Women's Update: First Place is a Common Theme

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Oct. 30, 2017, 12:39 p.m. (ET)

Micha Hancock and Tori Dixon blocking in Italian Serie A1 action
(L-R) Micha Hancock and Tori Dixon blocking for Team Monza against league-leader Scandicci in the Italian Serie A1 in a match shown live on espn3

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 30, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team members were busy overseas this weekend during the pro season. Find out how they fared in the U.S. Women’s National Team Weekly Update below.

QUICK SETS

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 defeated Galatasaray 25-23, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19 on Oct. 24 in the Turkish League third round. Larson contributed nine kills on 26 attacks and an ace for 10 points in the victory. She was credited with an 86 excellent reception percent on seven chances without an error. Adams was a sub in the second set, recording one kill on one attack. Eczacibasi remained undefeated in the Turkish League following a 25-15, 25-19, 25-20 sweep of Nilufer on Oct. 28. Adams scored 12 points in the victory with seven kills on 12 attacks, four blocks and an ace. Larson charted six kills on 16 attacks to go with a 100 positive reception percent on three total reception chances. Eczacibasi, 4-0 overall in the Turkish League, meets Ilbank on Oct. 31 during the fifth round followed by a Nov. 4 contest against Canakkale Bld. 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.

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 dominated Besiktas 25-18, 25-18, 25-14 on Oct. 25 in the third round of the Turkish League. Robinson was a sub in all three sets, contributing three kills on five errorless attacks to go with a 60 positive reception percent on five receptions. VakifBank took down Galatasaray 25-19, 25-15, 25-18 on Oct. 28 to remain undefeated in the Turkish League. Robinson did not play in the match. VakifBank (4-0) resumes Turkish League action on Oct. 31 against Nilufer, followed by a Nov. 4 match versus Ilbank. 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 rallied to defeat JT Marvelous 23-25, 23-25, 28-26, 25-13, 15-13 on Oct. 28. Akinradewo was credited with 10 kills on 20 attacks, four blocks and an ace for 15 points in the victory. Hisamitsu Springs stopped Denso 21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19 to improve to 3-0 on the young season. Akinradewo compiled 15 kills on 24 errorless attacks, five blocks and an ace for 21 points in the victory. Hisamitsu Springs returns to action on Nov. 4 versus Toray, followed by a Nov. 5 contest versus Hitachi Rivale.

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 Megan Easy (Boston). In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano started the week with a 20-25, 34-32, 25-21, 25-21 victory over Il Bisonte Firenze (currently 1-2 and in eighth place) on Oct. 25. Hill scored a match-high 23 points, all on kills coming from 44 attacks with just three errors. She added an 80 positive reception percent on 20 reception chances. Easy added 10 kills on 27 attacks and two blocks for 12 points, while charting a 71 positive reception percent on 21 chances. To watch highlights of the match, click here. Conegliano swept 11th-place Lardini Filottrano (1-2, 3 points) 25-15, 26-24, 25-16 on Oct. 29 to stay undefeated in the Italian League. Hill notched seven kills on 23 attacks and an ace for eight points. Easy did not play in the match. Conegliano (3-0, 9 points), one three undefeated teams in the Italian Serie A1 and in second place on tiebreakers, challenges sixth-place Sab Volley Legnano (1-2, 3 points) on Nov. 5 in its next regular season match. In the European Champions League, Conegliano has advanced to the third round to play Sliedrecht Sport in a home-and-home series on Nov. 7 and Nov. 11.

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 swept eight-place Il Bisonte Firenze 25-14, 25-23, 25-13 on Oct. 29. Gibbemeyer notched four kills on nine swings with one block for five points in the victory. Novara, in third place of the Italian League with a 3-0 record and eight points, returns to action on Nov. 5 when it faces 11th-place Lardini Filotrrano (1-2, 3 points). Novara is also participating in the European Champions League this winter and will have a bye into fourth round.

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 won its third straight match to start the Italian Serie A1 regular season following a 15-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-14 victory over seventh-place Saugella Team Monza (1-2, 3 points) on Oct. 28. Carlini set the team to a 37 kill percent for the match, and 49.4 percent after the first set that resulted in a .442 hitting efficiency in the final three sets. She also contributed two blocks and a kill on two errorless attacks for three points. To watch a replay of the match, click here. Scandicci, atop the Italian League standings with a 3-0 record and nine points, looks to remain undefeated when it meets eighth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (1-2, 3 points) on Nov. 5.

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 edged fifth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (1-2, 4 points) 22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13 on Oct. 28 to go above .500 for the season. Bartsch-Hackley netted 17 points in the victory with 13 kills on 40 attacks, three blocks and an ace. She added an 85 positive reception percent on 26 total receptions. Wilhite came in off the bench in the second, fourth and fifth sets and provide one kills on three swings and an 83 positive reception percent on six chances. Fourth-place Busto Arsizio, 2-1 on the season with six points, challenges last-place Foppapedretti Bergamo (0-3, 0 points) on Nov. 4 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. Busto Arsizio is also competing in the European CEV Cup and begins 16th Finals Round home-and-home competition in late November.

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 started strong against league-leader Savino Del Bene Scandicci (3-0, 9 points) on Oct. 28, but could not hold the momentum in a 15-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-14 loss at home. Dixon scored nine points with four kills on 13 swings, four blocks and an ace. Hancock set the squad to a 32 kill percent and added five points via four aces on 17 serves and a kill. Team Monza (1-2, 3 points), in seventh place, resumes Italian Serie A1 action on Nov. 4 against 10th-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (1-2, 3 points).

Back in Italy with my Saucey!!

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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 lost twice last week to two of the three undefeated teams in the league. Firenze lost to second-place Imoco Volley Conegliano (3-0, 9 points) 20-25, 34-32, 25-21, 25-21 on Oct. 25. Tapp provided five kills on 10 errorless attacks and a block for six points in the loss. In its second match of the week, Firenze fell to Igor Gorgonzola Novara 25-14, 25-23, 25-13 on Oct. 29. Tapp contributed four points with two kills, one block and one ace in the loss. Firenze, in eighth-place with a 1-2 record and three points, will look to break the two-match losing streak on Nov. 5 as it faces the remaining undefeated team in the league, Savino Del Bene Scandicci (3-0, 9 points).

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 lost to ninth-place Mycicero Volley Pesaro (1-2, 3 points) 18-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 on Oct. 28 to fall under .500 for the season. Newcombe pocketed 13 points, all on kills from 39 attacks. She handled 19 receptions with a 47 positive reception percent. Drews was a sub in the first three sets and recorded three kills on eight attacks. Legnano, now 1-2 overall with three standings points and in sixth place, challenges second-place Imoco Volley Conegliano (3-0, 9 points) on Nov. 5 in its next Italian Serie A1 match.

WOPAT WITH BAIC MOTORS IN CHINA: Carly Wopat (Santa Barbara, California, Instagram, Twitter), a middle for the U.S. Women’s National Team, is playing for BAIC Motors in Beijing as part of the Chinese professional league. In the regular season opener, BAIC lost to Shanghai 25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 25-17 on Oct. 27. Wopat notched 12 points with 10 kills on 16 attacks, one ace and one block in the loss. BAIC returns to action on Nov. 4 against Hebei.

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 ralied from two sets down to defeat then-12th-place Bartoccini Gioiellerie Perugia 17-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 15-12 on Oct. 29. McMahon started the first two sets and provided four kills on nine attacks. Soverato, in second place in the Italian Serie A2 with a 5-0 record and 13 points, will look to stay undefeated in the sixth round when it faces third-place Ubi Banca San Bernardo Cuneo (4-1, 13 points) on Nov. 1.

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 was idle last week with its next contest on Oct. 31 against GS Caltex Seoul.

Bounced back with a 3-0 win at home last night!! Let's go Mulhouse

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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 edged then-undefeated Beziers 25-18, 26-24, 25-19 in a three-set victory on Oct. 28. Dannemiller was a sub in the first two sets and started the final set as she registered two kills on as many swings and a block for three points. In the set she started, Dannemiller led Mulhouse to a 44 kill percent as a team. On the opposite side of the net Americans Krystal Rivers and Amber Rolfzen tallied 14 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss. Mulhouse continues French League action on Nov. 4 against Evreux. Mulhouse, one of six teams tied at the top of the standings with a 2-1 record and six points, will also compete in the European Champions League this year and has a bye into the main format, or fourth round.

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, 1-1 overall and with three points, was idle last week and resumes French league action on Oct. 30 against Nantes (1-1), followed by a Nov. 4 match against SF Paris St. Cloud.

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 swept Schwarz Weiss Erfurt 25-17, 25-27, 25-22 on Oct. 25 to improve to 3-0 in the German Bundesliga. McCage notched nine points with eight kills on 12 errorless attacks and a block. Stuttgart is idle next week in the Bundesliga and will look to go 4-0 on Nov. 8 when it faces Dresdner SC. 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. After losing its season opener in the German Bundesliga, Dresdner rallied past VC Wiesbaden to win 20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-17 on Oct. 28. Bugg started the first two sets. Dresdner resumes German Bundesliga action on Nov. 1 as it faces VCO Berlin. 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.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Tori Dixon underwent heart surgery on March 25, 2013 during the spring of her junior season at the University of Minnesota. The surgery was to remove an extra node that was causing her heart to work harder to where she experienced a racing heart and severe fatigue. Later that summer, Dixon participated in the U.S. Women’s National Team Training Camp in July before heading into her senior season at Minnesota. To read about Dixon’s heart surgery, read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune article by clicking here.