Bartsch-Hackley, Carlini Lead Novara to Italian Cup Gold

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Feb. 04, 2019, 5:01 p.m. (ET)

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Lauren Carlini on the podium after leading Novara to Italian Cup gold
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Lauren Carlini on the podium after leading Novara to Italian Cup gold

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 4, 2019) – A pair of U.S. Women’s National Team members helped Italy’s Igor Gorgonzola Novara win the Italian Cup title this week, beating another pair of Team USA members in the gold-medal match.

QUICK SETS

  • Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Lauren Carlini paced the Novara to a five-set comeback win over Conegliano in the Italian Cup finals this past week.
  • The U.S. Women will return to Lincoln for the FIVB Volleyball Nations League June 4-6 as Team USA hosts Brazil, Germany and Korea at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Which two players hold the distinction of having won silver during the 2013 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship and also played in tournaments for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the summer of 2018?

LINCOLN SET TO HOST U.S. WOMEN AND VNL PRELIMINARY: Jordan Larson and Kelsey Robinson will have a return engagement to their University of Nebraska roots as the No. 3 U.S. Women’s National Team hosts a four-team round-robin week of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League June 4-6 in Lincoln, Neb. The U.S. Women, which won the inaugural 16-team event last year and the $1 million top prize, will host No. 9 Korea on June 4, No. 13 Germany on June 5 and No. 4 Brazil on June 6. All matches will be played at the 15,500-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tournament all-session tickets can be purchased by clicking here, while single day tickets will go on sale Feb. 25. For the full story, click here.

ROBINSON VLOGS ON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TRIP TO MONTPELLIER: Kelsey Robinson has produced and distributed her fourth vlog in her series showing life as an American pro volleyball player competing overseas. In her latest installment, Robinson captures behind the scenes of her pro team VakifBank’s trip to Montpellier, France, to play Beziers in European Champions League action. The day after the match, Robinson and her teammates explore Montpellier, eat locally produced chocolate and croissants. To watch the video, click here.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE THIS WEEK: The U.S. Women’s National Team will have members competing on six teams in the European Champions League third leg this week. All six matches can be streamed on flovolleyball.tv.

NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUT: The U.S. Women’s National Team will look toward the future the first week of March as it holds its annual open tryout on the U.S. Olympic Training Center complex in Colorado Springs March 1-3. Nearly all the current U.S. Women's National Team have participated in the open tryout process, including Jordan Larson, Kim Hill, Rachael Adams, Kelly Murphy, Carli Lloyd, Tori Dixon, Karsta Lowe and Chiaka Ogbogu. To be eligible, athletes must be U.S. citizen and either current college age athletes and older born in the years 1990-2001 inclusive, or high school athletes born in 2001 or earlier. Athletes must possess a working knowledge of offensive/defensive systems and terminology consistent with that of a typical mid- to high-level collegiate program. The tryout also serves as a means for athletes with remaining collegiate eligibility to be selected for one of two U.S. Collegiate National Team programs that will take place late this spring and early summer. Registration deadline is Feb. 13. For full details on the tryout and how to register, click here.

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 a break from the Italian Serie A1 regular season weekend, Novara participated in the annual Italian Cup final four. Novara swept Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 on Feb. 2 in its semifinal match. Bartsch-Hackley scored a match-high 22 points with 17 kills on 35 swings, three blocks and two aces on 11 serves. She added 15 reception with a 60 positive reception percent. Carlini set Novara to a 50 kill percent and .411 hitting efficiency while scoring two kills on four individual attacks. In the gold-medal match, Novara rallied from a 2-1 set deficit to defeat Conegliano 25-22, 20-25, 12-25, 25-22, 15-12 on Feb. 3. Bartsch-Hackley scored 15 points, including 14 kills on 37 swings and a block. She handled 31 of the team’s 98 receptions with a 65 positive reception percent. Carlini set Novara to a 44 kill percent and .310 hitting efficiency. She added an individual kill on two attacks. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara defeated last-place Club Italia Crai 25-13, 24-26, 25-15, 25-21 on Jan. 30. Bartsch-Hackley notched 10 points with nine kills on 16 swings and a block. Carlini set Novara to a 51 kill percent and .347 hitting efficiency while scoring one kill, block and one ace for three individual points. Novara (13-4, 40 points), which fell two spots to third place, plays 11th-place Lardini Filottrano (4-12, 11 points) on Feb. 10 in its next league match. In the European Champions League, Novara (3-0, 9 points) returns to Pool C action on Feb. 7 against Minchanka Minsk (0-3, 0 points).

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 a break from the Italian Serie A1 regular season, Conegliano participated in the annual Italian Cup final four this past weekend. In the semifinals, Conegliano topped Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-22, 25-22, 26-24 on Feb. 2. Hill turned in 11 points with 10 kills on 30 attacks and a block. She added an impressive 80 positive reception percent on 15 chances without an error. Lowe, who came in as a sub in the second set and started the third set, chipped seven kills on 15 swings with just one error. In the gold-medal match, Conegliano lost to Novara 25-22, 20-25, 12-25, 25-22, 15-12 on Feb. 3 in a thrilling five-set match. Hill scored 11 kills on 33 swings and handled 25 receptions as part of a 56 positive reception percent. Lowe did not play in the match. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano swept 10th-place Zanetti Bergamo 25-23, 25-17, 27-25 on Jan. 29. Lowe contributed a team-high 13 points with 11 kills on 24 swings, one block and one ace. Hill produced 11 points with seven kills on 21 swings, three aces on a team-high 18 serves and a block. She was credited with a 6 positive reception percent on a team-leading 21 chances. For highlights of the match, click here. Conegliano (13-3, 40 points), which moved into first place in the Italian Serie A1, challenges 12th-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (1-16, 5 points) on Feb. 10 in its next league match. In the European Champions League, Conegliano (2-1, 5 points) returns to action on Feb. 6 against Germany’s SSC Palmberg Schwerin (1-2, 3 points).

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, Team Monza rallied to defeat seventh-place Il Bisonte Firenze (8-9, 26 points) 19-25, 19-25, 28-26, 25-13, 16-14 on Jan. 31. Adams scored 13 points with 10 kills on 18 errorless attacks, two blocks and an ace. Hancock did not suit for the match. Team Monza (10-7, 32 points), which is in fifth place during the Italian Serie A1, faces ninth-place Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo (9-7, 23 points) on Feb. 10 in its next league match. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Team Monza has advanced to the 4th Finals Round (quarterfinals) to play Calcit Volley Kamnik in a home-and-home series on Feb. 5 and Feb. 13.

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Back in Florence for gameday✨

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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 lost to current top-ranked Imoco Volley Conegliano 25-23, 25-17, 27-25 on Jan. 29. Courtney totaled eight points, all on kills via 20 attacks. She was credited with a 76 positive reception percent on a team-best 17 chances. Tapp added six kills on 10 errorless swings. Bergamo (7-10, 21 points), now in 10th place, will play eighth-place Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (8-9, 24 points) on Feb. 9.

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 was edged by ninth-place Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo 20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-17, 17-15 on Jan. 30. Washington connected for seven kills on 15 attacks, two blocks and an ace for 10 points in the loss. Brescia (8-9, 23 points), now in eighth place, challenges 10th-place Zanetti Bergamo (7-10, 21 points) on Feb. 9 in its next league match.

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. Filottrano lost to Pomi Casalmaggiore 25-18, 25-17, 25-20 on Jan. 30. Whitney collected nine points with eight kills on 26 attacks and an ace. Filottrano (4-12, 11 points), in 11th-place, resumes action on Feb. 10 against second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (13-4, 40 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, Eczacibasi topped Turk Hava Yollari 25-10, 25-15, 25-19 on Jan. 30. Gibbemeyer scored a team-best 16 points with 12 kills on 14 errorless attacks for a stellar .857 hitting efficiency to go with three blocks and one ace. Larson did not play in the match. Eczacibasi won its second match of the week by sweeping Canakkale 25-22, 25-21, 25-15 on Feb. 2. Larson scored a match-high 20 points with 18 kills on 27 attacks for a .630 hitting efficiency to go with one block and one ace. Gibbmeyer added five points with two kills, two blocks and an ace. Eczacibasi (17-0), in first place in the Turkish League as the only undefeated team, resumes domestic league action on Feb. 10 against Karayollari. In the European Champions League, Eczacibasi (3-0, 9 points) challenges Hameenlinna (0-3, 0 points) on Feb. 5 in its next Champions League Pool B match.

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, VakifBank edged Aydin B.Sehir Bld. 25-22, 25-14, 23-25, 25-11 on Jan. 30. Robinson scored eight kills on 23 attacks in the victory. She was credited with a team-leading 28 receptions for a 79 positive reception percent. VakifBank rolled past Nilufer 25-20, 25-19, 25-16 on Feb. 3. Robinson picked up seven points, all on kills via 11 attacks. She also handled 13 receptions in the victory. VakifBank (16-1) returns to Turkish League action on Feb. 10 against Halkbank. In European Champions League, VakifBank (3-0, 9 points) returns to action on Feb. 6 against Maritza Plovdiv (0-3, 0 points). Robinson has launched her own website, www.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.

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It’s all in the details ... ✨

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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 topped Canakkale 25-23, 25-13, 29-31, 25-15 on Jan. 30. Drews pocketed a match-high 24 points, all on kills via 43 swings. Lee followed close behind with 23 points including 19 kills on 40 swings, three blocks and an ace. She was credited with a 52 positive reception percent on 27 chances. Hunter set the team to a 49 kill percent and added three blocks and two aces for five individual points. Baylikduzu defeated Karayollari 21-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 on Feb. 3 win its second match of the week. Drews captured 23 points with 17 kills on 44 swings, three blocks and three aces on 23 serves. Lee contributed 15 points, all on kills from 32 attacks. She was credited with a 41 positive reception percent on 22 chances. Hunter set her team to a 42 kill percent and added six points with four blocks and two kills via three attacks. Beylikduzu (8-9), which moved up to sixth place in the league standings and four spots better than two weeks ago, returns to Turkish League action on Feb. 10 against Besiktas.

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 edged Denso 25-20, 21-25, 21-25, 25-17, 23-21 in a grueling five-set marathon. Akinradewo posted 19 kills on 31 attacks with just two errors to go with four blocks and an ace for 24 points. Hisamitsu Springs (15-2, 43 points), in first place in the V-League Western Conference and leads both divisions, plays Kurobe (2-14, 7 points Eastern Division) on Feb. 9 and Okayama (8-8, 25 points Western Division) on Feb. 10.

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, Chemiki Police edged 10th-place Energa MKS Kalisz 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 16-25, 15-12 on Feb. 2. Ogbogu, who only played the final four sets, tallied eight kills on 17 swings and two blocks for 10 points in the victory. Chemik Police (15-2, 45 points), which remains comfortably in first place with an eight-point cushion, returns to Polish Orlen Liga action on Feb. 9 against sixth-place BKS Profi Credit Bielsko-Biala (8-7, 24 points). In European Champions League action, Chemik Police (0-3, 1 point) returns to action on Feb. 6 against Turkey’s Fenerbahce (3-0, 9 points).

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 rallied to defeat 10th-place BRB/Brasilia Volei 25-27, 25-12, 17-25, 25-23, 15-10 on Jan. 29. Lloyd, who played all five sets but started just the second, third and fifth sets, helped Praia Clube to a 37 kill percent for the match. She was credited with one block and one kill. Fawcett scored a match-high 28 points with 24 kills on 55 swings, three blocks and an ace. Praia Clube (13-1, 38 points), which is tied for first place in the Brazilian Superliga, takes the court again on Feb. 5 against last-place Sao Cristovao Saude Sao Caetano (1-13, 5 points) followed by a Feb. 8 contest against sixth-place Sesi Volei Bauru (8-6, 23 points).

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. In the German Bundesliga, Stuttgart swept last-place VCO Berlin 25-10, 25-14, 25-15 on Jan. 30. McCage scored 12 points with eight kills on 12 swings, three blocks and an ace. Bugg, who started the third set after being a sub in the first two sets, helped Stuttgart to a 56 kill percent as a team. Wilhite Parsons, Tapp and Rivers did not play in the match. Stuttgart won its second match of the week with a 25-18, 25-21, 25-16 win over NawaRo Straubing on Feb. 2. McCage scored four kills on six errorless attempts while playing on her birthday. Tapp, who subbed into to start the third set, added one kill and one ace for two points. Bugg, who started the first two sets, set the team to a 41 kill percent and scored two kills on two attacks to go with a block for three points. Wilhite Parson and Rivers did not play in the match. Stuttgart (15-0, 43 points) resumes Bundesliga action on Feb. 10 against fourth-place Munster (9-6, 25 points). In the European Champions League, Stuttgart (2-1, 6 points) resumes action on Feb. 6 against France’s Beziers (1-2, 3 points).

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 lost to Aachen 12-25, 29-27, 17-25 25-17, 15-9 on Jan. 30. Benson handled 27 of the team’s 88 receptions with a 37 positive percent. Dresdner dropped its third match in a row after falling to Rote Raben Vilsbiburg 25-22, 25-22, 25-21 on Feb. 2. Benson was credited with a 67 positive reception percent on six chances. Dresdner (10-5, 32 points), in third place, resumes Bundesliga action on Feb. 13 against second-place Schwerin (14-1, 40 points).

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 begins its best-of-five semifinal round series against Shanghai on Feb. 12.

MURPHY WITH SHANGHAI VOLLEYBALL CLUB: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Shanghai Volleyball Club this winter. Shanghai begins its best-of-five semifinal round series against BAIC Motors on Feb. 12.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Simone Lee and Jordyn Poulter, who both represented the U.S. at the 2018 Pan American Cup, helped Team USA win silver at the 2013 FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Thailand. Poulter was the fourth-best setter in the World Championship while Lee scored 55 points in the event.