Women's Update: Robinson, Bartsch Named MVPs

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 09, 2016, 10:44 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (May 9, 2016) – Two U.S. Women’s National Team members earned most valuable player honors for their pro leagues last week as the club season drew to a close. Find out who earned the honors, who won club championships and other national team news in the latest team update.

DID YOU KNOW: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram), who has been a part of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team since January 2011, is not to be confused with the women’s soccer player with the same name. The volleyball-playing Lloyd has won her own accolades.

  • Named most valuable player at the 2015 Pan American Games after leading the U.S. Women to gold, four years after starting four of five matches at the 2011 Pan American Games as Team USA won the bronze medal in her first-ever international competition
  • Set the U.S. Women to the 2015 Pan American Cup gold medal, three years after helping Team USA to the gold at the 2012 edition of the Pan American Cup
  • Led U.S. Women’s National A2 Team to the gold medal at the 2010 USA Volleyball Open National Championships
  • Became first player to become a three-time selection to the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program (now called U.S. Collegiate National Team)
  • Named 2010 American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Player of the Year while leading University of California-Berkeley to a runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament
  • First setter at Cal-Berkeley history to be named AVCA All-American, and only second player to earn three AVCA All-American honors
  • Her uncle Galen Tomlinson, who was Turbo in the 1980s television series American Gladiator, was her mentor and coach in both volleyball and track and field in her youth. After the passing of Lloyd’s father when she was four years old, Tomlinson moved in shortly afterwards and came to be a father figure for her. To read more about the relationship, click here.
  • Grandfather Doug Tomlinson was a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians
  • Full Bio

RED-BLUE INTRASQUAD SCRIMMAGES: The U.S. Women will have four Red-Blue instrasquad scrimmages in southern California with one held every Friday through June 3. The first Red-Blue will take place at Tustin High School (Tustin, California) on May 13 at 7 p.m. PT, followed by a May 20 Red-Blue at Murrieta Mesa High School (Murrieta, California) at 7 p.m. PT. On May 27, a doubleheader Red-Blue will take place at Santiago Canyon College (Orange, California) with the U.S. Women starting off at 6 p.m. PT and the U.S. Men scrimmaging immediately afterwards. The Red-Blue schedule concludes on June 3 at Segerstrom High School (Santa Ana, California) with match time at 7 p.m. Tickets ($5 per person with children three-and-under free) are available only on-site of each Red-Blue immediately prior to the match.

HILL VISITS HER FORMER JUNIORS’ CLUB: Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Twitter, Instagram) took a break following her Turkish League season to visit family and friends in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, before reporting to the U.S. Women’s National Team. While home, Hill visited with Adidas NW Juniors, the same club she played for as a youth. For photos of her meet-and-greet with the club members, click here.

Related: U.S. Women's National Team Home Page | FIVB World Grand Prix Prelim in Long Beach, California

NATALIE HAGGLUND TAKES OVER INSTAGRAM: Natalie Hagglund (Encinitas, California) has taken over the USA Volleyball Instagram account (@usavolleyball) on Monday to provide a day in the life of the U.S. Women's National Team member. Follow our account for the latest info on the team and cool behind-the-scenes content.

FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX PRELIM ROSTER SET: The U.S. Women’s National Team, ranked No. 1 in the world by the FIVB, has announced its 22-player preliminary roster for the FIVB World Grand Prix, the premier annual women’s international event. U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff has selected six outside hitters, six middles, four setters, three opposites and three liberos to the preliminary roster. The FIVB World Grand Prix schedule has each of the 12 teams in Group 1 playing three preliminary round weekends in various cities before the top five teams plus Thailand compete in the Final Round July 6-10 in Bangkok, Thailand. The U.S. Women will host one of three second weekend preliminary rounds June 17-19 at the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State University. Team USA will face Germany on June 17, Japan on June 18 and Turkey on June 19. The three matches will be the final time Americans can watch the U.S. Women on home soil before the Olympic Games. For more information on the roster selections and Team USA’s schedule in the World Grand Prix, click here.

KIRALY TO LEAD U.S. WOMEN THROUGH 2020 QUAD: Karch Kiraly, who has served as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team since taking over the squad in September 2012, has agreed to a contract renewal to lead the program through to the 2020 Olympic Games. In his first three-plus years as head coach, Kiraly has guided the program to an overall 102-20 record (81-18 record with Kiraly as head coach on the sideline due to conflicting tournaments). He coached the program to its first-ever FIVB World Championship gold medal in 2014, along with the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix title as the U.S. hosted the Final Round for the first time in its 23-year history. The Americans have won six of their last seven tournaments, including the 2016 NORCECA Women’s Olympic Qualification Tournament to earn a spot at the Rio Olympic Games this summer. For the full story, click here.

GLASS, ROBINSON, EASY, ADAMS ALL WITH ITALY’S IMOCO CONEGLIANO: Setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Michigan, Twitter, Instagram), the 2013 and 2014 USA Volleyball Female Athlete of the Year, outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram), outside hitter Megan Easy (Boston, Massachusetts), 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, the top seed in the Italian Serie A1 playoffs, captured the league playoff title in the fourth match of the best-of-five series after posting a 25-21, 25-18, 25-20 victory over Nordmeccanica Piacenza on May 2. Robinson, who got the championship point on a winner down the line, contributed 18 points with 16 kills on 36 errorless swings, one block and one ace. She added a 62 positive reception percent on a team-leading 29 chances. Glass set the squad to a stellar 47 kill percent while chipping in two blocks. Adams tacked on seven points with four kills, two blocks and an ace. Easy did not play in the match. For her efforts, Robinson was named the Italian Serie A1 Playoff most valuable player. For highlights of the final match, click here.

BARTSCH WITH GERMANY’S DRESDNER: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Illinois, Twitter) is playing for Dresdner SC of the German Bundesliga and CEV Champions League this winter. Dresdner (20-4, 60 points), which captured the regular season title and top seed into the playoffs, won the German Bundesliga best-of-five series championship round by defeating Allianz MTV Stuttgart 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 in the tiebreaking fifth match on May 2. Bartsch contributed 14 points in the final match with 11 kills on 30 swings, two aces and a block. She added a 47 positive reception percent on a team-best 19 chances. After the match, Bartsch was named the most valuable player of the German Bundesliga season. American teammate Katie Slay added nine points, including six blocks and three kills on eight errorless swings.