Women's Update: No Thanksgiving Break for Americans Overseas

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org | Nov. 28, 2016, 9:32 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Nov. 28, 2016) – While Thanksgiving was a time for family and friends to relax and give thanks in the United States, many of our U.S. Women's National Team members and other American citizens playing abroad did not have the same luxury of being with family. Foreign countries do not celebrate Thanksgiving as we do in the United States and club the schedule went on as scheduled.

USAV CONTINUES TO PROCESS INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS: USA Volleyball has processed 317 international transfer certificates (224 females, 93 males) allowing United States citizens to compete in foreign professional volleyball leagues for the 2016-17 season as of Nov. 22 – an increase of 55 transfers in the last month. Additional transfers will be processed throughout the winter months. On the women's side, athletes have transferred to play in 32 different countries with Germany attracting 48 players, England 23 players, and Sweden and Philippines with 13 apiece. For the listing of international transfers playing in foreign leagues, click here.

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 swept seventh-place Il Bisonte (3-4, 8 points) 25-16, 25-22, 25-18 on Nov. 27. Lloyd set her team to a 42 kill percent and chipped in two blocks and an ace in the victory. Gibbemeyer recorded three kills on seven attacks and a block in the victory. Casamaggiore, now in second place with 17 points and a 6-1 record, will resume Italian League action on Dec. 3 versus ninth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (2-4, 6 points). In CEV Cup action, Casalmaggiore will face Maccabi XT Haifa in the 16th Final Round with dates of the home-and-home series with the first match set for Dec. 1 and the return match date not yet determined.

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 avoided a two-match losing streak by blanking 11th-place Metalleghe Montichiari (1-6, 3 points) 25-23, 25-15, 26-24 on Nov. 26. Bartsch scored 10 points with nine kills on 23 attacks and a block. She also added a 67 positive reception percent on 18 serve-receive chances. Bolzano (2-5, 7 points), now in eighth place, will go for a second straight victory when it meets fourth-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (5-2, 15 points) on Dec. 4.

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 Igor Gorgonzola Novara 28-26, 25-20, 25-19 on Nov. 27. Kreklow did not play in the match. Ninth-place Modena’s (2-4, 6 points) sixth-round match is scheduled for Nov. 30 while its eigthh-round match will be played against Pomi Casalmaggiore on Dec. 4. In CEV Champions League, Modena has advanced 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. Modena opens against Chemik Police on Dec. 15.

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 blanked Edelline Koniz 25-10, 25-14, 25-12 on Nov. 26 to remain undefeated in the Swiss League. Volero will return to action on Dec. 3 against Volley Lugano. Volero, which had first, second and third-round byes in the European Champions League, starts the double-round robin fourth round Pool B in mid-December against Russia’s Dinamo Moscow and Dinamo Krasnodar, and Romania’s CS Volei Alba Blaj.

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. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi rallied to defeat Halkbank 28-30, 25-18, 25-23, 25-20 on Nov. 22 to start the week. Larson recorded 10 points with eight kills on 29 swings, one ace and one block. She added 18 receptions with a 61 positive reception percent. Adams was a sub in the first three sets, racking up three kills on four errorless attacks. Turkish League rules only permit three foreigners on the court at the same time per club whereas Champions League does not have a foreigner limit on the court at one time. Hence, in Turkish League action, Adams rotates playing with Brazilian middle Thaisa. To accomplish the substitution involving either Adams or Thaisa, the Eczacibasi coach uses a double substitution where one foreign middle plus a Turkish player goes in and a Turkish middle and one foreigner goes out. Eczacibasi dropped a tough five-set match to VakifBank 27-29, 17-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-10 on Nov. 26. Larson contributed 13 points in the loss with 11 points on 34 swings and two blocks. She added a 100 percent positive reception on 17 chances. Adams did not play in the match. Eczacibasi (4-2), which remains in second place, returns to Turkish League action on Nov. 30 when it faces sixth-place Galatasaray (4-2) followed by last-place Seramiksan (0-6) on Dec. 4. In Champions League action, Eczacibasi has advanced to the fourth round where it will face Turkish rival VakifBank, Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg and Germany’s Dresdner in a double-round robin Pool D. Eczacibasi opens at Dresdner on Dec. 14.

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 swept Besiktas 25-13, 25-21, 25-21 on Nov. 20 to begin the week. Hill totaled eight points in a starting role, including four kills, three blocks and an ace. She also handled 21 receptions with a 38 positive percent. VakifBank rallied from a two-set deficit to defeat FIVB Women’s Club World Champions Eczacibasi 27-29, 17-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-10 on Nov. 26. Hill was a starter in the third set and was a sub in the remaining four sets. She served one ace on seven chances and was 72 percent positive on 18 service receptions. Turkish league-leader VakifBank, the only undefeated team with a 6-0 record, is back in action on Nov. 30 against 10th-place Idman Ocagi (1-5) before challenging fifth-place Fenerbahce (4-2) on Dec. 4. 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. VakifBank opens against Uralochka on Dec. 14 in Istanbul.

FAWCETT, CRIMES WITH TURKEY’S SARIYER: Opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) and middle 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 lost to Galatasaray 25-19, 20-25, 25-20, 25-21 on Nov. 20. Fawcett score a team-high 19 points with 17 kills on 49 swings, one block and one ace. Crimes added nine points with seven kills on 15 errorless attacks and two blocks. Sariyer broke its losing streak with a 21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-18 victory over Seramiksan on Nov. 27. Crimes pocketed 15 points with 11 kills on 18 swings and just one error to go with two blocks. Fawcett claimed 14 points with 13 kills on 31 swings and a block. Sariyer will seek its second win in a row when it meets ninth-place Nilufer (1-5) on Nov. 30 followed by third-place Bursa Sehir (5-1) on Dec. 4.

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 lost to Jiangsu Zhongtian Steel 16-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18 on Nov. 22. Lowe hammered 19 kills on 43 swings as part of a 21-point performance. Robinson totaled nine points in the loss. BAIC Motors lost its second match of the week to Shanghai East 25-19, 25-22, 25-19 on Nov. 26. Lowe provided 15 points in the loss with 12 kills on 31 attacks, two aces and a block. Robinson added 12 kills on 29 attacks while chipping in nine digs. BAIC Motors (3-4), in fourth place, will try to break its two-match losing streak on Dec. 3 as it faces sixth-place Dianchi Lake (0-7).

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 Team, are playing in the Chinese League this winter with Henan. Henan was unable to win its second match in a row after falling to Liaoning Radio and Television 25-18, 25-16, 26-24 on Nov. 22. Easy pocketed a match-high 19 points with 16 kills on 31 swings, two blocks and an ace. Murphy added 16 points with 13 kills on 25 swings and added six digs. Henan lost its second match of the week to Fujian with scores of 22-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-22 on Nov. 26. Easy again led her team scoring with 18 points via 16 kills on 58 swings and two blocks. Murphy chipped in 11 kills on 38 attacks in the loss. Henan (1-6), in sixth place in the six-team Group A, is back in action on Dec. 3 against fifth-place Shenzhen (2-5) in a key battle as group play winds down.

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. After starting the regular season with a 4-1 record, Wroclaw lost its second match in a row with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 setback to league-leader and undefeated Budowlani Lodz on Nov. 26. Hancock set her team to a 29 kill percent and added five points with three aces on 11 serves, one block and one kill. American teammate Megan Courtney added 14 points with 13 kills on 38 swings and a block. Wroclaw, which falls to third place with a 4-3 record and 14 points, will look to break the losing streak on Nov. 30 versus sixth-place Polski Cukier Muszynianka Enea (4-3, 10 points) followed by a Dec. 4 match versus second-place Chemik Police (7-0, 20 points).

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.