COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Feb. 2, 2020) – Kim Hill and Chiaka Ogbogu claimed Italian Cup gold with Imoco Volley Conegliano on Sunday while Jordan Thompson hit .765 in Fenerbahce’s Turkish League win on Friday.
NEW WORLD RANKINGS: The FIVB has established a new world ranking system and the U.S. remains second behind leader China. However, the new system has juggled the remaining top 10. Brazil moved up one spot to No. 3, while Italy jumped four places to No. 4. Turkey had the biggest movement, going from No. 12 to No. 5. Serbia slid three spots to No. 6. Japan remained even at No. 7, while Russia fell three spots to No. 8. Dominican Republic and Korea switched places at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively. Netherlands fell the most spots to No. 11 from No. 6. The new world ranking system considers match results from official competitions including Olympic Games and Olympic qualification tournaments, World Championships and qualifications, Volleyball Nations League, Volleyball Challenger Cup, World Cup, continental championships and qualifications, and FIVB recognized international events including annual official competitions organized by continental confederations with a minimum of four participating teams.
- Ranking: 1. CHN; 2. USA; 3. BRA; 4. ITA; 5. TUR; 6. SRB; 7. JPN; 8. RUS; 9. DOM; 10. KOR; 11. NED; 12. GER
OLYMPIC GAMES POOLS SET: The FIVB has confirmed the 2020 Olympic Games pools for indoor volleyball. The U.S. Women’s National Team is grouped in a solid pool with defending Olympic champion China and 2018 FIVB World Championship runner-up Italy. Pool B includes Russia, Turkey and Argentina. Team USA qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games on home soil by winning three matches in Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. On the opposite side of the women’s bracket are defending world champion Serbia, host Japan, Brazil, Korea, Dominican Republic and Kenya. The Olympic pools are determined by the serpentine world rankings with Japan as the top seed. The Olympic indoor volleyball schedule begins July 25 with the men’s competition and alternates days with the women’s competition. The men’s final is on Aug. 8 and the women’s final is on Aug. 9. After the five-match pool play, the top four teams advance to the knockout quarterfinals. The top seed from each pool crosses over to play the fourth seed, while a drawing is held to determine crossover opponents for seeds two and three.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MAIN PHASE HEADS TO FIFTH LEG: The European Champions League has 11 members of the U.S. Women’s National Team competing on six pro teams in this year prestigious event. The Champions League moves into the fifth of six legs this week with key matches on tap. All matches are scheduled to stream on FloVolleyball.tv.
- Feb. 4: Igor Gorgonzola Novara (Megan Courtney, Micha Hancock) vs. Khimik Yuzhny
- Feb. 5: VakifBank (Michelle Bartsch-Hackley) vs. Savino Del Bene Scandicci
- Feb. 5: Allianz MTV Stuttgart (Kyrstal Rivers, Jenna Rosenthal, Simone Lee) vs. LKS Commercecon Lodz
- Feb. 6: Fenerbahce (Kelsey Robinson, Jordan Thompson) vs. Eczacibasi
- Feb. 6: Imoco Volley Conegliano (Kim Hill, Chiaka Ogbogu) vs. Vasas Obuda Budapest
- Feb. 6: Dinamo Moscow (Lauren Carlini) vs. Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg
OGBOGU, HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Instagram, Twitter) and outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) are playing in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League for Imoco Volleyball Conegliano this winter. During a break in the Italian Serie A1 action, Conegliano won three matches and the Italian Cup title this past week. Conegliano swept Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri 25-21, 25-12, 25-14 on Jan. 29 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Hill notched seven kills on 20 attacks and a block for eight points. She was credited with a 67 positive reception percent on six chances. Ogbogu hammered four kills on six attacks and a block for five points. Conegliano handled Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 on Feb. 1 in the Italian Cup semifinals. Hill tallied seven kills and a 50 positive reception percent on 12 chances. Ogbogu did not play in the match. Conegliano swept host Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 25-20, 25-18, 25-16 on Feb. 2. Hill contributed eight kills on 15 swings and a block for nine points. She was credited with 10 receptions and a 40 positive reception percent. Although she did not have an ace, she served 20 times in the match – eight more than any of her teammates in allowing Conegliano to score often on her serve. Ogbogu did not play in the match. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, first-place Conegliano (15-1, 45 points) returns to action on Feb. 9 against Golden Tulip Volalto 2.0 Caserta. In European Champions League, Conegliano (4-0, 11 points) leads Pool D and faces Vasas Obuda Budapest (0-4, 1 point) on Feb. 6 in the fifth leg.
WASHINGTON, LOWE WITH BUSTO ARSIZIO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Cup this winter. Busto Arsizio blanked Il Bisonte Firenze 25-13, 25-16, 25-18 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 29. Lowe led all scorers with 17 points, all on kills via 36 swings. Washington added six kills on 11 swings, four blocks and two aces for 12 points. Busto Arsizio swept Saugella Monza 25-16, 25-21, 25-22 on Feb. 1 in the Italian Cup semifinals. Lowe contributed 13 kills on 37 swings and a block for a match-high 14 points. Washington slammed seven kills on 10 errorless swings to go with three blocks for 10 points. In the Italian Cup finals, Busto Arsizio lost to Imoco Volley Conegliano 25-20, 25-18, 25-16 on Feb. 2. Lowe scored seven kills and an ace for eight points. Washington added five kills in the match. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, second-place Busto Arsizio (13-3, 39 points) faces third-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (12-4, 35 points) on Feb. 9. In the CEV Cup, Busto Arsizio can advance to the 4th Finals Round with a win over Poland’s Developres SkyRes Rzeszow on Feb. 5 in the final home-and-home 8th Finals Round match.
COURTNEY, HANCKOCK WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League this winter. Novara lost to Saugella Monza 12-25, 25-18m, 25-21, 25-20 on Jan. 29 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Courtney scored eight kills on 24 attacks and two blocks for 10 points. Hancock set Novara to a 35 kill percent and added three individual kills on seven attacks and two aces. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, third-place Novara (12-4, 35 points) plays second-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (13-3, 39 points) on Feb. 9 in its next league match. In European Champions League, Pool C second-place Novara (3-1, 8 points) returns to action on Feb. 5 against Khimik Yuzhny (0-4, 1 point).
POULTER WITH CHIERI IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-20 pro season along with American Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska). Chieri lost to Imoco Volley Conegliano 25-21, 25-12, 25-14 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 29. Chieri was only able to convert 25 percent of its attacks into points in the loss. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, eighth-place Chieri (6-10, 20 points) takes on seventh-place Il Bisonte Firenze (8-8, 24 points) on Feb. 8 in its next league match.
PLUMMER WITH MONZA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo, California, Instagram, Twitter) has signed her first professional contract to play for Saugella Monza in the Italian Serie A1. Monza came back from a rather slow start to the Italian Cup quarterfinals to upset Igor Gorgonzola Novara 12-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-20 on Jan. 29. Plummer, who was a sub in the opening set and started the final three, led Monza with a team-high 15 points via 13 kills on 21 swings and two blocks from her opposite position. Monza could not keep up the momentum in the semifinals as it lost to host Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 25-16, 25-21, 25-22 on Feb. 1. Plummer scored a team-high 10 points with eight kills and two blocks. She added 15 receptions and a 27 positive reception percent. Monza (8-8, 26 points), now is sixth place, returns to Italian League action on Feb. 9 against fourth-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (11-5, 32 points). In the CEV Cup, Monza needs to defeat Russia’s Dinamo Kazan on Feb. 5 in the return match of the home-and-home 8th Finals Round and force a golden set to advance to the 4th Finals Round.
FOECKE WITH FIRENZE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Mikaela Foecke (West Point, Iowa, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Il Bisonte Firenze in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-2020 season. Firenze lost to Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 25-13, 25-16, 25-18 on Jan. 29 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Foecke scored seven kills on 30 swings and an ace for eight points. She was credited with a 57 positive reception percent on 21 chances. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, seventh-place Firenze (8-8, 24 points) plays eighth-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (6-10, 21 points) on Feb. 8 in its next league match.
CUTTINO WITH CASALMAGGIORE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Epiu Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2019-2020 pro season. Casalmaggiore lost to Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-17, 25-22, 25-18 on Jan. 29 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. Cuttino provided Casalmaggiore 13 points with 12 kills on 30 swings and a block. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, fifth-place Casalmaggiore (9-7, 28 points) returns to action on Feb. 9 against Zanetti Bergamo.
ROBINSON, THOMPSON WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Website) and Jordan Thompson (Edina, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Fenerbahce in the Turkish League and European Champions League this winter. In the Turkish league, Fenerbahce overwhelmed Atlasglobal Yesilyurt 25-7, 25-7, 25-16 on Jan. 31. Thompson led all scorers with 13 kills on 17 errorless attacks for a .765 hitting efficiency. Robinson added five kills and a 100 positive reception percent in the victory. Fenerbahce (12-2, 32 points), now in third place, challenges Galatasaray on Feb. 9 in its next Turkish League match. In the European Champions Cup, Pool A second-place Fenerbahce (3-1, 10 points) resumes action on Feb. 6 against Turkish rival and pool-leader Eczacibasi (4-0, 11 points).
BARTSCH-HACKLEY WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) has transferred to VakifBank in the Turkish League and the European Champions League after finishing the Chinese League season with a third-place finish. VakifBank swept Turk Hava Yollari (THY) 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 on Jan. 31. In her first Turkish League match, Bartsch-Hackley connected for 12 kills on 21 attacks, one ace and one block for 14 points. She also handled 13 receptions with a 62 positive percent. VakifBank (12-1, 36 points), in second place in the Turkish League, takes on Atlasglobal Yesilyurt on Feb. 8 in its next league match. In the European Champions League, second-place VakifBank (3-1, 9 points) plays group leader Savino Del Bene Scandicci (4-0, 10 points) on Feb. 5 in the fifth league of Pool B.
KINGDON-RISHEL WITH THY IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Turk Hava Yollari (THY) in the Turkish League this winter. In the Turkish League, THY lost to VakifBank 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 on Jan. 31. Kingdon-Rishel scored 12 kills on 17 swings and a block for 13 points. She was credited with a 58 positive reception percent on 19 chances. THY (5-9, 18 points), now in seventh places, resumes action on Feb. 8 against Beylikduzu Voleybol Ihtisas. In the CEV Challenge Cup, THY can clinch a spot in the 4th Finals Round with a victory over C.S.M. Lugoj in their concluding 8th Finals Round home-and-home series on Feb. 4.
JONES-PERRY WITH E.LECLERC RADOMKA IN POLISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Roni Jones-Perry (West Jordan, Utah, Instagram, Twitter) has transferred to Poland’s E.Leclerc Radomka in the Polish League after playing with Brescia earlier this year in the Italian Serie A1. Radomka downed DPD Legionovia 25-21, 21-25, 28-26, 27-25 on Feb. 1. Jones-Perry scored a match-high 32 points with 28 kills on 51 swings, two aces and two blocks. She was 44 percent positive on 39 receptions. Radomka (5-12, 14 points), now in 10th place, returns to action on Feb. 8 against 11th-place VolleyWroclaw (4-12, 10 points).
WILHITE PARSONS WITH SESI BAURU IN BRAZILIAN SUPERLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Sesi Bauru in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Bauru blanked Fluminense F.C. 25-20, 27-25, 30-28 in a three-set battle on Jan. 28. Wilhite Parsons notched seven kills on 27 swings and a block for eight points. She was credited with a 65 positive reception percent on 17 chances. Sesi Bauru (8-6, 32 points), currently in fifth place, returns to action on Feb. 4 against seventh-place Sao Paulo FC/Barueri (6-8, 18 points).
CARLINI WITH DINAMO MOSCOW IN RUSSIA LEAGUE: Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dinamo Moscow in the Russia Super League and the European Champions League. In the Russia Super League, Dinamo Moscow fought off Odintsovo 25-22, 24-26, 25-3, 25-22 on Jan. 27. Carlini did not play in the match. Dinamo Moscow defeated Yenisei 25-12, 25-16, 25-6 on Feb. 1. Carlini was a sub in the third set and served 10 times in the lopsided 25-6 set. Dinamo Moscow (8-5, 26 points), now in fourth place, resumes action on Feb. 9 against ninth-place Leningradka (4-8, 12 points). In the European Champions League, Dinamo Moscow (2-2, 6 points), now in second place in Pool E, will play Russian rival Uralochka-NTMK Ekaterinburg (2-2, 5 points) on Feb. 6 in its next match.
RIVERS, LEE, ROSENTHAL WITH STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama, Instagram, Twitter), opposite Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Jenna Rosenthal (Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga and the European Champions League. Further, Americans Ainise Havili and Jennifer Hamson are playing for Stuttgart. In the German Bundesliga, Stuttgart swept VC Wiesbaden 25-21, 25-20, 25-20 on Jan. 29. Lee pocketed 21 kills on 43 swings, two blocks and an ace for a match-high 24 points. Hamson added five kills, five blocks and an ace for 11 points. Stuttgart edged SC Potsdam 25-19, 25-15, 23-25, 26-28, 15-12 on Feb. 1. Lee scored a match-high 26 points including 24 kills on 51 swings and two blocks. Rosenthal added a kill as a s sub in the second set. Hamson had two kills and a block in subbing in three sets. Havili set Stuttgart to a 39 kill percent and chipped in two individual kills and an ace. Stuttgart (11-3, 34 points), now in second place, returns to action on Feb. 12 against seventh-place Straubing (8-6, 21 points). In European Champions League, Stuttgart (2-2, 7 points) is in third place in Pool C and returns to action on Feb. 5 against Poland’s LKS Commercecon Lodz (3-1, 8 points). In the German Cup, Stuttgart meets Dresdner on Feb. 16 in the title match.
WONG-ORANTES WITH SCHWERIN IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for SSC Palmberg Schwerin in the German Bundesliga this winter. American Lauren Barfield is also a member of the team. In the German Bundesliga, Schwerin stopped fourth-place Rote Raben Vilsbiburg 25-19, 25-21, 25-15 on Jan. 29. Wong-Orantes did not play in the match. Schwerin (12-1, 35 points), which leads the league, returns to action on Feb. 9 against eighth-place Munster (6-8, 17 points). In the CEV Cup 8th Finals Round, Schwerin can close out its 8th Finals Round home-and-home series with Hameenlinna on Feb. 6 with advancement to the 4th Finals Round at stake.
KADIE ROLFZEN WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dresdner in the German Bundesliga and the CEV Challenge Cup. In the German Bundesliga, Dresdner swept VfB Suhl Lotto Thuringen 25-19, 25-21, 25-20 on Jan. 29. Rolfzen scored a match-high 14 points with 11 kills on 24 swings, two aces and a block. She also handled 20 receptions with a 55 positive percent. Dresdner won its second match of the week with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-18 victory over Schwarz-Weiss Erfurt on Feb. 1. Rolfzen pocketed 13 kills on 23 attacks in the victory and was 57 percent positive on 21 receptions. Dresdner (9-6, 26 points), in sixth place, returns to German Bundesliga action on Feb. 12 against sixth-place Vilsbiburg (7-6, 22 points). In the CEV Challenge Cup, Dresdner can reach the 4th Finals Round with a victory over Stiinta Bacau on Feb. 5 to close out its 8th Finals Round home-and-home series. In the German Cup, Dresdner meets Stuttgart on Feb. 16 in the title match.
SELIGER-SWENSON WITH BEZIERS IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson (Minnetonka, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Beziers in the French League and the CEV Challenge Cup along with American teammate Alexa Smith (Colorado Springs, Colorado). In the French League, Beziers blanked Mougins 27-25, 25-21, 25-17 on Jan. 29. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 35 kill percent in the victory and added a block and ace for two individual points. Beziers won its second match of the week with a 20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19 come-from-behind win over Paris Saint Cloud on Feb. 1. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 39 kill percent and chipped in two kills and an ace for three points. Smith was a sub in the first and third sets. Beziers (14-5, 43 points), which is in fourth place, resumes French League action on Feb. 7 when it faces league-leader Nantes (17-2, 46 points). In the CEV Challenge Cup, Beziers can advance to the 4th Finals Round with a win over Polkky Kuusamo on Feb. 5 to close out its 8th Finals Round home-and-home series.
BENSON WITH NUC IN SWISS LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona) is playing for Viteos Neuchatel UC in the Swiss League and CEV Cup this winter along with American teammates Tia Scambray (Dana Point, California) and Kyra Holt (Hercules, California). Neuchatel defeated Groupe E Valtra 25-23, 25-17, 25-20 on Jan. 29. Benson was 86 percent positive on 14 chances. Holt and Scambray scored 18 points each in the victory. Neuchatel UC (13-3, 43 points), now in a first place, challenges second-place Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen I (13-3, 42 points) on Feb. 8 in its next Swiss League match.