Volleyball Quick Hits: USA women beat Bulgaria in FIVB Worlds

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Kelly Murphy attacks against Bulgaria/FIVB photo

VolleyballMag.com’s ongoing update of happenings in the world of volleyball. Got a news nugget? Email Lee@volleyballmag.com or Ed@volleyballmag.com:

The USA men celebrate their FIVB World bronze medal/FIVB photo

USA men take FIVB World bronze, USA women win: The USA men took the FIVB World Championship bronze medal Sunday with a 23-25, 25-17, 32-30, 25-19 victory over Serbia in Turin, Italy.

Meanwhile, in pool play of the women’s FIVB World Championship in Kobe, Japan, the USA swept Trinidad and Tobago.

Matt Anderson had a big match with 23 kills, two blocks and four aces. Aaron Russell had 14 kills, a block and an ace and Max Holt had eight kills, a block and five aces.

“It’s really hard to play bronze-medal matches,” USA coach John Speraw said. “We unfortunately know that.

“It’s really tough when you have such an emotional match like we had last night versus Poland that went late into the night. I know I didn’t get to sleep until 4 in the morning. I am proud of the way we were able to come out and compete.”

The team took bronze earlier this year at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and also at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The USA won the FIVB World gold in 1988 and previously won bronze in 1994.

The Americans were coming off a semifinals defeat to Poland, which played Brazil for the gold medal.

“It’s been a good year,” Speraw said. “Our program and Brazil’s were the only two that made it into both semifinals, VNL and here. I think we’re in a position now where we are competing for tournaments. When that happens, sometimes you can win them and sometimes you have disappointing losses. That’s the risk you take by challenging the best in the world.”

The USA women won 25-11, 25-12, 25-11 to improve to 2-0 in pool play. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley led the Americans with 10 kills, three blocks and two aces and Tori Dixon had four kills, four blocks and five ace.

The team returns to action on Tuesday when it plays Korea with matches against Thailand and Russia still to come in pool play.

USA women beat Azerbaijan, men in semis: The USA women opened defense of their FIVB World Championship title with a 29-27, 25-21, 25-21 victory over Azebraijan in Kobe, Japan.

They’ll play Trinidad and Tobago at 12:40 a.m. Eastern on Sunday and will play three more matches against Korea, Thailand and Russia. If they finish in the top four, they’ll move on to the second round in Osaka, Japan, October 7-11.

Meanwhile, the USA men. coming off a meaningless loss to Brazil on Friday in Turin, Italy, were preparing to play Poland on Saturday in the semifinals of their FIVB World Championship.

All the USA matches are being shown on FloVolleyball.tv.

The USA women were led by Kim Hill, who had 11 kills and a block. Jordan Larson had 10 kills and a block, and Kelly Murphy had eight kills, a block and two aces.

Top 3 stay the same in AVCA Poll: BYU, which got 59 first-place votes, Stanford, which got the other five, and Nebraska stayed 1-2-3 in this week’s AVCA Division I Coaches Poll.

Penn State dropped from No. 4 to ninth, so Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Pittsburgh moved up a notch each. BYU (12-0), Illinois (13-0) and Pittsburgh (13-0) remain the only unbeaten teams.

Colorado made it back in at No. 22 and Arizona, at No. 24, is in the for the first time this year. San Diego and Alabama dropped out.

Click here for the complete AVCA Poll. 

Kiraly announces USA women’s World roster: USA women’s coach Karch Kiraly announced his team’s roster for the FIVB Women’s World Championship Sept. 29 to Oct. 20 in Japan.
Setters: Micha Hancock, Carli Lloyd
Opposites: Karsta Lowe, Kelly Murphy
Middles: Rachael Adams, Foluke Akinradewo, Tori Dixon, Lauren Gibbemeyer
Outside Hitters: Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Kim Hill, Jordan Larson, Sarah Wilhite Parsons
Liberos: Megan Courtney, Kelsey Robinson

The Americans begin defense of their 2014 title in Kobe as they face Azerbaijan, Trinidad & Tobago, Korea, Thailand and Russia in the first-round of pool play. The World Championship is played every four years in the second year of the Olympic quadrennial. FloVolleyball.tv will stream all the matches.

The top four teams advance to the second round (October 7-11) in Osaka. The top three teams from the two second-round pools move on to the third round October 14-16 in Nagoya, followed by the semifinals and medal matches on October 19-20 in Yokohama.

Of note: Lowe returned the team after a year off. Courtney and Robinson, who is the starting libero, were outside hitters in college.

USA men stand 4-0 in FIVB World Championship: After beating Cameroon 25-18, 25-20, 25-14 Sunday in the FIVB World Championship in Bari, Italy, the USA men stand 4-0 and can finish unbeaten in pool play when they face Tunisia on Tuesday.

The match is at 11 a.m. Eastern and can be seen on FloVolleyball.tv.

The USA victory came a day after beating Russia 25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20.

“I think every coach is concerned about letdowns after an emotional win like we had yesterday against Russia,” USA coach John Speraw said. “Especially combined with the fatigue of our fourth match in five days.

“Despite that, it looked like we played with good energy in the first set. Maybe a little out of breath in set two, but Cameroon made some nice plays.”

USA Volleyball has a recap and for more, the FIVB has a recap and photos.

USA men get past Australia in FIVB World Championship: The USA men beat  USA Australia 25-23, 25-20, 22-25, 23-25, 15-10 Thursday in the FIVB World Championship in Bari, Italy.

The USA, 2-0 after its five-set win over Serbia on Wednesday, were led by Matt Anderson, who had 11 kills and two aces. Taylor Sander added 16 kills and Aaron Russell had 14. Taylor Averill had two kills, two blocks and two aces.

Australia’s Lincoln Williams led his team with 19 kills and two aces.

Also Thursday, Canada swept Egypt, Poland did the same to Puerto Rico, Japan swept the Dominican Republic, Brazil beat France in five, Bulgaria took four sets to beat Iran, Serbia swept Cameroon and Belgium swept Italy.

The USA men have Friday  off before playing Russia on Saturday.

All the USA matches are being shown on FloVolleyball.tv.

USC’s Graudina FIVB’s beach rookie of the year: USC beach volleyball All-American Tina Graudina and Russia’s Svetlana Kholomina were named by the FIVB the 2017-18 Rookies of the Rear.

Graudina, a VolleyballMag.com All-American representing her native Latvia, paired with countrywoman Anastasija Kravcenoka to play in nine events this summer. They won 18 of the 33 matches they competed in and earned three ninth-place finishes and five other 17th-place finishes.

Other FIVB winners:
Most Outstanding Player — Eduarda Lisboa, Brazil
Best Defensive — Heather Bansley, Canada
Best Blocker — Brandi Wilkerson, Canada
Best Offensive — Lisboa
Best Setter — Melissa Humana-Paredes
Best Hitter — Lisboa
Best Server — Taliqua Clancy, Australia
Most Improved — Mariafe Artacho, Australia
Most Inspirational — Agatha Bednarczuk, Brazil
Sportswoman of the Year — Bednarczuk

Graudina is the fourth Trojan in the last 12 years to win the FIVB’s top-rookie honor. Four-time USC All-American Sara Hughes received the award in 2017. Three-time indoor All-American April Ross was chosen in 2007 and indoor All-American Bibiana Candelas took home 2008 honors.

USA Girls' Youth National team-NORCECA Continental Championships-USA volleyball-volleyball
The USA Girls Youth National team with its championship trophy/NORCECA photo

USA wins NORCECA Girls U18 gold: The USA Girl’s Youth National team qualified for the 2019 FIVB Girls U18 World Championships after winning the gold medal last weekend at the 2018 NORCECA Girls’ U18 Continental Championship  in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The USA defeated Canada 25-13, 25-12, 25-23 in the gold-medal match, finishing the tournament with a 5-0 record, all sweeps. Canada also qualified for the 2019 U18 championships.

Five USA players were selected to the all-tournament team: Jess Mruzik, Hattie Monson, Kennedi Orr, Allison Jacobs, and Emily Londot.

USA Volleyball has the complete summary. 

ESPN lists its analysts, announcers: The worldwide leader said Monday it will broadcast more than 120 NCAA matches this season on ESPN2, ESPNU, the SEC Network and the Longhorn Network.

The analysts:
Kevin Barnett — Member of the 2000 and 2004 USA men’s national team.
Dain Blanton — 2000 Olympic gold medalist in beach volleyball.
John Dunning — Won five NCAA titles, two at Pacific and three at Stanford.
Nell Fortner — Returned to ESPN in 2012 as an analyst for NCAA volleyball, as well as college basketball. Fortner played on the Texas team that won its first volleyball national championship (AIAW) in 1981.
Mick Haley — Former head coach at USC and Texas. Won AIAW (1981) and NCAA (1988) championships at Texas and the 2002 and 2003 NCAA titles at USC. Haley was the 2000 Olympic coach.
Jenny Hazelwood — A former player and head coach at Mississippi State.
Karch Kiraly — Current coach of the USA national women’s team. Four-time Olympic gold medalist. The only player to win gold in both beach and indoor volleyball.
Holly McPeak — Three-time beach volleyball Olympian who took home the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics.
Lizzy Stemke — Former head coach at Georgia, an All-American setter for Wisconsin who played with the USA national team.
Bailey Webster — An All-American at Texas and member of the USA national team.
Missy Whittemore — Three-time All-American at Florida.

The play-by-play announcers will include Dawn Davenport, Tyler Denning, Sam Gore, Tiffany Greene, Melissa Lee, Courtney Lyle, Paul Sunderland and Sam Ravech. Davenport played volleyball at Auburn.

Preliminary USA women’s roster announced: USA women’s coach  Karch Kiraly announced the 22 players for the team’s preliminary World Championship roster. It will be reduced to 14 before the September 29-October 20 tournament in Japan.

Setters (3): Lauren Carlini, Micha Hancock, Carli Lloyd
Opposites (3): Annie Drews, Karsta Lowe, Kelly Murphy
Middles (7): Rachael Adams, Foluke Akinradewo, Tori Dixon, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Chiaka Ogbogu, Hannah Tapp, Haleigh Washington
Outside Hitters (6): Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Kim Hill, Madi Kingdon Rishel, Jordan Larson, Simone Lee, Sarah Wilhite Parsons
Liberos (3): Amanda Benson, Megan Courtney, Kelsey Robinson

Hawai’i hurricane forces UCLA schedule change: This from UCLA on Wednesday:

With an impending hurricane scheduled to hit the Hawaiian Islands this weekend, the 11th-ranked Bruins’ trip to Hawai’i has been canceled. Instead, UCLA will host a two-match homestand with Gonzaga this weekend. The Bruins and the Bulldogs will play at the John Wooden Center (Collins Court) on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Admission to the matches is free. A parking pass is required to park in the lots on campus.

The Bruins were scheduled to play at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu this weekend, facing Kansas State, Gonzaga and Hawai’i. However, category 4 Hurricane Lane is scheduled to hit Honolulu on Friday, prompting UCLA and Gonzaga to stay on the mainland and change its travel plans.

Hawai’i was also scheduled to be the host for a soccer tournament that it has canceled.

Agatha-Duda win FIVB World Tour Finals: The Brazilian pair of Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa beat Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic 21-15, 21-19 to win gold Sunday at the FIVB World Finals in Hamburg, Germany, and the $150,000 that came with it.

In the bronze-medal match, Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy beat Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado 21-15, 19-21, 15-8. They split $80,000.

Saturday, Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum won the men’s gold with a 21-19, 21-17 win over Poland’s Michael Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek.

Hughes-Ross fail to get out of FIVB World Tour Finals pool play: The only Americans in the field, Sarah Hughes and Summer Ross, won their last match Saturday to go 2-2 in pool play, but it wasn’t enough to get them into the elimination bracket.

Hughes and Ross beat Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands 21-15, 24-22 and will split $15,000 for the efforts.

The women’s have Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado of Brazil playing compatriots. Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa and Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic facing Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy.

Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland beat Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler of Germany for the men’s bronze medal 19-21, 21-15, 15-13. The gold-medal match pits Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland against Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum.

Bansley-Wilkerson beat Hughes-Ross in FIVB World Tour Finals: Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandi Wilkerson dealt Americans Sara Hughes and Summer Ross a 22-20, 14-21, 15-10 defeat in pool play Friday at the FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany.

The only American pair will try to go 2-2 in pool play when they play Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands on Saturday.

 “At the end of game in the third, they pushed it a little more than we did, we made too many unforced errors but overall it was a great match with top competitors,” Hughes said. “We’ve just got to regroup and get ready for the next one.”
Ross’s comments were more pointed.
“There are a few things we got better at but that was just a garbage way to finish that match,” Ross said. “We can do so much and we’re going to do it tomorrow. It’s so frustrating, it’s like a dagger to the heart. I’m so bummed right now.”

BVBinfo.com has all the women’s results and schedule and also the men’s results and schedule.

The men have completed pool play and Saturday’s semifinals show two teams from Poland facing off in one when Piotr Kantor and Bartosz play Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek. The other semi has Germans Julie Thole and Clemens Wickler playing Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway.

Hughes-Ross go 1-1 to start FIVB World Tour Finals: The only Americans in the field in Germany split their two matches to open pool play.

They lost to fourth-seeded Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado of Brazil 24-22, 21-18, but the No. 10 seeds came back to beat top-seeded Germans Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 14-21, 21-19, 15-8.

Friday, Hughes and Ross, coming off their FIVB Moscow victory, face Canadians Heather Bansley, and Saturday take on Brandie Wilkerson and the Dutch pair of Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink.

BVBinfo.com has the results and schedule and the FIVB.com site also has photos and more.

Sara Hughes and Summer Ross celebrate winning FIVB Moscow/FIVB photo

Hughes-Ross win four-star FIVB Moscow gold: Sara Hughes and Summer Ross beat Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa 21-19, 12-21, 15-12 Sunday to the four-star FIVB Moscow women’s gold medal, their first on the FIVB tour.

Hughes and Ross won $20,000.

In another FIVB tournament, a one-star in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, Americans Lara Dykstra and Allie Wheeler won gold on Saturday when they beat Agata Ceynowa and Martyna Kloda of Poland 21-13, 21-17 in the final.

The men’s FIVB gold went to Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs of Latvia, who beat Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Andre Loyola 21-18, 21-13.

Hughes-Ross to play for FIVB Moscow gold: Ninth-seeded Sara Hughes and Summer Ross will play second-seeded Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa at 10:05 a.m. Eastern on Sunday for the four-star FIVB Moscow gold medal and the $20,000 prize that goes with it.

Hughes and Ross already assured themselves of at least $16,000 to share after ousting fellow Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman on Saturday 21-18, 21-19 and then Germans Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude 23-21, 21-14.

“That team is so great and they are fierce competitors,” Hughes said. “Summer and I went out and our goal was to play our best and our hardest, and that is what I think we did today.”

In the women’s bronze-medal match, third-seeded Laboureur and Sude will face 13th-seeded Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland.

The men’s gold will be decided between sixth-seeded Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs of Latvia and 13th-seeded Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Andre Loyola Brazil. The bronze-medal match pits top-seeded Igor Velichko and Oleg Stoyanovskiy of Russia against fifth-seeded Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves of Brazil.

Klineman-Ross to play Hughes-Ross in FIVB Moscow: The USA will be down to one pair by the time the semifinals start at the four-star FIVB Moscow. That’s because there are no American men left and in the women’s quarterfinals fifth-seeded Alix Klineman and April Ross play ninth-seeded Sara Hughes and Summer Ross at 5:35 a.m. Eastern.

American men Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb and Billy Kolinske and Miles Evans were eliminated Friday and so were American women Betsi Flint and Emily Day and Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman.

Klineman and Ross defeated Carolina Horta and Ana Patricia Silva of Brazil (21-18, 21-18). Hughes and Ross won both of their Friday matches, first over Andrea Strbova and Natalia Dubovcova of Slovakia (21-12, 21-12) and then Elize Maia and Maria Clara Salgado of Brazil (11-12, 21-13, 15-13)

Larsen and Stockman defeated Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch of Germany 21-17, 21-19), but lost to Bednarczuk and Lisboa of Brazil (18-21, 21-18, 15-6). Flint and Day lost in the first round of elimination to Marta Menegatti and Orsi Toth of Italy.

Accordingly, the other three quarters have Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany facing Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina of Russia,  Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado of Brazil facing Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland, and Menegatti and Toth taking on Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa of Brazil.

Crabb and Gibb defeated Nico Beeler and Marco Krattiger of Switzerland (21-15, 21-15) but lost to Smedins and Samoilovs of Latvia in two deuce sets (21-19, 28-26). Kolinske and Evans lost to Krasilnikov and Liamin of Russia (14-21, 21-15, 15-11).

Russia and Brazil both have a shot at landing two teams in the quarters as Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko of Russia and Alison Cerutti and Andre Loyola of Brazil are already in, with Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Nikita Liamin of Russia to play Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves of Brazil for the final quarterfinal berth Saturday at 2 a.m. Eastern.

Spain, Italy, Latvia, Poland, and Qatar are also represented in the men’s quarterfinals by Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain, Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy, Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia, and Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar.

Alix Klineman-FIVB-Moscow
Alix Klineman lunges for a short serve during FIVB Moscow pool play/FIVB photo

Klineman-Ross go 2-0 in FIVB Moscow pool play: Alix Klineman and April Ross were the biggest USA winners Thursday at the four-star FIVB Moscow.

They beat Ana Gallay and Fernanda Pereyra of Argentina (21-11, 21-13) and Angela Lobato and Amaranta Navarro of Spain (22-20, 21-15) in pool play to earn a bye into the elimination playoffs.

Three other American teams — Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman, Emily Day and Betsi Flint, and Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb — all split their pool-play matches and will play in the first round of playoff matches Friday.

However, both Sara Hughes and Summer Ross and Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske lost their only pool-play match of the day and must win Friday to advance.

Larsen and Stockman beat Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy (21-15, 21-13), but lost to Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands (21-14, 21-14).

Day and Flint also won their first against Niina Ahtiainen and Riikka Lehtonen of Finland (21-19, 21-14) but couldn’t follow through against Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa (21-19, 21-14).

Crabb and Gibb advanced to the playoffs with a win over Nils Ehlers and Lars Fluggen of Germany (21-13, 21-15), but failed to secure a bye after deuce-set losses to Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar (21-19, 22-20).

Hughes and Ross lost their opener to Laura Bloem and Jolien Sinnema of the Netherlands (21-13, 21-17). Evans and Kolinske’s pool loss was a tough three-setter to Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia (23-25, 21-15, 15-12).

In the FIVB one-star event in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, Lara Dykstra and Allie Wheeler will face Fanny Lindstrom and Sara Malmstrom of Sweden in the first round of playoffs at 7:10 a.m. Friday Eastern. Dykstra and Wheeler defeated both Carolina Ferraris and Francesca Michieletto of Italy (21-13, 20-22, 15-13) and Tatjana Greber and Kim Huber of Switzerland (21-14, 21-18) to make the main draw.

Bill Kolinske-FIVB-Moscow
Bill Kolinske spikes in Gorky Park, Moscow/FIVB photo

Evans-Kolinske, Day-Flint make FIVB Moscow pool play: Thursday’s pool-play schedule is set at FIVB Moscow after Wednesday’s qualifying that saw Americans Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske win their match to get through.

The only other American men in the field are Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, while four USA women’s pairs are in pool play, including Betsi Flint and Emily Day, who won a country-quota match on Tuesday and a qualifying match on Wednesday.

They beat Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil in the country-quota match (21-16, 14-21, 15-12), and then ousted Anastasiia Frolova and Aleksandra Ganenko of Russia (21-16, 21-18).

For the women, fifth-seeded April Ross and Alix Klineman will take on Ana Gallay and Fernanda Pereyra of Argentina, ninth-seeded Summer Ross and Sara Hughes play Jolien Sinnema and Laura Bloem of the Netherlands and 10th-seeded Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman will face Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy. Day and Flint are seeded 18th and face Riikka Lehtonen and Niina Ahtianen of Finland.

BVBinfo.com has the women’s results and schedule.

Crabb and Gibb, seeded eighth, open against Lars Fluggen and Ehlers of Germany.  Evans and Kolinske, seeded 27th, get Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia. Kolinske and Evans defeated Jan Pokersnik and Nejc Zemljak of Slovakia Wednesday (21-19, 16-21, 15-9).

BVBinfo.com has the men’s results and schedule.

The four-star event at Gorky Park is the 13th competed in Moscow and features a $300,000 total purse.

p1440 announces qualifier schedule: The new pro-beach tour that kicks off September 28-30, has announced that it will have satellite qualifiers.

Two spots per gender will be awarded from each satellite qualifier. The onsite qualifier, accounting for six spots per gender, will be held in San Jose on September 27.

The first qualifier is August 25-26 in Lewisville, Texas.

The next is September 8-9 at Zuma Beach in Malibu, Calif.

According to its Facebook page, p1440 is partnering with Tampa Bay Beach Bums tournaments so players can gain points and also qualify for the event in San Jose.

Accordingly, the Florida qualifier is September 15-16 in Gulfport, Fla., near St. Petersburg.

For more information, go to the p1440 Facebook page or the p1440 website.

p1440 is a project of beach-great Kerri Walsh Jennings, currently coming back from surgery and without a partner. But in an interview last week with The Associated Press, Walsh Jennings said, “I have no partner. I just came off two surgeries, and I know I’m going to win gold in Tokyo.”

Anders Mol and Christian Sorum celebrate winning A1 Major Vienna/FIVB photo

Norwegians win A1 Major Vienna: The pair from Norway, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum, defeated Michael Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland 21-12, 21-17 Sunday to win the gold medal at the A1 Major Vienna.

The winners split $40,000, while the Poles divvied up $32,000.

The tournament on an island in the Danube was again delayed by rain Sunday.

In the bronze-medal match, Qatar’s Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan beat Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands 25-23, 17-21, 15-12 to win bronze and $20,000. The Dutch pair took home $16,000

Czech pair wins women’s gold at A1 Major Vienna: Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic won gold Saturday at the FIVB’s A1 Major Vienna after twice beating pairs from Brazil. 

They beat Fernanda Alves and Barbara Seixas 10-21, 21-16, 15-12 in the final after beating Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado in the semifinals 22-20, 21-19. In the other semifinal, Alves and Seixas beat Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink Netherlands 21-17, 23-21.

Sunday’s men’s semifinals pits Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland against Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar and Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway against Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands.

Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena went down swinging in the round of 16 to Brouwer and Meeuwsen 26-28, 24-22, 15-10, while compatriots Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb went out in the quarterfinals to the pair from Qatar 21-11, 21-18.

BVBinfo.com has the men’s results and schedule.

USA women blanked at A1 Major Vienna: Two Brazilian pairs, a team from the Czech Republic and another from the Netherlands make up Saturday’s women’s semifinals at the A1 Major Vienna.

American teams were all eliminated from the FIVB tournament in Austria.

On the men’s side, two USA pairs go into Saturday’s round of 16, top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and 13th-seeded Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb.

One women’s semifinals pits Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic against Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado, while the other has Brazil’s Fernanda Alves and Barbara Seixas facing the Dutch pair of Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink.

In the quarterfinals, Hermannova and Slukova made short work of Americans Sara Hughes and Summer Ross 21-12, 21-12. Antonelli and Salgado eliminated Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen 21-14, 21-17, while Keizer and Meppelink bounced Alix Klineman and April Ross 17-21, 25-23, 15-10. And Alves and Seixas beat fellow Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa 15-21, 21-18, 15-11.

BVBinfo.com has the women’s results and schedule.

http://bvbinfo.com/Tournament.asp?ID=3476&Process=Matches

Dalhausser and Lucena swept Austrians Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller 21-17, 21-15 and will play Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. Crabb and Gibb earlier went 2-0 in pool play, so they advanced into the quarters, where they face Russians Ilya Leshukov and Konstantin Semenov.

BVBinfo.com has the men’s results and schedule.

http://bvbinfo.com/Tournament.asp?ID=3475&Process=Matches

Walsh Jennings talks about p1440 on S.F. TV: It ultimately turned into a lovefest between Kerri Walsh Jennings and ABC7 News reporter Larry Beil, but first Walsh Jennings on Wednesday reaffirmed her goals of trying to win Olympics gold in Tokyo in 2020 and establishing her p1440 tour as “the NBA” of pro beach volleyball.

The first stop is in San Jose September 28-30 and Walsh Jennings was there to promote the event. She and Beil are obviously old friends and the station had some more fun, since Walsh Jennings competed against another reporter when they were in high school. Watch the interview here.

Kelly Claes teaches German reporter to play video games: Our German friend, beach-volleyball reporter Nils Koepke, sat down — literally, on the sand — with Kelly Claes before FIVB Vienna.

And the purpose was to learn more about Kelly’s passion, playing video games. Her love for playing and her sense of humor come through in a big way.

What follows is an interview/tutorial/Nintendo video-game challenge you don’t want to miss:

Follow Nils on Twitter at beach_inside_de

Fendrick-Sponcil, Larsen-Stockman into FIVB Vienna pool play: Two USA women’s teams advanced into pool play Tuesday at the FIVB five-star Vienna Major, but one American team will be ousted Wednesday from the tournament in Austria.

Sarah Sponcil goes all out on defense as she and Lauren Fendrick beat Valentyna Davidova and Ievgeniia Shchypkova of the Ukraine/FIVB photo

On the women’s side, Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil won twice in two sets Tuesday, beating Agnese Caica and Marta Ozolina of Latvia in the first round of qualifying and the Ukraine’s Valentyna Davidova and Ievgenila Shchypkova in the second.

Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman won their only match, beating France’s Aline Chamereau and Alexandra Jupiter to move into pool play.

Other American women in Wednesday’s pool play include Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, coming off their AVP Hermosa Beach victory, Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar and April Ross and Alix Klineman.

BVBinfo.com has all the women’s results and schedule.

On the men’s side, Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb beat Alistair Glossop and Leo Williams of South Africa and compatriots Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske ousted Poland’s Kacper Kujawiak and Maciej Rudol in the first round of qualifying and now the two USA pairs will meet on Wednesday.

BVBinfo.com has all the men’s results and schedule.

Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick got everything sandy after winning bronze in Tokyo/FIVB photo

Tokyo bronze for Patterson-Slick: Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick beat Philipp Bergmann and Yannick Harms of Germany 21-18, 21-14, a 29-minute effort that earned them the three-star FIVB Tokyo bronze medal. They split $5,000 for their efforts in Japan.

Esteban and Marco Grimalt beat Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric of Serbia 21-12, 21-17 for gold.

The last American women’s pair left, Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil, lost in the quarterfinals to Teresa Mersmann and Cinja Tillmann of Germany 21-18, 21-14, who went on to win gold, beating Taru Lahti and Anniina Parkkinen of Finland in the final 22-20, 21-17.

Lauren Fendrcik gets ready as Sarah Sponcil passes at FIVB Tokyo/FIVB photo

Patterson-Slick to play for FIVB Tokyo bronze: Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick will play for the bronze medal Sunday at the three-star FIVB Tokyo, while fellow Americans Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil will play a quarterfinal match.

Patterson and Slick lost to Chile’s Esteban Grimalt and Marco Grimalt 23-21, 21-15 in the semifinals after beating Austrians Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller 21-17, 21-12 in the third round of winnners-bracket play.

Fendrick and Sponcil knocked out compatriots Betsi Flint and Emily Day 21-17, 21-12 in the round of 16. They play Teresa Mersmann and Cinja Tillmann in the quarterfinals.

BVBinfo.com has the men’s results and schedules and the women’s results and schedules.

Betsi Flint, left, and Emily Day celebrate a point at FIVB Tokyo on Friday/FIVB photo

Three American pairs left at FIVB Tokyo: Just three American pairs remain in the three-star FIVB Tokyo with a guarantee that no more than two will make it to the semifinals.

On the men’s side, Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick, seeded fourth, won their winners-bracket match Friday over Gabriel Kissling and Michiel Zandbergen of Switzerland 21-14, 23-21, and will play 11th-seeded Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller of Austria in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Seidl and Waller ousted Americans Chase Budinger and Sean Rosenthal in the first round of the winners bracket 18-21, 21-17, 19-17. The other USA team, Billy Kolinske and Miles Evans, also went out in the first round of the winners bracket, losing to Kissling and Zandbergen 21-18, 15-21, 15-12.

BVBinfo.com has all the men’s results and schedule.

On the women’s side, the round of 16 pits the USA’s Betsi Flint and Emily Day, seeded fifth and having a great summer, against fourth-seeded compatriots Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil.

Flint and Day, coming off their win at AVP San Francisco, beat Angela Lobato and Amaranta Navarro of Spain 21-15, 16-21, 17-15 to go 2-0 in pool play and advance into the second round of the winners bracket.

Fendrick and Sponcil lost to Germans Teresa Mersmann and Cinja Tillmann 22-24, 21-11, 15-12 to go 1-1 in pool play, but got through when the Witt twins, McKenna Thibodeau and Madison Witt, had to forfeit in the first round of the winners bracket.

UCLA’s Megan McNamara and twin sister Nicole, Canadians seeded 25th, are also in the round of 16 and play Angela Lobato and Armanta Navarro of Spain. The McNamaras went 2-0 in pool play after beating Thailand’s  Khanittha Hongpak and Rumpaipruet Numwong 15-21, 21-18, 15-11.

Another American pair, Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock, went 0-2 in pool play and were eliminated.

BVBinfo.com has all the women’s results and schedule.

Norway’s Hendrik Mol gets the attack past the USA’s Stafford Slick/FIVB photo

Patterson-Slick go 2-0 at FIVB Tokyo: The American pair of Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick went 2-0 Thursday at the three-star FIVB Tokyo beach volleyball tournament.

A handful of compatriots either split or went 1-0 in pool play.

Patterson and Slick find themselves in the second round of the winners bracket. Two other American men’s pairs are into the first round after splitting their pool-play matches. Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske play Gabriel Kissing and Michiel Zanbergen of Switzerland, while Chase Budinger and Sean Rosenthal face Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller of Austria.

BVBinfo.com has all the men’s results and schedule.

On the women’s side, pool play continues Friday. Emily Day and Betsi Flint won a three-setter and face Angela Lobato and Amaranto Navarro of Spain. Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock also won a three-set match and face Aline Chamereau and Alexandra Jupiter of France.

Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil cruised to a victory and will play Teresa Mersmann and Cinja Tilmann of Germany. And the Witt twins, McKenna Thibodeau and Madison Witt, lost their first match in pool play and take on France’s Lezana Placette and Alexia Richard.

BVBinfo.com has all the women’s results and schedule.

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Madison Witt (left) and McKenna Thibodeau celebrate their win against Japan/FIVB photo

Rosenthal-Budinger, Witt twins reach Tokyo main draw: Both American teams advanced from the qualifier at the FIVB three-star event held at Diver City Tokyo Plaza in Tokyo, Japan. Chase Budinger and Sean Rosenthal defeated Shinya Inoue and Yuta Nagai of Japan (21-10, 21-19), while twins McKenna Thibodeau and Madison Witt defeated Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba of Japan (21-17, 21-15).

They join fellow Americans Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick, Miles Evans and Bill Kolinske, Lauren Fendrick and Sarah Sponcil, Emily Day and Betsi Flint, and Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock and another set of twins, Canadians Megan and Nicole McNamara, the NCAA champions from UCLA.

BVBinfo.com has the men’s results and schedule here, and the women’s results and schedule here.

The first-round pool winners will play for elimination-round byes, while the losers will play to make the first round of elimination play.

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The USA’s Katie Holloway, Lora Webster and Heather Erickson put up a triple block against Russia/World Paravolley photo

USA women fall to Russia in Sitting final: The USA women, who had already qualified for the 2020 Olympics, lost to Russia 18-25, 27-25, 26-24, 26-24 in the gold-medal match of the Sitting Volleyball World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 

The silver medal was the third quad in a row for the American team. The team had previously swept the Russians. Both teams qualified for Tokyo. The USA won the Olympic gold medal in 2016 in Rio.

The USA men finished eighth. The eighth place finish improves upon their previous best of ninth in 2006. Previously the Americans had 10th place finishes in 2002, 2010, and 2014.

Flint and Day get FIVB Haiyang gold: The USA was guaranteed at least two medals Sunday in the three-star FIVB event in Haiyang, China as the USA placed three teams in the medal rounds.

Gold went to Betsi Flint and Emily Day, as the third seeds beat fourth-seeded Germans Sarah Schneider and Cinja Tillmann 21-16, 21-18 in the final.

And the bronze went to 24th-seeded Caitlin LeDoux and Sarah Sponcil, who beat countrywomen Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen, taking out the second seeds  21-18, 21-13 in just 29 minutes.

In the semifinals, Flint and Day had quite a battle in beating Ledoux and Sponcil 23-21, 13-21, 19-17, while Schneider and Tillmann defeated Stockman and Larsen 21-17, 21-14.

The men’s gold-medal went to Austrians Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller, who beat Brazil’s Santos Barbosa and George Wanderly 10-21, 25-23, 15-8.

Two American men’s teams finished ninth on Friday as No. 4 Stafford Slick and Casey Patterson fell to Filho and Ferreira (21-16, 21-19) and No. 6 Bill Kolinske and Miles Evans dropped a three-setter to No. 21 Nuttanon Inkiew and Sedtawat Padsawud of Thailand (22-24, 21-14, 15-12).

Other USA women’s finishes included No. 6 Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock in fifth after a quarterfinal loss to the Flint and Day (21-12, 21-16) and No. 22 Aurora Davis and Bre Scarbrough in 17th after a loss to No. 15 Khanittha Hongpak and Rumpaipruet Numwong of Thailand (21-18, 23-21).

UCLA’s top duo of 2018, No. 19 Nicole and Megan McNamara, finished ninth after losing to teammate Sponcil and Ledoux (16-21, 21-10, 15-11).

USA Women's Sitting Volleyball team
The USA Women’s sitting volleyball team poses for a selfie in Milan, Italy after qualifying forthe 2020 Paralympics

USA sitting women qualify for Paralympics: The USA women’s sitting team had two big victories Friday.

First, they beat Italy 25-8, 25-11, 25-6 in the semifinals of the Sitting Volleyball World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands. 

But more importantly, that qualified the Americans for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The team is 5-0 and has not lost a set and will play Russia (4-1) for the gold medal at noon Eastern Saturday. Russia beat China in Friday’s other semifinal, 25-23, 25-29, 25-19.

Also on Saturday, the USA men (2-2) will play Russia (2-2) in a classification match for fifth-eighth place at 10 a.m. Eastern.

The matches are streamed live on the World ParaVolley Facebook page.

Heather Erickson led the USA with 11 kills, five blocks and two aces. Katie Holloway had seven aces, seven kills and three blocks.

Hugh McCutcheon is one of five going into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame in November.

McCutcheon to enter International Hall: Minnesota volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, who took the USA men to the 2008 Olympic gold medal and then won silver as the women’s coach in 2012, is one of five future inductees into the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.

He will be joined in the class by indoor volleyball players Gilberto “Giba” Godoy Filho of Brazil, Bas van de Goor of the Netherlands and Evgenia Artamonova Estes of Russia and leader Hiroshi Toyoda of Japan. 

McCutcheon is the first person from New Zealand to be inducted. The ceremonies are November 8-10 in Holyoke, Massachusetts. 

Click here for read the complete International Hall news release.

USA to play host to Japan women: The teams will not only scrimmage July 24 while the Japanese national squad is in Anaheim for a week, but also play a match July 27 at Tustin (Calif.) High School.

The scrimmage will be at the American Sports Center where the USA national teams train in Anaheim.

USA Volleyball said it’s part of the “2020 Olympic Games Two-Years Out Celebration.”

Click here for more information on the July 27 exhibition match. 

The USA poses for a gold-medal-winning photo after beating the Dominican Republic/NORCECA photo

USA beats DR for Pan Am Cup gold: The USA’s Lauren Carlini, coming back from an ankle injury, was named the MVP Saturday as the USA repeated as winners of the Pan American Cup in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

While Carlini has international experience, seven of her teammates were making their international-tournament debuts as the USA beat the Dominican Republic at home 24-26, 21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 15-8 in the gold-medal match.

The team, coached by Arkansas assistant Jon Newman-Gonchar, was led by former Big Ten players. Sarah Wilhite, who had 12 kills, two blocks and an ace, is a product of Minnesota. Former Penn State star Haleigh Washington had eight kills in 14 errorless attacks. Another Penn State product, Simone Lee, had six kills. Carlini, the former Wisconsin standout, led the USA to a .314 hitting percentage and was also named top setter.

The USA has won the Pan Am Cup six times in the 17 years it has been competed.

Click here for the USA Volleyball recap and here for the NORCECA recap.

Torrey Van Winden-Emily Sonny-Nicole McNamara-Megan McNamara-UCLA-Cal Poly-FISU World University Games
FISU World University Games women’s medalists: Nicole and Megan McNamara, center, and Emily Sonny and Torrey Van Winden, right/FISU photo

Newberry-Sparks will play for FIVB U19 bronze: The USA’s Devon Newberry of Los Angeles and Lindsey Sparks of Huntington Beach, Calif., lost their semifinal match Saturday in Nanjing, China and will play Alvarez and Moreno of Spain for the FIVB U19 beach volleyball bronze medal at 6 a.m. Eastern Sunday.

Newberry and Sparks defeated Mara Betschart and Celine Baumann of Switzerland (22-24, 21-19, 15-6) in the quarterfinals, but lost to Raisa Schoon and Emi Van Driel of the Netherlands (21-13, 21-16) in the semifinals.

Schoon and Van Driel play Mariia Bocharova and Maria Voronina of Russia will play for gold.

In the men’s division, Alexey Gusev and Pavel Shustrov of Russia will meet Mauro Zelayeta and Bautista Amieva of Argentina in the bronze medal match before Denis Shekunov and Dmitrii Veretiuk of Russia face Lukas Pfretzschner and Filip John of Germany for gold.

Full results are on BVBinfo.com.

McNamaras win World University Games: UCLA’s Nicole and Megan McNamara won gold at the World University Games in Munich on Friday,while Cal Poly’s Emily Sonny and Torrey Van Winden took bronze and LSU’s Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss finished fifth.

In the men’s competition, Hawai’i’s Colton Cowell and Brett Rosenmeier finished 13th, FSU’s Jon Justice and Adam Wienckowski were 18th.

The McNamara twins defeated Maria Carro and Paula Soria of Spain Friday (12-14, 18-21, 15-10) in the final. Sonny and Van Winden defeated Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge-Depre of Switzerland (21-19, 21-16) for third place. Coppola and Nuss defeated Fabienne Geiger and Anja Licka of Switzerland (25-23, 21-13) for fifth.

Cowell and Rosenmeier defeated Mateusz Lysikowski and Mateusz Paszowski of Poland (21-18, 12-21, 15-12). Justice and Wienckowski were defeated by Thomas Hartles and Alani Nicklin of New Zealand (21-18, 21-16).

Newberry-Sparks in U19 World quarterfinals: Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks advanced to the quarterfinals Friday at the FIVB U19 championships in Nanjing, China. Maya Harvey and Megan Kraft were eliminated in ninth place.

No. 4 Newberry and Sparks will face No. 26 Mara Betschart and Celine Baumann of Switzerland Saturday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. They reached the quarterfinals Friday by defeating No. 31 Aina Munar and Sofia Gonzalez of Spain (25-23, 21-14).

No. 28 Harvey and Kraft’s tournament ended with a loss to No. 30 Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno of Spain (21-18, 21-13).

Harvey-Kraft, Newberry-Sparks in U19 playoffs: Both the USA’s Maya Harvey and Megan Kraft and Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks are comfortably into Friday’s playoffs at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Nanjing, China.

Timothy Brewster and John Schwengel, the lone American men, failed to break pool after losing to Nathan Broch and Timon Gysin of Switzerland 21-11, 21-11. 

At the World University Games in Munich, Cal Poly’s Torrey Van Winden and Emily Sonny will play for bronze.

Harvey and Kraft defeated Sarah Strong and Tiaan Smith of Australia 21-9, 21-12, and Aziza Mallal and Maryem Maroc of Morocco 21-8, 21-12 Thursday. They went 3-0 in pool play and got a bye into the second round of playoffs. They play the winner of Ella Akkerman and Maya Dickson of New Zealand and Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno of Spain.

Newberry and Sparks beat Ragil Ningtyas Vitria Rahayu of Indonesia 21-13, 21-13, but lost to Erika Vermette and Dana Roskic of Canada 24-22, 21-15. They went 2-1 in the pool and are in the first round of playoffs.

Newberry and Sparks will face Claudia Scampoli and Nicol Bertozzi of Italy.

Megan McNamara-Nicole McNamara-FISU Wiorld University Games-Munich-UCLA
Megan Mcnamara hits at the FISU World University games in Munich, Germany/Andre Goerschel photo

At the FISU World University beach volleyball tournament, Van Winden and Sonny face Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge Depre of Switzerland after a loss to Spain’s Maria Carro and Paula Soria (29-27, 21-13).

Earlier Van Winden and Sonny defeated Belarus’ Lizaveta Chabai and Viktoryia Siakretava (21-10, 23-21) and the Netherlands’ Katja Stam and Pleun Ypma (21-17, 21-8).

Fellow Americans Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss of LSU defeated Franziska Friedl and Nadine Strauss of Austria (14-21, 21-16, 15-9). Coppola and Nuss will play for fifth place Friday against Fabienne Geiger and Anja Licka of Switzerland.

UCLA’s McNamara twins, Megan and Nicole, who represent Canada, beat Bobner and Verge-Depre of Switzerland in the semifinals (26-28, 21-16, 15-8) to advance to Friday’s gold-medal match against Carro and Soria.

BVBinfo.com has the results and schedule. Go to the  FISU website to watch the live stream: https://www.wucbeachvolley2018.com/home/

Good day for USA at U19 Worlds: The USA went 3-1 Wednesday in pool play at the FIVB U19 World Championships in Nanjing, China.

Fourth-seeded Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks defeated No. 29 Noga Maor and Maya Ben Schlomo of Israel (21-12, 21-4, and no, 21-4 is not a misprint). 

No. 28 Maya Harvey and Kraft defeated fifth-seeded Karin Zolnercikova and Sarlota Svobodova of the Czech Republic (10-21, 21-16, 15-8).

And 14th-seeded Timothy Brewster and John Schwengel split their matches, losing to No. 19 Joaquin Bello and Luis Bello of England in a tough three-setter (16-21. 21-19, 9-15) but defeating No. 30 Artur Hajos and Bence Streli of Hungary (21-18, 21-14).

Newberry and Sparks play No. 20 Ragil Ningtyas and Vitria Rahayu of Indonesia 8 p.m.  p.m. Eastern Thursday and then play No. 13 Erika Vermette and Dana Roskic of Canada.

Harvey and Kraft will face No. 12 Tian Smith and Sarah Strong of Australia at 10:15 p.m. Eastern and then they play No. 21 Aziza Mallal and Maryem Rachki of Morocco.

Brewster’s and Schwengel’s final pool-play match is against No. 3 Nathan Broch and Timon Gysin of Switzerland at 11 p.m. Eastern. BVBinfo.com has all the results and schedule.

p1440 finals to be shown on ABC, ESPN: Kerri Walsh Jennings’ new pro-beach tour that starts in September announced Tuesday that is has secured a deal with ABC and ESPN2 to show its finals of the first four events it will conduct in 2018.

The series opener in San Jose will have its final shown on Sunday, September 30, on ABC.

The Sunday, October 21, final in Las Vegas will be shown on ESPN2, while the San Diego final on December 2 and the Huntington Beach final on December 16 will both be on ABC.

Read more about the tour at p1440.com.

Harvey, Kraft in FIVB U19 main draw: Maya Harvey and Megan Kraft made the main draw in the FIVB U19 World Championships in Nanjing, China, on Tuesday. Jason Gibbs and Jacob Titus, however, lost their first round match.

Harvey and Kraft, seeded 14th, defeated both No. 3 Dana Rubilko and Kristina Zhuk of Kazahstan (21-16, 23-21) and No. 11 Brittany Allison-Carnie and Katie Sadlier of New Zealand (21-15,21-12) to qualify.

Gibbs and Titus fell to No. 19 Artur Hajos and Bence Streli of Hungary (15-21, 21-15, 15-8)

Maya and Kraft will join fellow Americans Devon Newberry and Lindsey Sparks in Wednesday’s pool play. Maya and Kraft’s first opponent will be the Czech Republic’s Sarlota Svobodova and Karin Zolnercikova, while Newberry and Sparks will take on Israel’s Maya Ben Shlomo and Noga Maor.

On the men’s side, the USA’s Timothy Brewster and John Schwengel face England’s Javier Bello and Joaquin Bello in pool play Wednesday

Torrey Van Winden-Emily Sonny-Porec-Croatia-FIVB
Cal Poly’s Emily Sonny and Torrey Van Winden win the FIVB one-star in Porec, Croatia/FIVB photo

Sonny-Van Winden win FIVB Porec: Cal Poly’s Emily Sonny and Torrey Van Winden beat Inna Makhno and Iryna Makhno of the Ukraine 21-17, 21-17 Sunday to win the one-star FIVB Porec in Croatia. BVBinfo.com has the full results. 

At the FIVB four-star event in Espinho, Portugal, Latvians Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs outlasted Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Gustavo Carvalhaes 21-13, 19-21, 22-20 to take gold. The Latvians defeated Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler of Germany 15-21, 21-16, 15-8 in the semifinals, while Santos and Carvalhaes beat countrymen Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves 21-15, 21-17.

The youthful Thole, 21 years of  age, and Wickler, 23, earned their career-best bronze finish with a 17-21, 21-12, 15-11 win over Felipe and Goncalves.

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Summer Ross and Sara Hughes celebrate their bronze-medal win in Espinho, Portugal/FIVB photo

Hughes-Ross win FIVB Espinho bronze: Sara Hughes and Summer Ross earned themselves some hardware at the FIVB four-star event in Espinho, Portugal, but men were unable to contend for a medal, as Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, John Hyden and Theo Brunner finished ninth and Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb and Miles Evans and Bill Kolinske finished 17th.

Hughes and Ross lost a three-set semifinal match to Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho (15-21, 21-15, 15-8), but recovered to defeat Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Katarzyna Kociolek for bronze (21-10, 18-21, 15-12). Clancy and Artacho went on to win gold over Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado (23-21, 21-17).

Top-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena enjoyed the first-round bye, but fell to Germany’s Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler (21-16, 21-16). Hyden and Brunner beat Portugal’s Roberto Silva Reis and Fabricio Silva (21-15, 21-16), but were eliminated by Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan (16-21, 21-18, 15-13). Crabb and Gibb were unable to defeat Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen (21-18, 13-21, 15-13), and Evans and Kolinske lost to Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Gustavo Carvalhaes (21-11, 21-15).

Sunday’s semifinals feature two Brazilian teams in Santos and Carvalhaes playing Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves, while Latvians Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs face Germans Julis Thole and Clemens Wickler.

In an FIVB one-star event in Porec, Croatia, Cal Poly’s Emily Sonny and Torrey Van Winden are in the semifinals and will play Dimitra Manavi and Konstantina Tsopoulou of Greece on Sunday. Sonny and Van Winden beat Anja Dorfler and Stephanie Wiesmeyr of Austria 21-10, 21-15 Saturday.

Sara Hughes-FIVB-Espinho-semifinals
Sara Hughes goes all out for a ball during Friday action of FIVB Espinho/FIVB photo

Hughes-Ross reach FIVB Espinho semis: Americans Sara Hughes and Summer Ross are in the semifinals of the four-star FIVB Espinho with three straight set wins Friday, knocking out compatriots Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar along the way in the tournament in Portugal.

Hughes and Ross beat France’s Lezana Placette and Alexia Richard (21-15, 21-12), Germany’s Anna Behlen and Sarah Schneider (21-19, 21-12), and Claes and Hochevar (21-18, 21-16). They will face Australia’s Taliaqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho on Saturday.

Claes and Hochevar finished fifth with defeats of Japan’s Miki Ishii and Megumi Murakami (18-21, 21-18, 15-11), and an upset of Canadian top seeds Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan (21-18, 21-16).

Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh finished ninth after losing their elimination match to China’s Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia (22-20, 21-17).

On the men’s side, top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena won their pool Friday, earning a bye in the elimination rounds with defeats of Spain’s Christian Garcia and Raul Mesa (29-31, 21-13, 21-19) and Mexico’s Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros (24-22, 21-15).

Americans Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, John Hyden and Theo Brunner, Miles Evans and Bill Kolinske all split their pool-play matches to reach the first round of elimination playoffs.

Gibb and Crabb began with a loss to Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Gustavo Carvalhaes (19-21, 24-22, 15-12), but defeated Slovenia’s Jan Pokersnik and Nejc Zemljak (21-18, 21-14). Hyden and Brunner defeated Evans and Kolinske (21-16, 21-23, 15-10), but were unable to follow through with a loss to Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Edgars Tocs (21-19, 21-15).

Evans and Kolinske recovered by defeating Lithuania’s Lukas Kazdailis and Arnas Rumsevicius (21-18, 21-19). The FIVB has Saturday’s schedule.

Also, in an FIVB one-star event in Porec, Croatia, Cal Poly teammates Torrey Van Winden and Emily Sonny, who won twice Thursday to get out of the qualifier, went 2-0 in pool play Friday. They are the only Americans in the field. BVBinfo.com has the results and schedule.

Walsh Jennings-Branagh go 2-0 in FIVB Espinho pool play: Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh were the only Americans to go 2-0 in pool play Thursday in the four-star FIVB Espinho in Portugal. They first beat 22nd-seeded Gaia Trabelli and Agata Zuccarelli of Italy 21-15, 21-9, and then the No. 11 seeds beat fellow Americans Sara Hughes and Summer Ross 21-18, 19-21, 15-11.

Hughes and Ross, seeded sixth, earlier beat 27th-seeded Angela Lobato and Amaranta Navarro of Spain 21-13, 21-11. The USA’s Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar split their two matches.

There was one American men’s pair in action Thursday. Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske, who won their country-quota match on Wednesday, won twice Thursday in the qualifier bracket. They beat Nicolo Conti and Francesco Cottarelli of Italy 21-15, 21-13 and then Norway’s Mathias Berntsen and Hendrick Mol 21-11, 16-21, 15-11.

BVBinfo.com has the results, and the FIVB has the schedule.

Evans-Kolinske win FIVB Espinho quota match: The American pair moved into the main draw by ousting compatriots Jeremy Casebeer and Reid Priddy 16-21, 21-15, 15-7 in the country-quota round of the four-star FIVB Espinho in Portugal.

Fellow Americans Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock avoided the country-quota match, but lost to Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska and Aleksandra Wachowicz 21-17, 21-18 in the first round of qualifying.

The FIVB has Wednesday’s recaps and results.

Kantor-Bartosz, Bansley-Wilkerson win at FIVB Warsaw: In the men’s final, top-seeded Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak won on their home soil Sunday, taking gold at the four-star FIVB Warsaw in Poland.

They beat third-seeded Brazilians Vitor Felipe and Evandro Goncalves in a 55-minute thriller 27-29, 21-13, 15-12.

The women’s title went to fourth-seeded Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson, who beat 10th-seeded Chantal Laoureur and Julia Sude of Germany 21-17, 21-17.

Americans Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar lost in their bid for bronze, falling to Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa of Brazil 21-17, 21-18.

Hochevar-Claes lose in FIVB Warsaw semis: The USA pair of Brittany Hochevar and Kelly Claes, seeded 17th, beat 24th-seeded Elsa Baquerizo Liliana Fernandez of Spain 21-19, 21-18 in the quarterfinals of the four-star FIVB Warsaw in Poland but then lost to fourth-seeded Canadians Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson 21-17, 21-12 in the semifinals on a chilly Saturday.

They’ll now play for the bronze-medal.

The only other American pair left, 20th-seeded Nicole Branagh and Kerri Walsh Jennings, lost in the quarters to sixth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa 21-19, 24-26, 15-9. They split $6,000 for tying for fifth.

Kerri Walsh Jennings receives serve as Nicole Branagh looks on in their win over Sara Hughes and Summer Ross on Friday/FIVB photo

Two USA women’s pairs left in Poland: At the four-star FIVB pro-beach event in Warsaw, Poland, the American pairs of Brittany Hochevar and Kelley Claes and Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh are still alive going into Saturday’s main-draw elimination matches.

But no American men made it through Friday.

Hochever and Claes play Spain’s Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan, while Walsh-Jennings and Branagh take on Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Lisboa of Brazil. Among the outcomes Friday were Walsh Jennings and Branagh ousting Sara Hughes and Summer Ross 21-16, 21-17.

Click here for the women’s results from the FIVB.

Other Americans who didn’t survive the cut Friday included Betsi Flint and Emily Day, Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick, and Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb.

Click here for the men’s results from the FIVB.

Brittany Hochevar pokeys the ball over in FIVB Warsaw action Thursday/FIVB photo

Thursday’s competition at FIVB Warsaw was tough on American pairs.

In the four-star pro-beach event in Poland, Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar won both their pool matches Thursday, earning a first round bye. Sara Hughes and Summer Ross won their first pool-play matches, but lost their second and the first-round winners-bracket bye that goes with it.

The other four American pairs went oh-fer.

Claes and Hochevar started things off with a 34-32, 21-15 win over China’s Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia, and then upset Canada’s top-seeded Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan 21-19, 21-18.

Hughes and Ross won their opener against Katharina Schutzenhofer and Lena Plesiutschnig of Austria 21-16, 21-13 and followed that with a tough loss against Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic 14-21, 14-21.

Nicole Branagh and Kerri Walsh Jennings lost 21-19, 23-21 to Nina Betschart and Tanya Huberli of Switzerland, setting up a match against Xinxin Wang and Bing Bai of China at 3 a.m. Eastern Friday.

Betsi Flint and Emily Day lost to Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa of Brazil 21-18, 21-17, setting up another match against Brazilians, Josimari Alves and Lili Maestrini, at 3:50 a.m. Eastern.

On the men’s side, Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick opened with a loss against Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria 21-14, 21-17 and will need to defeat Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez of Cuba to make the elimination rounds when they play at 4:40 a.m. Eastern.

Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb lost to Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner of Czechoslovakia 21-17, 21-14, putting them in a must-win situation against Vaclav Bercik and Jan Dumek of Czechoslovakia at 5:30 a.m. Eastern.

The FIVB’s full tournament schedule is here. BVBinfo.com also has the match results and schedule.

Jordan Larson and Lauren Gibbenmeyer put up the block against Turkey’s Meryem Boz/FIVB photo

USA women rally against Turkey: Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, whom we featured here Monday, came off the bench Wednesday and led the USA women to a 17-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-11 Volleyball Nations League come-from-behind victory over Turkey in Nanjing, China.

As only the FIVB can describe it:

After her team had lost the first two sets — and she had sat on the bench for the most part, itching to be thrown into the fray — Bartsch-Hackley took the match by the scruff of the neck, taking control over the last three sets and ending up with 19 kills from 41 attempts. There was also a block and an ace to add to the match-winning effort. Support came in the shape of opposite Kelly Murphy with 17 points and skipper Jordan Larson’s 14 points which included five aces. 

What it means is the Americans play Serbia at 3 a.m. Eastern Friday. A victory propels them into Saturday’s semifinals.

Click here for the FVIB account that includes stats and photos. The USA Volleyball report includes more information and the roster and schedule.

TJ DeFalco hits into the Italian triple block of Ivan Zaytsev, Danielle Mazzone and Simone Parodi/FIVB photo

USA men sweep Italy: The FIVB writeup from Modena, Italy, in its European style, sums it up:

USA move above Serbia to finish third after the 120 round robin matches in the 2018 Volleyball Nations League and with that are confirmed as joining Russia and Poland in Pool B at the Finals next month. Pool A will be made up of hosts France, Serbia and Brazil. Key to their 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 29-27) win tonight against the Azzurri was Matt Anderson who was back with a bang as an outside hitter and top scoring with 16 points, many of which came at crucial moments throughout the course of the match.

Click here for the complete FIVB report, including stats and photos.

It will show that Anderson had 15 kills and hit .636. He had two blocks and two aces. TJ DeFalco had 13 kills and two aces. Max Holt had seven kills, three blocks and an ace and Kyle Ensing had two blocks and 10 digs.

The VNL final six is July 4-8 in Lille, France.

The Czechs celebrate winning FIVB Ostrava in their home country/FIVB photo

Herrera-Gavira, Hermannova-Slukova win FIVB titles: At the four-star FIVB Ostrava beach event in the Czech Republic, the winners were Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira and the Czech Republic’s Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova.

Herrera and Gavira, the 12th seed, beat fifth-seeded Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland 27-25, 15-21, 15-11. Top-seeded Hermannova and Slukova beat fifth-seeded Canadians Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley 17-21, 21-15, 15-13.
BVBinfo.com has all the men’s results and all the women’s results. 
Ilia Vlasov of Russia hits against the USA block of of Max Holt, left, and Kawika Shoji/FIVB photo

Russia sweeps USA men: The USA had already clinched a spot in the final six but nonetheless lost to Russia on Saturday 25-23, 25-15, 25-23 as coach John Speraw rested starters in the Volleyball Nations League match.

The Americans are 10-4 after losing their second straight match. They play their third match in three days when they face Italy in Modena, Italy. Italy is 8-4 and fighting for a spot in the final six that will be conducted July 4-8 in Lille, France.

Russia is 11-3 and atop the VNL standings.

Kyle Ensing led the USA with 12 kills, two aces and a block. Jake Langlois, who was injured during the match, had nine kills and an ace. TJ DeFalco had seven kills and an ace, and Max Holt had five kills and two blocks.

Hughes-Ross, Stockman-Larsen out of FIVB Ostrava: The last two American pairs in the four-star FIVB Ostrava in the Czech Republic lost in Saturday’s round of 16.

Sara Hughes and Summer Ross lost to Joy Stubbe and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands 16-21, 21-15, 15-9. Emily Stockman and Kelley Larsen, who made it through the qualifier, fell to Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa 21-19, 21-15. Both pairs will split $4,000 for tying for ninth.

BVBinfo.com has the complete list of results.

Hotter France stops red-hot USA men: The Americans won their last three Volleyball Nations League matches, all by sweeps last week in Chicago, but Friday in Modena, Italy, they fell to France 25-21, 23-25, 26-28, 25-20, 15-12.

Now France has won seven matches in a row and improved to 11-2. The USA, which had won five matches in a row, dropped to 10-3. The Americans play Russia on Saturday and Italy on Sunday and need to win one of those matches to get into the VNL final six.

Matt Anderson led the USA with 20 kills, two blocks and an ace. Aaron Russell had 19 kills, one block and an ace, and Daniel McDonnell had six kills, three blocks and three aces. David Smith added nine kills and three blocks.

Click here for the FIVB account, stats and photos.

Mixed results for USA pairs at FIVB Ostrava: Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman not only got out of the qualifier, they split their first pool-play matches Friday at the four-star FIVB event in Ostrava in the Czech Republic. But they lost their second.

On a day with quite a few tough losses for Americans, 25th-seeded Larsen and Stockman beat eighth-seeded Brazilians Carolina Horta and Taiana Lima 13-21, 25-23, 15-8. But then they lost to ninth-seeded Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider of Germany 21-16, 21-13.

Americans Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, seeded sixth, also split. They won a wild one over Latvians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka 22-24, 27-25, 17-15, but then lost to Poland’s Karazyna Kociolek and Kinga Kolosinska 13-21, 21-19, 15-11.

Lauren Fendrick and Lane Carico and Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh lost their only matches of the day. BVBinfo.com has all the results.

There are no American men left in the field after Trevor Crabb and John Mayer lost their Thursday qualifying-round match to Dirk Boehle and Steven van de Velde of the Netherlands 14-21 22-20, 15-13.

St. Francis of Brooklyn adds men’s volleyball: MotorMVB, the organization that helps promote boys and men’s volleyball, gave the school $100,000 and St. Francis will become the first Division I program to field the sport since Sacred Heart did so in 2002, according to MotorMVB.

St. Francis will start play in 2020. For more, St. Francis has a news release. The team will be coached by Andy Mueller, currently as assistant on the St. Francis women’s team.

Trevor Crabb hits against David Kufa of the Czech Republic during FIVB Ostrava qualifying Tuesday/FIVB photo

Crabb-Mayer win FIVB Ostrava qualifier match: Trevor Crabb and John Mayer beat Jakub Gala and David Kufa of the Czech Republic 21-11, 21-16 Tuesday to get into Wednesday’s second round of qualifying at the FIVB four-star event in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Crabb and Mayer, the only American men in the qualifier, play the Netherlands’ Dirk Boehle and Steven van de Velde. On the women’s side, Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman are in the second round and play Spain’s Angela Lobato and Amaranta Navarro.

E Invitational college-division winners Ashley Delgado, Dani Burton, Katie Gavin and Sammee Thomas

Gavin, Peters take top E Invitational honors: Pepperdine junior Katie Gavin (Laguna Beach High School) and Notre Dame High School (Belmont, Calif.) senior Kendall Peters won the E Invitational women’s beach volleyball tournament this past weekend in Hermosa Beach.

Gavin finished with a record of 2-1 in the final round (with best point differential) to win the E Invitational College Division. She was followed in the final standings by Dani Barton, a University of Utah junior from Sandy, Utah; Sammee Thomas, a fifth year senior at Stetson University from Newport Beach; and Ashley Delgado, a Novato, Calf. resident and beach volleyball sophomore at Tulane University.

Peters, a 2019 Tulane commit, took top honors in the E Invitational High School Division with a final-round record of 3-0. Second place went to Camille Burman, a Granada Hills High School senior and 2019 commit to Texas Christian University; Nathalie Myszkowski, a sophomore at Mira Costa High School, was third, and fourth went to Lexi McKeown of Laguna Beach High School and a 2018 Florida State signee.

E Invitational high school winners Nathalie Myszkowski, Camille Burman, Kendall Peters and Lexi McKeown.

The E Invitational, put on by Eric Fonoimoana and known formerly as Queen of the Beach, featured separate fields of 32 college players and 32 high school players. Each signed up as an individual. Players were seeded and divided into pools of four, with each team playing games to 21 win. The top two players in each pool, determined by their won-loss record and point differential, advanced to the next round.

Three matches, three sweeps for USA men: The Americans took care of Iran 29-27, 25-20, 26-24 in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for their third sweep in three days.

It left the USA 10-2 as it heads to Modena, Italy, for matches against France (like the USA 10-2), Russia (9-3) and Italy (7-5) June 22-24. All three will be shown on FloVolleyball.tv.

This is from the USA Volleyball account:

The estimated crowd of 5,000 were mostly pro-Iranian fans, but cheered for both teams.

“They kind of threw us for a loop, but that’s just part of the game,” middle blocker Dan McDonnell said. “We adjusted to the lineup and made improvements as the game went on.”

Matt Anderson led the USA with 13 kills, three aces and two blocks. McDonnell had nine  kills, two aces and one block. Aaron Russell added nine kills, a block and an ace, and TJ DeFalco had eight kills and two aces. Jeff Jendryk had four kills and two blocks.

Click here for the FIVB account, reactions, photos and statistics.

Poland-Bartosz Bednorz-VNL-FIVB
Poland’s Bartosz Bednorz hits into the USA double block of Matt Anderson, left, and Max Holt/FIVB photo

Red-hot USA men sweep Poland: A day after doing the same to Serbia in the Volleyball Nations League, the Americans blasted Poland 25-20, 25-19, 25-19 on Saturday in a Volleyball Nations League (VNL) match in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The USA is 9-2 in the competition that has all the teams traveling to different sites and playing three matches in three days. This stint in suburban Chicago wraps up Sunday when the Americans play Iran (4-7) at 6:30 p.m. Central. It can be seen on FloVolleyball.tv.

The USA is 9-2 and stands second in the VNL standings. France is first. The top six teams advance to the finals competition in Lille, France, July 4-8.

Aaron Russell led with 11 kills and three aces. Matt Anderson had 10 kills, a block and an ace, while Max Holt had eight kills, two blocks and an ace. The team played without outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke, who hurt his knee against Serbia.

VolleyballMag.com’s Rob Espero was courtside:

“Thomas had a real significant knee injury,” USA coach John Speraw said. “He’s going to be out for quite a while. We’re heartbroken for him and I know he’s been playing great volleyball and has become such a great leader on our team. It hurts us. But I’m really pleased with the way guys have stepped up when he’s been out.”

Poland is 8-3 and dropped to fourth. Click here for the USA Volleyball account of the match, and here for the FIVB recap and summary.

Matt Anderson-USA-MNT-VNL-Hoffman Estates
Matt Anderson attacks against Iran/Michael Gomez photo

USA men sweep Serbia: The Americans returned home to Hoffman Estates, Ill., in suburban Chicago and overpowered Serbia 25-22, 25-16, 25-14 in the Volleyball Nations League.

It sets up Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. Eastern battle with Poland. Both teams are 8-2. The match will be shown on FloVolleyball.tv.

The victory was marred by the loss of local product Thomas Jaeschke. The product of Wheaton, Ill., who won two NCAA titles with Loyola of Chicago, had seven kills and two blocks when he injured his knee in the third set. TJ DeFalco subbed in and got three kills and two blocks.

Matt Anderson led the Americans with 11 kills and two aces. Aaron Russell had 10 kills, a block and three aces. David Smith added five kills and a block.

“I thought we played well in the offensive game and our serving and passing were strong,” setter Micah Christenson said. “We just fought and played well. I think as we go along in this VNL and we play more together we get better and better.”

Coach John Speraw agreed.

“Micah Christenson did such a good job running the offense,” Speraw said. “All the guys passed the ball so well that we just kept giving ourselves opportunities to score points. I thought our serving was great tonight. I think the combination of our passing and our ability to play defense behind a good service game was the key to the match.”

McLaughlin to resign from Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame coach Jim McLaughlin has announced his intention to resign due to health reasons. McLaughlin, who coached USC to the 1990 NCAA men’s title Washington to the 2005 NCAA crown, has been the Notre Dame coach for three years.

According to the Notre Dame news release, “McLaughlin has been dealing with back issues for some time that recently became so severe that it became difficult to perform all his coaching duties.”

Associate head coach Mike Johnson will take over effective July 1.

Notre Dame finished 22-10 in 2017, which got the program to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. McLaughlin’s 28-year career record stands at 630-253 (.713).

Johnson was the head coach at Xavier (Ohio) for five seasons before rejoining McLaughlin at Notre Dame in 2015. He had been McLaughlin’s assistant in 2004 at Washington.

USA-VNL-USA volleyball
The Americans celebrate a point against Argentina/FIVB photo

USA women steamroll host Argentina: As you would expect from a team that improved to 13-2 in the Volleyball Nations League and dropped Argentina to 1-14, the USA cruised to a 25-15, 25-14, 25-15 victory Thursday in Santa Fe, Argentina.

Their third match in three days concluded the VNL “regular season.” Now the USA heads home to Anaheim before going to the FIVB Volleyball Nations League final round in Nanjing, China, June 27-July 1. The USA totaled 40 points and finished ahead of second-place Serbia (12-3, 37), third-place Brazil (12-3, 35 points), fourth-place Netherlands (12-3, 34 points) and fifth-place Turkey (11-4, 35 points).

“This is the first ever Volleyball Nations League. We played 15 matches against 15 different teams and it was a great test,” USA coach Karch Kiraly said. “It was very difficult for all the teams, we had to travel all around the world, but I’m happy we passed the test well. Now we will go home, rest a bit and start to think of the final six. We want to play good volleyball on the next stage.”

Against Argentina, Annie Drews had eight kills, four blocks and an ace, while Michelle Bartsch-Hackley had 12 kills and an ace. Tori Dixon had six kills, three blocks and two aces.

“I think we had a really good match all the way around,” Bartsch-Hackley said. “We wanted to end this really long tournament with a really good match. I think we did that, and we are ready to go on.”

 

King of the Court-FIVB-AVP-Sportworx
Participants in the 2017 King of the Court trial event/FIVB photo

FIVB’s King of the Court expands: The FIVB announced that it’s bringing the competition to Hawai’i and California in September. King of the Court is widely known as a training format where the receiving team is allowed to stay on the court as long as it continues to side out.

The FIVB will hold four invitation-only events and said there will be a total purse of $450,000. The two U.S. events will be jointly promoted by the AVP:

September 7, 2018: Utrecht, Netherlands (15 teams, men’s only)
September 8, 2018: Belgium, TBD (15 teams, men’s only)
September 14-16, Honolulu, Hawai’i (Fort deRussy, Waikiki, 15 teams, both genders)
September 22-23, Huntington Beach, Calif., 20 teams, both genders)

The format, which includes a trial event in June 2017 in Utretcht, Netherlands, where Americans Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner participated: De-throne the Kings of the Court by scoring a real point to advance from the challenger’s side to the king’s side, then side out to score a point. Teams remain on the king side as long as they continue to side out. The game clock is 20 minutes for five-team pools and finals, 16 minutes for four-team pools.

The lowest-scoring team in the pool will be eliminated until the three-team finals, where the first team to score 15 points as “King” wins, or the team with the most points at the end of the 20 minute period. The FIVB and AVP said they will have more information about format and player participation soon.

Karch Kiraly-USA-USA volleyball-VNL-Korea
Coach Karch Kiraly looks on as his USA team plays Korea/FIVB photo

USA women sweep Korea in VNL: The USA responded to a loss with a 25-13, 25-23, 25-19 victory over Korea.

The Americans improved to 12-2 in the Volleyball Nations League a day after getting upset by Serbia. They play Argentina, which is 1-12, at 7:40 p.m. Eastern Thursday. The match will be shown on FloVolleyball.tv.

Lauren Gibbenmeyer led with seven kills, three blocks and an ace. Jordan Larson had seven kills, two blocks and an ace and Kelly Murphy had five kills, four aces and a block.

“Today we played against a very different team. I like the way my team responded from yesterday’s disappointment,” USA coach Karch Kiraly said. “We expect a full house for tomorrow’s match against Argentina. Everybody was excited with Argentina’s first victory yesterday. I hope we can show really good volleyball. It’s a good challenge for us to finish in a strong way after a really long tournament.”

Click here for the FIVB recap, stats and summary, and here for the USA Volleyball summary, roster and schedule.

Jovana Stevanovic-Serbia-USA-VNL-Michelle Bartsch-Hackley
Jovana Stevanovic of Serbia goes against the USA block of Michelle Bartsch-Hackley/FIVB photo

Serbia beats USA in four: They lost a tough first set Tuesday afternoon in Santa Fe, Argentina, and ultimately the match, 30-28, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18 as Serbia broke the USA women’s 10-match Volleyball Nations League winning streak.

The American women play again Wednesday at 4:40 p.m. Eastern against Korea. It can be seen on FloVolleyball.tv.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley led with 22 kills on 43 attacks and added three blocks and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo had seven kills and four blocks and Annie Drews had 10 kills. Kim Hill added eight kills and an ace. Rachael Adams has six blocks, an ace and a kill.

“We were awful in every phase of the game, and that made our system awful,” USA coach Karch Kiraly said. “We will look forward playing much better volleyball tomorrow.”

Jason Deroccos-Canada-VNL-volleyball-Micah Christenson-Max Holt-FIVB
Canada’s Jason Deroccos hits against the USA’s Micah Christenson, left, and Max Holt/FIVB photo

USA men rally against Canada: The Americans lost the first set of their Volleyball Nations League match in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, but came back Sunday to win 23-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-20 against the host team to improve to 7-2 in the international competition.

And they finally get to play on home soil in the next round when the USA is at Hoffman Estates, Ill., for three matches in three days June 15-17 against Serbia, Poland and Iran.

Against Canada, Ben Patch led with 14 kills, three aces and a block. Matt Anderson had 10 kills, three blocks and two aces. Max Holt added 10 kills and five blocks, while David Smith had eight kills and two blocks.

Stephen Marr had 11 kills and three aces for Canada.

The FIVB account has full stats and photos.

Micah Christenson jousts with Australia/FIVB photo

USA men take Aussies in four: A day after losing to Germany and then the first set Saturday, the Americans came back strong and put away Australia 20-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-16 in Ottawa, Canada.

From the FIVB account: Coach (John) Speraw was furious and ripped into players midway through the second set — and his anger did the trick as his side, thanks to (Matt) Anderson’s 20 points (15 spikes, one block and four aces) and healthy contributions from Aaron Russell (17 points) and Jeffrey Jendryk (10 points), grabbed a morale boosting win ahead of Sunday’s North American derby cruncher with Canada.

“In the first set we didn’t execute, “ said Anderson whose side gave away 29 errors compared to 25 from their opponents. “We managed to get some more energy and that helped us turn it around.” 

The FIVB account has the full statistical summary.

“In the first set I didn’t think we were very sharp,” Speraw said. “It took us a while to get into rhythm this weekend. I don’t know exactly why but I was really pleased to see that we lost the first set, played pretty poor volleyball for four sets and then came back.

“In the middle of the second set we were down and made a bunch of great plays defensively. We started playing with more confidence and from then on I think we played our style of play. I was pleased to see that after four and a half pretty bad sets we were able to come back and win the next three sets.”

The USA-Canada match is at 4:10 p.m. Eastern and can be seen on FloVolleyball.tv.

Jake Langlois hits into the German triple block/FIVB photo

Germans sweeps USA men in VNL: Getting back to North America didn’t do anything to help the USA men, who were shocked by Germany 25-19, 25-22, 25-13 on Friday in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Ottawa, Canada.

The USA, now 5-2 in the VNL, plays Australia at 4:10 p.m.  Eastern. The match will be show on FloVolleyball.tv.

Jake Langlois led the Americans with nine kills, a block and two aces. Aaron Russell had nine kills and an ace.

The FIVB account, prone to hyperbole, call it “one of the worst defeats in US history.” However, the FIVB does offer match stats and photos.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley gest the upper hand on China’s Xia Ding/FIVB photo

USA women sweep China to go 11-1: Michelle Bartsch-Hackley had a team-best 18 points with 16 kills on 32 attacks and two aces as the USA rolled over host China 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 on Thursday in Jiangmen, China.

This, from USA Volleyball, is the nuts and bolts of it: The Americans, ranked second in the world, will take an 11-1 record and a 10-match win streak into the fifth and final Volleyball Nations League preliminary round week when they face Korea (June 12), Serbia (June 13) and host Argentina (June 15). Team USA, which qualified yesterday for the Volleyball Nations League six-team Finals Round June 27-July 1 in Nanjing, China, continues to lead the 16-team pack with three preliminary round matches left on the schedule. China, the reigning Olympic Champions, fall to 6-6 overall in the VNL.

Tori Dixon added nine kills and two blocks, Jordan Larson had 10 kills and a block and Kelly Murphy had eight kills and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo had four blocks and kill.

Zhu Ting led China with 14 points. Click here for the FIVB summary and her for the USA Volleyball report.

USA women down Brazil in four: They had won eight matches in a row without losing a set. Make that nine, although Brazil had to go overtime to win the second as the USA came away with a 25-23, 26-28, 25-21, 25-18 Volleyball Nations League victory Wednesday in Jiangmen, China.

It left the USA 10-1 in VNL with one more match to play on this three-match in three-days stretch. The Americans finish up Thursday against top-ranked China in one of the showcase matches of this tournament. Brazil is 9-2 and plays Russia.

The USA was led by Lauren Gibbenmeyer as the middles had eight kills in 16 attacks and added eight blocks. Outside Jordan Larson had 15 kills and a block and middle Foluke Akinradewo had nine kills and four blocks. And outside Kim Hill had 11 kills and an ace.

From the FIVB recap: United States coach Karch Kiraly had signaled his intentions by reinstating captain Larson to the starting line-up, having rested the wing spiker in the previous night’s straight-sets victory over Russia. Brazil’s Jose Roberto Guimaraes, for his part opted to repeat the starting line-up he had used in his team’s epic 3-2 win over hosts China.

Larson’s poise was immediately in evidence with four telling spikes, as was the American plan to serve deep, as they took a tight first set despite having fallen five points behind at one stage. As it was against the Russians, setter Carli Lloyd’s serving was another potent force throughout for the USA.

Click here for the FIVB stats and summary, and click here for the USA Volleyball recap.

Russia’s Kseniia Parubets hits into the USA triple block of, from left, Annie Drews, Tori Dixon and Kim Hill/FIVB photo

USA sweeps Russia in VNL: The Americans blasted their way to a 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 Volleyball Nations League victory Tuesday in Jiangmen, China, for their eighth win in a row without losing a set.

It’s the first time that has ever happened for the USA women’s program. Conversely, the Russians have lost four matches in a row without winning a set.

The USA, now 9-1 in the VNL, is back at it at 4 a.m. Tuesday against Brazil.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley led with 13 kills, two aces and a block. Annie Drews had five kills and four blocks, while Kim Hill had seven kills and two aces.

Click here for the full FIVB report with complete match statistics.

Jeff Jendryk attacks as Brazil’s Lucas Saatkamp puts up the block and USA teammate Micah Christenson looks on/FIVB photo

Brazil deals USA tough five-set loss: The Americans led 2-0 in sets and had three match points before falling 21-25 20-25 25-19 25-20 20-18 in a Volleyball Nations League match in Goiania, Brazil.

It was the first loss for the USA after going 5-0 to start the tournament.

Matt Anderson led with 22 kills and an Ace. Jeff Jaeschke had 17 kills and an ace and Aaron Russell had 13 kills, two blocks and an ace. Jeff Jendryk aded five kills, four blocks and an ace.

Mauricio Silva led Brazil with 13 kills, five blocks and two aces. Click here for the FIVB recap and statistics.

The American now head to Ottawa, Canada, June 8-10, for three more matches in three days, this time against Germany, Australia and Canada.

Crabb, Mayer win Jinjiang gold: At the two-star FIVB beach event in China, second-seeded Trevor Crabb and John Mayer went the distance twice Sunday to capture gold and split $4,000.

They beat third-seeded Nils Ehlers and Lorenz Schumann of Germany 21-13, 18-21, 17-15 in the gold-medal match. In the semifinals, Crabb and Mayer beat China’s Peng Gao and Yang Li 21-17, 17-21, 15-11.

On the women’s side, fellow Americans Aurora Davis and Bree Scarbrough lost in the bronze-medal match to Japan’s Reika Murakami and Chiyo Suzuki 21-12, 22-20. Davis and Scarbrough split $1,400.

USA coach John Speraw takes a photo with some Brazilian fans/FIVB photo

Anderson, USA sweep Korea: Matt Anderson, taken out of the last match, bounced back to lead the USA to a 25-23, 25-21, 25-11 sweep of South Korea in the Volleyball Nations League on Saturday in Goiania, Brazil.

Anderson had 10 kills, two blocks and an ace as the Americans improved to 5-0 in the VNL. Jake Langlois had 14 kills and a block, TJ DeFalco had seven kills and blocks and David Smith had seven kills in eight swings and two blocks.

“We did not start this match very well, particularly in the service aspect,” USA coach John Speraw said. “So I was a little bit concerned, but fortunately we came back in the match. I hope we can start better tomorrow. We have finished both matches with great consistency.

“I am pleased with our ability to come back, stay focused and get better every set. Even when we know that things are going very well, there’s a lot of space for improvement, but there are good things too.

“Jake Langlois had his chance to play today and he responded great. He is a great teammate, works hard, and he is young. I am really pleased with his developments.”

Langlois said he lived in Brazil for two years and did volunteer work.

It was a fantastic experience and I’m really happy to have performed well in Brazil,” he said. “I’m happy for the team’s victory. That’s the most important thing, but I am also glad to be today’s best scorer. I think that I took my chance really well and I want to improve more. I miss being here in Brazil and I hope we can have a good performance against them tomorrow.”

The USA faces Brazil at 10:45 a.m. Eastern Sunday. The match, the Americans’ third in three days, can be seen on FloVolleyball.tv.

FIVB Jinjiang: Second-seeded Trevor Crabb and John Mayer are in Sunday’s semifinals of this two-star beach event in China against Peng Gao and Yang Li, the fifth seeded. Crabb and Mayer beat Germans Armin Dollinger and Simon Kulzer and Vaclav Bercik and Jan Dumek of the Czech Republic in winners-bracket play Saturday. BVBinfo.com has all the men’s results.

On women’s side, Americans Aurora Davis and Bree Scarbrough will play for bronze on Sunday against ninth-seeded Reika Murakami and Chiyo Suzuki of Japan. Davis and Scarbrough made it out of qualifying and are seeded No. 24. They lost to fourth-seeded Sayaka Mizoe and Suzuko Hashimoto 21-18, 21-16 in the semifinals. BVBinfo.com has all the women’s results. 

David Smith gets way up there to attack against Japan/FIVB photo

USA men rally to beat Japan: The American men trailed 0-2 before coming away with a 23-25, 13-25, 25-18, 25-20, 15-10 Volleyball Nations League victory Friday in Goiania, Brazil.

Ben Patch had 14 kills and a block, Aaron Russell had 11 and two blocks, and Thomas Jaeschke added seven kills, two aces, and two blocks as their team improved to 3-0 in the VNL. Jeff Jendryk had six blocks.

Patch entered the match in the second set for Matt Anderson.

“That was a really important win for us,” Patch said. “I think it shows each and every one of us on our team and our coaching staff that it’s going to take a team effort to win a game.

“We executed well in the third, fourth and fifth sets. That’s huge for us going forward.”

The USA has not lost a match to Japan since 1993 and led this one in kills (52-50), blocks (13-4) and aces (6-1).

Next up is a trip to Ottawa, Canada, for three more matches in three days against Germany, Australia and Canada starting next Friday.

USA women win 7th in row: Jordan Larson had nine kills, two blocks and four aces as her team beat host Thailand 25-10, 25-22, 25-16 in the Volleyball Nations League on Thursday. Kim Hill added 13 kills as the USA won its seventh match in a row in the FIVB competition.

The team, now 8-1 in the VNL, heads to Jiangmen, China, for three more matches in three days against Russia, Brazil and China starting June 5.

AVP adds September Hawai’i tourney: The AVP season was scheduled to end September 2 in Chicago. Now the tour will have a stop on Waikiki Beach September 14-16.

From the AVP: This international exhibition event will bring together top male and female beach volleyball stars from across the United States and abroad as event organizers join to celebrate and honor one of the birthplaces of the sport.

“Because of this new endeavor with the (Hawai‘i Tourism Authority), our official destination partner for this event, we are thrilled to be able to bring the highest level of beach volleyball to the beaches of America’s beloved Aloha state in a fresh, new, and exciting way,” says Donald Sun, managing partner, AVP.

No format was given in the AVP’s announcement on Wednesday. The event will occur two weeks before the first stop of Kerri Walsh Jenning’s new tour, p1440, set for September 28-30 in San Jose. Next up on the AVP calendar is New York, June 7-10.

Carli Lloyd, setting against the Dominican Republic, led the USA to a .513 hitting percentage/FIVB photo

USA women roll past DR: The USA improved to 7-1 in the Volleyball Nations League with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-21 victory Wednesday over the Dominican Republic in Bangkok, Thailand. The American play the host team at 7 a.m. Eastern Thursday.

Kim Hill led with 16 kills, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley had 14 to with four aces and a block, and Lauren Gibbenmeyer added nine kills, a block and an ace. Kelly Murphy had 10 kills.

The USA has won 13 matches in a row over the Dominican Republic since 2006.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley powers past Germany’s block of Lisa Grunding and Denise Hanke/FIVB photo

USA women sweep Germany: Two days after the men completed a 3-0 start to their Volleyball Nations League competition, the USA women kept things going with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 over Germany on Tuesday in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Americans are 6-1 in the VNL with matches against the Dominican Republic and Thailand in the next two days. Against Germany, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley continued to be the offensive leader as she finished with 15 kills and a block. Kelly Murphy had 10 kills and two blocks and Jordan Larson had eight kills with no errors in 14 attacks and added a block and an ace.

USA volleyball has a recap and summary, and so does the FIVB, where it offered that, ‘Mixing power with clever touches, the two American big hitters dominated in attack, paving the way for the reigning world champions to rack up a fifth successive straight sets win, each as impressive as the other.”

USA setter Kawika Shoji cheers on his teammates during their victory over China on Sunday/FIVB photo

USA men go 3-0 with China win: The Americans beat the host team in the China city of Ningbo 25-20, 26-24, 25-18 as Taylor Sander led with 14 kills and three aces.

The USA, which earlier beat Argentina and Bulgaria to start Volleyball Nations League play, got 10 kills and two blocks from Ben Patch and nine kills and four blocks from TJ DeFalco. Max Holt added six kills and two blocks.

USA Volleyball has a recap and summary, and so does the FIVB.

Next up is a trip to Goiânia, Brazil, where they play Japan on June 1, followed by matches against Korea and Brazil.

USA coach John Speraw talks to his team during a time out Saturday in China/FIVB photo

USA men top Bulgaria in four: The victory left the USA 2-0 in the Volleyball Nations League after their 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-20 win over Bulgaria on Saturday in Ningbo, China. The Americans play their third match in three days when they take on China on Sunday.

The USA won its seventh in a row over Bulgaria as Taylor Sander led with 15 kills, two blocks and two aces. Thomas Jaeschke had 14 kills and two aces. Other stats of note included Jeff Jendryk with four blocks, Max Holt with three aces and Kawika Shoji with two aces.

The USA Volleyball recap has stats and the schedule. The FIVB account gives a much different kind of recap, with lines such as “A late rally put pressure of the US towards the death but cooler heads prevailed,” and “It hasn’t totally clicked for John Speraw’s squad but these are still early days in the VNL.”

From left, the USA’s Ben Patch, Jeff Jendryk and Thomas Jaeschke put up the block against Argentina/FIVB photo

USA men open VNL by beating Argentina: After going down 0-2, the USA men’s team rallied to beat Argentina 25-27, 24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 15-10 Friday in their first Volleyball Nations League pool-play match in Ningbo, China.

BYU product Ben Patch led with 21 kills and two blocks and another former Cougar, Taylor Sander, added 15 kills, three blocks and an ace. Thomas Jaeschke had 10 kills and Jeff Jendryk had seven, three blocks and an ace.

The men play again at 4 a.m. Eastern Saturday against Bulgaria. USA Volleyball has the recap and schedule.

Annie Drews and Lauren Gibbemeyer pu up the block against Belgium/USA Volleyball photo

Red-hot USA women sweep Belgium: The Americans won 25-11, 25-17, 25-18 in Toyota, Japan, for their fourth Volleyball Nations League victory in a row.

The USA, led by former Big Ten standouts, is 5-1 after outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley continued to put up strong numbers. The Illinois product led with 12 kills and two blocks. Former Purdue standout Annie Drews added 10 kills and two blocks and former Nebraska star Jordan Larson had eight kills, two aces and a block.

Minnesota product Lauren Gibbenmeyer added five kills, four blocks and an ace as her team finished with three victories in three days.

The USA has five days off before playing three more times in three days again in Bangkok, Thailand, starting May 29 against Germany, the Dominican Republic and Thailand. Click here for the USA Volleyball recap, stats and schedule.

Kelly Murphy hits against the Netherlands’ block/USA Volleyball photo

USA women sweep Netherlands: The Americans improved to 4-1 in the Volleyball Nations League with a 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 victory over the Netherlands in Toyota, Japan. The USA plays Belgium at 2:30 a.m. Eastern Thursday to complete a three-match trip.

Jordan Larson led with 14 kills on 37 swings and added two blocks and two aces. Kim Hill added 12 kills and Kelly Murphy had seven kills, two blocks and an ace. Read the full USA Volleyball recap here.

Ohio State outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen has signed with a Polish pro team/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Szerszen signs with Polish team: Ohio State star Nicolas Szersen, the 2017 VolleyballMag.com national player of the year and 2018 first-team All-American, has signed a three-year contract with Asseco Resovia in Rzeszow, Poland.

Szerszen, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter from Hne, France, who earned his mechanical engineering degree earlier this month, is following in the footsteps of his father, Jacek Szerszen, who also played for Asseco Resovia and was a member of the 1988 Polish championship team.

Ohio State won NCAA titles in 2016 and 2017 and advanced to the national semifinals earlier this month. If you read Polish, here is the Asseco Resovia news release.

USA women sweep Japan: As the Volleyball Nations League moved to Toyota, Japan, the Americans improved to 3-1 with a 25-20, 25-16, 25-23 win over the host team. The USA plays again Wednesday against the Netherlands at 2:30 a.m. Eastern. It can be seen on FloVolleyball.tv.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley led the USA with 18 kills and three aces. Kim Hill added 15 kills and two blocks. Click here for the USA Volleyball recap and more statistics.

USA women get lineup/roster changes: As the national team heads into the next round of the Volleyball Nations League, USA Volleyball reports that coach Karch Kiraly has made some changes.

When the Americans play host Japan on Tuesday, Kelsey Robinson is officially listed as a libero. The outside hitter was inserted into the defensive position last week and now she and fellow Nebraska product Justine Wong-Orantes are the team’s two liberos. As a result, Amanda Benson is not going to Japan and outside Sarah Wilhite, who got married May 4, has been added to the roster.

The story by USA Volleyball’s Bill Kauffman has more info plus the complete roster and schedule.

Brazil gets both Itapema golds: In the four-star FIVB event, the men’s winners were Evandro Gonçalves and Andre Loyola, who beat Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum in the final, while the women’s winners were Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa, who beat Switzerland’s Joana Heidrich and Anouk Vergé-Depre for the gold. BVBinfo.com has the complete men’s results and the complete women’s results.

In a one-star FIVB event in Aydin, Turkey, the respective winners were Serbia’s Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric and Cuba’s Mailen Deliziz and Leila Martinez. BVBinfo.com has the complete men’s results and the complete women’s results.

McShane finally officially out at Cal: The legal proceedings must have been completed. This is the Cal news release verbatim:

Matt McShane will no longer serve as head volleyball coach at Cal, and Jennifer Dorr will lead the program as head coach through the 2018 season, Cal Athletics announced Friday. 

Dorr has been a part of Cal volleyball since 2009 when she joined the program as director of operations and she was elevated to assistant coach two years later. As a player, she was an all-conference setter and academic all-conference selection at Hawai’i, helping the team to a pair of national semifinal appearances. McShane coached the Bears for one season before going on a leave of absence in November. Cal finished the year 13-18 overall and 4-16 in the Pac-12.

Incredibly, now seven of the Pac-12 head coaches have been in their respective jobs less than three years. That includes Dorr at Cal, Kevin Hambly at Stanford, Brent Crouch at USC, Jesse Mahoney at Colorado, Matt Ulmer at Oregon, Mark Barnard at Oregon State and Sanja Tomasevic at Arizona State. And Keegan Cook at Washington is starting his fourth year.

Nicole Branagh-Itapema-Brazil-FIVB
Nicole Branagh spikes in the Itapema rain/FIVB photo

All Americans ousted in Brazil: The quarterfinals are Saturday at FIVB Itapema and there won’t be any Americans in the four-star beach event.

Kerri Walsh-Jennings and Nicole Branagh placed ninth for the highest finish of any USA pair. Summer Ross and Sara Hughes finished 17th, while Americans Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar, Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman, and Emily Day and Betsi Flint all finished 25th.

Walsh and Branagh defeated Taru Lahti and Anniina Parkkinen of Finland in the first round of elimination play (21-7, 21-14), but couldn’t keep it going against Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado (21-18, 21-15). Ross and Hughes lost to Spain’s Liliana Fernandez and Elsa Baquerizo (21-16, 25-23) in the first round of playoffs. Claes and Hochevar, Larsen and Stockman, and Day and Flint finished 0-2 in pool play and did not qualify for playoffs. BVBinfo.com has all the results and Saturday’s schedule.

Paco Labrador takes over at Navy: The former head coach at Division III Wittenburg takes over in Annapolis, where Larry Bock retired. 

Navy finished 23-8 last season after making it to the Patriot League tournament championship match. Labrador coached Wittenburg to the 2011 NCAA title and took that program to the 2015 and 2017 D-III title match. His career winning percentage of 86.5 percent ranks second among active coaches across all NCAA divisions and third overall in college volleyball history.

Kerri Walsh Jennings hits against the block of Kelly Claes in Brazil on Thursday/FIVB photo

Mixed results for American women in Brazil: in the FIVB four-star in Itapema, the USA teams of Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nicole Branagh and Sara Hughes and Summer Ross both split their pool-play matches Thursday.

Emily Day and Betsi Flint won their only match of the day, while Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman lost theirs.

Walsh Jennings and Branagh, seeded 19th, beat fellow Americans 14th-seeded Kelly Claes and Brittany Hochevar 25-23, 21-16, but then lost to third-seeded Chantel Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany 25-23, 21-16. Hughes and Ross, seeded sixth, beat Brazil’s Josemari Alves and Liliane Maestrini 21-14, 21-19, but then lost in three to the 11th-seeded Swiss pair of Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depré 19-21, 28-26, 15-10.

Pool A: Round 1 — Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas Brazil (1) def. Nicole Eiholzer/Elena Steinemann Switzerland (32, Q14) 21-15, 22-20 (0:38)
Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (17) def. Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch Germany (16) 21-17, 21-15 (0:33)
Round 2 — Fernanda Alves/Barbara Seixas Brazil (1) def. Svetlana Kholomina/Nadezda Makroguzova Russia (17) 17-21, 21-16, 15-10 (0:47)
Nicole Eiholzer/Elena Steinemann Switzerland (32, Q14) vs. Karla Borger/Margareta Kozuch Germany (16)
Pool B: Round 1 — Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan Canada (2) def. Yulia Abalakina/Olga Motrich Russia (31) 21-13, 21-12 (0:26)
Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer Austria (18) def. Joy Stubbe/Marleen Van Iersel Netherlands (15) 21-19, 21-19 (0:34)
Round 2 –Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan Canada (2) def. Lena Plesiutschnig/Katharina Schutzenhofer Austria (18) 21-14, 15-21, 15-11 (0:42)
Yulia Abalakina/Olga Motrich Russia (31) vs. Joy Stubbe/Marleen Van Iersel Netherlands (15)
Pool C: Round 1 — Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude Germany (3) def. Laura Caluori/Dunja Gerson Switzerland (30, Q11) 21-14, 21-12 (0:25)
Nicole Branagh/Kerri Walsh Jennings U.S. (19) def. Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar U.S. (14) 25-23, 21-16 (0:35)
Round 2 — Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude Germany (3) def. Nicole Branagh/Kerri Walsh Jennings U.S. (19) 22-20, 21-18 (0:38)
Laura Caluori/Dunja Gerson Switzerland (30, Q11) vs. Kelly Claes/Brittany Hochevar U.S. (14)
Pool D: Round 1 — Natalia Dubovcova/Andrea Strbova Slovakia (29, Q9) def. Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova Czech Republic (4) 20-22, 21-15, 15-12 (0:48)
Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova Czech Republic (13) def. Niina Ahtiainen/Riikka Lehtonen Finland (20) 21-14, 14-21, 15-9 (0:38)
Round 2 — Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova Czech Republic (13) def. Natalia Dubovcova/Andrea Strbova Slovakia (29, Q9) 21-16, 21-14 (0:31)
Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova Czech Republic (4) vs. Niina Ahtiainen/Riikka Lehtonen Finland (20)
Pool E: Round 1 — Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado Brazil (5) def. Ana Gallay/Fernanda Pereyra Argentina (28, Q7) 21-10, 21-13 (0:27)
Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (12) def. Katarzyna Kociolek/Kinga Kolosinska Poland (21) 21-17, 21-18 (0:39)
Round 2 — Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado Brazil (5) def. Nina Betschart/Tanja Huberli Switzerland (12) 21-15, 21-15 (0:31)
Ana Gallay/Fernanda Pereyra Argentina (28, Q7) vs. Katarzyna Kociolek/Kinga Kolosinska Poland (21)
Pool F: 
Round 1 — Sara Hughes/Summer Ross U.S. (6) def. Josemari Alves/Liliane Maestrini Brazil (27, Q5) 21-14, 21-19 (0:33)
Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre Switzerland (11) def. Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen Finland (22) 21-18, 21-9 (0:32)
Round 2 — Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre Switzerland (11) def. Sara Hughes/Summer Ross U.S. (6) 19-21, 28-26, 15-10 (0:56)
Josemari Alves/Liliane Maestrini Brazil (27, Q5) vs. Taru Lahti/Anniina Parkkinen Finland (22)
Pool G: Round 1 — Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa Brazil (7) def. Emily Day/Betsi Flint U.S. (26, Q4) 21-13, 19-21, 15-10 (0:45)
Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (10) def. Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (23, Q1) 21-19, 21-15 (0:33)
Round 2 — Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa Brazil (7) def. Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider Germany (10) 21-14, 21-16 (0:31)
Emily Day/Betsi Flint U.S. (26, Q4) vs. Sanne Keizer/Madelein Meppelink Netherlands (23, Q1)
Pool H: Round 1 — Carolina Horta/Taiana Lima Brazil (8) def. Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez Spain (25) 21-19, 21-16 (0:32)
Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (9) def. Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman U.S. (24, Q2) 25-23, 18-21, 15-9 (0:50)
Round 2 — Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson Canada (9) def. Carolina Horta/Taiana Lima Brazil (8) 21-18, 14-21, 15-12 (0:46)
Elsa Baquerizo/Liliana Fernandez Spain (25) vs. Kelley Larsen/Emily Stockman U.S. (24, Q2) 

p1440 and CBVA to work together: The beach-volleyball series p1440 that will launch in the September announced Thursday it is partnering with the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA), the largest amateur beach volleyball association in the United States, to implement a points-integration system for p1440 events.

The p1440 points integration will allow athletes to accumulate points in all sanctioned open division tournaments throughout the 2018 season, giving them the opportunity to get points to play in p1440’s qualifiers and main draws. The first time it’s in effect is at the CBVA’s women’s and men’s open divisions in its event at Hermosa Beach Pier May 26-27.

p1440 is expected to have eight events in the 2018-2019 season beginning in September.

Kelley Larsen-FIVB Itapema-Brazil-Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva
Kelley Larsen blocks Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva of Brazil/FIVB photo

Two USA pairs qualify in Brazil: Second-seeded Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman and fourth-seeded Emily Day and Betsi Flint advanced to the main draw at the FIVB four-star event in Itapema, Brazil, Wednesday, while American men Reid Priddy and Jeremy Casebeer lost out.

Day and Flint defeated 20th-seeded Martina Bonnerova and Sarka Nakladalova of the Czech Republic 22-20, 21-17. Larsen and Stockman swept Tania Silva Bigi and Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva of Brazil 21-16, 21-17. Modified pool-play assignments will be available on the FIVB website. 

Other women qualifying were Sanne Keizer and Madelein Meppelink of the Netherlands, Natalia Dubovcova and Andrea Strbova of Slovakia, Josemari Alves and Liliane Maestrini of Brazil, Nicole Eiholzer and Elena Steinemann of Switzerland, Laura Caluori and Dunja Gerson of Switzerland, and Ana Gallay and Fernanda Pereyra of Argentina.All of Wednesday’s women’s results can be found on BVBinfo.com.

Priddy and Jeremy Casebeer were ousted by Austrians Simon Fruhbauer and Jorg Wutzl 19-21, 21-19, 12-15 and presumably will come home for AVP Austin.

Other men qualifying were Ramon Ferreira and Fernando Magalhaes of Brazil, Philipp Bergmann and Yannick Harms of Germany, Julius Thole and Clemens Wickler of Germany, Nils Ehlers and Lorenz Schumann of Germany, Marco Cairus and Mauricio Vieyto of Uruguay, and Lukas Kazdailis and Arnas Rumsevicius of Lithuania. All of Wednesday’s men’s results can be found on BVBinfo.com.

This is the first visit by the FIVB to southern Brazil and the Meia Praia beach.

Rachael Adams-Michelle Bartsch-Hackley-WNT-USA volleyball-VNL-Volleyball Nations League-FIVB
Rachael Adams, left, and Michelle Bartsch-Hackley put up the block against Poland while Justine Wong-Orantes looks on/USA Volleyball photo

USA plays Poland Thursday in VNL: Team USA is back in international action for the first time this year when it plays in the Volleyball Nations League in Lincoln, Neb. The Americans open play at 7 p.m. Central against Poland after Turkey and Italy kick things off at 5 in the Devaney Center on the University of Nebraska campus.

VolleyballMag.com will have full coverage of the matches.

Wednesday, Poland plays Italy and then the USA faces Turkey. And on Thursday, Turkey plays Poland before the USA faces Italy. USA Volleyball has a complete preview of the tournament. 

Emily Stockman, right, battles with Joy Stubbe at the net in Lucerne in their bronze-medal match/FIVB photo

USA wins two golds, one bronze in FIVBs: John Mayer and Trevor Crabb won it all and Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman finished third Sunday at the FIVB Lucerne.

Mayer and Crabb, who were seeded 29th, beat 28th-seeded Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric of Serbia in the men’s final 21-10, 21-16. It took just 30 minutes and the American pair split $10,000. In the semifinals, Crabb-Mayer rallied to get past Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland 18-21, 21-17, 15-13.

Larsen and Stockman won bronze in the three-star event in Switzerland by beating the Dutch pair of Joy Stubbe and Marleen Van Iersel 19-21, 21-17, 15-9. They split $5,000.

BVBinfo.com has all the Lucerne men’s results.

In the women’s final, Australia’s Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy beat China’s Fan Wang and Xinyl Xia 21-12, 21-18.

BVBinfo.com has all the Lucerne women’s results.

In Bangkok, Americans Aurora Davis and Bree Scarbrough won the one-star FIVB event by beating Spain’s Maria Carro and Paula Soria in the final 21-13, 17-21, 21-13. They split $1,000. The UCLA pair of Megan and Nicole McNamara finished fourth after losing to Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori of Japan in the bronze-medal match 21-15, 21-13.

BVBinfo.com has all the results from Bangkok. 

Casey Patterson battles Nils Ehlers in their winners-bracket match Saturday that Patterson and Stafford Slick won in three. They lost in the quartfinals in three to Stefan Basta and Lazar Kolaric of Serbia/FIVB photo

FIVB Lucerne, Bangkok: John Mayer and Trevor Crabb are in Sunday’s semifinals and Emily Stockman and Kelley Larson will play for bronze at the FIVB three-star event in Lucerne, Switzerland.

And in an FIVB one-star event in Bangkok, Thailand, Canadian twins Megan and Nicole McNamara, who will be UCLA seniors next year, are also in the semifinals.

29th-seeded Mayer and Crabb, who beat Italy’s Enrico Rossi and Marco Caminati in the quarterfinals, play 10th-seeded Adrian Heidrich and Mirco Gerson of Switzerland. BVBinfo.com has all the men’s results and schedule.

Stockman and Larsen, seeded ninth, beat 14th-seeded Laura Bloem and Jolien Sinnema of the Netherlands in the quarters, but lost to top-seeded Australians Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy in the semis. They play Joy Stubbe and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands for third place. BVBinfo.com has all the women’s results and schedule.

Megan McNamara passes in her quarterfinal match Saturday in Bangkok/FIVB photo

The McNamaras, seeded 13th, beat Latvians Agnese Caica and Marta Ozolina in the quarters and face fifth-seeded Maria Carro and Paula Soria of Spain in the semis. BVBinfo.com has the results and schedule.

Billy Kolinske hits against Cherif Younousse as teammate Miles Evans covers/FIVB photo

Good Friday for USA in FIVB Beach: In the three-star FIVB tournament in Lucerne, two American pairs have moved into Saturday’s second round of the winners bracket, Kelley Larson and Emily Stockman and Emily Day and Betsi Flint. BVBinfo.com has the results and schedule.

Two USA men’s teams were already through to the second round of the winners bracket, Billy Kolinske and Miles Evans and Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick and then Sean Rosenthal and Chase Budinger and John Mayer and Trevor Crabb won Friday to get to the final 16. BVBinfo.com has the results and schedule.

And in a one-star event in Thailand, UCLA Canadians Megan and Nicole McNamara and Americans Aurora Davis and Bree Scarbrough moved into Saturday’s second round of the winners bracket. BVBinfo.com has the results and schedule.

Strong day for Americans in FIVB beach: In the three-star tournament in Lucerne, Switzerland, Sean Rosenthal and Chase Budinger, Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske, and Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick won their opening pool play matches and will play for byes on Friday. Trevor Crabb and John Mayer lost their opener, and must win Friday to get to playoffs. BVBinfo.com has all the men’s results and the schedule.

On the women’s side, Lane Carico and Lara Dykstra and Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman won their opening matches, earning the right to play for byes Friday. Betsi Flint and Emily Day lost their opener but came back to win their second match, earning a spot in Friday’s playoffs. BVBinfo.com has all the women’s results and the schedule.

Bre Scarbrough and Aurora Davis successfully qualified at the one-star in Bangkok, Thailand, with a 21-11, 21-11 win over Isabelle Pahlsson and Josefine Tivefalt of Sweden. Canada’s Nicole and Megan McNamara of UCLA also qualified with a 17-21, 21-17, 15-11 win over Germany’s Viktoria Seeber and Karoline Frohlich. It’s a small field and the results and schedule are at BVBinfo.com.

Chase Budinger tries to block China’s Jiaxin Wu in their FIVB Lucerne match Wednesday/FIVB photo

Americans in two FIVB events: Eight American teams are competing in the three-star FIVB event in Lucerne, Switzerland, and another is playing in the one-star in Bangkok, Thailand.

In Lucerne, Casey Patterson and Stafford Slick, Miles Evans and Bill Kolinske, Trevor Crabb and John Mayer, and Sean Rosenthal and Chase Budinger will seek the $13,000 top prize and the 600 points that accompany it.

Rosenthal and Budinger qualified Wednesday by defeating both Likejiang Ha and Jiaxin Wu of China (21-17, 21-16) and Aaron Nusbaum and Michael Plantinga of Canada (21-17, 21-19). Patterson and Slick, Evans and Kolinske, and Crabb and Mayer are also in Thursday’s main draw.

BVBinfo.com has the complete men’s results and schedule.

On the women’s side, Americans Emily Day and Betsi Flint, Kelley Larson and Emily Stockman, Lane Carico and Lara Dykstra are in the main draw. Delaney Knudsen and Kendra Vanzwieten lost to Reika Murakami and Chiyo Suzuki of  Japan 21-12, 16-21, 15-10. Tina Graudina, who just completed her freshman season for USC, is playing with fellow Latvian Anastasija Kravcenoka.

BVBinfo.com has the complete women’s results and schedule.

In Bangkok, Americans Aurora Davis and Bre Scarbrough are in the field with UCLA national-champions Megan and Nicole McNamara, a Canadian pair who will be seniors next year.

Misty May-Treanor-President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition- PCSFN
Misty May-Treanor will serve on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition

May-Treanor to be on President’s Council: President Donald Trump announced recently that he will appoint Misty May-Treanor as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition (PCSFN). The three-time Olympic beach-volleyball gold medalist is now the director of volleyball for Long Beach City College.

Former baseball great Mariano Rivera and football legend Herschel Walker will serve as co-chairs. Council members serve for two years. A full list of council appointees can be found here.

Long Beach State’s celebrates its NCAA-title victory over UCLA/Stephen Burns, Pacific Northwest photography

Final AVCA polls: As you would expect, the Long Beach State men and the UCLA beach team, which won their respective NCAA titles, are the top-ranked teams in the final AVCA polls.

Long Beach State beat UCLA in five Saturday to win the men’s crown, so, no surprisingly, the Bruins are No. 2, followed by BYU and Ohio State, the other two teams to make up the final four. Click here for the complete AVCA Division I-II Men’s Poll. 

UCLA beat Florida State on Sunday to win the NCAA’s National Collegiate Beach Championship and the Bruins are ranked No. 1 and FSU No. 2. Hawai’i, which went into the tournament ranked No. 3, was seeded No. 3 and finished third, is also third in the poll. Click here for the complete AVCA Collegiate Beach Poll.

Ka'iwi Schucht-Hawaii-Sandbows-East vs West-Manhattan Beach-College Beach Volleyball
Hawai’i’s Ka’iwi Schucht and teammate Emily Maglio are the Big West pair of the year/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

Big West, Pac-12 honors beach players: It was all Hawai’i in the Big West, as the conference top pair is senior senior Ka’iwi Schucht and junior Emily Maglio, Lea Monkhouse is freshman of the year and Jeff Hall is the coach of the year. Read the Big West story here.

In the Pac-12, UCLA junior Nicole McNamara was voted player of the year and she and her twin sister, Megan, are the pair of the year. USC’s Tina Graudina is the top freshman, while UCLA’s Stein Metzger is the coach of the year. Read the Pac-12 story here.

WCC honors Quiggle, Matthies: The West Coast Conference announced its beach postseason honors and Pepperdine senior Corrine Quiggle is the player of the year, while for the third straight season Pepperdine’s Nina Matthies is the coach of the year.

For that matter, it was all Pepperdine, as Deahna Kraft is the league’s defender of the year and Brook Bauer is the top freshman.

 

Imoco Volley celebrates the Campione d’Italia

Imoco Volley wins: Imoco Volley, the team that includes Americans Kim Hill (Pepperdine), Megan Easy (North Carolina), Simone Lee (Penn State) and Mexican Samantha Bricio (USC) won the Italian champions title on Sunday, beating Igor Novara 28-26,25-21,22-25,25-12 in the championship match.

 

Penn hires Iain Braddak: The Ivy League school in Philadelphia had to replace Katie Schumacher-Cawley, who left after one season to become an assistant at Penn State. Braddak spent last season as an assistant at another Ivy school, Columbia. Braddak is a graduate of and former assistant at Springfield and has coached at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Culver-Stockton College and Smith College

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Top Select 18 Elite Blake celebrates the USA volleyball 18s junior national championship/USAV photo

Top Select wins USAV 18s: Florida’s Top Select 18 Elite Blake won the USA Volleyball girls 18s junior national championship Sunday with a 26-28, 25-19, 18-16 win over SA Magic 18 Elite of San Antonio.

The top finishers:
1. Top Select 18 Elite Blake (FL), 7-2
2. SA Magic 18 Elite (LS), 7-2
3. TAV 18 Black (NT), 6-2
3. Texas Tornados 18 Mizuno (LS), 7-1
5. Coast 18-1 SC), 5-2
5. Circle City 18 Purple (HO), 6-1
5. SG Elite 18 Roshambo (SC), 6-1
9. OT 18 T. Aaron (FL), 6-3
9. Sunshine 18 Westside (SC), 6-3

Results are at USAvolleyball.org:

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Stein Metzger’s Bruins will take a 30-match win streak into the NCAA championships/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

NCAA beach bracket set: The NCAA announced the eight-team field and, as expected, top-ranked UCLA is the top seed and will open Friday action against Florida International. Pepperdine is the second seed and will face seventh-seeded LSU.

No. 1 — UCLA (35-3)
No. 2 — Pepperdine (24-3)
No. 3 — Hawai’i (35-3)
No. 4 — Florida State (30-6)
No. 5 — USC (25-12)
No. 6 — South Carolina (24-7)
No. 7 — LSU (26-12)
No. 8 — Florida International (23-10)

There are four teams from each half of the country. Cal Poly, ranked fourth in the last AVCA poll (27-7), and No. 6 Long Beach State (26-8), were left out. Southern Cal and LSU got the at-large bids.

“This will be the best tournament in beach volleyball history,” UCLA coach Stein Metzger said. “There is more parity and depth then in any previous year and it will make for some amazing match ups. We are excited about the top seed but understand that every team is dangerous in a championship setting. We’ve had two close battles against FIU in the regular season and will need to be ready for their best performance of the year.

“I’ve played in or witnessed just about every great event in the world and the NCAA Championship stands up against any of them. It’s an amazing event and should be on every beach volleyball aficionados bucket list.”

Springfield-DIII-NCAA men's volleyball-Pride
Springfield celebrates its fifth NCAA title in seven years

Springfield wins DIII: The Pride repeated and won the NCAA Division III title for the fifth time in seven years with a dominant sweep over Stevens in Saturday’s championship match. We’ll have an in-depth report in Sunday morning’s NCAA roundup of the 25-20, 25-14, 25-9 victory.

Zach Upp-Sitting team-World ParaVolley World Super Six
the USA’s Zach Upp jousts with Germany/courtesy World ParaVolley

USA men finish sixth: The USA men’s sitting team finished sixth at the World ParaVolley World Super Six in Tabriz, Iran. The team, which went 0-6, included Eric Duda, Zach Upp, Patrick Young, Dan Regan, Charlie Swearingen, James Stuck and John Kremer.

Hosts Iran won the gold-medal match over Russia, while Bosnia and Herzegovina took bronze.

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Springfield coach Charlie Sullivan was named DIII coach of the year Wednesday//Springfield photo

Springfield’s Figueroa Velez DIII POW: The hits just keep on coming for top-ranked Springfield as senior outside hitter Sergio Figueroa Velez was named the 2018 TeamSnap/AVCA Men’s Volleyball Division III national player of the year.

Figueroa Velez, a product of San Juan, Puerto Rico, leads the Pride with 244 kills while hitting .320. He is second on the team with 154 digs and third with 39 blocks. He’s the fifth Springfield player to win the award, including Luis Vega last year. Springfield plays Vassar in Friday’s national semifinals.

Springfield’s Sullivan DIII COY: The AVCA announced Wednesday that the Pride’s Charlie Sullivan is the NCAA Division III national coach of the year. Doug Burchett of Dominican University was named DIII assistant coach of the year.

Sullivan has won 10 national championships in his 20-year tenure, as well as four of the last six. The award is Sullivan’s second COY honor (2010, 2012). Burchett’s Stars are 26-7 and are in the the national semifinals for the first time in program history.

Kerri Walsh Jennings-Dave Mays-p1440-beach volleyball pro beach volleyball

p1440 releases 2018 schedule: Kerri Walsh Jennings’ new tour, p1440, announced dates for 2018. The tour will kick off in San Jose, Calif., September 28-30, followed by Las Vegas October 19-21, San Diego November 30-December 2, and Huntington Beach December 14-16. Our Mike Miazga had an in-depth Q&A with Walsh Jennings earlier this year after she announced the concept. Walsh Jennings, who missed most of 2017 with injuries, and partner Nicole Branagh tied for ninth last weekend in the FIVB Xiamen.

Wilmington College’s Griewahn dies: Lauren A. Griewahn, a freshman from Adrian, Michigan, died Sunday. The 5-foot-3 setter had been attending classes at the Ohio school as recently as late March when complications from her bout with Lupus, a disease that affects the immune system, resulted in her health taking a turn for the worse.

Richard Jefferson-NBA-Lakers-Luke Walton
NBA star Richard Jefferson spikes against Lakers coach Luke Walton/Jim Wolf photography

Patterson, Slick, Budinger, Jefferson win four-man exhibition: The Dollar Shave club and Maddison and Riley McKibbin put on a four-man exhibition at 21st Street in Hermosa Beach this past Saturday with a $2,000 winner-take-all prize. The McKibbins and fellow pros Casey Patterson, Sean Rosenthal, and Stafford Slick played with former NBA players Luke Walton (the Lakers coach), Chase Budinger, and Richard Jefferson.

Patterson, Slick, Budinger and Jefferson defeated Rosenthal, Walton and the McKibbins in a best two-of-three format.

Grand View-NaIA-men's volleyball

Grand View wins NAIA men’s title: The Vikings from Iowa beat Benedictine Mesa from Arizona 25-23, 25-21, 22-25, 25-17 Saturday to win the school’s first NAIA men’s volleyball national championship. Tim Johnson Jr. had 17 kills and hit .571 to lead Grand View, which finished its season 23-5. Benedictine ended 21-9. Logan Adcock led with 16 kills.

NAIA championship set: Grand View from Iowa plays Benedictine Mesa in Saturday’s NAIA men’s title match. Grand View defeated Missouri Baptist 25-21, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22 and Benedictine Mesa beat Lourdes (Ohio) 24-26, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20. Click here for the recaps and boxscores.

USA Volleyball announces early FIVB roster: The list is 26 and has to be cut to 21 by May 5 and ultimately just 12 players will go to the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League that officially opens the 2018 season. But the first group includes:

Setters (4): Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois), Alexa Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio), Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California)
Opposites (4): Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana), Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois), Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama), Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, New Jersey)
Outside Hitters (8): Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois), Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio), Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon), Madison Kingdon (Hermosa Beach, California), Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska), Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California), Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska), Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
Middle Blockers (7): Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio), Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota), Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota), Molly McCage (Spring, Texas), Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas), Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota
Liberos (3): Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona), Caroline Knop (Pasadena, California), Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California)

The team opens the FIVB Volleyball Nations League against Poland on May 15 and then plays Turkey and Italy. All the matches are at the University of Nebraska. Click here for the complete USA Volleyball news release.

Kim Smith-Mackenzie Ponnet-Kelly Reeves-Brittany Howard-Reid Priddy-Troy Field-Norceca-Aguascaleientes-Mexico
Mackenzie Ponnet and Kim Smith (gold), Kelly Reeves and Brittany Howard (bronze), and Reid Priddy and Troy Field (silver) medaled at the Norceca Aguascalientes, Mexico beach event/Norceca photo

USA takes gold, silver, and bronze at first NORCECA:
Kim Smith and Mackenzie Ponnet won the NORCECA beach volleyball event in Aguascalientes, Mexico, beating fellow Americans Kelly Reeves and Brittany Howard in the final. On the men’s side, Reid Priddy and Troy Field won bronze and Ed Ratledge and Eric Zaun finished fourth. Aguascaliente is the first stop on the Norceca beach volleyball circuit. Full results can be found on the NORCECA website here.

Lloy Ball-MIVa-Hall of Fame-HOF-Beijing-Olympics-2008-China-gold medalist
Lloy Ball faces a Brazilian triple block in the 2008 Beijing Olympics/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

MIVA HOF class announced: And it’s quite a list. The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association’s second incoming group of inductees are Arnie Ball, Lloy Ball, Tom Beerman, Mick Haley, Terry Hitchcock, Terry Liskevych, Bill Neville, Bruce Nowicki, Blake Sebring and Bob Stein. They will be honored Saturday, May 12, at the league’s annual meeting at McKendree University in O’Fallon, Ill. Click here for the MIVA news release with bios of all the inductees.

NCAA-NCAA volleyball-NCAA Division III men's championship

NCAA D-III men’s field announced: The 12-team championship field for the 2018 DIII Men’s Volleyball Championship is set. Top-ranked and defending-champion Springfield got one of the four seeds into the quarterfinals.
From the NCAA: The first round kicks off on Friday, April 20, with quarterfinal play beginning Saturday, April 21. The four winning teams will advance to the single-elimination championship. The 2018 DIII Men’s Volleyball Championship will begin Friday, April 27, and conclude Saturday, April 28, at the Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Texas-ex Chloe Collins wins in Finland: Her team — HPK-naiset — took the title. Here’s the team website. Be forewarned, it’s in Finnish. Here’s Chloe’s Tweet about the victory:

 

UNH assistant coach Morgan Thatcher

UNH honors the southpaw: The University of New Hampshire had its annual team banquet Saturday and among the honorees was third-year assistant coach Morgan Thatcher. She was presented the Left Arm of the Program Award that recognizes extra effort and dedication. It’s always been known as the Right Arm award, but UNH changed it because Thatcher is left-handed.

Houston F.A.S.T update
Texas A&M closed out its spring competition schedule by going 2-0 Saturday with 2-1 victories over both Baylor and Texas State at the annual F.A.S.T. Collegiate Invitational. The F.A.S.T. Complex is home to Houston Juniors. UTSA swept Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette swept Incarnate Word. Tulane beat Sam Houston 2-1 swept Incarnate Word and Northwestern State. We’ll add results as we get them.

Lipscomb promotes Garvey
Head coach Brandon Rosenthal has give the title of associate head coach to Todd Garvey, who joined his staff last year. Earlier, he added Stephanie Ross, formerly at Virginia, as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator when Billy Ebel left to become an assistant at Kansas. He replaced Laura “Bird” Kuhn, who is now the head coach at Texas A&M.

Houston, Baylor, LSU, Tulane, but not Texas
Host Houston will play Northwestern State (a Southland Conference team from Natchitoches, La.), LSU, Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin. at the F.A.S.T. Tournament. Texas was scheduled but opted out and will return to the gym to train for its upcoming European trip. Also playing Saturday are Baylor, Texas A&M, Rice, Tulane, Texas-San Antonio, Sam Houston State and Incarnate Word.

Emily Stockman-Caitlin Ledoux-Satun-Thailand-FIVB
Emily Stockman (right) and Caitlin Ledoux celebrate gold in Satun, Thailand/FIVB photo

Caitlin Ledoux and Emily Stockman win gold in Satun, Thailand
Americans Caitlin Ledoux and Emily Stockman won the FIVB one-star in Satun, Thailand, last week. They beat Kazahkstan’s Tatyana Mashkova and Irina Tsimbalova 19-21, 21-16, 15-8 in the final. Americans Amanda Dowdy and Irene Pollock finished fifth after a 18-21, 17-21 loss to Mashkova and Tsimbalova. Thailand’s Nuttanon Inkiew and Sedtawat Padsawud won men’s gold, beating Indonesia’s Mohammad Ashfiya and Ade Rachmawan in the final. No USA men participated in the men’s draw. Read the full women’s results on BVBinfo.com here, and the men’s results here.

UC Davis to add beach, equestrian
UC Davis will become the seventh team in the Big West to have beach volleyball when the school fields a team in 2019. Dan Connors will oversee both the indoor and beach volleyball teams as the director of volleyball. A national search will be initiated immediately to hire a beach volleyball head coach. Read the complete UC Davis release, where the school also announces it will field an equestrian team …

Rain headed to Louisiana …
That’s certainly no surprise, but now the Baton Rouge forecast calls for 100-percent chance of storms most of Saturday as No. 8 LSU plays host to No. 7 Florida State, No. 11 Georgia State and Houston Baptist …

FIVB has the weekend off
And that doesn’t happen that often. Now most of the world’s top pro beach players are heading to China for the seventh annual Xiamen Open. Many top pairs were competing in the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann thrilled the home crowd by beating Canada’s Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter 2-1 for the men’s gold. Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes won women’s gold with a 2-0 victory over Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy.

Little Rock signs four foreigners
Arkansas-Little Rock coach Van Compton announced this week he’d signed two Brazilians, a Colombian and a player from The Netherlands. Three are junior-college transfers the Dutch player, Laura Jansen, will be Little Rock’s only freshman in 2018. Read Little Rock’s complete release here.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’d like to see a future article/expose on “hot-bed” cities around the U.S.
    By this I mean, which in the States over the years have had pro-volleyball teams to boast (i.e. Orlando, FL w their most contemporary ‘Wave’).

    I’m a former Honolulu-Hawaiian.

    (w) 1997: S-Rosa Torres, she was a 1995 UHH Div.II all-Region/Peru National Team-er ; MBs-Nani Flores, she was a Belgium BB Professional & Lei Finau-Kaisa, she a 2x AA at BYUH/HPU respective of last names ; OPP-Lisa Bragado, she was an Argentinian Professional ; Libero-Lia Young, she was an AVP Pro ; OHs: Irae Utu, she was a NC MVP w BYUH & Tanya Fuamatu, she was the 1993 NAIA POY(+others) etc.
    (m) 2016: SportconX (including da-McKibbins & MB J. Timmer–w NZ’s Sr AFL/Maorian Rugby Team)

  2. ^ HI MVB

    Taylor Crabb & Brad Lawson @OHs.
    Vernon Podlewski (team USA/European Pro) @Libero
    AA- Maulia LaBarre @MB too

    The wahine went by the name of “Hawaii Waves”

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