With the Tokyo Olympic Games in the rearview mirror, many players from the U.S. Women’s National Team have already begun playing for their overseas professional club teams, or will start soon.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 29, 2021) – The professional women’s volleyball league in Japan started play over the last two weeks and we have updates on U.S. women’s players.
Brazil’s women’s league starts this weekend and leagues in Turkey, Italy and Germany are in full swing.
Japan’s league began play on Oct. 15, and 2021 league champion JT Marvelous with U.S. opposite Annie Drews is already leading the pack at 4-0. On Oct. 24, JT Marvelous beat the Saitama Ageo Medics, 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-20). Drews led all scorers with 22 points on 19 kills, two blocks and one ace.
Middle Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson and Hisamitsu Springs are in third place at 3-1. On Oct. 24, Hisamitsu Springs beat the Denso Airybees, 3-1 (25-10, 25-21, 26-28, 25-22). Akinradewo scored 15 points on 12 kills and three blocks.
Middle blocker Hannah Tapp and Hitachi Rivale are 2-2 and in eighth place in the league. On Oct. 24, Hitachi beat Victorina Himeji, 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 23-25, 27-25, 16-14). Tapp finished with 14 points on 11 kills, two blocks and one ace.
The Toyota Auto Body Queensies with outside hitter Kelsey Robinson are still looking for their first victory after four matches. On Oct. 24, the Queensies fell to the PFU Bluecats, 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-18). Robinson stood out, leading all scorers with 24 kills and two aces.
Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons is on the roster for the NEC Red Rockets (3-1) but did not play in their most recent match.
U.S. middle Chiaka Ogbogu, who plays for Vakifbank, is leading the Turkish league in kill percentage at 66 after five matches. Right behind her is U.S. outside hitter McKenzie Adams of Eczacıbaşı Dynavit who is hitting 61 percent. U.S. outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel of Turk Hava Yollari is fifth in the league in receptions at 61 percent.
Turk Hava Yollari (THY) with Kingdon Rishel, setter Lauren Carlini and middle Tori Dixon, is in second place at 5-1. On Oct. 29, THY beat Karayollari, 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-23). Kingdon Rishel led all scorers with 21 points on 18 kills (.410), two blocks and one ace. Carlini cored one points with a kill and set THY to a .316 hitting efficiency. Dixon did not play.
Vakifbank is in third place in the league at 4-1. On Oct. 23, Vakifbank beat Bolu Belediye Spor, 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-17). Ogbogu led all scorers with 13 points on 10 kills (.667 hitting efficiency), two blocks and one ace. U.S. outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley did not play.
Bartsch-Hackley scored nine points on seven kills and two blocks in Vakifbank’s 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-6) victory on Oct. 19 over Karayollari. Ogbogu led all scorers in that match with 17 points on 14 kills (.824) and three blocks.
Jordan Thompson was not on the roster this week for Eczacıbaşı Dynavit. McKenzie Adams played as a substitute and started the third set, scoring three points in the team’s 3-2 (25-20, 16-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-9) loss to Galatasaray HDI Sigorta.
U.S. setter Micha Hancock of Igor Gorgonzola Novara is tied for second in the league in total aces with seven in 14 sets.
Outside hitters Megan Courtney and Kathryn Plummer and Italy’s Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano have improved to 4-0 in league play after opening the season by winning the Italian SuperCup.
Most recently on Oct. 24, Conegliano beat Vbc Trasporti Pesanti Casalmaggiore, 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-23). Courtney scored 11 points on 11 kills. She was credited with 16 receptions, 44 percent positive. Plummer did not play.
Setter Jordyn Poulter and Unet E-World Busto Arsizio are in third place at 3-1. On Oct. 24, Arsizio fell to Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 26-24). Poulter scored two points on one ace and one block and set Arsizio to a .396 hitting efficiency. U.S. outside hitter Ali Frantti led Chieri (2-2) with 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks. She was credited with 20 receptions, 50 percent positive. Middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan started the first set for Chieri before leaving the match and scored one point with an ace.
Igor Gorgonzola Novara with middle Haleigh Washington and Hancock is in fifth place at 3-1. On Oct. 24, Novara beat Vero Volley Monza, 3-2 (33-35, 25-22, 25-18, 20-25, 15-4). Hancock scored five points on three blocks, one kill and one ace. She set Novara to a .361 hitting efficiency. Washington started the first two sets and scored three points on one kill and two blocks.
Libero Justine Wong-Orantes and VC Wiesbaden are 2-2 and in seventh place in the German league. On Oct. 23, Wiesbaden beat USC Münster, 3-2 (17-25, 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 15-11). Wong-Orantes was credited with 16 receptions, 69 percent positive.
Middle Rachael Adams and her club Osasco São Cristóvão Saúde won the Paulisa championship on Oct. 21, beating the Barueri Volleyball Club, 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-17). Adams scored eight points in the match. The Brazilian league regular season begins this weekend. U.S. opposite Danielle Cuttino will play with Itambé Minas