Adams, Hancock Win CEV Challenge Cup Title

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | March 31, 2019, 7:45 p.m. (ET)

Rachael Adams attacking during CEV Challenge Cup title match
Rachael Adams attacking during the CEV Challenge Cup finals as she and Micha Hancock led Team Monza to the gold medal

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 1, 2019) – Rachael Adams and Micha Hancock sparked Saugella Team Monza to the CEV Challenge Cup title to highlight a big week for the U.S. Women’s National Team members playing for their pro teams abroad.

QUICK SETS

  • Saugella Team Monza cruised to the CEV Challenge Cup title with U.S. Women’s National Team members Rachael Adams and Micha Hancock leading the way.
  • Foluke Akinradewo and her Hisamitsu Springs squad will play Toray in the Japan V-League finals on April 6 and April 13.
  • Jordan Larson and Lauren Gibbemeyer led Eczacibasi to a Turkish League quarterfinal series win, while Kelsey Robinson’s VakifBank squad has also secured a semifinal spot in Turkey.
  • Kim Hill and Karsta Lowe will lead Imoco Volley Conegliano into the Italian Serie A1 playoffs as the top seed after winning the regular season.
  • Carli Lloyd’s Praia Clube squad won its Brazilian Superliga quarterfinal round series to advance into the semifinals.

TRIVIA QUESTION: The 2003 U.S. Women’s A2 Team, now known as the U.S. Collegiate National Team, had three players who would go on to become Olympians in 2008. Who were they?

LINCOLN HOSTING 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 and single game tickets can be purchased can be purchased by clicking here.

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 CEV Challenge Cup, Team Monza finished out its home-and-home championship round series with Aydin BBSK with a 25-20, 17-25, 25-22, 25-15 victory on March 27. Adams pounded out five kills on 12 attacks to go with a team-leading four blocks. Hancock, who set Team Monza to a 38 kill percent, added two aces, two blocks and an individual kill for five points in the finale. Team Monza was playing in its first-ever European competition. In the Italian Serie A1, Team Monza finished the regular season with a 16-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-20 come-from-behind win over ninth-place Zanetti Bergamo (10-14, 31 points). Adams hammered nine kills on 13 swings and added two blocks for 11 points. Hancock, who set Team Monza to a 43 kill percent, tacked on two individual kills on five attacks in the victory. Team Monza (16-8, 48 points) finished the regular season in fourth place and will now face fifth-seeded Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (15-9, 45 points) in the best-of-three quarterfinals with matches on April 4 and April 13, and if necessary, on April 15.

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, Conegliano ended the regular season with an impressive 25-20, 27-25, 25-19 victory over fifth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (15-9, 45 points) on March 30. Hill produced a team-best 15 points with 14 kills on 26 attacks and just one error to go with an ace. She was credited with a 72 positive reception percent on 18 chances. Lowe, who started the first two sets, added two kills in the victory. Conegliano (20-4, 61 points) had already secured the top seed into the playoffs two matches ago. Conegliano will face eighth-seeded Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo in the best-of-three quarterfinals with matches on April 6 and April 13, and if necessary, the tiebreaker on April 16. In the European Champions League, Conegliano faces Turkey’s Fenerbahce in the semifinal round with home-and-home matches on April 2 and April 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 Italian Serie A1, Novara lost to sixth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 25-21 on March 30 to conclude the regular season. Bartsch-Hackley scored seven kills on 25 attacks and a block for eight points. She was credited with a 65 positive reception percent on a team-best 26 chances. Carlini set Novara to a 41 kill percent and added two blocks. Novara (17-7, 52 points), which has sewn up second place, enters the best-of-three quarterfinals as the second seed and will face seventh-seeded Il Bisonte on April 7 and April 13, and if necessary, the tiebreaker on April 15. In the European Champions League, Novara, is 8-0 and now faces Turkey’s VakifBank in the home-and-home semifinals on April 4 and April 10.

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 ended its season with a 16-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-20 loss to fourth-place Saugella Team Monza on March 30. Courtney totaled 15 points in the loss with 11 kills on 32 swings, three blocks and an ace. She handled 23 receptions with a 52 positive percent. Tapp, who started and played just the opening set, did not score a point. Bergamo (10-14, 31 points) ended the regular season in ninth place.

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 its final regular season match to third-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-19, 25-7, 25-11 on March 30. Washington did not play in the match. Brescia (10-14, 30 points) finished the regular season in 10th place.

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 los to 12th-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (4-20, 12 points) 25-18, 25-15, 25-17 on March 30 to conclude the regular season. Whitney tallied six kills on 22 attacks in the loss. On the opposite side of the net, American Jordyn Poulter set her team to a 49 kill percent and added a block in the victory. Filottrano (5-20, 14 points) ended its season in 11th place.

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 swept Kameroglu Beylikduzu 26-24, 25-15, 25-14 on March 28 to open its home-and-home quarterfinal series. Gibbemeyer hammered eight kills on 17 errorless attacks while adding two aces and a block for 11 points. Larson did not play in the match. Eczacibasi closed out the series with a 25-15, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23 victory on March 30 to advance to the semifinals. Larson contributed 10 kills on 28 swings, one ace and one block for 12 points. She was credited with a 59 positive reception percent on 22 chances. Gibbemeyer added eight kills on 17 attacks in the victory. Eczacibasi will now face fourth-seed Galatasaray in the semifinal round.

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, VakifBank closed out its home-and-home quarterfinal round series with Nilufer with a 25-21, 25-17, 25-12 victor on March 28. Robinson crushed 11 kills on 15 attacks and added a block for 12 points. She was credited with a 67 positive reception percent on nine chances. VakifBank advances to the semifinals. VakifBank has also reached the European Champions League semifinals where it will face Italy’s Igor Gorgonzola Novara in a home-and-home series on April 4 and April 10. Robinson has launched her own 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. In the Turkish playoffs, eighth-seeded Beylikduzu lost to top-seeded Eczacibasi 26-24, 25-15, 25-14 on March 28 to open their home-and-home quarterfinal round series. Drews pounded down nine kills on 30 swings to go with two blocks and an ace for 12 points. Lee added nine kills on 32 swings in the loss. Hunter set the team to a 30 kill percent and chipped in two individual kills on three attacks and an ace. Beylikduzu lost to the second match of the home-and-home series 25-15, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23 on March 30. Drews collected a team-high 21 points with 18 kills coming from 41 swings, two blocks and an ace. Lee totaled 13 kills on 34 swings and an ace for 14 points. Hunter set the team to a 40 kill percent and chipped in one blocked and one kill for two 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. Stuttgart (20-2, 59 points), the top seed in the German Bundesliga playoffs, began its best-of-three quarterfinal round series with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 victory over VC Wiesbaden on March 31. Rivers collected 20 points with 16 kills on 28 errorless attacks and four blocks. Tapp, Wilhite Parsons and McCage all scored eight points. Tapp had a match-high five blocks to go with three kills. McCage scored on four of her five attacks and added four blocks. Wilhite Parsons had six kills, one block and one ace. She added 17 receptions with a 35 positive reception percent. Bugg was a sub in the third set. The series continues on April 3 with the tiebreaker held on April 6 if necessary.

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 (14-8, 45 points), the third seed in the German Bundesliga playoffs, started its best-of-three quarterfinal series with Aachen on March 30 with a 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 15-10 loss. Benson, who was the libero in the opening three sets, handled 34 receptions in the match. The series continues on April 3, and if necessary, match three takes place on April 6 to decide which team advances to the semifinals.

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, Chemik Police, (19-3, 57 points) has advanced to the semifinal round as the top seed, and will face Grot Budowlani Lodz in the best-of-three semifinals with the first match on April 6.

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 finished the Final 8 with an undefeated 7-0 record and will now face Toray, which defeated JT Marvelous in the Final Three round. The matches will take place on April 6 and April 13.

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. As the third seed in the playoffs and blitzing through its best-of-three quarterfinal round series, Praia Clube awaited to find out its semifinal round opponent last week. Sesi Volei Bauru advanced out of its quarterfinal round series, but needed to go the full three matches with the final four-set victory coming on March 26. Praia Clube faces Sesi Volei Bauru on April 1 and April 8 to start their best-of-three series with the tiebreaker taking place on April 11 if necessary.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Kim Glass, Jennifer Joines Tamas and Kim Willoughby were members of the 2003 U.S. Women’s A2 Team and competed in the 2003 USA Volleyball Open National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The trio would all go on to become silver medalists at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.