Women's Update: Open Tryouts, Books, Club Worlds

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Dec. 01, 2019, 3:34 p.m. (ET)

Kelsey Robinson, who has co-authored a recently released e-book, attacking for Fenerbahce in European Champions League action
Kelsey Robinson, who has co-authored a recently released e-book, attacking for Fenerbahce in European Champions League action

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 2, 2019) – The current U.S. Women's National Team Weekly Update highlights the annual Open tryouts for spots on the national and collegiate national teams, a book co-authored by a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, a podcast by a 2020 Olympic hopeful on WGN Radio and other Team USA news from around the world.

WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUTS: The annual U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout is scheduled for Feb. 21-23, 2020, at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center (OPTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A vast majority of the current U.S. Women’s National Team athletes have participated in past open tryouts and earned spots into the pipeline, whether going directly to the senior level team or using their selection to the U.S. Collegiate National Team program as a springboard to the national team in future years. The tryout will evaluate athletes for both the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team program for athletes who have remaining collegiate eligibility after the 2019-20 season. The tryout is open to current U.S. citizens who are college-age athletes and older born in the years 1994-2001 inclusive. Athletes born prior to 1994 need to contact USA Volleyball at indoorhp@usav.org for approval to attend. For more information on how to register, click here.

Beachside GuideKELSEY ROBINSON AUTHORS BOOK: Kelsey Robinson has a popular website and YouTube destination that she and her fiancé Brian Cook manage that shows life as a pro volleyball player. Now, the 2016 Olympic volleyball bronze medalist has co-authored an e-book titled Beachside Guide with her good friend and food blogger Belinda Kraemer. The book is a collection of 17 recipes, four workouts, journaling topics and more! The Beachside Guide is a perfect gift this holiday season, and can be bought online at click here.

CARLINI PODCAST WITH WGN RADIO IN CHICAGO: Lauren Carlini took time out of her schedule while in Russia to discuss with WGN Radio 720 in Chicago about turning her passion into a profession. She discusses her past, her upcoming goals of winning gold in Tokyo setting for Team USA and her impression of volleyball in the United States. Listen to the podcast at click here.

CLUB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: The U.S. Women’s National Team has four players competing in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship with their professional teams this week. Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas) and Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) are playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano, while Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) and Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma) are competing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara. In group play, Conegliano faces Turkey’s Eczacibasi to open pool play on Dec. 2, followed by China’s Guangdong Evergrande on Dec. 4 and Brazil’s Itambe Minas on Dec. 6. In Group B, Novara will play China’s Tianjin Bohai Bank on Dec. 3, Turkey’s VakifBank on Dec. 5 and Brazil’s Dentil Praia Clube on Dec. 6. All matches can be watched live on FloVolleyball.tv.

LARSON WITH SHANGHAI IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Shanghai in the Chinese Super League this winter. Shanghai defeated Bayan Nanchang 25-17, 18-15, 24-26, 25-16, 15-8 in a five-set thriller to open the second phase of the Chinese league playoffs. Larson scored 25 points in the victory with 22 kills on 44 swings, two blocks and an ace. She was credited with a 68 positive reception percent on 22 chances. Shanghai is grouped with Beijing Auto, Shandong and Bayi Nanchang in Group E.

BARTSCH-HACKLEY, DIXON WITH BEIJING AUTO IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Beijing Auto in the Chinese Super League this winter. Beijing Auto defeated Shandong 25-19, 26-24, 23-25, 25-22 on Nov. 30 to start the second phase of the Chinese Super League. Bartsch-Hackley tallied 22 kills on 52 swings and four aces for 26 points. She added a 76 positive reception percent on 17 chances. Dixon chipped in seven kills on 16 swings and five blocks for 12 points. Beijing Auto is grouped with Shanghai, Shandong and Bayi Nanchang in Group E.

OGBOGU, HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Instagram, Twitter) and outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) are playing in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League for Imoco Volleyball Conegliano this winter. Conegliano moved to 2-0 in the European Champions League after sweeping C.S.M. Volei Alba Blaj 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 on Nov. 27. Ogbogu contributed eight kills on 13 attacks and four blocks for 12 points in the victory. Hill was a sub in the first and third sets. Conegliano (2-0, 5 points) returns to Champions League action on Dec. 17 against Pool D leader Nantes (2-0, 6 points). Conegliano is also competing the eight-team FIVB Women’s Club World Championship Dec. 3-8 in Shaoxing, China. They are placed in Group A with Turkey’s Eczacibasi, China’s Guandong Evergrande and Brazil’s Itamba Minas. Conegliano (9-0, 26 points), which sits atop the Italian Serie A league with a full two match lead in the loss column, returns to action on Dec. 12 against last place Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia (1-7, 5 points).

COURTNEY, HANCKOCK WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League this winter. Novara was upset by Allianz MTV Stuttgart 11-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 on Nov. 27. Courtney piled up 17 points in the loss with 16 kills on 30 attacks and a block. She added 22 receptions with a 55 positive percent. Hancock set Novara to a 47 kill percent while chipping in four kills on eight errorless attacks. “They played really well and we could not stand a chance today,” Courtney said after the match. Novara (1-1, 3 points) returns to Champions League action on Dec. 17 against Poland’s LKS Comercecon Lodz (2-0, 4 points), which leads Pool C. Novara is also competing the eight-team FIVB Women’s Club World Championship Dec. 3-8 in Shaoxing, China. They are grouped in Pool B with Brazil’s Dentil Praia Clube, China’s Tianjin Bohai Bank and Turkey’s VakifBank. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara (6-3, 17 points), now in fourth place, plays ninth-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (3-5, 10 points) on Dec. 12.

WASHINGTON, LOWE WITH BUSTO ARSIZIO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Cup this winter. Busto Arsizio rallied to defeat Savino Del Benne Scandicci 20-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-19, 15-12 on Dec. 1. Lowe carried 24 points to the stat sheet with 19 kills on 44 swings, four blocks and an ace. Washington added 11 kills on 17 attacks in the victory. Busto Arzisio (7-2, 22 points), now in second place, faces third-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (6-3, 19 points) on Dec. 8 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. Busto Arsizio is in the 16th Finals Round of the CEV Cup and will face VK Up Olomouc on Dec. 4 and Dec. 19.

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Cafés for dayz.

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POULTER WITH CHIERI IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-20 pro season along with American Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska). Chieri (3-5, 10 points), in 10th place, takes on sixth-place Saugella Monza (5-4, 15 points) on Dec. 8 in its next league match.

ALHASSAN WITH CASERTA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Rhamat Alhassan (Glenarden, Maryland, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Golden Tulip Volato 2.0 Caserta in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Caserta lost to Lardini Filottrano 25-22, 25-15, 24-26, 25-22 on Dec. 1. Alhassan notched four kills and two blocks for six points in the loss. Caserta (2-7, 7 points), which is in 12th place, challenges 11th-place Zanetti Bergamo (3-6, 10 points) on Dec. 8.

FOECKE WITH FIRENZE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Mikaela Foecke (West Point, Iowa, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Il Bisonte Firenze in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-2020 season. Firenze was handed a 33-31, 25-19, 25-21 setback to third-place Pomi Casalmaggiore. Foecke turned in seven kills and a block for eight points. Firenze (6-4, 18 points), which fell to fourth place, meets eighth-place Lardini Filottrano (4-5, 11 points) on Dec. 15 in its next league match.

CUTTINO WITH CASALMAGGIORE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Epiu Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2019-2020 pro season. Casalmaggiore swept Il Bisonte Firenze 33-31, 25-19, 25-21 on Dec. 1. Cuttino provided Casalmaggiore with 12 kills on 24 swings and three aces for 15 points. Casalmaggiore (6-3, 19 points), which is in fifth place, returns to action on Dec. 8 against second-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (7-2, 21 points).

JONES-PERRY WITH BRESCIA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Roni Jones-Perry (West Jordan, Utah, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Brescia lost to Saugella Monza 25-27, 25-23, 25-17, 25-20 on Dec. 1. Jones-Perry totaled 14 kills on 36 attacks with a 65 positive reception percent on 23 chances. Brescia (4-6, 11 points), now in ninth place, returns to action on Dec. 14 against 11th-place Zanetti Bergamo (3-6, 10 points).

ROBINSON WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Website)) is playing for Fenerbahce in the Turkish League and European Champions League this winter. Fenerbahce evened its European Champions League record at 1-1 following a 25-20, 25-12, 25-13 victory over Budowlani Lodz on Nov2. 28. Fenerbahce returns to Champions League action on Nov. 28 against Poland’s Budowlani Lodz (1-0). Robinson scored nine kills on 15 errorless attacks with two aces on eight serves and a block for 12 points. She was credited with a 64 excellent reception percent on 14 errorless chances. Fenerbahce resumes Champions League action on Dec. 18. In the Turkish league, Fenerbahce swept Karayollari 25-12, 25-16, 25-19 on Nov. 30. Robinson collected 12 kills on 21 attacks and an ace for 13 points. She was credited with five receptions in the victory. Fenerbahce (9-2, 26 points) closed out the first half of the season tied for third place.

KINGDON-RISHEL WITH THY IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Turk Hava Yollari (THY) in the Turkish League this winter. THY swept its home-and-home second round CEV Challenge Cup series with MCM-Diamant Kaposvari. THY defeated PTT 25-18, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22 on Nov. 29 in its first half regular season finale. Kingdon-Rishel totaled 10 kills on 33 swings, two aces on 15 serves and a block for 13 points. She accounted for 39 of her team’s 80 receptions with a 41 positive reception percent. THY finished the first half of the season in sixth place with a 5-6 record. THY has also advanced to the CEV Challenge Cup 16th Finals Round where it plays a home-and-home series versus Ibsa CV CCO 7 Palmas on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4.

CARLINI WITH DINAMO MOSCOW IN RUSSIA LEAGUE: Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dinamo Moscow in the Russia Super League and the European Champions League. Dinamo Moscow improved to 2-0 in the European Champions League with a 25-18, 22-25, 25-17, 25-17 victory over Bulgaria’s Maritza Plovdiv on Nov. 27. Carlini set Dinamo to a 45 kill percent and added one individual kill and a block for two points in the victory. Dinamo (2-0, 6 points) will play Pool E second-place RC Cannes (2-0, 5 points) on Dec. 17 in its third Champions League match. Dinamo swept Minchanka 25-12, 25-7, 25-10 on Dec. 1. Carlini set Dinamo Moscow to a 56 kill percent and .486 hitting efficiency (39-5-70). She added one kill on one attack. Dinamo Moscow (3-4, 11 points), in sixth place, resumes Russia Super League action on Dec. 8 against fifth-place Sakhalin (5-2, 13 points). Dinamo will face Uralochka in the Russia Cup semifinals on Dec. 25.

DREWS WITH JT MARVELOUS IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing in the Japan V-League this winter with JT Marvelous. JT Marvelous blanked Okayama 25-22, 25-20, 26-24 on Nov. 30 for its second straight win. Drews piled up 25 kills on 41 swings in the victory to go with two aces and a block for 28 points. JT swept Hisamitsu Springs 25-19, 27-25, 25-18 on Dec. 1. Drews connected for 17 kills on 29 attacks, six points of which came from the back row, plus an ace for 18 points. JT Marvelous (11-3, 31 points), which moved into first place in the Star Conference, resumes action on Dec. 7 against Hitachi Rivale (4-10, 15, fifth in Premier Conference) followed by Victorina Himeji (2-12, 7 points, sixth in Premier Conference) on Dec. 8.

LEE WITH KUROBE IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Outside hitter Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Kurobe Aqua Fairies in the Japan V-League this winter. Kurobe lost to Hisamitsu Springs 25-15, 25-22, 19-25, 25-23 on Nov. 30. Lee secured 26 kills on 68 attacks, three blocks and two aces for 31 points in the setback. Kurobe fell to Okayama 25-13, 25-13, 25-23 on Dec. 1. Lee did not play in the match. Kurobe (1-13, 5 points), in fifth place in the Star Conference, challenges Victorina Himeji (2-12, 7 points, sixth in Premier Conference) on Dec. 7 followed by Hitachi Rivale (4-10, 15 points, fifth in Premier Conference) on Dec. 8.

HANNAH TAPP WITH HITACHI IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Middle Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing with Hitachi Rivale in the Japan V-League this winter. Hitachi defeated Toray 29-27, 25-10, 25-15 on Nov. 30. Tapp slammed six kills on 14 errorless attacks and an ace for seven points in the victory. Hitachi lost to PFU Blue Cats 14-25, 25-18, 26-28, 25-22, 15-13 on Dec. 1. Tapp provided nine kills, four blocks and an ace for 14 points. Hitachi (4-10, 15 points), in fifth place in the Premier Conference, faces JT Marvelous (11-3, 31 points, first in Star Conference) on Dec. 7 and Kurobe Aquafairies (1-13, 5 points, sixth in Star Conference) on Dec. 8.

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Big Moment. Big Game. Big Ten Champs.

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RETTKE LEADING WISCONSIN: Middle Dana Rettke (Riverside, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter), who was part of the U.S. Women’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League gold-medal team along with the 2020 Olympic qualification tournament, has helped University of Wisconsin to a 22-6 record and 18-2 mark in the Big Ten as a junior this season. The Badgers lost to Penn State University 19-25, 15-25, 25-12, 25-22, 15-11 on Nov. 29 in a match that could have wrapped up the Big Ten title with a win. Rettke amassed 15 kills on 35 wings, 12 block assists and one block solo for 22 points. Wisconsin recovered the following night with a 25-14, 25-12, 25-21 victory over Rutgers in the regular season finale to claim the Big Ten title. Rettke scored three kills on 10 swings, two aces, one block solo and two block assists for seven points. Wisconsin begins the NCAA tournament Dec. 6. Rettke enters the NCAA tournament with a .404 hitting efficiency in her junior season along with 1.41 blocks and 3.66 kills per set.

THOMPSON CONTINUES LEADING CINCINNATI: Jordan Thompson (Edina, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) had a breakout season with the U.S. Women’s National Team during its gold-medal run in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games before heading back for her senior season at University of Cincinnati. She led Cincinnati to a 24-6 overall record heading into the NCAA Tournament that starts Dec. 6. Thompson now has 2,542 kills in her four-year career at Cincinnati.

LAKE DIGGING RECORDS FOR BYU: Mary Lake (Palm Springs, California, Instagram, Twitter), who played for the U.S. Women during their gold-medal FIVB Volleyball Nations League season and helped Team USA qualify for the 2020 Olympics, is playing her final collegiate season with BYU this fall. BYU held off Pepperdine University 25-15, 25-19, 20-25, 20-25, 15-3 in the regular season finale on Nov. 26. Lake was credited with 15 digs and four assists in the victory. BYU heads into the NCAA Tournament with a 25-4 record.

RIVERS, ROSENTHAL WITH STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Jenna Rosenthal (Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga and the European Champions League. Stuttgart evened its European Champions League record by defeating Igor Gorgonzola Novara 11-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 on Nov. 27. Rivers placed 28 points on the stat sheet with 24 kills on 44 attacks, two blocks and two aces on 14 serves. Rosenthal was a sub in the opening set. Stuttgart (1-1, 4 points) returns to Champions League action on Dec. 17 against Khimik Yuzhny (0-2, 1 point), which is in fourth place in Pool C. Stuttgart blanked VfB Suhl Lotto Thuringen 25-18, 26-24, 25-17 on Nov. 30. Rivers and Rosenthal each scored a kill on as many attempts as subs in the opening set. Stuttgart (6-1, 19 points), which remains in first place based in the Bundesliga regular season standings, returns to action on Dec. 4 against 10th-place (0-7, 2 points) Erfurt. Stuttgart has also advanced to the German Cup semifinals where it will face Schwerin on Dec. 11.

WONG-ORANTES WITH SCHWERIN IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for SSC Palmberg Schwerin in the German Bundesliga this winter. American Lauren Barfield is also a member of the team. Schwerin (5-1, 15 points), which ranks fourth in the Bundesliga regular season, returns to action on Dec. 1 against fifth-place Straubing (4-3, 11 points). Schwerin is in the CEV Cup 16th Finals Round in which it plays home-and-home matches against Sliedrecht Sport on Dec. 4 and Dec. 17. Schwerin will meet Stuttgart in the German Cup semifinals on Dec. 11.

KADIE ROLFZEN WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dresdner in the German Bundesliga and the CEV Challenge Cup. Dresdner defeated USC Munster 25-18, 25-17, 25-22 on Nov. 27. Rolfzen connected for 13 kills on 24 swings, one ace and a block for 15 points in the victory. She handled 27 receptions with a 30 positive percent. Dresdner (4-4, 12 points), in seventh place, returns to action Dec. 14 versus Straubing. Dresdner is in the 16th Finals Round of the CEV Challenge Cup where it will face LLC Kamienskie in a home-and-home series on Dec. 4 and Dec. 18. Dresdner takes on Suhl in the German Cup semifinals on Dec. 11.

SELIGER-SWENSON WITH BEZIERS IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson (Minnetonka, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Beziers in the French League and the CEV Challenge Cup along with American teammate Alexa Smith (Colorado Springs, Colorado). Beziers held off first-place Mulhouse 17-25, 26-24, 25-21, 20-25, 15-11 on Nov. 30 to break its French League losing streak. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 41 kill percent while adding two individual kills on three attempts. Smith, who was a sub in the opening two sets before starting the final three sets, added six kills on 16 attacks, one block and one ace for eight points. She also handled six receptions with a 33 positive percent. Beziers (7-3, 22 points), which remains fourth place in the French league, returns to action on Dec. 7 against Mougins. Beziers opens its CEV Challenge Cup 16th Finals Round with a home-and-home series Dec. 4 and Dec. 12 against RSR Walferdange.

WILHITE PARSONS WITH SESI BAURU IN BRAZILIAN SUPERLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Sesi Bauru in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Sesi Bauru lost to first-place SESC RJ 25-23, 25-22, 25-18 on Nov. 26. As a sub in the final two sets, Wilhite Parsons tallied three kills on five errorless attacks along with a 50 positive reception percent on 10 chances. Baura bounced back to defeat C.R. Flamengo 25-14, 25-22, 25-23 on Nov. 29. Wilhite Parsons started all three sets, racking up six kills and three aces for nine points. She was credited with a 63 positive reception percent on 19 chances. Bauru (3-2, 10 points), currently in fourth place, returns to action on Dec. 6 against fourth-place Osasco (4-1, 12 points).

BENSON WITH NUC IN SWISS LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona) is playing for Viteos NUC in the Swiss League and CEV Cup this winter along with American teammates Tia Scambray (Dana Point, California) and Kyra Holt (Hercules, California). NUC upset top-ranked Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 25-16 on Dec. 1. Benson charted a 57 positive reception percent on 14 chances. Scambray scored a team-high 16 points with 12 kills, two blocks and two aces. She was 62 percent positive on 29 reception chances. Holt added 14 points with 10 kills, three aces and a block. She was credited with a 65 positive reception percent on 26 chances. NUC (8-1, 24 points), now in second place, challenges VC Kanti Schaffhausen I on Dec. 7 in its next Swiss League match. NUC faces Minchanka Minsk in the CEV Cup 16th Finals Round that begins the week of Dec. 3.