It was another big week for U.S. players competing for professional clubs around the world
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 3, 2023) – The CEV Tournaments are nearing their conclusions and U.S. women’s players are in the thick of it.
Türkiye’s VakifBank, with middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu and outside hitter Kara Bajema, won two playoff matches to advance to the quarterfinals of Champions League. VakifBank took two 3-0 victories over Poland’s ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ.
In the second match on March 1, VakifBank won 25-23, 28-26, 25-23. Bajema scored 13 points on seven kills, a match-high five blocks and one ace. Ogbogu scored eight points on five kills, two blocks and one ace. VakifBank will play Italy’s Vero Volley Milano, with outside hitter Jordan Larson, opposite Jordan Thompson and middle Dana Rettke, in the quarterfinals, on March 21 and a second date TBA.
In other Champions League quarterfinals, Italy’s Igor Gorganzola Novara with outside hitter Mckenzie Adams will face Germany’s Allianz MTV Stuttgart with outside hitter Simone Lee and opposites Krystal Rivers and Alexis Hart on March 14 and 22.
Conegliano, with outside hitters Kelsey (Robinson) Cook and Kathryn Plummer and opposite Stephanie Samedy will play Turkey’s Fenerbahce Opet Istanbul on March 23 and a second date TBA.
In the CEV Challenge Cup, Italy’s Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri with middle Brionne Butler advanced to the finals after going 2-0 against Germany’s VfB SUHL Thüringen in the quarterfinals. In the second match on March 1, Butler scored four points.
In the finals, Chieri will play Romania’s CSM Lugoj on March 15 and 22.
Kathryn Plummer led Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano (19-1) with 22 points in a 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12) win over Wash4green Pinerolo (3-17) on February 26. Plummer scored on 20 kills (.514 hitting efficiency), one block and one ace. She was credited with 55 receptions, 64 percent positive. Kelsey (Robinson) Cook started the last three sets and scored six points on five kills and one ace. She was credited with 20 receptions, 95 percent positive. Samedy started the first two sets and scored eight points on eight kills.
Opposite Annie Drews led all scorers with 28 points and was named match MVP as Megabox Ond. Savio Vallefoglia (8-12) beat Il Bisonte Firenze 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 15-13) on February 25. Drews scored on 28 kills (.500) and one block. Setter Micha Hancock scored five points on four kills and a block and set Vallefoglia to a .384 hitting efficiency. Middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan was on the roster for Firenze (9-11) but did not play.
Middle Haleigh Washington and Savino Del Bene Scandicci (16-4) are in second place in the league (behind Conegliano) after beating Vero Volley Milano (15-5), with Jordan Thompson, Jordan Larson and Dana Rettke, 3-2 (25-22, 26-28, 25-22, 21-25, 15-7) on February 26. Washington scored eight points on six kills, one block and one ace. Thompson led all scorers with 28 points on 27 kills (.472) and one block. Larson started the first two sets and scored three points on three kills. Rettke played as a substitute and scored one point on a kill. Milano is in third place in the league.
Brionne Butler and Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (14-6) beat setter Carli Lloyd and E-Work Busto Arsizio 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-22) on February 26. Butler started the final two sets and scored five points on four kills and one block. Lloyd scored six points on four kills and two blocks for Arsizio (9-11).
Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo (6-11) with middle Anna Hall and outside hitter Dani Drews swept Cbf Balducci Hr Macerata (2-18) with outside hitters Symone Abbot and Claire Chausee and opposite Akuabata Okenwa (25-21, 25-17, 25-20) on February 26. Hall scored eight points on seven kills and one ace. Drews played as a substitute. Abbot scored six points on six kills and was credited with 21 receptions, 49 percent positive. Okenwa started the third set and scored one point with a kill. Chausee played as a substitute and scored two points on kills.
Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore (9-11) with setter Lauren Carlini and outside Ali Frantti fell to Igor Gorgonzola Novara (15-5) with outside hitter Mckenzie Adams 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-10) on February 26. Frantti scored 14 points on 13 kills and one block. Carlini scored four points on three kills and one ace. She set Casalmaggiore to a .335 hitting efficiency. Adams scored 10 points on 10 kills.
Beziers (14-7) with U.S. libero Justine Wong-Orantes, setter Madison Lilley, outside hitter Avery Skinner and middle Blake Mohler beat Paris St. Cloud 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-17) on February 25. Lilley scored two points on a kill and a block and set the team to a .434 hitting efficiency. She was named the match MVP. Skinner scored 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace. She was credited with 28 receptions, 32 percent positive. Wong-Orantes was credited with four receptions, 25 percent positive. Mohler scored four points on three kills and one block. U.S. middle Emily Thater scored five points on four kills and one block for Paris St. Cloud (17-4).
Terville-Florange (14-6) with libero Kendall White, opposite Taylor Fricano, setter Taira Ke’Alohilani Robins-Hardy and outside hitter Shannon Scully fell to Le Cannet (14-7) 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-16) on February 25. Fricano led her team with 10 points on nine kills and one block. Scully added nine points on eight kills and one block. She was credited with 43 receptions, 72 percent positive. White was credited with eight receptions, 38 percent positive. Robins-Hardy played as a substitute.
Cannes (9-9) with setter Jenna Gray, outside hitter Carli Snyder and middles Madeleine Gates and Claire Felix fell to Nantes on February 25, 3-2 (20-25, 25-15, 26-28, 25-23, 15-10). Snyder scored 20 points on 17 kills, two aces and one block. She was credited with 29 receptions, 38 percent positive. Felix and Gates each scored 10 points. Felix scored on five kills, three blocks and two aces. Gates scored on eight kills and two blocks. Gray scored three points on two blocks and an ace and set Cannes to a .335 hitting efficiency. U.S. opposite Taylor Mims led Nantes with 28 points on 27 kills and one ace. Middle Jaelyn Keene added eight points on eight kills.
Congratulations to U.S. outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins who helped SCC Palmberg Schwerin beat SC Potsdam in the final of the German Cup 3-1 (20-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-20) on February 26. Ruddins scored 17 points on 13 kills, two blocks and two aces. She was credited with 25 receptions, 52 percent positive.
Setter Ashley Evans and Ladies in Black Aachen (8-7) will resume the regular season on March 4 against Dresden.
Opposite Karsta Lowe scored 25 points for JT Marvelous (19-7) as it beat Saitama Ageo Medix (18-7) 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) on February 26. Lowe scored on 24 kills and one block.
Opposite Danielle Cuttino scored 27 points for the Toyota Auto Body Queenseis (12-14) in a 3-1 (25-23, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20) loss to the Toray Rose (20-6) on February 26.