Women's Update: Hill Leading Conegliano to Big Wins

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Feb. 12, 2018, 10:02 a.m. (ET)

Kim Hill
Kim Hill goes for an uncontested back-row attack as Conegliano defeated Fenerbahce in European Champions League. Hill and Conegliano will play in the Italian Serie A1 Cup semifinals on Feb. 17.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 12, 2018) – The upcoming Italian Serie A1 Cup semifinals on Feb. 17 will feature members of the U.S. Women’s National Team on all four competing teams. Who will come out on top with the gold?

QUICK SETS

  • The Italian Cup semifinals showcases four teams with U.S. Women’s National Team members this coming Saturday. Kim Hill and Imoco Volley Conegliano face Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Sarah Wilhite with Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio, while Lauren Gibbemeyer and Igor Gorgonzola Novara challenge Tori Dixon and Micha Hancock with Saugella Team Monza. The semifinal winners play for the title on Feb. 18.
  • Luka Slabe was hired as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
  • Foluke Akinradewo converted 60.3 percent of her attacks (38 of 63) into points during two Hisamitsu Springs playoff victories.
  • Kelsey Robinson has a new nomandplay.com 24-Hour Series article out on traveling to Istanbul, Turkey
  • The U.S. Women will host Italy, Turkey and Poland in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League held May 15-17 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Single session, all-session and group tickets are all now on sale through huskers.com/usavoleyball. For more information on the event, click here.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Which current U.S. Women’s National Team player led her junior club team to the 17 Open Division title in the 2006 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships?

LUKA SLABE HIRED AS ASSISTANT COACH: USA Volleyball has hired current Brigham Young University men’s assistant coach Luka Slabe to serve as the U.S. Women’s National Team assistant coach. He will assume his role with the national team upon completion of BYU’s collegiate season. Slabe has held positions as the Slovenia men’s national team head coach along with several years of head coaching in leagues around Europe. For the full release, click here.

TORI DIXON FEATURE ON GOPHERSPORTS.COM: Tori Dixon was recently interviewed by her alma mater, University of Minnesota. Among the questions she responded to was comparing the professional leagues she has played in, returning to the international game for the first time since her injury in 2016, her favorite part of playing in Italy and advice she would give to young athletes considering playing professional volleyball. To read the interview, click here.

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. After going undefeated during the regular season, Hisamitsu Springs survived a five-set victory over Toyota 25-23, 17-25, 22-25, 25-22, 18-16 on Feb. 10 to start the six-team round-robin playoffs. Akinradewo hammered 22 kills on 36 errorless attacks and added four blocks and one ace for 27 points. Hisamitsu Springs won its second playoff match of the weekend by holding off Toray 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19 on Feb. 11. Akinradewo contributed 16 kills on 27 attacks and four blocks for 20 points. Hisamitsu Springs battles NEC Red Rockets on Feb. 17 and Denso on Feb. 18 in its next two playoff matches.

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. In the European Champions League, Conegliano remained undefeated in Pool B following a 20-25, 18-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-11 come-from-behind victory over Turkey’s Fenerbahce on Feb. 7. Hill scored 12 kills on 35 attacks, three blocks and an ace for 16 points. She handled 34 of the team’s 92 receptions with a 44 positive percent without an error. Conegliano, now 4-0 in Pool B, challenges Agel Prostejov (0-4) in its next Champions League match. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano won its second straight match with a 24-26, 25-10, 22-25, 25-19, 15-13 come-from-behind victory over sixth-place Liu Jo Nordmeccanica Modena (11-8, 30 points) on Feb. 10. Conegliano battled back from a 12-9 deficit in the fifth set to win. Hill contributed 20 points with 19 kills on 37 swings and a block. She also handled 22 receptions with a 64 positive percent. Conegliano (17-2, 49 points), which holds on to first place, meets third-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (15-4, 42 points) on Feb. 25 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. During the Italian Serie A1 hiatus next weekend, Conegliano meets Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Cup semifinals on Feb. 17. The championship match is set for Feb. 18.

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. In the European Champions League, Novara blanked Agel Prostejov 26-24, 25-13, 25-15 on Feb. 7. Gibbemeyer was on fire offensively with 11 kills on 15 errorless attacks and three blocks for a match-tying high 14 points. Novara (3-1 in Pool B) challenges Turkish League’s Fenerbahce (1-3) on Feb. 22. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara lost to ninth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (5-14, 20 points) 25-23, 30-28, 15-25, 25-22 on Feb. 10. Gibbemeyer scored three kills on 13 swings and a lock for four points in the setback. She was also credited with a 67 positive reception percent on three chances. Novara (14-5, 43 points), which remains in second place, resumes Italian League action on Feb. 24 against fifth-place Saugella Team Monza (11-8, 33 points). With the open week in the regular season, Novara will face Saugella Team Monza in the Italian Cup semifinals on Feb. 17 with the chance to move on to the finals on Feb. 18.

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 swept 11th-place Sab Volley Legnano (5-14, 15 points) 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 on Feb. 11. Carlini, a sub in the first two sets and starter in the third, helped Scandicci to a 51 kill percent for the match. She provided one block in the victory. Scandicci (15-4, 42 points), which stays in third place, resumes regular season action on Feb. 25 against league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano (17-2, 49 points).

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. Saugella Team Monza topped last-place Lardini Filottrano (4-15, 11 points) 25-9, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23 on Feb. 10. Dixon accounted for 14 points with 11 kills on 22 swings, two blocks and an ace. Hancock, who set the squad to a 40 kill percent, added five aces on 15 serves and three kills on eight swings. Team Monza (11-8, 33 points), now in fifth place, challenges second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (14-5, 43 points) on Feb. 14. Saugella will also face Novara on Feb. 17 in the Italian Cup semifinals with the winner advancing to the finals on Feb. 18.

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. In the CEV Cup, Busto Arsizio lost to Eczacibasi 20-25, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24 on Feb. 8 in losing its second match of the 8th Finals Round home-and-home series. Bartsch-Hackley scored a team-leading 19 points with 18 kills on 39 swings and a block. She also handled 36 of the team’s 83 receptions with a 47 positive percent. Wilhite, a sub in the first two sets before starting the final two sets, pocketed two kills and handled 15 of the team’s receptions. In the Italian Serie A1, Busto Arsizio topped eighth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (6-13, 20 points) 25-16, 25-22, 20-25, 25-18 on Feb. 11. Bartsch-Hackley was credited with 15 points as she scored 13 kills on 35 swings and two blocks. She also handled 32 of the team’s 73 receptions with an 88 positive percent. Wilhite was a sub in all four sets, but did not record a point. Busto Arsizio (11-8, 35 points), which stays fourth in the standings, faces seventh-place Mycicero Volley Pesaro (8-11, 26 points) on Feb. 18 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. Busto Arsizio will play Imoco Volley Conegliano on Feb. 17 in the Italian Cup semifinals with the winner moving on to the championship match on Feb. 18.

DREWS WITH CASALMAGGIORE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter), who played her first season with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is currently playing for Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 after transferring from Sab Volleyball Legnano. In the CEV Cup, Casalmaggiore blanked Linamar Bekescsabai RS KFT 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 on Feb. 7 to conclude the 8th Finals Round home-and-home sweep. Drews scored a match-high 17 points with 12 kills on 23 swings, three blocks and two aces. Casalmaggiore advances to the CEV Cup quarterfinals (4th Finals Round) and will face Schwerin in a home-and-home series. In the Italian Serie A, Casalmaggiore upset second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara 25-23, 30-28, 15-25, 25-22 on Feb. 10. Drews notched a team-best 19 points with 15 kllls on 44 swings, three blocks and an ace. Casalmaggiore (5-14 20 points), now in ninth-place, meets 11th-place Sab Volley Legnano (5-14, 15 points) on Feb. 25.

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. In CEV Cup action, Eczacibasi concluded its 8th Finals home-and-home series with a 20-25, 25-18, 25-18, 26-24 victory over Italy’s Yamamay E-Work Busto Arsizio on Feb. 8 to sweep the series. Adams contributed nine kills on 17 attacks, four blocks and two aces for 15 points. Larson chipped in six kills on 27 swings and had a 78 positive reception percent on nine chances. Eczacibasi advances to the CEV Cup quarterfinals (4th Finals Round) and will face Yenisei Krasnoyarsk in the home-and-home series. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi claimed another big victory with an 18-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-19 victory over third-place Fenerbahce on Feb. 11. Larson pocketed 12 points with 10 kills on 28 swings, one block and one ace. She chipped in a 56 positive reception percent while handling 39 of the team’s 72 receptions. Adams, starting the first two sets, scored two blocks and an ace for three points. Eczacibasi (18-1), which is now in sole possession of first place, faces second-place VakifBank (17-2) on Feb. 14 in its next Turkish League match, followed by a Feb. 18 match against fifth-place Bursa B.Sehir Bld (10-9).

ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter, Website), a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medalist, is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league this winter. In European Champions League action, VakifBank remained undefeated in Pool D following a 22-25, 25-18, 25-11, 21-25, 15-9 victory over Russia’s Dinamo Moscow on Feb. 8. Robinson, who was a starter in the first two sets and sub in the final two sets, provided four kills on six errorless swings and two blocks for six points. She added 14 service receptions in the match. During the critical fifth set, Robinson scored on both her attacks and served four times. VakifBank, now 4-0 in Pool D, resumes action on Feb. 20 against Poland’s Grot Budowlani Lodz (0-4). In the Turkish League, VakifBank turned back Canakkale BL 27-29, 25-15, 25-20, 25-14 after a rough start on Feb. 11. Robinson charted 11 kills on 29 attacks, two aces and a block for 14 points in the victory. She handled 15 receptions with a 53 positive reception percent. VakifBank (17-2), now in second place, challenges league-leader Eczacibasi (18-1) on Feb. 14 in its next Turkish league match followed by eighth-place Seramiksan (7-12) on Feb. 17. Robinson has launched her own website, www.nomandplay.com, on her passions for play, travel and food. Check out her 24-Hour Series article on visiting Istanbul, Turkey, by clicking here. To read more about her website, click here.

LLOYD WITH BARUERI IN BRAZIL: Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram), a 2016 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist, joined Hinode Barueri of the Brazil Superliga in January after successfully recovering from an injury during the 2017 FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. Barueri downed Brasilia Volei 25-22, 25-16, 19-25, 25-20 on Feb. 7. Lloyd set Barueri to a 44 kill percent for the match and added three blocks, one kill and one ace for five points in the victory. Barueri (12-8, 35 points), now in fifth place, resumes action on Feb. 16 against eighth-place Volei Bauru (6-13, 25 points).

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 lost to Hyundai 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-22 on Feb. 6. Kingdon contributed 43 points in the four-set loss with 39 kills on 90 attacks, three blocks and an ace. She added 17 losses in the match. IBK rallied past GS Caltex 17-25, 25-27, 26-24, 25-13, 16-14 on Feb. 11. Kingdon pocketed 34 points with 31 kills on 83 swings, and three blocks. She added 24 digs in the victory. IBK (16-8, 45 points), now in second place, challenges fourth-place KGC (10-14, 31 points) on Feb. 14 and league-leader Korea Expressway (17-7, 50 points) on Feb. 17.

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 (15-7, 42 points), which is in seventh-place place, is idle next week and resumes action on Feb. 21 against 13th-place Sorelle Ramonda Ipag Montecchio (7-15, 20 points) followed by ninth-place Club Italia Crai (12-11, 35 points) on Feb. 25.

PAIGE TAPP, McCAGE WITH ALLIANZ MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Middles Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) and Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Instagram), who were part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, are playing professionally this winter with Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. In the CEV Cup, Stuttgart lost the second match of the 8th Finals Round home-and-home series to Asterix Avo Beveren 25-20, 27-29, 25-15, 25-23, 16-14 on Feb. 6. However, Stuttgart advanced to the CEV Cup quarterfinals once it went up 2-1 in the match. Tapp tallied five kills on 16 attacks, a match-high four blocks and two aces on 14 serves for 11 points. McCage added nine points with seven kills on 14 errorless attacks, one ace and one block. Stuttgart now will play German rival Dresdner in the quarterfinal round home-and-home series. In the German Bundesliga regular season, Stuttgart swept VC Wiesbaden 25-19, 25-11, 25-18 on Feb 10. McCage powered down seven kills on eight errorless attacks to go with three blocks for 10 points. Tapp added four kills on 10 errorless attacks and a block for five points. Stuttgart (14-2, 43 points), which moved into first place with a two-point advantage over second-place Dresdner (14-2, 41 points), returns to Bundesliga regular season on Feb. 17 against last-place VCO Berlin (0-14, 0 points), followed by a Feb. 18 match with eighth-place Potsdam (6-10, 19 points).

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. In the CEV Cup, Dresdner rallied to defeat TS Volley Duedingen 23-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 on Feb. 7 to conclude the 8th Final Round home-and-home series sweep. Bugg, a starter in the final two sets, scored three aces, three blocks and a kill for seven points. During the final two sets, Dresdner hit at a .263 efficiency with Bugg as the starting setter. Dresdner now advances to the CEV Cup quarterfinals (4th Final Round) and will face German rival Allianz MTV Stuttgart in a home-and-home series to decide who advances to the semifinals. In the German Bundesliga, Dresdner was idle this past week. Dresdner (14-2, 41 points), which remains in first place, faces third-place Schwerin (13-3, 39 points) on Feb. 14, followed by fourth-place Aachen (10-6, 28 points) on Feb. 17.

AMBER ROLFZEN WITH BEZIERS IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Middle Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska, Instagram), who was part of the U.S. Women’s National Team this past summer, is competing with Beziers in the French League this winter. In the CEV Cup, Beziers lost to Minchanka Minsk 18-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-13 on Feb. 7 to conclude the 8th Final Round home-and-home series. Rolfzen, playing just the first three sets, scored five kills on 10 swings to go with two blocks for seven points. As the teams split the home-and-home series, Minsk advances to the CEV Cup quarterfinals as it pushed Beziers to five sets in the first meeting and held a 5-4 advantage in sets. In the French League, Beziers lost a 25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13 heart-breaker to fifth-place Le Cannet (11-6, 26 points) on Feb. 10. Rolfzen scored four kills on nine swings, one block and one ace for six points. American teammate Krystal Rivers notched 29 points in the loss. Beziers (15-2, 42 points), now in first place, meets eighth-place Quimper (7-10, 20 points) on Feb. 16.

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. In the European Champions League, Mulhouse lost to CSM Volei Alba Blaj 15-25, 25-21, 20-25, 28-26, 15-13 on Feb. 7. Dannemiller led Mulhouse to a 41 kill percent as a team. She added two individual kills on three attacks and one block for three points. Mulhouse, now 1-3 in Pool A, resumes Champions League action on Feb. 21 against Switzerland’s Volero Zurich (2-2). In the French League, Mulhouse blanked sixth-place Venelles (9-8, 25 points) 25-21, 26-24, 25-17 on Feb. 10. Dannemiller set her team to a 36 kill percent and added three points with two kills and a block. Mulhouse (12-5, 36 points), which is in third place, resumes French League action on Feb. 17 against second-place RC Cannes (14-3, 42 points).

BENSON WITH VANDOEUVRE NANCY IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter), 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 swept eighth-place Quimper (7-10, 20 points) 25-20, 27-25, 25-16 on Feb. 10. Benson handled seven receptions with a 71 positive percent. Nancy (7-10, 19 points), now in ninth place, resumes French League action on Feb. 17 versus last-place Chamalieres (2-15, 5 points).

TRIVIA ANSWER: Lauren Gibbemeyer led Northern Lights to the 2006 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships 17 Open Division title. The team went 52-0 against other 17s teams during the year, and its only two losses were against 18s teams.