Robinson Sparks VakifBank to Club World Title

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Dec. 10, 2018, 11:14 a.m. (ET)

Kelsey Robinson helps VakifBank to second consecutive FIVB Women's Club World Championship title
Kelsey Robinson helped lead VakifBank to the FIVB Women's Club World Championship title for the second year in a row

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 10, 2018) – Kelsey Robinson collected another honor for her mantle as she helped VakifBank to the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship title this past week in China.

QUICK SETS

  • The U.S. had players on three of the eight teams competing in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, and that resulted in two medals for Team USA players. Kelsey Robinson earned gold as VakifBank won the title as she led all players in serve reception efficiency. Jordan Larson and Lauren Gibbemeyer grabbed bronze medals as Eczacibasi finished in third place.
  • Foluke Akinradewo scored 37 kills on 52 errorless attacks in two victories this past weekend to help Hisamitsu Springs improve to 7-1 in the Japan V-League.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Who is the only American to win the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship most valuable player award?

ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Twitter, Instagram, Website) is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league and European Champions League this winter. VakifBank captured its second consecutive FIVB Women’s Club World Championship title with Robinson on its roster. In the opening pool play match, VakifBank defeated China’s Zheijiang 25-20, 25-13, 25-13 on Dec. 4. Robinson turned in six points with three kills, two blocks and an ace. VakifBank swept France’s Volero Le Cannet 25-21, 25-15, 25-17 on Dec. 5. Robinson provided VakifBank with nine kills on 21 attacks, two blocks and an ace for 12 points in the victory. VakifBank concluded pool play with a 25-23, 30-28, 25-18 victory over Brazil’s Minas Tenis Clube on Dec. 7. Robinson connected for four kills and two blocks for six points. In the semifinals, VakifBank downed Brazil’s Praia Clube 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18 on Dec. 8. Robinson collected 13 points in the victory with 11 kills on 27 attacks and two blocks. In a rematch of the pool finale, VakifBank swept Minas Tenis Clube 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 in the gold-medal match. Robinson was VakifBank’s second-highest scorer in the match with 13 points, including 12 kills on 22 attacks and a block. Robinson ended the tournament with 50 total points for 20th best in the tournament. She converted 38.2 percent of her attacks into points for 10th best in the tournament. Robinson was credited with a 46.7 serve-receive efficiency to lead all players and added 2.31 digs per set for 12th in the tournament. In the Turkish League, VakifBank was idle last week with its participation in the FIVB Club World Championship. VakifBank (7-0), one of two teams undefeated in the Turkish League, resumes its domestic league schedule on Dec. 15 against undefeated Eczacibasi (7-0). In its European Champions League, VakifBank (1-0) returns to action on Dec. 20 against Maritza Plovdiv (0-1). Robinson has launched her own website, nomandplay.com on her passions for play, travel and food. To read more about her website, click here.

LARSON AND GIBBEMEYER WITH ECZACIBASI IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) are competing with Eczacibasi in the Turkish League this winter. Larson is serving as the team’s captain. Eczacibasi finished the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship by finishing with the bronze medal last week. In its first pool play match, Eczacibasi defeated Kazakhstan’s Altay Volleyball Club 25-10, 25-11, 25-15 on Dec. 4. Larson piled up 14 points in the victory with eight kills on 21 swings, four aces and two blocks. Gibbemeyer added two kills and a block for three points. In its second pool match, Eczacibasi swept Thailand’s Supreme Chonburi 25-15, 25-11, 25-17 on Dec. 5. Gibbemeyer collected five kills on 12 swings, one block and one ace for seven points. Larson pocketed six kills on 16 attacks and a block for seven points. Eczacibasi closed out pool play with a 25-27, 25-21, 25-11, 25-21 victory over Brazil’s Praia Clube to advance to the semifinals. Larson scored a match-high 24 points with 19 kills via 39 swings, three blocks and two aces. Gibbemeyer chipped in six kills on 13 attacks and a block for seven points. In the Club World Championship semifinals, Eczacibasi was edged by Brazil’s Minas Tenis Clube 22-25, 26-24, 25-13, 23-25, 15-12 on Dec. 8. Larson piled up 20 points with 18 kills on 47 attacks and two blocks. Gibbemeyer tallied six kills on 17 swings and a block for seven points. Eczacibasi closed out the tournament with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-19 victory over Praia Clube in the bronze-medal match on Dec. 9. Larson hammered 10 kills on 20 attacks to go with two blocks for 12 points. Gibbemeyer chalked up seven points with three kills on seven attacks, three blocks and an ace. Larson finished as the fifth leading scorer in the Club World Championship with 77 total points. She converted 42.7 percent of her attacks for seventh place in the tournament and averaged 0.56 blocks per set for 11th best. Larson served six aces for a 0.33 ace average to rank sixth in the tournament. Larson ranked 10th in Best Digger with a 2.44 dig average. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi swept Karayollari 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 on Nov. 28. Gibbemeyer provided Eczacibasi 10 points with eight kills on 19 attacks, one ace and one block for 10 points. Larson did not play in the match. Eczacibasi (7-0), in first place in the Turkish League, returns to domestic league action on Dec. 15 against undefeated VakifBank (7-0). In its next European Champions League match, Eczacibasi (1-0) challenges Hameenlinna (0-1) on Dec. 19.

DREWS AND LEE WITH BEYLIKDUZU IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Twitter, Instagram) and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Twitter, Instagram) are competing with Kameroglu Beylikduzu Voleybol Ihtisas alongside fellow American setter Kelly Hunter in the Turkish League for the 2018-19 season. Beylikduzu was idle this past week in the Turkish League. Beylikduzu (3-5), now in eighth place, returns to Turkish League action on Dec. 14 against fifth-place Galatasaray (3-4).

LLOYD WITH PRAIA CLUBE IN BRAZIL: Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram) is playing for Praia Clube in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Praia Clube also has former U.S. Women’s National Team member Nicole Fawcett playing at opposite. Praia Clube finished fourth in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship this past week. Praia Club opened pool play with a 25-22, 25-16, 25-14 victory over Thailand’s Supreme Chonburi on Dec. 4. Lloyd set her team to a 51.1 kill percent in the victory and added three blocks, one ace and one block. Fawcett chipped in 12 points with 10 kills on 26 attacks and two blocks. Praia Clube downed Kazakhstan’s Altay Volleyball Club 25-14, 25-16, 25-17 on Dec. 5. Fawcett scored 18 kills on 28 swings and an ace for 19 points. Lloyd provided three blocks and an ace while setting Praia Clube to a 52.2 kill percent for the match. In the pool finale, Praia Clube lost to Turkey’s Eczacibasi 25-27, 25-21, 25-11, 25-21 on Dec. 7. Lloyd scored two kills in starting the first two sets. Fawcett, who also played just the first two sets, tallied six kills on 15 swings, three aces and a block for 10 points in the loss. In the semifinals, Praia Clube lost to Turkey’s VakifBank 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18 on Dec. 8. Lloyd set Praia Clube to a 32.4 kill percent. Fawcett scored 12 points in the loss, including 10 kills. In the bronze medal match, Praia Clube lost to Eczacibasi for the second time, this time a 25-16, 25-18, 25-19 setback on Dec. 9. Lloyd set her squad to a 34.4 kill percent in the loss. Fawcett was limited to two points in the setback. Lloyd was fourth in setting with a 5.00 running set average and ninth in blocking during the Club World Championship with 0.59 blocks per set. Fawcett averaged 0.28 aces per set for eighth-best in the tournament. Praia Clube returns to Superliga action on Dec. 18 against Fluminese. Praia Clube will be competing in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship Dec. 4-9 in Shaoxing, China.

AKINRADEWO WITH HISAMITSU SPRINGS IN JAPAN: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Twitter, Instagram) has returned to Hisamitsu Springs of the Japanese V-League this winter. Hisamitsu Springs swept Toyota 25-21, 25-23, 32-30 in a hard-fought three-set match on Dec. 8. Akinradewo provided 16 kills on 21 errorless attacks for a .762 hitting efficiency. She added two blocks for 18 points in the victory. Hisamitsu Springs edged Toray 25-19, 15-25, 25-22, 25-22 on Dec. 9. Akinradewo totaled 21 kills on 31 errorless attacks, two blocks and an ace for 24 points. For the weekend, Akinradewo scored 37 kills on 52 errorless attacks for a .712 hitting efficiency. Hisamitsu Springs (7-1, 22 points) is in first place in the Western Conference and leads both divisions with 22 points.

HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) is playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano dropped its second consecutive Italian Serie A1 match following a 14-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-18 setback to then-third-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci. Hill scored 10 kills on 43 attacks, three aces and a block in the loss for 14 points. She was credited with a 78 positive reception percent on a team-leading 27 chances. Conegliano (6-2, 18 points), which dropped two spots to fourth place, returns to Italian Serie A1 action on Dec. 15 against sixth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (4-5, 12 points). In the European Champions League, Conegliano returns to Champions League action on Dec. 18 against Germany’s SSC Palmberg Schwerin (0-1).

BARTSCH-HACKLEY, CARLINI WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) and setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and the European Champions League this winter. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara was idle this past week. Novara (8-0, 23 points), in first place in the Italian Serie A1, challenges 13th-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (0-8, 1 point) on Dec. 16 in its next league match. In the European Champions League, Novara (1-0) returns to Pool C action on Dec. 19 against Minchanka Minsk (0-1).

ADAMS AND HANCOCK WITH TEAM MONZA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Saugella Team Monza in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Challenge Cup this winter. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Team Monza swept Austria’s Prinz Brunnenbau Volleys Perg 25-17, 25-14, 25-18 on Dec. 4 to win the head-to-head series 2-0. As like the first match, neither Hancock or Adams played in the second victory. Team Monza now advances to the CEV Challenge Cup 8th Finals Round home-and-home series where it will meet VDK Bank Gent on Dec. 19, followed by the return match on a date to be determined. In the Italian Serie A1, Team Monza was idle this past week. Team Monza (3-5, 11 points), in eighth place, challenges fifth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (6-2, 17 points) on Dec. 10 followed by ninth-place Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (3-5, 11 points) on Dec. 16 in its next league match.

View this post on Instagram

Squeezed out a 5-set win tonight with my girls!

A post shared by Hannah Tapp (@_han_banan_) on

COURTNEY AND HANNAH TAPP WITH BERGAMO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Zanetti Bergamo in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2018-19 pro season. Bergamo rallied to defeat Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri 15-25, 25-14, 19-25, 25-23, 15-10 on Dec. 9. Tapp notched nine points with eight kills on 16 swings and a block. Courtney, who started the first two sets and subbed in the third, added three kills and an 85 positive reception percent on 20 chances. Bergamo (4-5, 11 points), now in seventh place, meets 12th-place Club Italia Crai (0-8, 1 point) on Dec. 15 in its next Italian Serie A1 match.

View this post on Instagram

• f o r e v e r • & • a l w a y s •

A post shared by Megan Courtney (@megcourt17) on

WHITNEY WITH FILOTTRANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, New Jersey, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Lardini Filotrrano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter along with American Courtney Schwan. Filottrano topped Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo 25-20, 15-25, 25-22, 25-16 on Dec. 8. Whitney totaled nine points with seven kills, one block and an one ace. Filottrano (2-6, 6 points), in 11th-place, faces third-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (7-1, 20 points) on Dec. 15 in its next league match.

WASHINGTON WITH BRESCIA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Brescia lost to third-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 25-21, 18-25, 26-24, 38-36 in a tight four-set battle. Washington contributed nine points with seven kills on 20 attacks and two blocks. Brescia (3-5, 11 points), now in ninth place, faces eight-place Saugella Team Monza (3-5, 11 points) on Dec. 16 in its next league match.

OGBOGU WITH CHEMIK POLICE IN POLAND: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Chemik Police in the Polish League and European Champions League this winter. Chemik Police suffered its first Polish Orlen Liga loss following a 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 21-25, 15-9 setback to Grot Budowlani Lodz on Dec. 9. Ogbogu pocketed 12 points with eight kills on 16 attacks and four blocks. Chemik Police (7-1, 22 points), which remains in first place by two points, returns to Polish Orlen Liga action on Dec. 12 against 10th-place KSZO Ostrowiec (2-6, 7 points). In European Champions League action, Chemik Police (0-1) returns to action on Dec. 19 against Fenerbahce (1-0).

DIXON AND KINGDON-RISHEL PLAYING FOR BEIJING BAIC IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) and Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Beijing BAIC Motors Volleyball Club in China during the 2018-19 pro season. BAIC Motors blanked Liaoning Yingkou Bayuquan 25-16, 25-17, 25-20 on Dec. 8. Kingdon Rishel scored a match-high 18 points with 14 kills on 34 swings, three aces and a block. She was credited with a 67 positive reception percent on nine chances. Dixon scored 15 points with seven kills on 12 attacks, a match-high seven blocks and an ace. BAIC Motors, now in fourth place with a 2-2 record and six points, resumes action on Dec. 12 against Shanghai.

MURPHY WITH SHANGHAI VOLLEYBALL CLUB: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Shanghai Volleyball Club this winter. Shanghai Shandong Sports Lottery 25-21, 21-25, 25-8, 25-21 on Dec. 8. Murphy did not play in the victory. Shanghai, now in second place with a 4-0 record and 10 points in the second round Group C, resumes league action on Dec. 11 against Beijing Auto.

WILHITE, PAIGE TAPP, RIVERS AND McCAGE WITH MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), middles Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Twitter, Instagram) and Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama) and setter Madi Bugg are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. All but Bugg played for the U.S. Women in the 2018 season. In the German Bundesliga, Stuttgart eased past Straubing 25-20, 25-19, 25-13 on Dec. 5. McCage turned in four points with two blocks, one ace and one kill in starting the first two sets. Rivers, who was a sub in the opening set, tallied two kills on two attacks. Bugg set Stuttgart to a 43 kill percent as a team while tallying two individual kills and two block for four points. Tapp and Wilhite did not play in the match. Stuttgart finished the week with a 25-17, 25-15, 25-15 victory over Erfurt on Dec. 12. Rivers tallied 14 kills on 21 swings and a block for 15 points. McCage chipped in six kills on 11 swings and three blocks in the victory. Wilhite, starting the first two sets, pocketed four kills on 11 attacks and two aces for six points. She added a 31 positive reception percent on 16 chances. Tapp, starting the first two sets, score a kill and ace in the victory. Bugg was a sub in the first two sets and started the final set. Stuttgart (5-0, 14 points), which is in third place in the Bundesliga but with two fewer matches played than league-leader Schwerin (7-0, 19 points), plays sixth-place Aachen (3-4, 10 points) on Dec. 15 in its next match. In the European Champions League, Stuttgart (0-1) resumes action on Dec. 19 against France’s Beziers (1-0), which won its opener against Maritza Plovdiv in straight sets.

View this post on Instagram

beginning to feel a lot like christmas 🎄

A post shared by AMANDA BENSON (@trapxmoneybenny) on

BENSON WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Dresdner SC in the German Bundesliga this winter. Dresdner is also competing in the CEV Cup this winter. In CEV Cup 16th Final Round action, Dresdner lost to Italy’s Yamamay E-Work Busto Arsizio 26-24, 25-17, 25-20 in the second home-and-home match to lose the 16th Finals Round series. Benson handled 16 reception with a 56 positive reception percent in the loss. In the Bundesliga, Dresdner defeated Thuringen 25-15, 25-21, 25-18 on Dec. 8. Benson handled 14 receptions with a 29 positive percent leading Dresdner to a 47 kill percent as a team. Dresdner (5-1, 15 points), in second place, resumes Bundesliga action on Dec. 15 against fourth-place Potsdam (4-2, 14 points).

TRIVIA ANSWER: Jordan Larson was selected as the most valuable player of the 2015 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship while leading Eczacibasi to the title. She is the only American to earn the event’s top award.