Women's Update: Open Tryout, Head Jobs Making News

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Feb. 27, 2017, 11:15 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Feb. 27, 2017) – This week’s U.S. Women’s National Team Update includes how the public can watch 245 athletes participate in the team’s annual open tryout March 3-5, Robyn Ah Mow-Santos and Jamie Morrison taking prestigious head coaching positions, Carly Wopat earning a major honor in Japan, a member of the inaugural 1955 U.S. Pan American Team passing away and other team news from around the globe.

WATCH U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUT STREAM: The annual U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryouts will take place March 3-5 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The tryout will evaluate 245 athletes from 82 colleges and 10 high schools from across the country for spots on the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. Further, select athletes born in 1998 or 1999 are also competing for spots on the 2017 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team. The breakdown for the tryout includes 63 middles, 58 outside hitters, 56 liberos, 40 setters and 28 opposites. Each athlete will have four sessions with each session broken into three waves. The entire tryout will also be streamed live along with Facebook Live sessions throughout the evaluation process. For details on the tryout and the roster of athletes, click here.

AH MOW-SANTOS NEW HEAD COACH AT HAWAII: Robyn Ah Mow-Santos (Honolulu, Hawaii), a three-time U.S. Olympian and member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team that captured silver in Beijing, has been tabbed as the next head coach of the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball program. She replaces legendary coach Dave Shoji, who compiled 1,202 wins at Hawaii and coached Ah Mow-Santos to two AVCA All-American First-Team honors. Ah Mow-Santos served as an assistant coach at her alma mater under Shoji from 2011 to 2015. She also was an assistant coach on the 2014 U.S. Women’s Junior National Team at the NORCECA Women’s U-20 Continental Championship. For more details on Ah Mow-Santos becoming just the third head coach of the Hawaii program, click here.

MORRISON TO LEAD DUTCH TEAM: Jamie Morrison, who served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team that won silver and bronze in the last two Olympic Games, has been named the head women’s volleyball coach for The Netherlands. "During the 2014 FIVB World Championships in Italy I first noticed the potential of the Dutch women's team," said Morrison during his presentation. "I saw a group of very athletic players, who fought for every point. The last two years the Netherlands became a world class team. The players are very close, they really care for each other. Right now I feel like one of the luckiest persons in the world for being allowed to coach this team. The team is relatively young, and I think we can keep improving ourselves." Prior to joining the U.S. Women, Morrison served as technical coordinator for the U.S. Men’s National Team, helping the program win gold at the 2008 Olympic Games. For the full story, click here.

WOPAT NAMED BEST SPIKER OF JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California, Twitter, Instagram), a middle who played for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 2016 Pan American Cup, was named Best Spiker of Japan’s V-League while playing for the Toray Arrows. Wopat said on her Instagram account: “Honored and very stoked to be the recipient of the Best Spiker Award for the Japanese V-league 2016-2017 season. A big thank you to my teammates for doing all that passing and setting stuff that comes before the spike, my coaching staff and trainers for helping me be my best and keeping me healthy, and all of you wonderful fans for your unwavering support.”

MEMBER OF INAUGURAL PAN AMERICAN GAMES TEAM PASSES AWAY: Joyce (Euton) Posey, a member of the inaugural U.S. Pan American Games women’s volleyball team in 1955, passed away at the age of 87 on Feb. 18. She helped the U.S. win silver in the event. Posey, from Washington, Texas, had a competitive nature which would be displayed whether she was participating or watching her favorite sports like hockey, volleyball and bowling.

WATCH AMERICANS IN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The CEV European Champions League 4th Round has four matches being streamed live with Americans competing. All four matches can be watched live on laola1.tv.

 

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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 rallied to defeat Italian rival Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena 26-24, 19-25, 22-25, 25-21, 18-16 on Feb. 22. Robinson knocked down 14 points with 12 kills on 34 attacks, one ace and one block. She added a 61 positive reception percent on 33 chances. Fawcett contributed 10 points in the victory, all on kills from 43 swings. She had three of her kills in the deciding set. Conegliano (3-2, 9 points), which will host the Champions League Final Round regardless of the Pool A outcome, will Azerbaijan’s Telekom Baku (0-5, 0 points) on Feb. 28. In Italian Serie A action, Conegliano stopped Metalleghe Montichiari 25-18, 25-17, 26-24 on Feb. 25. Robinson pocketed 14 points with 10 kills on 26 attacks, two blocks and two aces. Fawcett tacked on 13 points with 12 kills on 24 swings and a block. Conegliano (17-2, 49 points), which remains in first place, returns to regular season action on March 12 against Unet Yamamay Busto Arsizio. Before resuming the Italian Serie A1 schedule, Conegliano is set to compete in the Italian Cup semifinals with a March 4 match against Igor Gorgonzola Novara. The winner will face the opposite semifinal winner of Savino Del Benne Scandicci and Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena in the title match on March 5.

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 secured its spot into the CEV Cup quarterfinals by defeating HPK Hameenlinna 25-16, 25-21,15-25, 25-27, 15-12 on Feb. 22. Casalmaggiore, which also on the first meeting in straight sets, claimed its quarterfinal spot after winning the first two sets and making the final outcome less important. Lloyd, who started the important first two sets and the final set, helped Casalmaggiore to a 40 kill percent as a team and she added two blocks and an individual kill. Gibbemeyer, who started just the first two sets, hammered four kills on nine errorless attacks to go with two blocks and an ace. After the match, Lloyd said “I think we started the match pretty well. We had our goals and I think we did a good job achieving them. Then the coach wanted some other players to play.” Casalmaggiore will face Germany’s Allianz MTV Stuttgart in its home-and-home 4th Finals (quarterfinals) round series with matches on March 7 and undetermined return date. In the Italian League, Casalmaggiore lost to seventh-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena 15-25, 25-18, 31-29, 25-22 on Feb. 25. Gibbemeyer scored 11 points with six kills on 15 attacks, four blocks and an ace. Lloyd added eight individual points with five kills on eight attacks and three blocks. She set the team to a 35 kill percent for the match. Casalmaggiore (14-4, 39 points), which remains in second place, resumes Italian League action on March 2 against Bisonte Firenze, followed by a March 11 against Foppapedretti Bergramo.

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 lost its second consecutive match by falling to fifth-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (11-8, 31 points) 25-14, 25-17, 23-25, 21-25, 15-9 on Feb. 26. Bartsch, who came off the bench in the first set and started the rest of the match, contributed 18 points with 15 kills via 29 attacks and three aces. She also handled 24 of the team’s receptions with a 71 positive reception percent. Bolzano (7-12, 25 points), which remains in eighth-place place following the loss, returns to the court on March 12 against 10th-place Saugella Team Monza (5-14, 17 points).

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 was edged by Russia’s Dinamo Moscow 25-19, 22-25, 20-25, 25-20, 15-12 on Feb. 22. Akinradewo tallied 10 points with nine kills on 14 swings and a block. Second-place Volero (3-2, 11 points) will face Russia’s Dinamo Krasnodar (1-4, 4 points), which is in third place, on Feb. 28 in its next Pool B match. In the Swiss League, Volero blanked VBC Cheseaux I 25-20, 25-12, 25-12 on Feb. 25, followed by a 25-21, 25-18, 22-25, 25-12 win over Viteos NUC I on Feb. 26. Volero (22-0, 65 points), now in first place in the Swiss League with a four-point and two-victory advantage over second-place Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen I, returns to its domestic league schedule with back-to-back matches versus fifth-place TS Volley Dudingen I (15-7, 40 points) on March 2 and March 4.

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 edged Turkish League rival Eczacibasi 25-21, 25-14, 21-25, 25-15 on Feb. 22. Hill totaled 11 points, including seven aces on 24 swings and four kills on 15 attacks. She chipped in a 58 positive reception percent on 19 chances. VakifBank (5-0, 14 points) resumes action on Feb. 28 as they play Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg (1-4, 3 points), which is in third place in Group D. In the Turkish regular season, VakifBank downed 10th-place Idman Ocagi (4-14) 26-24, 25-15, 25-21 on Feb. 25. Hill scored a team-high 16 points with 12 kills on 21 attacks, three aces and a block. She added a 70 positive reception percent on a team-best 20 chances. VakifBank, 18-0 overall in the Turkish League, resumes its domestic action on March 4 against third-place Fenerbahce (14-3).

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 fell to Turkish rival and group leader VakifBank (5-0, 14 points) 25-21, 25-14, 21-25, 25-15 on Feb. 22. Adams contributed 10 points with six kills on 13 swings, two blocks and two aces. Larson turned in seven points with six kills on 16 attacks and a block She added a 43 positive reception percent on 14 reception chances. Eczacibasi (3-2, 10 points), which remains in second place in Pool D, returns to action on Feb. 28 when it faces Germany’s Dresdner SC (1-4, 3 points), which is in fourth place in the group. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi rallied to beat fourth-place Galatasaray (12-6) 18-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 on Feb. 25. Larson contributed 14 points, all on kills via 28 swings. She was credited with an 80 positive reception percent on 15 chances. Adams turned in nine points with five kills on 11 attacks, three aces and a block. Eczacibasi, which moved up to second in the league with a 13-5 record, plays ninth-place Seramiksan (6-11) on March 5 in its next Turkish match.

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 swept 12th-place Nilufer (1-17) 25-22, 25-22, 25-14 on Feb. 25. Crimes was a sub in the first two sets, netting three kills on four errorless attacks. Sariyer, in 11th place in the Turkish League with a 4-14 record, meets fifth-place Bursa B.Sehir (9-8) on March 4 in its next match.

 

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JACKSON WITH JAPAN’S HITACHI RIVALE: Middle Cursty Jackson (Los Angeles, Twitter, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team most of the last Olympic quadrennial, is playing for Japan’s Hitachi Rivale. In the Final 6 playoffs, Hitachi rebounded from a five-set loss last week to win its own five-set match on Feb. 25 with a 25-19, 20-25, 28-26, 19-25, 15-11 win over Toray Arrows. Jackson piled up 14 points with 12 kills and two aces. Hitachi won a must-win match the following day by defeating Toyota 27-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-18 to move into the third spot in the Final 6 standings. Jackson tallied 11 points with nine kills, one block and one ace. Hitachi is now 2-2 in the playoffs with nine match points to squeeze ahead of fourth-place Toyota. The top three teams in the Final 6 round advance to the Final 3 (semifinal round).

WOPAT WITH JAPAN’S TORAY ARROWS: Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California, Twitter, Instagram), a middle who competed on the 2016 U.S. Pan American team, is playing for the Toray Arrows of the Japan V-League this winter. In the Final 6 playoffs, Toray played its third five-set match in three outings on Feb. 25, this time suffering a heartbreaking 25-19, 20-25, 28-26, 19-25, 15-11 loss to Hitachi Rivale. Wopat charted 15 points with 11 kills and four aces. Toray falls to sixth place in the standings. The top three teams in the Final 6 round advance to the Final 3 (semifinal round).

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, in second place in the regular season with a 17-4 record and 53 points, had its 22nd round match with league-leader Chemik Police (20-0, 57 points) moved to March 8. Wroclaw’s next match will be on March 4 against Enea PTPS Pila.