Volleyball quick hits: Gavin, Peters take top honors at E Invitational

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”


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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

Stein Metzger-UCLA-Bruins-NCAA beach-volleyball-Pac-12
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



  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”