WNT Update: Drinking from the Italian Cup
Updates on U.S. women competing for professional clubs around the world
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 26, 2022) – Three international teams with U.S. women’s players were undefeated to open the second half of the pool play round of the CEV Champions League.
Middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu was named Most Valuable Player as she led all players in scoring with 20 points as Turkey’s VakifBank Istanbul (4-0) beat Finland’s LB Salo, 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-20) on Jan. 20.
Ogbogu scored on 13 kills (.571 hitting efficiency), a match-high five blocks and two aces. Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley added nine points on seven kills and two blocks.
Italy’s Igor Gorgonzola Novara with middle Haleigh Washington and setter Micha Hancock (4-0) also won its opening match of the second half, beating VK Dukla Liberec (0-4) of Czech Republic, 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-13) on Jan. 20.
Washington scored 10 points on seven kills (.500), two blocks and one ace. Hancock started the first two sets, scored two points on a block and an ace, and helped set her team to a .354 hitting efficiency.
Italy’s Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano with outside hitters Megan Courtney and Kathryn Plummer won its fourth straight CEV Champions League pool play match against Hungary’s Fatum Nyiregyhaza (0-4) by forfeit due to COVID.
Turk Hava Yollari (THY) (1-3), with outside Madi Kingdon Rishel, setter Lauren Carlini and middle Tori Dixon, fell to Russia’s Dinamo Moscow on Jan. 19, 3-2 (16-25, 26-24, 25-19, 18-25, 15-13) on Jan. 19.
Kingdon Rishel scored 15 points on 12 kills and three blocks. She was credited with 60 receptions, 55 percent positive. Dixon added 10 points on five kills, a match-high four blocks and one ace. Carlini totaled five points on four kills and one block and set her team to a .341 hitting efficiency.
VakifBank (14-2) is leading the Turkish league after two straight wins. On Jan. 23, VakifBank beat Fenerbahçe Opet, 3-1 (27-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-10). Bartsch-Hackley scored 16 points on 14 kills (.480) and two blocks. She was credited with 20 receptions, 45 percent positive. Ogbogu did not play.
VakifBank announced that it has signed University Wisconsin setter Sydney Hilley, who won the NCAA championship with the Badgers in December. Hilley played on the 2015 U.S. Youth National Team and the 2016 U.S. Junior National Team.
THY (13-3) has also won two straight matches. On Jan. 23, it beat Yeşilyurt, 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-14). Kingdon Rishel scored nine points on eight kills (.800) and on ace. She was credited with six receptions, 100 percent positive. Dixon scored four points on three kills and one block. Carlini did not play.
COVID caused the match between Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano (12-1) with Courtney and Plummer and Igor Gorgonzola Novara (11-2) with Hancock and Washington scheduled for Jan. 23 to be postponed.
On Jan. 16, Novara beat beat VBC Trasporti Pesanti Casalmaggiore (4-11), 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-12).
Haleigh Washington scored eight points on five kills (.667), two blocks and one ace. Hancock scored six points on two kills, two blocks and two aces. She set the team to a .551 hitting efficiency.
Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (10-5) with setter Jordyn Poulter beat Bartoccini-Fortinfissi Perugial, 3-1 (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-13) on Jan. 22. Poulter scored two points on two kills and set Busto Arsizio to a .376 hitting efficiency.
On Jan. 16, Coneglianobeat Acqua & Sapone Roma VC (4-10), 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-17). Courtney played as a substitute and Plummer did not play.
COVID has caused some disruption to Japan’s league schedule as well.
On Jan. 23, outside hitter Kelsey Robinson and the Toyota Auto Body Queenseis got their first win of the season, beating Okayama, 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 25-16). Robinson led her team with 26 points on 26 kills.
Middle blocker Hannah Tapp and Hitachi Rivale fell to the Toray Arrows 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-19) on Jan. 23. Tapp scored 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks.
Libero Justine Wong-Orantes and Wiesbaden (8-6) won their fourth match in a row on Jan. 21 when they beat Münster, 3-1 (27-29, 25-18, 25-16, 25-20) on Jan. 21. Wong-Orantes was credited with eight receptions, 31 percent positive.
Middle Rachael Adams and Osasco São Cristóvão Saúde beat Sesc RJ Flamingo on Jan. 21, 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-20). Adams scored 15 points on eight kills, six blocks and one ace.
On Jan. 25, Adams and São Cristóvão Saúde (10-2) fell to league-leading Dentil Praia Clube, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-19). Adams scored points on nine kills (.500) and two blocks.
Opposite Danielle Cuttino and Itambé Minas beat Unilife-Maringa on Jan. 21, 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-23). Cuttino scored 12 points on nine kills, two blocks and one ace.
On Jan. 25, Cuttino and Itambé Minas (9-2) defeated Fluminense, 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-17). Cuttino scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks.