U.S. Women's Update: Overseas Pro Season Starts with Bang

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Oct. 16, 2017, 1:22 p.m. (ET)

Kim HIll attacking during Italian Serie A1 action
Kim Hill's Conegliano team won its Italian Serie A1 opener this past weekend and now will have two European Champions League matches this week.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 16, 2017) – The professional club season kicked off with a bang this past weekend, including one U.S. Women’s National Team member earning gold in the Turkish SuperCup championship and others picking up victories in their regular season openers.

QUICK SETS

  • Kelsey Robinson and her Turkish League VakifBank pro team claimed the Turkish SuperCup title with a sweep of Fenerbahce on Sunday.
  • Lauren Carlini, playing in her first pro club match, led Scandicci to a 3-0 win over Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena on Saturday. Carlini set the team to a robust .500 hitting efficiency.
  • Kim Hill and her Italian pro team Imoco Volley Conegliano begins the prestigious European Champions League with a home-and-home second-round series against 2017 Hungarian champion Linamar-Bekescsabi RS KFT on Oct. 17 and Oct. 21.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Which U.S. Women’s National Team player and her husband said their wedding vows standing on chairs?

2018 FIVB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD SET: All 24 spots for the 2018 FIVB Women's World Championship set for Sept. 29 to Oct. 20 in various Japanese cities have been secured following qualification events through the five confederations of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB). The U.S. Women's National Team did not have to go through qualification as it is the reigning World Champions, having won the event in 2014 in Italy. To view the qualified teams and how they earned their berths into the World Championship, click here.

USAV PROCESSES 299 INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS: USA Volleyball has processed 299 international transfer certificates (217 females, 81 males) allowing United States citizens to compete in foreign professional volleyball leagues for the 2017-18 season as of Oct. 12. 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 34 players, England 30 players, France with 25 players, Switzerland with 20 players, Italy with 14 players and Finland with 13 players. USA Volleyball processed a record 400 international transfers for the 2016-17 season. USA Volleyball has processed 37 more international transfers from this point a year ago. The International Transfer Certificate (ITC) is a mandatory requirement of the FIVB for athletes to transfer from one National Federation (country) to another National Federation (country) to play in professional leagues. All National Federations are required to follow this established procedure. For details, refer to the FIVB Sports Regulations (2013) Section 45.3. For the full story and listing of current international transfers processed, click here.

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 opened its Italian Serie A1 regular season with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-18 sweep of Pomi Casalmaggiore on Oct. 14. Hill scored 11 points with seven kills on 22 attacks, three aces on 17 serves and a block. She chipped in a 73 positive reception percent on 26 of her team’s 52 receptions. Easy added a team-best 14 points with 13 kills on 22 swings and a block. She was credited with a 67 positive reception percent on nine chances. In its next Italian League match, Conegliano hosts Il Bisonte Firenze on Oct. 25. In European Champions League play, Conegliano will face Hungarian champion Linamar-Bekescsabi RS KFT in a second-round match 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 started its Italian Serie A1 regular season with a thrilling 32-30, 25-22, 20-25, 21-25, 15-12 victory over Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio on Oct. 14. Gibbemeyer pocketed 11 kills on 19 swings with just one error to go with three blocks for 14 points in the victory. Novara returns to Italian League action on Oct. 22 when it faces Mycicero Volley Pesaro. Novara is also participating in the European Champions League this winter and will have a bye into fourth round.

BARTSCH-HACKLEY, 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 had a slow start in its season-opening Italian Serie A1 match and nearly came back to win before falling 32-30, 25-22, 20-25, 21-25, 15-12 on Oct. 14. Bartsch-Hackley scored a team-high 27 points with 22 kills on 52 swings, three aces and two blocks. She was credited with a 57 positive reception percent as she had a team-leading 46 receptions. Wilhite was a sub in the second and fifth sets, recording two kills on five swings. Busto Arsizio will seek its first Italian League victory on the season in the second round on Oct. 21 as it hosts Lardini Filottrano, which earned promotion to Serie A1 this year. 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 opened its regular season on Oct. 14 with a 25-14, 25-12, 25-14 sweep over Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena. Carlini, in her first official professional match, scored seven points from her setter’s position and recorded two kills on two swings, three blocks and two aces. She led Scandicci to an impressive 56 kill percent for the match and a .500 hitting efficiency. Scandicci will look to stay undefeated in the Italian League on Oct. 21 as it hosts Pomi Casalmaggiore.

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 lost its regular season opener to Il Bisonte Firenze 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23 on Oct. 15. Dixon, playing her first pro club match since late January 2016 after suffering an ACL tear in the Japan V-League, scored 13 points with 11 kills on 16 attacks and just one error to go with two blocks. Hancock did not suit for the match. Team Monza looks to get in the win column on Oct. 22 as it meets SAB Volley Legnano (1-0).

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 opened the Italian regular season with a 25-18, 25-14, 25-16 victory against Foppapedretti Bergamo on Oct. 15. Newcombe tallied six kills on 19 errorless attacks, four blocks and two aces for 12 points. Drews did not play in the match. Legnano meets up with Saugella Team Monza (0-1) on Oct. 22 in its next Italian League match.

 

Leaning tower of pizza?¿ #dumbnotto

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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 won its Italian League season opener 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 over Saugella Team Monza. Tapp scored seven points with four kills and three blocks. Firenze returns to the court on Oct. 25 to play Imoco Volley Conegliano (1-0).

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. Soverato improved to 2-0 on the season after beating Savallese Millenium Brescia 22-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21 on Oct. 15. McMahon scored 11 points with 11 kills on 36 swings and a block. Soverato will seek its third straight win of the season when it faces LPM Bam Mondovi (2-0) on Oct. 18 before challenging P2P Givova Baronissi (1-1) on Oct. 22.

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 opened its regular season by rallying past Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders 11-25, 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 15-13 on Oct. 14. Kingdon scored a team-high 24 points with 20 kills on 67 attacks, three blocks and one ace. She added 20 digs and 11 excellent receptions on 28 attempts. The Pink Spiders were led by American Taylor Simpson, who scored 48 points with 44 kills on 105 attacks and four blocks. IBK returns to action on Oct. 18 against Hyundai, followed by an Oct. 22 match with Korea Ex.

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 lost its season-opener to French powerhouse RC Cannes 14-25, 25-20, 25-19, 28-26 on Oct. 14. Benson was credited with a 65 positive reception percent on 20 chances in the loss. Vandoeuvre Nancy resumes French league action on Oct. 22 against Mulhouse.

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 Oct. 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.

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 defeated Black Aachen 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22 on Oct. 14 to open its German Bundesliga regular season. McCage notched six kills on 20 attacks and five blocks for 11 points in the victory. Stuttgart will seek to remain undefeated in the Bundesliga on Oct. 21 as it faces Suhl in the second round. 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.

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 lost its Bundesliga opener 25-20, 18-25, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13 in a tight five-set match on Oct. 14. Bugg was a sub in the final two sets, record two aces on five serves, two blocks and a kill on four swings for five points. Dresdner will seek its first win Bundesliga win on Oct. 22 as it faces Munster. 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.

 

SUPER CUP CHAMPIONS 🏆 #bravovakif💛

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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. VakifBank defeated Fenerbahce to claim the Turkish SuperCup with a 25-14, 25-18, 25-22 victory on Oct. 15. Robinson was a sub in all three sets and recorded on ace on 10 serves to go with five receptions playing back row. 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.

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.

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: Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and her husband Corbin stood on chairs during their wedding vows on June 22, 2013, in front of 200 guests at a vineyard in Illinois. A fast-moving torrential rain storm flooded the enclosed vineyard, but that didn’t stop the wedding. “We were in the middle of the ceremony, everything happened extremely quickly,” Bartsch-Hackley said in a CEV press release. “Two chairs were brought to us, we were standing on them. It wasn’t really romantic.” After they tied the knot, the wedding party eventually moved to a nearby building. To watch Bartsch-Hackley’s wedding day video tribute from 2013 including the flooded wedding ceremony, watch the YouTube video below.