Women Enjoying Club Successes Away from Anaheim Home

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Nov. 21, 2016, 6:35 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Nov. 21, 2016) – Nearly all members of the U.S. Women’s National Team compete on foreign club teams in the offseason away from the National Team host city of Anaheim, California. Hear some insights on benefits the squad receives while in training in Anaheim during the summer, along with news on player accomplishments in the pro leagues this winter in this week’s update.

BENEFITS OF U.S. NATIONAL TEAMS TRAINING IN ANAHEIM: USA Volleyball has held a mutually beneficial relationship with the City of Anaheim for the last decade. Both the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Volleyball Teams train in Anaheim, the official host city for both programs. Christa Dietzen (Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania, Twitter, Instagram), a middle on the U.S. Women’s National Team, spoke recently on a podcast describing the benefits of her team training in Anaheim. To listen to the podcast, click here. Since moving their training headquarters to Anaheim, the U.S. Women have won silver and bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, respectively. The U.S. Men also have won gold at the 2008 Olympic Games and bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games since moving their training headquarters to Anaheim. Both teams train at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim and all training sessions are open to the public free of charge.

HILL WITH TURKEY’S VAKIFBANK: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) a bronze medalist on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, returns this winter to play for Turkey’s VakifBank and in the European Champions League. VakifBank overcame a slow start to defeat Sariyer 24-26, 25-8, 25-22, 25-11 on Nov. 13 in the fourth round of the Turkish League. Hill was a sub in the first set only, registering a 67 positive reception percent on three chances and one serve. VakifBank swept Besiktas 25-13, 25-21, 25-21 on Nov. 20. Hill, back in the starting lineup, turned in four kills, three blocks and an ace for eight points while handling 21 receptions. VakifBank is back in action on Nov. 26 against Eczacibasi. VakifBank, which had byes in the first, second and third rounds of the European Champions League, is part of the double round robin fourth round Pool D where it will face Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg, Dresdner SC and Turkish rival Eczacibasi starting in mid-December.

LARSON, ADAMS WITH TURKEY’S ECZACIBASI: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) and middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram), both members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team that won bronze in Rio, are playing for Eczacibasi of the Turkish League and as part of the European Champions League this winter. Eczacibasi won its Champions League home-and-home third-round series with Minchanka Minsk, starting with a 25-22, 21-25, 25-11, 25-19 road victory on Nov. 15. Larson scored a team-high 15 points with 13 kills on 20 attacks and just one error to go with two aces. She also handled 31 of the team’s 69 receptions with a 55 positive reception percent. Adams chipped in 12 points in the first victory, including five kills, four blocks and three aces. Eczacibasi closed out the series with a 25-14, 28-26, 25-19 victory on Nov. 19 in Istanbul. Larson, playing just the first two sets, scored seven points with five kills, one ace and one block. Addams contributed five kills and two blocks for seven points. Eczacibasi now moves into the fourth round where it will face Turkish rival VakifBank, Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg and Germany’s Dresdner in a double-round robin starting on Dec. 13. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi rallied to defeat Canakkale 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-9 on Nov. 12. Larson pocketed 13 points with 11 kills on 28 swings and just two errors while adding a block and ace. She had a 64 positive reception percent on 14 chances. Adams, who was a sub in the first two sets and started the final two sets, turned in nine kills on 15 attacks and five blocks for 14 points. Eczacibasi returns to Turkish League action on Nov. 22 when it faces Halbank, followed by a Nov. 26 match with VakifBank.

FAWCETT, CRIMES WITH TURKEY’S SARIYER: Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California, Twitter, Instagram), both alternates to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are competing for Sariyer in the Turkish League this winter. Sariyer started strong against Turkish League powerhouse VakifBank on Nov. 13, but ended with a 24-26, 25-8, 25-22, 25-11 loss. Fawcett tallied 16 points with 14 kills on 40 attacks, one ace and one block. Crimes added three kills, one block and one ace for five points in the loss. Sariyer lost to Galatasaray 25-19, 20-25, 25-20, 25-21 on Nov. 20 in the fifth round of the Turkish League. Fawcett powered down 17 kills on 49 swings, one ace and one block for 19 points. Crimes tacked on seven kills on 15 errorless attacks and two blocks for nine points. Sariyer looks to get back into the win column on Nov. 27 as it faces Seramiksan.

LLOYD, GIBBEMEYER WITH ITALY’S CASALMAGGIORE: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist setter for Team USA, and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) have returned to Italy to compete for Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 league and the CEV Cup. Casalmaggiore topped reigning Italian League champion Imoco Volley Conegliano 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 30-28 on Nov. 13. Lloyd set the team to a 41 kill percent while adding three individual kills on six attacks and two aces. Gibbemeyer scored 15 points with seven kills on 16 attacks and a match-high eight blocks. For highlights of the match, click here. Casalmaggiore was unable sustain the same success the following week with a 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 15-8 loss to league-leader Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizo on Nov. 19. Lloyd set the team to a 38 kill percent and scored three individual kills on 10 attacks. Gibbemeyer provided 10 points in the loss, all on kills. Casamaggiore, now in a three-way virtual tie for first place with 14 points and a 5-1 record, will resume Italian League action on Nov. 27 against sixth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (3-3, 8 points). In CEV Cup action, Casalmaggiore will face Maccabi XT Haifa in the 16th Final Round with dates of the home-and-home series to be announced.

BARTSCH WITH ITALY’S BOLZANO: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch (Maryville, Illinois, Twitter), an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is competing for Sudtirol Bolzano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Bolzano ended its losing streak on Nov. 13 as it defeated 12th place Club Italia Crai (0-6, 2 points) 25-17, 25-14, 25-19. Bartsch scored a team-high 13 points with eight kills on 13 swings, four aces and a block. She chipped in 18 receptions producing a 50 positive reception percent. Bolzano was edged by sixth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (3-3, 8 points) 25-19, 25-22, 19-25, 26-24 on Nov. 20. Bartsch scored a match-high 22 points via 19 kills on 52 swings, two aces and a block. She recorded 25 receptions with a 68 positive percent. Bolzano (1-5, 4 points), now in 10th place, will seek a return to the win column on Nov. 27 against Metalleghe Montichiari.

KREKLOW WITH ITALY’S MODENA: Setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), an alternate on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is playing for Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League this winter. Modena lost to Mettalleghe Montichiari 25-23, 26-24, 25-21 in a close three-set battle on Nov. 12. Kreklow did not play in the match. Modena’s sixth-round match is scheduled for Nov. 30 while its seventh-round match will be played Nov. 27 against Igor Gorgonzola Novara. In CEV Champions League third-round action, Modena swept France’s RC Cannes 25-19, 25-23, 25-16 on Nov. 15. Modena concluded the home-and-home series with RC Cannes with a 26-24, 28-26, 25-9 victory on Nov. 19. Kreklow did not play in either victory. Modena advances to the Champions League double-round robin Pool A where it will face Poland’s Chemik Police, Italy’s Imoco Volley Conegliano and Azerbaijan’s Telekom Baku starting in mid-December.

ROBINSON, LOWE WITH CHINA’S BAIC MOTORS: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram), both members of the 2016 bronze-winning U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, are in China this winter playing for BAIC Motors Beijing. BAIC Motors dropped a heartbreaking 25-17, 25-10, 23-25, 17-25, 17-15 match to league-leader Zhejiang Jiashan Nong Commercial Bank on Nov. 8. Robinson scored a team-high 15 points in the match, including 14 kills on 34 swings. Lowe, who started and played just the first two sets, tallied seven points in the loss. BAIC Motors regrouped for a 26-24, 25-22, 25-18 victory over Shandong on Nov. 12. Robinson led the team in scoring with 16 points, while Lowe followed with 15 points including 13 kills on 24 swings. BAIC Motors won its second match in a row with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-10 victory over Dianchi Lake on Nov. 19. Lowe scored seven points while playing just the first two sets and Robinson scored six points in the victory. BAIC Motors (3-2), in third place, will seek a third straight victory on Nov. 22 as it faces second-place Jiangsu Zhongtian (4-1) followed by fourth-place Shanghai East (3-2) on Nov. 26.

MURPHY, EASY WITH CHINA’S HENAN: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram), a bronze medalist with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, and outside hitter Megan Easy (Boston, Massachusetts), a silver medalist with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Fujian 25-23, 25-23, 16-25, 25-21 on Nov. 8. Easy talled a team-high 22 points with 19 kills on 43 swings and three blocks. Murphy added 17 points, all on kills via 36 attacks. Henan lost its fourth match to open the season on Nov. 12 in a 25-19, 25-20, 25-19 setback to Shenzhen. Easy contributed 18 points in the loss with 16 kills on 33 attacks and two blocks. Murphy added 11 kills on 28 swings and a block for 12 points. Henan broke into the win column with a 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19 victory over Sichuan on Nov. 19. Easy piled on 32 points in the victory, including 29 kills on 61 attacks and three blocks. Murphy chipped in 16 kills on 35 swings, two aces and a block for 19 points in the victory. Henan (1-4), in a tie for fifth-place, is back in action on Nov. 22 against second-place Liaoning Radio and Television (4-1) and on Nov. 26 against fourth-place Fujian (2-3).

AKINRADEWO WITH SWITZERLAND’S VOLERO ZURICH: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Plantation, Florida, Twitter, Instagram), the Best Blocker in the 2016 Olympic Games after leading the U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team to a bronze medal, is playing for Volero Zurich in the Swiss League and in the European Champions League. Volero stopped Hotel Cristal VFM 25-14, 25-19, 25-13 on Nov. 16 and VBC Cheseaux I 25-20, 25-22, 25-12 on Nov. 19. Volero will return to action on Nov. 26 against Edelline Koniz. Volero, which had first, second and third-round byes in the European Champions League, starts the double-round robin fourth round in mid-December against Russia’s Dinamo Moscow and Dinamo Krasnodar, and Romania’s CS Volei Alba Blaj.

HANCOCK WITH POLAND’S IMPEL WROCLAW: Setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Twitter, Instagram), who played for the U.S. Women during the 2016 Pan American Cup and set the tournament record for aces in a match and tournament, is playing for Poland’s Impel Wroclaw in the Orlen Liga. Wroclaw continued its win streak in the Polish Orlen Liga with a 25-13, 24-26, 25-18, 25-22 victory over sixth-place Atom Trefl Sopot (3-3) on Nov. 13. Hancock contributed eight points from her setter position, including three kills on five attacks, three aces and three blocks. She set Wroclaw to a 44 kill percent as a team. American teammate Megan Courtney pocketed a match-high 24 points with 21 kills on 37 attacks and three blocks. However, Wroclaw’s four-match win streak to open the season was snapped on Nov. 21 as Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza won 25-23, 21-25, 26-24, 18-25, 15-12. Hancock scored 13 points including five individual kills on eight errorless chances, five blocks and three aces. She also set the team to a 39 kill percent. Courtney scored 13 points in the loss, including 11 kills and two blocks. Wroclaw (4-1, 13 points), in second place, will look to avoid a losing streak as it battles league-leader Budowlani Lodz (6-0, 17 points) on Nov. 26 in its next Orlen Liga match.

NCAA ON TV AND INTERNET: While the U.S. Women’s National Team is away for the winter, check out how some of the future Team USA players are doing during the NCAA collegiate season. USA Volleyball has cataloged hundreds of NCAA Division I matches that will be broadcasted on television or streamed on the Internet. To access this unique viewer’s guide to watch your favorite collegiate programs, click here.