COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 20, 2020) – Annie Drews has led JT Marvelous into the Japan V-League semifinals. Micha Hancock set an Italian League record for aces in a single match. Jordan Thompson and Kathryn Plummer had impressive pro debuts while playing for their new teams in Turkey and Italy, respectively.
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MAIN PHASE HEADS TO FOURTH LEG: The European Champions League has nine members of the U.S. Women’s National Team competing for a total of five pro teams in this year prestigious event. All matches are scheduled to stream on FloVolleyball.tv.
- Jan. 22: Fenerbahce (Kelsey Robinson, Jordan Thompson) vs. Budowlani Lodz
- Jan. 22: Imoco Volley Conegliano (Kim Hill, Chiaka Ogbogu) vs. C.S.M. Volei Alba Blaj
- Jan. 23: Igor Gorgonzola Novara (Megan Courtney, Micha Hancock) vs. Allianz MTV Stuttgart (Kyrstal Rivers, Jenna Rosenthal)
- Jan. 23: Dinamo Moscow (Lauren Carlini) vs. Maritza Plovdiv
DREWS WITH JT MARVELOUS IN JAPAN V-LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing in the Japan V-League this winter with JT Marvelous. JT Marvelous lost to Toyota 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 on Jan. 18 in the Final 8 playoffs. Drews carried 23 kills on 43 swings and an ace for 24 points in the loss. JT Marvelous bounced back for a 25-23, 25-17, 27-25 victory over Okayama on Jan. 19. Drews smashed 31 kills on 54 swings and two aces for 33 points in the sweep. She had nine kills on 14 back-row attacks. With its victory over Okayama, JT Marvelous advances to the semifinals. JT Marvelous now faces Saitama Ageo Medics on Jan. 25 with the winner facing Denso and Okayama in the title match on Jan. 26.
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, swept Turk Hava Yollari 25-23, 25-15, 25-14 on Jan. 17. Thompson, playing her first professional match, scored a team-leading 13 points with 12 kills on 24 swings and a block while starting all three sets at opposite. Robinson contributed nine kills on 12 attacks and a 64 positive reception percent on 11 chances. Fenerbahce (10-2, 29 points), now in third place, challenges 11th-place Besiktas (3-9, 8 points) on Jan. 25 in its next Turkish League match. In the European Champions Cup, Fenerbahce (2-1, 7 points) resumes Champions League action on Jan. 22 against Poland’s Budowlani Lodz (1-2, 3 points).
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 fell to Fenerbahce 25-23, 25-15, 25-14 on Jan. 17 as the league resumed action following the holiday break. Kingdon Rishel accounted for seven kills on 29 attacks and two aces for nine points. THY (5-7, 18 points), now in sixth places, resumes action on Jan. 25 against fifth-place Atlasglobal Yesilyurt (6-5, 15 points). THY has advanced to the CEV Challenge Cup 8th Finals Round and will play C.S.M Lugoj in a home-and-home series with matches on Jan. 22 and Feb. 4. Further, THY has now advanced to the quarterfinals of the Turkish Cup.
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. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano swept Saugella Monza 25-22, 25-19, 25-22 on Jan. 15 as the league resumed action following the holiday break. Hill scored 10 points in the victory with nine kills on 18 swings an ace ace. Ogbogu added five kills on 10 attacks and three blocks for eight points. Conegliano avoided an upset bid by Lardini Filottrano in winning 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-11 on Jan. 19. Ogbogu, who started the final three sets, tallied four kills on eight swings, three blocks and an ace for eight points. Hill, who started fhe fourth set after being a sub in sets two and three, added two kills on four swings and an ace for three points. Conegliano (14-1, 42 points), which sits atop the standings with a six-point lead, returns to action on Jan. Jan. 25 against fifth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (9-6, 28 points. Late the month Conegliano matches up with Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 29. In European Champions League, Conegliano (3-0, 8 points), which leads Pool D, meets C.S.M. Volei Alba Blaj on Jan. 22 in the fourth 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. In the Italian Serie A1, Busto Arsizio topped Il Bisonte Firenze 25-15, 25-21, 25-19 on Jan. 15 as the league resumed from the holiday break. Lowe pocketed 13 kills on 24 attacks to pace Busto Arsizio’s offense. Washington added nine kills on 15 swings and an ace for 10 points. Busto Arsizio claimed a 25-11, 25-23, 25-21 victory over Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri on Jan. 19. Lowe charted 16 kills on 33 swings and two aces for 18 points. Washington chipped in seven kills on 12 attacks and two aces for nine points. Busto Arzisio (12-3, 36 points), now in second place, faces 11th-place Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (6-9, 16 points) on Jan. 26 in its next Italian League match. Busto Arsizio meets Il Bisonte Firenze on Jan. 29 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals. In the CEV Cup, Busto Arsizio will face Developres SkyRes Rzeszow in the CEV Cup 8th Finals Round home-and-home series on Jan. 23 and Feb. 5.
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. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara overcame a slow start to defeat Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo 22-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 on Jan. 15. Hancock scored an Italian League record 10 aces to go with two kills and a block for 13 points. She set Novara to a 42 kill percent. Courtney added five kills and two block for seven points. Novara swept Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia 25-19, 25-22, 25-21 on Jan. 18 for its second win of the week. Hancock set Novara to a 48 kill percent and had four individual kills on six swings and a block for five points. Courtney notched three kills and a 64 positive reception percent on 11 chances. Novara (11-4, 32 points), now in third place, 12th-place Lardini Filottrano (5-10, 14 points) on Jan. 26 in its next league match. In European Champions League, Novara (2-1, 5 points), in second place, returns to action on Jan. 22 against Pool C leader Allianz MTV Stuttgart (2-1, 7 points). Novara will face Saugella Monza in the Italian Cup quarterfinals on Jan. 29.
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 a heart-breaking five-set match (20-25, 25-22, 25-17, 17-25, 15-12) to then-last-place Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia on Jan. 15. Poulter set her team to a 37 kill percent and added two blocks. Roflzen scored two kills, two aces and a block for five points while playing the first two sets. Chieri lost to second-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 25-11, 25-23, 25-21 on Jan. 19. Poulter set Chieri to a 35 kill percent and scored a block and kill for two individual points. Rolfzen added two kills and a block for three points. Chieri (5-10, 17 points), in ninth-place, takes on last-place Golden Tulip Volalto Caserta (2-13, 8 points) on Jan. 26 in its next league match. Later this month Chieri challenges Imoco Volley Conegliano on Jan. 29 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals.
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. Kathryn Plummer made her pro debut on Jan. 19 as Saugella Monza lost to Zanetti Bergamo 25-23, 23-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-11. Plummer, who started the second set and was a sub in the final three sets, was near perfect on offense by collecting nine kills on 10 errorless attacks in her limit action. Monza (8-7, 25 points), now is sixth place, returns to Italian League action on Jan. 26 against 10th-place Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo (6-9, 17 points). In addition, Monza is competing in the CEV Cup and begins its home-and-home 8th Finals Round series with Russia’s Dinamo Moscow on Jan. 23.
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 25-15, 25-21, 25-19 on Jan. 15 as the league resume from the holiday break. Foecke totaled six kills and two blocks for eight points in the loss. Firenze handled Golden Tulip Volalto 2.0 Caserta 25-9, 30-28, 25-17 on Jan. 19. Foecke pounded out 14 kills on 30 errorless attacks while handling 29 reception with a 76 positive percent. Firenze (7-8, 21 points), which is in fifth place, 13th-place Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia (3-12, 9 points) on Jan. 26. Firenze challenges Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio on Jan. 29 in the Italian Cup quarterfinals.
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 31-29, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23 in a closely fought four-set match on Jan. 15 as the Italian League resumed action from the holiday break. Cuttino hammered 19 kills on 50 swings and added four blocks for a team-leading 23 points. Casalmaggiore won its second match of the week with a 25-17, 25-20, 17-25, 25-12 victory over Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia on Jan. 19. Cuttino pocketed 15 kills on 31 swings and an ace for 16 points. Casalmaggiore (9-6, 28 points), which is in fifth place, returns to action on Jan. 25 against league-leader Imoco Volley Conegliano (14-1, 42 points). Casalmaggiore travels to Savino Del Bene Scandicci on Jan. 29 for an Italian Cup quarterfinal match.
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 lost to Dinamo Kazan 25-22, 26-24, 25-18 on Jan. 19. Dinamo Moscow (6-5, 20 points), in fifth place, resumes action on Jan. 27 against eighth-place Zarechye-Odintsovo (5-6, 13 points). In the European Champions League, Dinamo Moscow (2-1, 6 points), now in second place in Pool E, will play fourth-place Maritza Plovdiv (0-3, 1 point) on Jan. 23 in its next Champions League match.
LARSON WITH SHANGHAI IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Shanghai in the Chinese Super League this winter. Shanghai lost to Tianjin 22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-19 on Jan. 14, which marked Tianjin’s third consecutive win in the best-of-five championship finals. Larson finished with 15 kills on 32 swings and a 64 positive reception percent on 25 chances. American Destinee Hooker scored a match-tying-high 18 points with 17 kills on 30 errorless attacks and a block in the victory.
RIVERS, ROSENTHAL WITH STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama, 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. Stuttgart lost to USC Munster 22-25, 25-18, 25-21, 16-25, 15-13 on Jan. 15 as the German Bundesliga returned from holiday break. Rivers, who started the first two sets, scored seven kills 17 attacks and a block. Rosenthal, who also started the first two sets, added three kills and an ace. American teammate Ainise Havili started the final four sets and set Stuttgart to a 39 kill percent. American Jennifer Hamson tallied eight kills and two blocks while starting the final three sets for Stuttgart. In their second match of the week, Stuttgart defeated Dresdner 25-15, 17-25, 25-22, 29-27 on Jan. 18. Rivers and Rosenthal did not play. Havili set Stuttgart to a 37 kill percent and Hamson notched 22 points with 19 kills and two blocks. Second-place Stuttgart (9-3, 29 points) returns to action on Jan. 29 against ninth-place Wiesbaden (3-8, 7 points). In European Champions League, Stuttgart (2-1, 7 points) returns to action on Jan. 23 against Italy’s Igor Gorgonzola Novara (2-1, 5 points), which is in second place in Pool C.
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 rattled off a 25-22, 25-19, 25-17 victory over Aachen in their first match of 2020. Wong-Orantes handled 14 receptions with a 71 positive percent helping Schwerin hit 39 percent for the match. Schwerin (10-1, 29 points), which leads the league, returns to action on Jan. 25 against 10th-place Erfurt (1-10, 4 points). Schwerin has advanced to the CEV Cup 8th Finals Round where it will play Hameenlinna in a home-and-home series on Jan. 22 and Feb. 6.
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. Dresdner lost to SC Potsdam 26-24, 25-18, 25-22 on Jan. 15 in its first German Bundesliga match of 2020. Rolfzen scored seven kills in the loss. Dresdner lost to Allianz MTV Stuttgart 25-15, 17-25, 25-22, 29-27 on Jan. 18. Rolfzen pocketed 16 points with 15 kills on 38 swings and an ace. She was credited with a 42 positive reception percent on 36 chances. Dresdner (6-6, 18 points), in sixth place, returns to German Bundesliga action on Jan. 25 against fifth-place Aachen (7-5, 20 points). In the CEV Challenge Cup 16th Finals Round, Dresdner now advances to the 8th Finals Round to face Stiinta Bacau in a home-and-home series on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5.
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). Beziers lost to Vandoeuvre Nancy 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 23-25, 15-7 on Jan. 14. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 33 kill percent for the match and added an ace and individual kill. Smith was a sub in the first two sets before starting the final three sets where she collected four kills. Beziers bounced back to defeat Pays D’Aix Venelles 25-18, 25-17, 25-22 on Jan. 18. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 47 kill percent and added four aces and a block. Beziers (11-5, 34 points), which is in fourth place, resumes French League action on Jan. 25 against eighth-place Marcq-en-Baroeul (8-8, 23 points). Beziers has now advanced to the CEV Challenge Cup 8th Finals Round where it meets Poikky Kuusamo in a home-and-home series on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5.
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 defeated seventh-place Esporte Clube Pinheiros 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23 on Jan. 17 as the Brazilian Super League resumed following the holiday break. Wilhite Parsons collected a team-high 16 points with 11 kills on 30 swings, three blocks and two aces. She was credited with a 63 positive reception percent on 27 chances. Sesi Bauru (6-6, 26 points), currently in fifth place, returns to action on Jan. 23 against ninth-place Curitiba Volei (4-8, 11 points).
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 NUC lost a heart-breaking 25-19, 27-25, 19-25, 21-25, 15-13 match to TS Volley Dudingen on Jan. 5. Benson was 71 percent positive on 17 receptions in helping NNeuchatel NUC defeated Volley Lugano 25-16, 25-19, 25-22 on Jan. 19. Benson was 77 percent positive on 13 receptions. Scambray chipped in 14 kills on 26 attacks and three aces for 17 points. Holt added 12 kills on 21 swings. Neuchatel UC (12-3, 37 points), now in second place, challenges 10th-place Raiffeisen Volley Toggenburg (1-14, 3 points) on Jan. 26 in its next Swiss League match.