Women's Update: Kreklow Heads to Coaching; Karch Teaches Coaches

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Feb. 14, 2017, 11:42 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 13, 2017) – Setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minnesota) has joined the collegiate coaching ranks, joining a trend of former National Team players in the last couple years to make the move. Meanwhile, U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly shared his knowledge on coaching and the game at this past weekend’s USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches’ Clinic.

KREKLOW ACCEPTS COACHING POSITION AT ALMA MATER: Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), who joined the U.S. Women’s National Team in May 2014, has joined the University of Missouri women’s volleyball team coaching staff as a volunteer assistant coach. During her short time with Team USA, Kreklow was named the 2015 USA Volleyball Female Indoor Most Improved Player of the Year after being selected as the Best Setter of the 2015 FIVB World Grand Prix in which the U.S. won gold. “A big congratulations to Molly and Mizzou volleyball,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said a Missouri press release. “Molly has some traits that make it possible for her to develop into a special coach. She has a huge heart and cares deeply about the people around her. She’s a learner with a deep understanding of the growth process, its challenges and how to overcome them. And beneath the sweet exterior, she’s a powerful leader and a fierce competitor. We will miss Molly with Team USA and we thank her for all the passion and energy she shared with our team. “Kreklow was a standout setter at Missouri from 2010-13 and was honored as an AVCA All-America First-Team and SEC Player of the Year as a senior. For more details, click here.

Related: U.S. Women's National Team Home Page

KARCH A HIT AT HP COACHES’ CLINIC: Karch Kiraly, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team, was a headline speaker during the 14th Annual USA Volleyball High Performance Coaches’ Clinic (HPCC) that took place Feb. 9-11 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The clinic attracted 210 participants, including nine from outside the USA hailing from Canada, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Ukraine. The HPCC is a way to bring together great coaching minds to network and share the most current, pertinent and critical issues in the sport. For more information on the clinic, click here. For a Facebook gallery of the event, click here.

KARCH PARTICIPATES ON FIVB TECHNICAL AND COACHING COMMISSION: U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly served as a member on the FIVB’s Technical and Coaching Commission meeting that took place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Feb. 14. Other members included commission president Hugh McCutcheon, who served as the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team Head Coach from 2005-2008 and 2009-2012, respectively, and Lang Ping, who was the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach from 2005-2008 and helped China win the 2016 Olympic Games gold medal. Kiraly will also participate in a social media-driven interview where fans asked questions using the hashtag #FIVBAskKarch. The FIVB plans to video Kiraly’s responses to five questions selected and random and show the video on Wednesday.

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. In the CEV Champions League, Volero blanked CS Volei Alba Blaj 25-17, 25-18, 25-17 on Feb. 9 in Zurich. Akinradewo pocketed 12 points in the victory with five kills on 11 swings, a match-best six blocks and an ace on eight serves. Volero (3-1, 10 points) will face Russia’s Dinamo Moscow, which leads the group with a 4-0 record, in its next Champions League Pool B match on Feb. 22. In the Swiss League, Volero topped seventh-place Edelline Koniz (7-14, 20 points) 25-20, 25-12, 25-21 on Feb. 11. Volero (18-0, 53 points), in second place in the Swiss League but with two fewer matches played than league-leader Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen (18-2, 54 points) returns to Swiss action on Feb. 15 against sixth-place VBC Cheseaux (8-12, 24 points) before meeting ninth-place Volley Lugano I (4-16, 14 points) on Feb. 18.

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. In the European Champions League, VakifBank swept Germany’s Dresdner SC 25-18, 25-11, 25-12 on Feb. 8 in Dresden, Germany. Hill scored 10 points in the victory with nine kills on 13 errorless attacks and an ace. She was credited with a 55 positive reception percent on 11 chances. VakifBank (4-0, 11 points) resumes action on Feb. 22 as they play Turkish rival Eczacibasi (3-1, 10 points). In the Turkish regular season, VakifBank swept 11th-place Sariyer (3-12) 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 on Feb. 12. Hill scored eight kills on 20 attacks and an ace on nine serves. She handled 17 of the team’s 46 receptions with a 47 positive reception percent. VakifBank (15-0) takes on eighth-place Besiktas (7-8) on Feb. 15 and second-place Eczacibasi (11-4) on Feb. 18.

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 Champions League Pool D, Eczacibasi turned back Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg 25-16, 26-24, 25-27, 25-16 on Feb. 8 in Istanbul. Larson tallied 12 points with seven kills on 22 attacks, four aces on 24 serves and one block. She added a stellar 88 positive reception percent on 24 chances. Adams contributed 11 points via nine kills on 18 swings and two blocks. Eczacibasi, now in second place in Pool D with a 3-1 record and 10 points, returns to action on Feb. 22 when it faces Turkish rival VakifBank, which leads the pool with a 4-0 record. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi turned back fifth-place Canakkale Bld (9-6) 30-28, 25-23, 15-25, 25-14 on Feb. 11. Adams, who got a rare start in the Turkish League due to foreigner limits competing at the same time, tallied 10 points with six kills on 13 swings and four blocks in playing just the first three sets. Larson matched her 10 points by charting six kills on 19 swings, three aces on 20 serves and a block. She added 13 receptions with a 46 positive reception percent. Eczacibasi, which ranks second in the league standings with an 11-4 record, will take on seventh-place Halbank (7-8) on Feb. 15 and league-leader VakifBank (15-0) on Feb. 18.

CRIMES WITH TURKEY’S SARIYER: Middle Alexis Crimes (Rancho Cucamonga, California, Instagram), an alternate to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team, is competing for Sariyer in the Turkish League this winter. Sariyer lost to league-leader VakifBank (15-0) 25-18, 25-20, 25-17 on Feb. 12. Crimes totaled four kills on 10 attacks in the match. Sariyer, now in 11th place in the Turkish League regular season standings with a 3-12 record, takes on fourth-place Galatasaray (10-5) on Feb. 15 and ninth-place Seramiksan (4-11) on Feb. 18 in a double-match week.

ROBINSON, FAWCETT WITH ITALY’S CONEGLIANO: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Bartlett, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, and opposite Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio, Instagram) are playing in the Italian Serie A1 after transferring midseason from teams China and Turkey, respectively. In the European Champions League, Conegliano lost to Poland’s Chemik Police in a tough five-set battle by scores 23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 15-8 on Feb. 8. Robinson scored nine kills and an ace while holding a 54 positive reception percent on 35 chances. Fawcett charted a match-high 25 points with 20 kills on 44 swings, three aces and two blocks. Conegliano (2-2, 7 points), remains in second place and will challenge Italian rival Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena in a Pool A match on Feb. 22. In Italian Serie A action, Conegliano knocked off second-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (13-3, 36 points) 26-24, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21 on Feb. 12. Robinson pocketed 11 points with 10 kills on 35 swings and a block. She added a 72 positive reception percent on a team-best 32 chances. Fawcett contributed nine kills on 32 swings in the victory. Conegliano (13-2, 40 points), which remains in first place following the victory, returns to action on Feb. 15 as it faces third-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (11-5, 35 points) followed by a Feb. 19 contest against 12th-place Club Italia Crai (2-14, 10 points).

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. In CEV Cup action, Casalmaggiore opened its 8th Final Round home-and-home series with Finland’s HPK Hameenlinna with a 25-18, 25-18, 25-27 victory on Feb. 8. Lloyd set the squad to a 47 kill percent and served one ace. Gibbemeyer did not play in the match. Casalmaggiore will face HPK Hameenlinna again on Feb. 22 with a spot in the 4th Finals Round (quarterfinals) at stake. In the Italian League, Casalmaggiore lost its second straight match after falling to league-leader Imoco Conegliano 26-24, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21 on Feb. 12. Lloyd set the squad to a 37 kill percent and chipped in two blocks and two individual kills for four point. Gibbemeyer notched six points, all on kills via 13 swings. Casalmaggiore (13-3, 36 points), which remains in second place after the loss, resumes Italian League action on Feb. 15 against sixth-place Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio (9-7, 25 points) followed by a Feb. 19 contest versus ninth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (7-9, 19 points).

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. After losing to the top two teams in its previous two matches. Bolzano bounced back by defeating 12th-place Club Italia Crai 27-25, 21-25, 25-13, 25-15 on Feb. 11. Bartsch hammered 14 kills on 41 swings and added an ace for 15 points. She was credited with a 74 positive reception percent on 27 reception chances. Bolzano (6-10, 21 points), which remains in eighth place, returns to the court on Feb. 15 to play ninth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (7-9, 19 points) followed by a Feb. 19 match versus 11th-place Metalleghe Montichiari (3-13, 12 points).

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 rallied past fourth-place Tauron MKS Dabrowa Gornicza 17-25, 25-11, 23-25, 25-18, 15-12 on Feb. 11. Hancock led Wroclaw to a 36 kill percent as a team while tossing in five individual kills on eight errorless attacks and two aces for seven points. American teammate Megan Courtney provided 12 points in the victory with nine kills on 37 swings and three blocks. Wroclaw, in second place in the regular season with a 15-4 record and 47 points, will challenge third-place Grot Budowlani Lodz (15-3, 43 points) on Feb. 15 in its next league match, followed by a Feb. 19 match against seventh-place Polski Cukier Muszynianka (10-9, 25 points).

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUT: The U.S. Women’s National Team will hold its annual open tryout March 3-5 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The three-day tryout is expected to draw 240 athletes with hopes of earning a spot in one of the U.S. Women’s National Team programs. Athletes who have come out of the tryout include Kim Hill, the 2014 FIVB World Championship most valuable player. This tryout is open to current college-age athletes and older born in the years 1989-1999* inclusive (Women’s Junior age group athletes born in 1988 or 1999 AND NOT currently enrolled in college must be invited to attend this tryout) AND high school athletes born in 1997 or earlier. Athletes born before 1988 must contact USA Volleyball at indoorhp@usav.org for approval. For more information and registration links, click here.