COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 13, 2021) – 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.
Megan Courtney, who plays libero for the U.S. Women’s National Team but plays outside hitter for Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano, got the season off to a good start as her team won the Italian SuperCup and she was named MVP.
The final match included four U.S. players as outside hitter Kathryn Plummer also competes for Conegliano, and they played Igor Gorgonzola Novara, which includes setter Micha Hancock and middle blocker Haleigh Washington, named Best Middle of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Conegliano won the final, 3-1 (23-25, 29-27, 25-15, 26-24) on Oct. 2. Plummer led Conegliano with 17 points on 17 kills (.516 hitting efficiency). She was credited with 36 receptions, 36 percent positive. Courtney added 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks. She was credited with 22 receptions, 42 percent positive.
For Novara, Washington scored eight points on seven kills (.636) and one block. Hancock scored five points on three kills and two aces. She set her team to a .352 hitting efficiency.
The first matches of Italy’s regular season were played Oct. 9 and 10.
Plummer, Courtney and Conegliano swept Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 27-25). Plummer did not play. Courtney scored five points on five kills. She was credited with 13 receptions, 54 percent positive. U.S. athlete Sonja Newcombe played for Vallefoglia at outside hitter and scored eight points on eight kills.
Hancock, Washington and Norvara beat Il Bisonte Firenze, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-19). Washington scored 10 points on seven kills (.455), two blocks and one ace. Hancock scored three points on two kill and an ace and set the team to a .351 hitting efficiency.
Setter Jordyn Poulter is back with Unet E-World Busto Arsizio, which beat Vero Volley Monza, 3-1 (15-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-23). Poulter scored one point with a kill and set the team to a .271 hitting efficiency.
VakifBank, including outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley and middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu, won the 2021 Spor Toto Women’s Champions Cup with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-19) victory over Eczacıbaşı Dynavit on Oct. 5.
Bartsch-Hackley scored eight points on six kills and two blocks. She was credited with nine receptions, 56 percent positive. Ogbogu did not play in the final. Opposite Jordan Thompson, a member of Eczacıbaşı Dynavit, also did not play in the final. U.S. athlete McKenzie Adams played outside hitter for Eczacıbaşı Dynavit and scored four points on four kills.
The Turkish regular season began on Oct. 8 and teams have played twice.
Vakifbank is 2-0 with wins over Yeşilyurt (3-0) and Eczacıbaşı Dynavit (3-2). In the win over Eczacıbaşı on Oct. 12, Ogbogu started and scored 15 points on 10 kills (.438), four blocks and one ace. Bartsch-Hackley played as a substitute but did not score. Thompson did not play for Eczacıbaşı and Adams played as a substitute but did not score.
Eczacıbaşı is 1-1 after beating Nilüfer Belediyesi (3-1) in the first week.
Turk Hava Yollari (2-0), AKA THY, has three Americans on the roster: setter Lauren Carlini, middle blocker Tori Dixon and outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel.
Kingdon Rishel went off in the team’s 3-2 (20-25, 25-18, 18-25, 25-23, 15-9) win over Kuzeyboru on Oct. 12, scoring 23 points on 20 kills and a match-high three aces. Carlini scored eight points on a match-high four blocks and four kills. She set THY to a .378 hitting efficiency. Dixon did not play.
U.S. athlete Annie Mitchem played middle blocker for Kuzeyboru and scored 18 points on 15 kills and three blocks.
U.S. libero Justine Wong-Orantes, named Best Libero of the Tokyo Olympic Games, has returned to Wiesbaden for another season. Her team is 1-1 after its first two matches. Most recently, it lost to Erfurt, 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 26-24). Wong-Orantes was credited with 16 receptions, 50 percent positive.
The Japanese league will open on Oct. 15. The U.S. National Team players competing in Japan this season are Foluke Akinradewo (Hisamitsu Springs), Annie Drews (JT Marvelous), Kelsey Robinson (Toyota Auto Body Queenseis), Hannah Tapp (Hitachi Rivale) and Sarah Wilhite Parsons (NEC Red Rockets).
U.S. opposite Danielle Cuttino will return to Brazil and play for Itambé Minas and middle Rachael Adams is signed with Osasco.
U.S. Women’s Team Captain Jordan Larson, the Olympic MVP and Best Outside Hitter, is signed to play in China this fall.