Volleyball news today: Keeping up with our sport

Veteran Kim Hill is one of eight outsides on the USA Volleyball preliminary roster/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:

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.

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.