QUICK SET 1 – FIVE MORE CLUB TITLES FOR AMERICANS: Members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team pulled in lots of gold over the weekend in closing out their respective club volleyball seasons. Five different foreign leagues completed playoffs this past weekend, and at least one American was on each of those five winning teams. Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas) led her Sollys/Nestle squad to the Brazil Superliga championship title with a three-set victory over Unilever on April 14.
In a battle of U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team setters, Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) and her top-seeded Yamamay Busto Arsizio teammates defeated second-seed Lindsey Berg’s (Honolulu) MC-Carnaghi Villa Cortese squad in the fifth match of the Italian Serie A1 best-of-five final round on April 15 to capture the gold medal.
In the Russia Super League, Jordan Larson (Hooper, Neb.) paced Dinamo Kazan to the league title culminating on April 13 with a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-five championship series over Dinamo Moscow. Catano was led by U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team players Angie Forsett (Lake Mary, Fla.), Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) and Jessica Jones (Naperville, Ill.) in leading Catano to a four-match upset over top-seed Caguas in the best-of-seven series of the Puerto Rico Super League. In the Azerbaijan Super League playoffs, Kim Glass (Lancaster, Pa.) and Nellie Spicer (Barrington, Ill.) were members of the winning Rabita Baku squad that posted a 7-1 record in a double round-robin format.
QUICK SET 2 – GOLDEN OVERSEAS: Aside from the five club titles won by U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team members mentioned above, the U.S. has had players capture several other league titles this club season.
Logan Tom (Salt Lake City, Utah) and her Turkish Fenerbahce Universal squad won the CEV Champions League, the top European Federation club tournament, and the Turkish League regular season. Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, Calif.) and Yamamay Busto Arsizio won the CEV Cup, the second level tournament in the European Federation system, as well as the Italian Serie A1 regular season title.
Nancy Metcalf (Hull, Iowa) and Elisha Thomas (Grass Valley, Calif.) led Azerbaijan’s Lokomotiv Baku to the CEV Challenge Cup title, the third-tier club tournament in the European Federation. Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) and Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) helped Poland’s Atom Trefl Sopot to the Polish Plus Liga playoff title.
Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) was a member of Guangdong Evergrande that won the Chinese league. Further, Kayla Banwarth, Jenna Hagglund and Brittnee Cooper helped their Sport-Vereinigung Schwechat team win the Austrian League title.
QUICK SET 3 – RETURNING TO ANAHEIM: As the club season winds down across the various continents, members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will have started to trickle into the American Sports Centers, which serves as the USA National Team Center in Anaheim, Calif. – the Official Host City of USA Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams.
It is expected that nearly all members of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team will arrive back by May 1 for the beginning of the summer training block in preparation for the Olympic Games. The U.S. Women, currently ranked No. 1 in the current FIVB world ranking and already qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games, opens their season at the FIVB World Grand Prix held June 8 to July 1 in various countries.
Prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, the U.S. Women will compete in the 11th Annual Pan American Cup scheduled for July 11-21 in Mexico. The Olympic Games will take place July 27 to Aug. 12.