Women's Update: U.S. Women Beginning Pro Seasons Overseas

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Oct. 12, 2017, 6:10 p.m. (ET)

Lauren Carlini
Lauren Carlini makes her professional club season debut this weekend.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 12, 2017) – Many of the U.S. Women’s National Team athletes will begin their professional club season this weekend.

QUICK SETS

  • Kim Hill and Kelsey Robinson have essentially completed a trade of sorts between the Turkish League and the Italian League. Hill played for VakifBank in Turkey last season, while Robinson played for Italy’s Conegliano. Now they have switched teams for 2017-18.
  • Lauren Carlini starts her first pro season in Italy with her first match on Oct. 14.
  • Tori Dixon, who returned to U.S. National Team this summer after recovering from an ACL tear in January 2016 while playing in the Japan V-League, resumes her pro career on Oct. 15 in Italy.
  • The U.S. Women’s National Team has 11 players competing in the Italian League – 10 in the Serie A1 Division and one in the A2 Division. Add in 2012 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Megan Easy, a dozen U.S. National Team athletes are playing in Italy this season.
  • Foluke Akinradewo is back playing in the Japan V-League with Hisamitsu Springs. She played for Toyota in the 2010-11 Japan V-League season.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Which U.S. Women’s National Team player’s father was a professional boxer in the 1980s? Answer at the end of the update.

FIVB ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NEW LEAGUE: The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) announced Thursday the Volleyball Nations League, which is set to begin in 2018. The Volleyball Nations League, which replaces both the World Grand Prix and World League, is a joint project between the FIVB, IMG and 21 national federations including USA Volleyball. In both the men’s and women’s leagues, 12 core teams and 4 challenger teams will battle to become Volleyball Nations League champion by playing in a round robin format. With a total of 130 matches throughout the league season, every team will play a minimum of 15 matches and each core nation will host at least one pool, bringing the action closer to fans around the world. For the women’s competition, Brazil, Italy, the USA, China, Serbia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, South Korea, Germany, Japan and Russia comprise the 12 core nations. Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Poland and Belgium have also been selected as challenger teams. The 2018 Volleyball Nations League schedule will be available soon. For more information, click here.

2008 OLYMPIAN KIM GLASS ON REALITY SHOW: Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), a 2008 U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team silver medalist, will compete on the MTV reality show “The Challenge: Champs vs Stars”. The full cast was revealed on Oct. 11 and includes Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and former NFL receiver Terrell Owens. The eight-episode series will pit 10 “Challenge” alumni against 10 athletes and entertainers in various competitions. Winners are competing for a share of a $150,000 cash purse to donate to their charity of choice. The show premiers on Nov. 21.

HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, is playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter alongside fellow American and 2016 Olympic Games silver medalist Megan Easy (Boston, Massachusetts). Conegliano begins the Italian regular season on Oct. 14 against Pomi Casalmaggiore. Conegliano will face Bekescsabai Roplabda Sport Kft in the CEV Champions League second round on Oct. 17, followed by the return match on Oct. 21.

GIBBEMEYER WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: U.S. Women’s National Team middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing her 2017-18 professional season with Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1. Novara opens its regular season on Oct. 14 against Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio. Novara is also participating in the European Champions League this winter and will have a bye into fourth round.

DIXON, HANCOCK WITH MONZA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter), an alternate to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Team, and U.S. Women’s National Team setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Saugella Team Monza in the Italian Serie A1 this winter after missing the 2016-17. Team Monza opens the regular season on Oct. 15 against Il Bisonte Firenze.

DREWS, NEWCOMBE WITH LEGNANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter), who was a rookie with the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing for Sab Volley Legnano in the Italian Serie A1 alongside fellow U.S. Women’s National Team member Sonja Newcombe (Lake Arrowhead, California, Instagram, Twitter). Legnano begins the Italian regular season against Foppapedretti Bergamo on Oct. 15.

BARTSCH, WILHITE WITH ITALY’S UNET E-WORK BUSTO ARSIZIO: Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) and Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter), both outside hitters for the U.S. Women’s National Team, are playing their 2017-18 pro season for Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Serie A1. Busto Arsizio opens the Italian Serie A1 regular season on Oct. 15 against Igor Gorgonzola Novara. Busto Arsizio is also competing in the European CEV Cup and begins 16th Finals Round home-and-home competition in late November.

CARLINI WITH SCANDICCI IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter), who played her first year with the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is playing her first pro season with Savino Del Bene Scandicci in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Scandicci opens its regular season on Oct. 14 against Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena.

HANNAH TAPP WITH FIRENZE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter), who played her first season with the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is playing her pro season with Il Bisonte Firenze in the Italian Serie A1. Firenze starts its Italian regular season on Oct. 15 against Saugella Team Monza.

McMAHON WITH SOVERATO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: U.S. Women’s National Team opposite Liz McMahon (Liberty Township, Ohio, Instagram) is playing for Volley Soverato in the Italian Serie A2 this winter. McMahon scored 24 points in leading Soverato to a 21-25, 17-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-12 come-from-behind victory over Barricalla Collegno to open the season on Oct. 8. She tallied 21 kills on 48 swings, two blocks and an ace in the victory. Soverato resumes play on Oct. 15 agaisnt Savallese Millenium Brescia, which lost its opener in five sets.

KINGDON WITH KOREA V-LEAGUE’S IBK: Outside hitter Madi Kingdon (Hermosa Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter), a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, is playing her second consecutive professional season with IBK of the Korea V-League. IBK begins regular season play on Oct. 14 versus Heungkuk.

BENSON WITH VANDOEUVRE NANCY IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing for Vandoeuvre Nancy in the French professional league this winter. Vandoeuvre Nancy opens its season on Oct. 13 against perennial league powerhouse RC Cannes.

 

Supercup for super dorks @vb_ci #aspttmulhouse

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DANNEMILLER WITH MULHOUSE IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Setter Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio, Instagram, Twitter), a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing for ASPTT Mulhouse in the French League this winter. Mulhouse captured the French SuperCup by sweeping Pays d’Aix Venelles on Oct. 7. Mulhouse begins the regular season on March 16 against Chamalieres. Mulhouse will also compete in the European Champions League this year and has a bye into the main format, or fourth round.

BUGG WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Setter Madi Bugg (Apex, North Carolina, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing in the German Bundesliga with Dresdner SC this winter. Dresdner SC opens the German Bundesliga on Oct. 14 versus Potsdam. Dresdner is competing in the CEV Cup this winter and begins 16th Finals Round home-and-home competition against Pays d’Aix Venelles VB on Dec. 13.

McCAGE WITH ALLIANZ MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Middle Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is playing professionally this winter with Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. Stuttgart starts Bundesliga play on Oct. 14 against Aachen. Stuttgart is also competing in the CEV Cup this winter and has a 16th Finals Round home-and-home series in late November against VK Up Olomouc.

LARSON, ADAMS WITH ECZACIBASI IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter), a two-time Olympic Games medalist, and middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Instagram, Twitter), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, are playing professionally with Eczacibasi in the Turkish League for the 2017-18 season. Eczacibasi begins the Turkish League on Oct. 18 against Beylikduzu Voleybol Ihtisas. Eczacibasi begins the CEV Cup competition in late November as it has a home-and-home series with VC Oudegem in the 16th Finals Round.

 

Life with you is so much better and I can't wait to do it forever ❤️💍

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ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league this winter. Robinson is now engaged to Brian Cook, who popped the question in late September. VakifBank opens the Turkish League on Oct. 17 against Halkbank. VakifBank is also competing in the European Champions League this winter and has a bye into the third round.

AKINRADEWO WITH JAPAN V-LEAGUE’S HISAMITSU SPRINGS: Two-time U.S. Olympic medalist Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Instagram, Twitter) is playing middle for Japan V-League’s Hisamitsu Springs this winter. Hisamitsu Springs opens its 2017-18 season on Oct. 21 against NEC.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Micah Hancock’s father, Michael, was a heavyweight boxer from 1982-85. Micha’s mother, Kelly, played basketball at Oklahoma State University. Micah says she admires her parents because “they have seen so much and have taught me so many things. As I get older I realize how awesome that shared knowledge is. I wouldn’t want to have learned the lessons I have from anybody else.” To learn more about the U.S. Women’s National Team athletes, click on their names in this Weekly Update to access their bios.