Foluke Akinradewo is tearing up the Japan V-League, finishing the regular season atop two individual statistical categories.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 25, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will hold its open tryouts with 218 competing this coming weekend at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Along with potential spots on the U.S. Women’s National Team, players with remaining collegiate eligibility will vie for berths to the U.S. Collegiate National Team program.
- Tori Dixon lifted Beijing BAIC Motors to a Chinese Super League best-of-five semifinal round sweep over Shanghai.
- Kelsey Robinson and VakifBank snapped Eczacibasi’s 19-match Turkish League regular season win streak on Feb. 23. Both teams are now 19-1 with two regular season matches remaining.
- Foluke Akinradewo finished the Japan V-League as the Best Spiker with a 59.7 kill percent and Best Blocker with a 0.87 block average per set. She also led Hisamitsu Springs to the top seed in the eight-team playoffs set to begin next weekend.
- The European Champions League main phase concludes this week on Feb. 26 with three teams with U.S. Women’s National Team players already securing berths into the quarterfinals. Kelsey Robinson has helped VakifBank to the top seed out of Pool A, while Jordan Larson and Lauren Gibbemeyer have led Eczacibasi to the top seed out of Pool B. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and Lauren Carlini have paced Igor Gorgonzola Novara to the top seed in Pool C. Sarah Wilhite Parsons, Molly McCage, and Paige Tapp have Allianz MTV Stuttgart in second place in Pool A with the second-best second-place record heading into the final week. Meanwhile, Kim Hill and Karsta Lowe with Imoco Volley Conegliano are in second place in Pool D and are fighting for a spot in the quarterfinals. They are currently tied for fifth-best among second-place teams.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Along with Kim Hill, which other player for the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout also made the 2016 Olympic Games roster?
NATIONAL TEAM OPEN TRYOUT: The U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout takes place March 1-3 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with 218 athletes vying for spots into the elite high performance pipeline. The tryout will evaluate athletes from 86 colleges from across the country for spots on the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team program. Selected athletes for the U.S. Women’s National Team may begin their training in Anaheim, California, as early as the spring of 2019, or when an athlete’s scholastic or professional club season has concluded. In addition, three Collegiate National Team Programs are available – CNT-World University Games; CNT-Japan and CNT-Anaheim. Fans can watch the tryout live stream by clicking here. For more information, click here.
ROBINSON BLOG #5: ATHENS LIKE A LOCAL: Kelsey Robinson has produced her fifth vlog exploring the world as a professional volleyball player. In her latest vlog, Robinson and her fiancé Brian Cook explore Athens on a two-day adventure. To watch the vlog, 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 sixth and final leg of the main phase.
- Feb. 26: VakifBank (Kelsey Robinson) vs. Beziers
- Feb. 26: Allianz MTV Stuttgart (Sarah Wilhite Parsons, Paige Tapp, Molly McCage) vs. Maritza Plovdiv
- Feb. 26: Eczacibasi (Jordan Larson, Lauren Gibbemeyer) vs. Dinamo Kazan
- Feb. 26: Igor Gorgonzola Novara (Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Lauren Carlini) vs. RC Cannes
- Feb. 26: Imoco Volley Conegliano (Kim Hill, Karsta Lowe) vs. LKS Commercecon
- Feb. 26: Chemik Police (Chiaka Ogbogu) vs. Dinamo Moscow
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 European Champions League, VakifBank swept second-place Allianz MTV Stuttgart 25-23, 25-18, 25-18 on Feb. 20. Robinson collected 12 points in the victory with eight kills on 16 swings, three blocks and an ace on 16 serves. She was credited with a 53 positive reception percent on 17 chances. VakifBank (5-0, 12 points), which sewed up first place in Pool A, concludes the main phase on Feb. 26 against third-place Beziers (1-4, 3 points). In the Turkish League, VakifBank ended Eczacibasi’s 18-match domestic league win streak after collecting a 25-21, 25-13, 25-19 victory on Feb. 23. Robinson hammed nine kills on 21 errorless attacks, one ace and a block for 11 points. She handled 11 receptions with a 64 positive percent. VakifBank (19-1), which remains in second place based on tiebreakers, returns to Turkish League action on March 3 against fifth-place Turk Hava Yollari (11-9). 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.
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 European Champions League, Eczacibasi held off Russia’s Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg 25-20, 25-22, 19-25, 22-25, 15-8 on Feb. 20 to secure the top spot in Pool B with one match remaining. Larson pocketed 16 points with 14 kills via 31 attacks, one block and one ace. She handled 24 receptions with a 67 positive reception percent. Gibbemeyer hammered 10 kills on 17 errorless attacks and added one block and one ace for 12 points. Eczacibasi (5-0, 14 points), in first place in Pool B, challenges second-place Dinamo Kazan (3-2, 10 points) on Feb. 26 to conclude the main phase. Before she joined Eczacibasi, Larson starred for Dinamo Kazan and recently joined the club’s Hall of Fame. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi had its 18-match domestic league win streak snapped in losing to VakifBank 25-21, 25-13, 25-19 on Feb. 23 in a battle of the top two teams in the standings. Larson, who was a sub in the first two sets before starting the third set, tallied eight kills on 16 attacks and an ace. She was credited with 13 receptions and a 62 positive reception percent. Gibbemeyer added three kills, two blocks and an ace for six points. Eczacibasi (19-1), in first place in the Turkish League based on tiebreakers over VakifBank, resumes domestic league action on March 3 against fourth-place Galatasaray (13-7).
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 lost to fourth-place Galatasaray 25-14, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21 on Feb. 23. Lee notched a team-high 19 points with 16 kills on 35 swings, two aces and a block. She was credited with a 58 positive reception percent on 36 reception chances. Drews tacked on 14 points with 12 kills on 35 swings and two blocks. Hunter set her team to a 34 kill percent and scored one block. Beylikduzu (9-11), which is in seventh place, returns to Turkish League action on March 3 against 10th-place Aydin B.Sehir Bld (6-14).
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 completed its best-of-five semifinal round sweep over Shanghai by winning match three 22-25, 25-10, 25-20, 25-16 on Feb. 19. Dixon scored nine kills on 13 swings, two aces and a block for 12 points. Kingdon Rishel was a serving sub in the third set. BAIC Motors now advances to the championship round where it will face top-seed Tianjin in a best-of-five series beginning March 9.
MURPHY WITH SHANGHAI VOLLEYBALL CLUB: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Shanghai Volleyball Club this winter. Shanghai lost to BAIC Motors 22-25, 25-10, 25-20, 25-16 on Feb. 19 en route to being swept in the best-of-five semifinal round. Murphy scored 10 kills on 30 swings in the loss. Shanghai falls in the third-place bracket where it will face Jiangsu in a best-of-five series beginning March 9.
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 European Champions League, Novara swept Budowlani Lodz 25-19, 25-16, 25-11 in a Pool C match on Feb. 19. Carlini set Novara to a 48 kill percent and chipped in four aces on 22 errorless serves and one kill. Bartsch-Hackley did not play in the match. Novara (5-0, 15 points), which wrapped up first place in Pool C, concludes the Champions League main phase on Feb. 26 against RC Cannes before competing in the quarterfinal round next month. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara took a step back in losing to then-sixth-place Saugella Team Monza (12-8, 37 points) 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-20 on Feb. 23. Bartsch-Hackley, starting all but the second set, scored five kills and a block for six points. She added 24 receptions with a solid 75 positive reception percent. Carlini, who started the first three sets, helped Novara to a 34 kill percent as a team. Novara (15-5, 46 points), which remained in second place, is idle this coming week.
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 European Champions League, Conegliano lost to Pool D leader Savino Del Bene Scandicci 15-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 15-9 on Feb. 20. Hill scored 15 points with 14 kills on 37 swings and a block. Hill handled 40 of the team’s 91 receptions with a 60 positive reception percent. Lowe, who started the first four sets, added seven kills in the loss. Conegliano (3-2, 8 points) concludes the main phase on Feb. 26 against fourth-place LKS Commercecon (1-4, 3 points). In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano rallied past last-place Club Italia Crai (0-19, 2 points) 31-33, 25-15, 25-17, 29-27 on Feb. 24. Lowe notched 17 points with 15 kills on 32 swings and two blocks. Hill, a sub in the first and fourth sets, added three kills on five errorless attacks. She handled all four of her receptions with a 100 excellent percent. Conegliano (16-5, 49 points), which widened its claim to first place in the Italian Serie A1, challenges third-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (16-3, 44 points) on March 3 in its next league match.
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 defeated second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (15-5, 46 points) 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-20 on Feb. 23. Hancock set Team Monza to a 41 kill percent and added two individual kills on three errorless swings, two aces on 12 errorless serves and a block for five points. Adams produced four kills on 10 attacks and a block in starting the first three sets. Team Monza (12-8, 37 points), which moved up one spot to fifth place during the Italian Serie A1, faces fourth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (13-7, 38 points) on March 3 in its next league match. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Team Monza will now face Volero Le Cannet in the home-and-home semifinal round with matches on Feb. 27 and March 6.
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 Lardini Filottrano 30-28, 27-29, 25-16, 25-22 on Feb. 24. Tapp, who started only the first two sets, tallied four kills on eight errorless attacks and a block for five points. Courtney did not play in the match. Bergamo (8-12, 24 points), now in 10th place, will play 12th-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (1-18, 5 points) on March 3 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 fourth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore 25-22, 26-24, 25-22 on Feb. 24. Washington produced nine points in the loss with six kills on 11 swings and three blocks. Brescia (8-11, 23 points), now in ninth place, will meet sixth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (12-7, 36 points) on March 2 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 edged out 10th-place Zanetti Bergamo 30-28, 27-29, 25-16, 25-22 on Feb. 24. Whitney collected 15 points with 13 kills on 26 attacks, one block and one ace. Filottrano (5-14, 14 points), in 11th-place, resumes action on March 3 against eighth-place Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo (10-9, 27 points).
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 European Champions League action, Chemik Police earned its first victory by defeating CSM Bucuresti 17-25, 25-23, 16-25, 25-21, 15-8 on Feb. 20. Ogbogu scored six points with five kills on 17 swings and a block. Chemik Police (1-4, 3 point), in fourth place in Pool E, concludes the main phase on Feb. 26 against second-place Dinamo Moscow (4-1, 10 points). In the Polish Orlen Liga, Chemik Police rallied past last place KSZO Ostrowiec 19-25, 25-18, 25-10, 25-14 on Feb. 23. Ogbogu did not play in the match. Chemik Police (18-2, 53 points), which remains comfortably in first place with an eight-point cushion, returns to Polish Orlen Liga action on March 1 against 10th-place #VolleyWroclaw (5-15, 17 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 European Champions League, Stuttgart lost to Pool A leader VakifBank 25-23, 25-18, 25-18 on Feb. 20 in Stuttgart. Rivers scored a team-best 11 points, all on kills via 27 attacks. Tapp added three blocks and two kills for five points. McCage chipped in three kills. Wilhite Parsons, who started the third set after being a sub in the first two sets, scored one kill and handled 10 receptions. Bugg, starting the first two sets at setter, helped Stuttgart to a 37 kill percent for the match and scored two individual kills. Stuttgart (3-2, 9 points), in second place in Pool A, concludes Pool A on Feb. 26 against fourth-place Maritza Plovdiv (1-4, 3 points). During the break a break in the Bundesliga regular season, Stuttgart lost to SSC Palmberg Schwerin in the German Cup finals 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 on Feb. 24. faces Schwerin in the German Cup. Wilhite Parsons scored 11 points for Stuttgart with nine kills on 21 swings and two blocks. She handled 19 of the team’s 64 receptions with a 58 positiive percent. Rivers pocketed 11 points with nine kills on 23 swings and two aces. Tapp added three kills on five errorless attacks and a team-high five blocks. McCage added seven points with six kills on 10 swings and a block. Bugg, who started the first two sets, helped Stuttgart to a 41 kill percent. In the German Bundesliga, was idle during regular season action. Stuttgart (17-0, 49 points) resumes Bundesliga action on March 2 against fifth-place Aachen (9-9, 28 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 defeated Thuringen 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16 on Feb. 20. Benson handled 20 receptions with a 40 positive percent leading Dresdner to a 44 kill percent as a team for the match. Dresdner (11-6, 35 points), in third place place, resumes Bundesliga action on Feb. 27 against fourth-place SC Potsdam (10-7, 33 points) followed by last-place VCO Berlin (0-19, 2 points) on March 2.
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 (18-2, 52 points), which was idle in the Japan V-League this past week, finished with the best record in both the Western and Eastern Divisions – holding a four-match lead in the overall standings over second-place JT Marverlous (14-6, 44 points). Hisamitsu Springs heads into the final eight playoffs as the top seed and will play Denso Airbees on March 2 and Toyota Auto Body Queens on March 3 in the first of four playoff weekends. Akinradewo finished the regular season as the top player in the V-League in Best Spiker with a 59.7 kill percent and Best Blocker with a 0.87 block average per set.
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 was idle during the Brazilian Superliga regular season last week. Praia Clube (16-2, 47 points), which is now in second place in the Brazilian Superliga, plays Osasco Voleibol Clube on Feb. 26 in its next league match.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Both Kim Hill and Karsta Lowe took part in the 2013 U.S. Women’s National Team Open Tryout and later would be part of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s National Team that won bronze at the 2016 Rio Games.