COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 9, 2015) – While the U.S. Women’s National Team players learned they will host the NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament on home soil for a chance to earn a bid to the 2016 Olympic Games, they are taking care of business overseas in their professional leagues until the return back to Anaheim in late December.
CEV EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The second leg of the CEV European Champions League is scheduled for this week with some big tussles on tap with U.S. Women’s National Team players taking center stage.
- Nov. 10: VakifBank (Hill) vs. Atom Trefl Sopot, 9 a.m. PT – Watch
- Nov. 10: Volero Zurich (Akinradewo, N. Hagglund, Vansant) vs. RC Cannes, 11 a.m. PT – Watch
- Nov. 10: Eczacibasi (Larson-Burbach, Kreklow) vs. Agel Prostejov, 8 a.m. PT – Watch
- Nov. 11: Pomi Casalmaggiore (Gibbemeyer, Lloyd) vs. Chemik Police, 11:30 a.m. PT – Watch
- Nov. 11: Impel Wroclaw (Hildebrand) vs. Dresdner (Bartsch), 9 a.m. PT – Watch
- Nov. 11: Fenerbahce (Dietzen) vs. Telekom Baku, 9 a.m. PT – Watch
- Nov. 11: Allianz Stuttgart (S. Robinson) vs. Dinamo Kazan, 10 a.m. – Watch
ROAD TO OLYMPICS HEADING THROUGH LINCOLN: The City of Lincoln, Neb., will have the worldwide volleyball attention Jan. 7-9, 2016, as it hosts the women's NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the world and reigning world champions, will host the four-team round robin with No. 7 Dominican Republic, No. 15 Puerto Rico and No. 16 Canada. The tournament winner will earn NORCECA’s berth into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prices for all-session reserved tickets range from $21-$81 dollars plus applicable taxes, while day session reserved seat prices range from $10-$30 dollars plus applicable taxes. Students, military and senior citizens can receive a $3 discount on day session tickets only. Tickets will go on sale Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. CT and will be available through Ticket Master and Pinnacle Bank Arena. USA Volleyball is partnering with the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau to produce the event. For the full story, click here.
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 blanked 11th-place Obiettivo Risarcimento Vicenza (1-4, 3 points) 25-19, 25-20, 25-19 on Nov. 4 at home. Lowe pocketed 18 points with 17 kills on 32 attacks to go with a block. Hagglund, who serves as the team captain, set the squad to a 45 kill percent and added four points with two blocks, one ace and one kill. Busto Arsizio won its second match of the week on Nov. 8 with a 25-22, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15 victory at home against Imoco Volley Conegliano. Lowe notched a match-high 26 points with 23 kills on 46 attacks, two blocks and an ace. Hagglund set the squad to a 43 kill percent to go with three kills on five attacks. Busto Arsizio (3-2, 9 points), in three-way tie for fourth place, takes on fourth-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (2-2, 6 points) on Nov. 15 in its next Italian Serie A1 match before concluding the week on Nov. 8 against league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano (3-0, 8 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 answered its first loss on the season by defeating ninth-place Metalleghe Sanitars Montichiari (2-3, 5 points) 25-19, 30-28, 25-15 on Nov. 4. Gibbemeyer contributed four kills, four blocks and three aces for 11 points in the victory. Lloyd set the squad to a 35 kill percent and chipped in two individual kills on two attacks to go with two blocks and an ace for five points. Third-place Casalmaggiore (3-1, 10 points), which dropped one spot this week due to a bye round on Nov. 8, challenges second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (4-0, 12), the lone undefeated team in the league, on Nov. 14 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.
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 took its first loss of the season on Nov. 4 with a 29-27, 25-21, 16-25, 24-26, 19-17 battle against 10th-place Suditrol Bolzano (2-3, 5 points). Easy tallied 18 kills on 50 swings and two blocks for 20 points in the loss. Robinson followed with 19 points on 18 kills via 52 swings and an ace. Adams pocketed nine kills on 19 attacks, four blocks and two aces for 15 points. Glass did not see action in the match. Conegliano took its second loss of the week with a 25-22, 21-25, 25-17, 25-15 setback to fourth-place Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio (3-2, 9 points) on Nov. 8. Glass, in her first action of the 2015-16 club season, set the squad to a 42 kill percent and added two kills on four swings. Robinson scored a team-tying high 17 points, all on kills on 35 attacks. She also handled 37 of the team’s 88 receptions with a 54 positive percent. Easy added 15 points with 14 kills on 32 swings and a block to go with 22 receptions and 55 positive reception percent. Adams chipped in five kills and two blocks for seven points. Conegliano (3-2, 9 points), which now has fallen from first place in the league to a three-way tie for fourth-place, will take on ninth-place Metalleghe Sanitars Montichiari (2-3, 5 points) on Nov. 15 in its next Italian Serie A1 match, followed by a Nov. 8 match against ninth-place Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio (1-2, 3 points).
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 turned back Polski Cukier Muszynianka 25-20, 20-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-5 on Nov. 8 to rebound from its loss the previous weekend. Hildebrand popped off 16 points with 15 kills on 30 attacks and a block. She added 17 reception in the victory. Impel Wroclaw (4-2, 11 points), which is in a tie for fourth place, looks to win a second straight Polish Orlen Liga match on Nov. 15 against 11th-place KS Palac Bydgoszcz (0-5, 0 points). In CEV Champions League, Impel Wroclaw (1-0) returns to action on Nov. 11 against Germany’s Dresdner SC.
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. Toray opened this past weekend with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-19 victory over NEC on Nov. 7. Dixon turned in seven kills on 12 attacks with just one error to go with two blocks for nine points. Toray rallied past Toyota 25-23, 22-25, 25-27, 25-21, 15-11 on Nov. 8 to remain at the top of the league standings. Dixon contributed 19 kills on 34 swings and four blocks for 23 points. Toray (6-1, 17 points), with a four-point lead over second-place Hisamitsu Springs, challenges eighth-place Ageo (2-5, 6 points) on Nov. 21 and third-place Okayama (4-3, 11 points) on Nov. 22 after a week away from the V-League.
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 stretched its win streak to three matches on Nov. 7 by rallying past Toyota 19-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 16-14. Paolini smacked 20 kills on 30 attacks with one error to go with one block for 21 points in the victory. Hitachi had its win streak snapped with a 25-22, 27-25, 23-25, 25-16 loss to NEC on Nov. 8. Paolini charted 15 kills on 41 attacks and one block for 16 points. After a hiatus from the V-League regular season, Hitachi (4-3, 10 points), now in fifth place, returns to action with matches versus second-place Hisamitsu Springs (4-3, 13 points) on Nov. 21 and sixth-place Denso (4-3, 9 points) on Nov. 22.
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 halted its losing streak on Nov. 7 with a 25-18, 25-14, 22-25, 25-22 victory over Okayama. Murphy hammered out 26 kills on 51 swings, four blocks and three aces for 33 points. However, Ageo was unable sustain the win streak in a 25-21, 23-25, 25-11, 25-16 loss to Denso on Nov. 8. Murphy scored 26 kills on 43 swings in the loss. Ageo (2-5, 6 points), in eighth place, takes on league-leader Toray (6-1, 17 points) on Nov. 21 and seventh-place Toyota (1-6, 7 points) on Nov. 22 in its next league matches following the V-League’s off week.
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 blanked Canakkale Bld 25-13, 26-24, 25-19 on Nov. 6. Larson-Burbach recorded eight kills on 23 swings, two blocks and an ace for 11 points. She added 16 receptions with a 69 positive reception percent. Kreklow set Eczacibasi to a 41 kill percent for the match while adding two blocks, one ace and one kill for four points. Eczacibasi, in fourth place with 11 points, will look to continue the win streak on Nov. 15 against seventh-place Halkbank. Eczacibasi will seek its first Champions League win of the season in the second leg on Nov. 11.
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 topped Ilbank 25-21, 25-21, 26-28, 25-19 on Nov. 8. Jackson was credited with six kills on 13 attacks and two blocks for eight points. Galatasaray, in second place with 13 points, takes on league-leader VakifBank on Nov. 15 in its next league match. 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 5-0 in the Turkish League with a 26-24, 25-15, 25-13 victory over Bursa B. Sehir Bld on Nov. 7. Hill played in her first match of the season, was a sub in the second and third sets with four serves and an excellent reception. VakifBank, which leaped up one spot into first place with 14 points, challenges second-place Galatasaray on Nov. 15 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.
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 overcame its first loss of the Turkish season last week by defeating Idman Ocagi 25-8, 25-21, 25-17 on Nov. 7. Dietzen did not play in the match. Fenerbahce, in third place with 13 points in the Turkish League, returns to league action on Nov. 15 against Nilufer Bld. Fenerbahce continues Champions League Pool E action on Nov. 11 against Azerbaijan’s Telekom Baku.
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 stopped Hamburg (2-4) 25-23, 25-13, 25-17 on Nov. 8. Bartsch totaled 10 points in the victory with nine kills on 23 attacks and a block. She chipped in a 44 positive reception percent on nine receptions. Dresdner (4-1) and in second place, challenges seventh-place Wiesbaden (3-3) on Nov. 15 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 answered its first loss of the season on Oct. 31 by defeating NawaRo Straubing (3-2) 25-10, 25-19, 25-18 on Nov. 7. Robinson handled a team-leading 17 receptions with a 41 positive percent. Stuttgart (3-2), which is in sixth place, faces 13th-place VCO Berlin (0-7) on Nov. 14 in its next Bundesliga match. In CEV Champions League Pool A, Stuttgart will seek its first win on Nov. 11 against Russian power Dinamo Kazan.
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 4-0 in the Swiss League after sweeping KC Kanti Schaffhausen I 25-11, 25-8, 25-16 on Nov. 7. Volero, one of two undefeated teams in the Swiss League, meets seventh-place VBC Cheseaux on Nov. 14. In CEV Champions League action, Volero (1-0) returns to action on Nov. 10 against France’s RC Cannes.
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 fell to Tianjin 25-18, 25-20, 25-20 on Nov. 3 fall to 1-1 on the season. Fawcett recorded 16 points with 14 kills on 30 attacks and two blocks. Faucette chipped in four kills on 12 attacks, two blocks and an ace for seven points. Fujian recovered to defeat Shanghai 18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 15-13 on Nov. 7. Fawcett collected 28 points, all on kills coming on 72 swings. Faucette added four points in the win.
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 lost to Shanghai 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 on Nov. 3. Lichtman was limited to four points, all on kills coming via 12 swings. Sichuan fell to Jiangsu 18-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-13 on Nov. 7. Lichtman pocketed eight points with six kills on 22 swings and two aces. To follow her season-long blog on Facebook, click here.
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.