U.S. Women in Finals in Turkey, Italy, Germany

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | April 29, 2019, 3:34 a.m. (ET)

Kelsey Robinson attacking in the Turkish League finals with Jordan Larson blocking on the left
Kelsey Robinson attacking in the Turkish League finals with Jordan Larson blocking on the left

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 29, 2019) – U.S. Women’s National Team members are in the finals round of their domestic pro leagues in Turkey, Italy and Germany with two of the leagues having head-to-head matches among Team USA members.

QUICK SETS

TRIVIA QUESTION: The U.S. will host the FIVB Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament Aug. 2-4 in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. When was the last time the U.S. played in the Bayou State?

U.S. WOMEN CONTINUE PROGRAM WITH STARLINGS: The U.S. Women’s National Team will continue its tradition of service to the Starlings Volleyball, USA program that started in 2013. The mission of Starlings is to positively impact the lives of at-risk youth through the sport of volleyball. Members of Team USA will train and mentor approximately 60 Starlings members at the American Sports Centers on Monday and Wednesday afternoons in 90-minute sessions from May 20 to June 19.

USA’S OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION GOING THROUGH SHREVEPORT: The U.S. Women’s National Team’s path to the 2020 Olympic Games will go through Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana, as it will host Team USA’s FIVB Volleyball Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament Aug. 2-4 at the CenturyLink Center. The Americans, ranked third in the world, will host Argentina, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan in round-robin play with the winner earning a berth into the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. With each nation only being allowed to participate in two tournaments to qualify for the 2020 Games, this qualifier in Shreveport-Bossier City will play a critical role for Team USA’s hopes to compete in Tokyo. For full details and how to purchase tickets, click here.

DANIELLE SCOTT SELECTED FOR USAV COURAGE AWARD: Danielle Scott, Team USA’s only five-time indoor volleyball Olympian, faced tough challenges on the court throughout her 20-year playing career with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Now she will be recognized for exhibiting extraordinary bravery off the court when USA Volleyball presents her its first-ever Courage Award at the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame on May 22 in Columbus, Ohio. In November 2018, Scott suffered multiple stab wounds as she valiantly tried to protect her sister Stefanie Vallery, who was under attack from her estranged husband. Vallery died as a result of the attack and Scott was transported to a local hospital and spent several months recovering from the wounds incurred in the scuffle. Without thinking twice, Scott put her life on the line to try to save that of her loved one. “There are no words to describe how brave Danielle was on that fateful night last November,” USA Volleyball CEO Jamie Davis said. “She exemplifies everything good about humanity and we couldn’t be prouder to have created a new USA Volleyball Courage Award to recognize her heroic actions. She should be a role model for us all.” Scott will be honored during the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame’s Dorothy C. Boyce Banquet at the Hyatt Regency. The banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at https://go.usav.org/2019HOF. Others being recognized during the Hall of Fame inductions are John Kessel as the Frier Award recipient, Misty May-Treanor as the All-Time Great Female Beach Player and retiring Ohio State University Men’s Volleyball Head Coach Pete Hanson as the All-Time Great Coach Contemporary Division. In total 24, individuals are being recognized.

HILL, LOWE WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. In the Italian Serie A1 playoffs, Conegliano earned a spot into the championship round by sweeping Saugella Team Monza in their best-of-five semifinal round series. Conegliano closed out the series with a 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-14 victory on April 23. Hill collected 14 kills on 33 swings and an ace for 15 points in the victory. She was credited with a 57 positive reception percent on 23 chances. As a sub in the fourth set, Lowe smashed three kills on four errorless attacks. Conegliano will now face second-seeded Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the best-of-five semifinals with the first three matches on May 1, May 4, and May 6. If necessary, matches four and five are on May 10 and May 12. The series will serve as an early look of the European Champions League finals when the two teams meet for the prestigious title on May 18 in Berlin.

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 playoffs, second-seeded Novara gained a 2-1 advantage in its best-of-five semifinal round series with Savino Del Bene Scandicci by pulling out a thrilling 14-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 15-11 victory on April 22. Bartsch-Hackley contributed 15 points with 13 kills on 30 attacks and two blocks. She handled 29 of the team’s 98 receptions with a 62 positive reception percent. Carlini, who set Novara to a 45 kill percent for the match, added two kills on two attacks and a block for three points. Novara closed out the series by rallying past Scandicci 25-16, 21-25, 13-25, 25-21, 21-19 in a marathon five-set victory. Bartsch-Hackley secured 12 points with 11 kills on 35 attacks and an ace. She handled 40 of the team’s 103 receptions with an 80 positive reception percent. Carlini, who set Novara to a 38 kill percent, added four points with two kills and two blocks. Novara will now challenge top-seeded Imoco Volley Conegliano in the best-of-five championship round. The first three matches are scheduled for May 1, May 4 and May. If necessary, matches four and five are on May 10 and May 12. It The series will be a prelude to the European Champions League finals where the two teams meet on May 18 in Berlin.

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📍United states!!!! . An Italian team won challenge cup (my team 😏💁🏽‍♀️), cev cup, and both teams in the upcoming finals of champions league are Italian...what a year it has been competing every week in the Italian league 😅🇮🇹 ♥️ Thankful for another memorable season in Italy and that my team, club, and staff are full of great humans. We accomplished a lot of firsts together 🏆 and thank you to all the fans who supported us through it all ✨ I can’t wait to support and watch @verovolleymonza as they grow and grow ♥️ . Landing in America with a heart full of gratitude and a body that needs some much needed mind, body, and soul rest/recovery 🤗😴💆🏽‍♀️🧘🏽‍♀️ . ♥️♥️♥️

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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 Italian Serie A1 playoffs, Team Monza lost to regular season champion Imoco Volley Conegliano 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-14 on April 23, dropping their best-of-five semifinal round series in three matches. Adams tallied four kills on eight attacks and a block for five points. Hancock, who set Team Monza to a 31 kill percent, added one ace, one block and one kill for three points.

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. In the Turkish League playoffs, top-seeded Eczacibasi edged second-seeded VakifBank 23-25, 25-17, 25-19, 18-25, 15-12 on April 24 to open its best-of-five championship series. Larson connected for eight kills and two blocks for 10 points in the victory. She totaled 14 receptions with a 50 positive reception percent. Gibbemeyer, a sub in all but the second set, added a kill and block for two points. Eczacibasi lost the second match 16-25, 25-10, 25-18, 25-17 on April 26. Larson turned in 15 points with 14 kills on 29 attacks and an ace. She handled 13 receptions in the match. Gibbemeyer was a sub in the second and third sets, registering two serves. The third match of the series is set for April 29 with the fourth match scheduled for May 2.

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. In the Turkish League playoffs, second-seeded VakifBank came up just short in the opening best-of-five finals round match to top-seeded Eczacibasi, falling 23-25, 25-17, 25-19, 18-25, 15-12 on April 24. Robinson scored 10 kills, one block and an ace for 12 points. She passed at a 63 positive reception percent on 20 chances. VakifBank evened the series at 1-1 following a 16-25, 25-10, 25-18, 25-17 victory on April 26. Robinson tallied 12 points with 10 kills on 21 attacks, one block and one ace. She was credited with a 63 positive reception percent on 16 chances. VakifBank can take the series lead on April 29 with match four on May 2. Robinson has launched her own website, nomandplay.com on her passions for play, travel and food. To read more about her website, click here. In addition, Robinson has created her vlog on what it is like to be an American citizen and play professional volleyball overseas. To watch her vlogs, click here.

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 claimed fifth place in the Turkish League playoffs by defeating Turk Hava Yollari 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 on April 22 and win both matches of the home-and-home series. Match statistics are unavailable.

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, seeded second in the playoffs, lost its best-of-three finals round series to top-seeded Itambe Minas. After losing a tough five set match to start the series, Praia Clube lost the return match 17-25, 25-23, 25-14, 28-26 on April 26. Lloyd set Praia Clube to a 41 kill percent and scored two blocks in the loss. Fawcett provided eight points, including five kills and three blocks.

WILHITE PARSONS, PAIGE TAPP, RIVERS AND McCAGE WITH MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), middles Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Twitter, Instagram) and Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), opposite Krystal Rivers 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. Stuttgart, the top seed in the playoffs, opened its best-of-five finals round series against SSC Palmberg Schwerin with a 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23 victory on April 27 in Stuttgart. Rivers turned in 21 points via 20 kills on 47 attacks and a block. Wilhite Parsons recorded nine kills, two blocks and two aces for 13 points. McCage popped in eight kills on 15 attacks and two blocks for 10 points. Tapp charted six kills on 13 attacks, three blocks and an ace for 10 points. Bugg was a sub in the second and third sets. Stuttgart resumes the finals round series on May 1 followed by a May 5 contest. If necessary, matches four and five are on May 9 and May 11.

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. In the Polish Orlen Liga, top-seeded Chemik Police lost its third-place best-of-five series opener to Developres Skyres Rzeszow 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 on April 23. Ogbogu scored three kills and two blocks for five points in the loss. Chemik Police bounced back to win the second match 25-18, 26-24, 22-25, 18-25, 15-5 on April 26. Ogbogu tallied 13 points with nine kills on 18 attacks, two blocks and two aces. Matches three and four will be held April 29 and May 2, and if necessary, the rubber match is scheduled for May 5.

TRIVIA ANSWER: The U.S. played Japan in a four-match series in New Orleans during the 1999 season.