with five blocks for 24 points. On the following day, Hitachi rallied to defeat Ageo Medics 21-25, 24-26, 25-20, 25-16, 15-9 on Nov. 1. Paolini was near unstoppable with 21 kills on 38 attacks with just two errors to go with two blocks and an ace for 24 points in the victory. Hitachi (3-2, 8 points), in fourth place, returns to action next weekend with matches against sixth-place Toyota (1-4, 5 points) on Nov. 7 and fifth-place NEC (2-3, 8 points) on Nov. 8.

DIXON WITH JAPAN’S TORAY ARROWS: Middle blocker Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minn., Twitter, Instagram), Best Blocker in the 2015 FIVB World Cup helping Team USA to the bronze medal, is playing her first season in the Japan V-League with Toray Arrows. Tory swept Okayama 25-19, 25-16, 25-22 on Oct. 31 to move to 4-0 on the season. Dixon turned in nine kills on 17 attacks and two blocks for 11 points as Toray had a balanced offensive attack. Toray had its season-opening win streak snapped on Nov. 1 with a 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 25-23 loss to Hisamitsu Springs. Dixon hammered out 11 kills on 23 attacks, one ace and one block for 13 points. Toray, which remains at the top the league standings at 4-1 with 12 points, looks to avoid a multiple match losing streak when it returns to action on Nov. 7 against fifth-place NEC (2-3, 8 points), followed by a Nov. 8 contest against sixth-place Toyota (1-4, 5 points).

MURPHY WITH JAPAN’S AGEO MEDICS: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Ill., Twitter, Instagram), Team USA’s leading scorer in 2013 and 2014, is playing her second season in the Japan V-League with Ageo Medics. Ageo fell to NEC Red Rockets 25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19 on Oct. 31, though Murphy fared well in her offensive role. She collected 27 kills on 59 attacks without an error to go with two aces and a block for 30 points. Ageo lost a five-set heart-breaker 21-25, 24-26, 25-20, 25-16, 15-9 on Nov. 1 the following day. Murphy charted 26 kills on 59 attacks and two aces for 28 points. Ageo (1-4, 3 points), in eighth place, looks to stop its losing streak on Nov. 7 against third-place Okayama (3-2, 9 points) before facing seventh-place Denso (2-3, 4 points) on Nov. 8.

FAWCETT WITH CHINA’S FUJIAN: Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram), most valuable player of the NORCECA Championship leading Team USA to gold in 2015, and former U.S. National Team player Juliann Faucette are playing for Fujian in the Chinese professional league. Fujian won its season-opener 15-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-21 on Oct. 31. Fawcett collected 26 points with 21 kills on 50 attacks, three aces and two blocks. Fawcett added seven digs in the win. Faucette added seven points with five kills and two blocks.

LICHTMAN WITH CHINA’S SICHUAN: Outside hitter Cassidy Lichtman (Poway, Calif., Twitter), an outside hitter on the U.S. Women’s National Team, is competing professionally for Sichuan of the Chinese professional volleyball League this winter. Sichuan pulled a major upset in the season opener by defeating Tianjin 13-25, 31-29, 26-24, 25-15 for its first-ever win over the powerhouse team from China. Lichtman scored 10 points with seven kills on 10 attacks, two aces and a block. She added four digs and handled 33 receptions with nine excellent passes. To follow her season-long blog on Facebook, click here.

HILDEBRAND WITH POLAND’S IMPEL WROCLAW: Outside hitter Kristin Hildebrand (Orem, Utah, Twitter, Instagram) is competing this winter for Impel Wroclaw in the Polish League and CEV Champions League. In the Polish League, Impel Wroclaw lost to Chemik Police 25-18, 25-16, 26-24 on Oct. 31. Hildebrand started and played just the first set, contributing one kill and eight of her team’s 23 first-set receptions. In CEV Champions League, Impel Wroclaw (1-0) returns to action on Nov. 11 against Germany’s Dresdner SC.

AKINRADEWO, NATALIE HAGGLUND, VANSANT WITH SWITZERLAND’S VOLERO ZURICH: Middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Fla., Twitter, Instagram), libero Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) and Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Volero Zurich in the Swiss League as well as the CEV Champions League. Volero improved to 3-0 in the Swiss League with a comfortable 25-9, 25-20, 25-15 victory over Volley Top Luzern on Nov. 1. In CEV Champions League action, Volero (1-0) returns to action on Nov. 10 against France’s RC Cannes.

LARSON-BURBACH, KREKLOW WITH TURKEY’S ECZACIBASI: Outside hitter Jordan Larson-Burbach (Hooper, Neb., Twitter, Instagram) and setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn., Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Eczacibasi of the Turkish League this winter, along with the CEV Champions League. Eczacibasi swept Nilufer 25-14, 25-22, 25-10 on Oct. 31 in the Turkish league. Kreklow set the squad to a 55 kill percent with 42 kills on 76 attacks. She also added one individual kill on one attack and an ace for two points. Larson-Burbach did not play in the victory. Eczacibasi, in fourth place with eight points, will look to continue the win streak on Nov. 7 against Canakkale. Eczacibasi will seek its first Champions League win of the season in the second leg on Nov. 11.

DIETZEN WITH TURKEY’S FENEBAHCE: Middle blocker Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pa., Twitter, Instagram) is competing this winter for Fenerbahce in the Turkish League and CEV Champions League. Fenerbahce fell to VakifBank 22-25, 25-15, 25-22, 16-25, 15-6 on Oct. 31 in a battle of perennial league leaders. Dietzen did not suit for the match. Fenerbahce, in first place with 10 points in the Turkish League, returns to league action on Nov. 7 against Idman Ocagi. Fenerbahce continues Champions League Pool E action on Nov. 11 against Azerbaijan’s Telekom Baku.

JACKSON WITH TURKEY’S GALATASARAY: Middle blocker Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles, California, Twitter, Instagram) is competing for Galatasaray of the Turkish League this winter. Galatasaray edged Sariyer 27-25, 19-25, 25-21, 14-25, 15-11 on Nov. 2. Jackson provided six kills on 16 attacks and a block for seven points in her starting middle blocker role. In CEV Cup action, Galatasaray plays the second match of 16th Final Round home-and-home series with Switzerland’s Viteos Neuchatel on Nov. 12. Galatasaray won the opening match on Oct. 29.

HILL WITH TURKEY’S VAKIFBANK: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Ore., Twitter, Instagram), the MVP of the 2014 FIVB World Championship, is playing for VakifBank in the Turkish League and CEV Champions League this winter. VakifBank improved to 4-0 in the Turkish League with a hard-fought 22-25, 25-15, 25-22, 16-25, 15-6 victory over Fenerbahce on Oct. 31. Hill was absent from the lineup, but is expected to return soon. VakifBank, in second place with eight points, challenges Bursa B. Sehir on Nov. 7 in the next Turkish League match. VakifBank (1-0) is idle in the CEV Champions League until a Nov. 10 match against Poland’s PGE Atom Trefl Sopot.

BARTSCH WITH GERMANY’S DRESDNER: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Ill., Twitter) is playing for Dresdner SC of the German Bundesliga and CEV Champions League this winter. Dresdner battled past Allianz MTV Stuttgart 25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 28-26 on Oct. 31. Bartsch connected for 15 kills on 39 swings in helping Dresdner to the victory. She also handled 20 receptions with a 50 positive reception percent. Dresdner (3-1 and in third place, challenges 10th-place Hamburg (2-3) on Nov. 8 in its next Bundesliga match. In CEV Champions League Pool E action, Dresdner (0-1) returns to action on Nov. 11 against Poland’s Impel Wroclaw.

STEVI ROBINSON, MIYASHIRO WITH GERMANY’S STUTTGART: Liberos Tama Miyashiro (Kaneohe, Hawaii, Twitter, Instagram) and Stevi Robinson (Hermosa Beach, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) are signed to play for Allianz MTV Stuttgart of the German Bundesliga, which is also playing in the CEV Champions League. Stuttgart fell to Bundesliga champion Dresdner SC 25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 28-26 on Oct. 31. Robinson handled 24 of the team’s receptions with a team-leading 46 positive percent. Miyashiro is unavailable for Stuttgart at this time. Stuttgart (2-2), which is in seventh place, returns to Bundesliga action on Nov. 7 against fourth-place Straubing (3-1). In CEV Champions League Pool A, Stuttgart will seek its first win on Nov. 11 against Russian power Dinamo Kazan.

THOMPSON WITH BRAZIL’S REXONA ADES: Setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash., Twitter, Instagram) has signed to compete for Rexona Ades in the Brazilian Superliga. The regular season opens on Nov. 13 as it faces Renata Valinhos.

KLINEMAN WITH BRAZIL’S PRAIA CLUBE: Opposite Alix Klineman (Manhattan Beach, Calif., Twitter, Instagram) is competing for Praia Clube in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. The squad opens the regular season on Nov. Nov. 13 against Sao Cristovao Saude.