This is the men’s professional volleyball report, featuring Americans around the world. Got a note about a player or a comment ? Email Blair Lambert at and follow him on Instagram @blvolley2

There was a full slate of matches throughout the world of professional volleyball last week. Thanksgiving weekend tends to be a prominent fixture in the world of college football, but the end of November proved to provide professional volleyball fans with a number of high-profile performances, upsets, and entertaining play.

A number of American middle blockers put forth noteworthy performance this past weekend.

Taylor Averill has been a driving force behind the resurgence of AS Cannes this year in the French Ligue A and CEV Challenge Cup. Cannes moved into first place in the standings with Averill leading the way with 21 points in a four-set victory over Nice, earning the match MVP honor. The middle blocker from the University of Hawai’i scored on 10 kills, two aces, and nine blocks.

Taylor Averill receives the MVP award on November 28/Michael Toffolo photo

Cannes made up a rescheduled match on December 1 against Arago de Sete. Averill scored 11 points on seven kills, three blocks, and an ace with a .500 hitting percentage. He finished with more blocks than the entire opposing team. Averill is currently rated as the top middle blocker in France.

Max Holt and Vero Volley Monza have also achieved some big results in Italy. The club defeated Sir Safety Perugia in its first match back from a COVID-19 outbreak in straight sets on November 22. That was seen as healthy revenge from Filippo Lanza, who was let go by Perugia at the beginning of the season.

Holt scored four points on kills with a .500 attack average. That was first-placed Perugia’s first defeat of the year. Monza followed that up with a 3-1 win over Micah Christenson and Leo Shoes Modena on November 29. Holt was the match MVP, producing 13 points on six kills, five blocks, and an ace. Monza has won its last three matches, with its last defeat coming on November 1 to Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia. Holt and company are in sixth place with a 6-5 record.

Dave Smith and ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle came out of a COVID-19 outbreak without missing a beat. While Perugia struggled to find its form in its first match back from positive test results and subsequent quarantine, ZAKSA has earned two wins since getting back in the gym. Smith scored nine points in a 3-0 win over Stal Nysa on November 22. His scoring production came on six kills and three blocks while hitting .600.

That performance was followed up with six points from three kills and three blocks in a 3-1 decision over MKS Będzin on November 28. ZAKSA, winners of the Polish Super Cup back in August, are a perfect 10-0 in the PlusLiga. The club has only dropped five sets in league and seven sets in all competitions thus far.

Mitch Stahl celebrates after a point/ photo

Mitch Stahl had a big weekend from the service line in Belgium. The middle blocker for Greenyard Maaseik recorded seven aces in a sweep over Tectum Achel on November 28. Stahl, formerly of UCLA, finished the match with 13 points, including five kills and a block. Stahl’s .52 aces per set is the best in the Belgian Euromillions Volley League. His club is in second place (behind George Huhmann and Knack Roeselare) with a 6-1 record.

Matthew Knigge turned heads with his play in the middle last season in Spain with Arenal Emeve. The Vassar alum stayed in Spain this year and signed with CV Cuagas, He played his former club on Saturday and did not disappoint. Though red-hot Brandon Rattray produced 24 points for Arenal Emeve, Knigge scored 14 from the middle in a 3-1 victory. Knigge hit .667 without committing an error in attack on his way to 12 kills. He also chipped in a block and an ace. CV Cuagas is in fourth place at 7-2.

Matt August is in his second season with Black Volley Beskydy. His club prevailed in five sets over VK Lvi Praha on November 29. August scored nine points on three kills, one ace, and a match-high five blocks. It was the middle blocker’s first match back since the league went on a hiatus due to COVID-19.

Tommy Carmody’s Finnish club, the Vantaa Ducks, have not had the best of starts in the Mestaruusliiga. After starting the season 3-7, the Ducks picked up two wins. Carmody, a middle blocker from Pepperdine, scored 12 points on November 28 in a 3-1 win against Kokkolan Tiikerit. He hit .571 in a nine-kill performance to go along with two blocks and an ace. His club swept Etta Oulu the very next day. Carmody contributed nine points on four kills, four blocks, and a service ace.

Scores and Stats

November 25 — Modena 3, Top Volley Cisterna 2: Micah Christenson (Modena), 3 aces, 2 blocks, 1 ace, set team to .190 hitting percentage
November 25 — Vibo Valentia 3, Itas Trentino 1: TJ DeFalco (Vibo Valentia), 10 kills, 1 block, 4 aces, hit .238
November 28 — Gas Sales Piacenza 3, Consar Ravenna 1: Aaron Russell (Piacenza), 17 kills, 1 block, 1 ace, hit .342
November 28 — Lube Civitanova 3, NBV Verona 1: Thomas Jaeschke (Verona), 5 kills, 1 block, hit .231
November 29 — Monza 3, Modena 1: Holt (Monza), 6 kills, 5 blocks, 2 aces, hit .556. Christenson (Modena), 1 block, set team to .179 hitting percentage
November 29 — Perugia 3, Vibo Valentia 1: DeFalco (Vibo Valentia), 8 kills, 3 aces, 1 block, hit .103
November 28 — Trefl Gdańsk 3, Cerrad Enea Czarni Radom 1: Brenden Sander (Radom) 10 kills, hit .600
November 29 — ZAKSA 3, MKS Będzin 1: Smith (ZAKSA) 3 kills, 3 blocks, hit .200
November 29 — PGE Skra Bełchatów 3, Aluron CMC Warta Zawiercie 0: Garrett Muagututia (Zawiercie), 1 kill, hit -.400, started the last set
November 29 — GKS Katowice 3, Stal Nysa 1: Dustin Watten (Katowice), 53% positive passes, 27% perfect passes
November 28 — Fakel Novy Urengoy 3, Orenberg 0: Erik Shoji (Fakel) 70% positive passes, 20% perfect passes
November 28 — Tourcoing 3, Chaumont 2: Dan McDonnell (Chaumont) 4 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace, hit .333
November 28 — Cannes 3, Nice 1: Averill (Cannes) 10 kills, 9 blocks, 2 aces, hit .467
November 28 — Cambrai 3, Poitiers 1: Micah Ma’a (Poitiers), 4 kills, 1 ace, set his team to a .333 hitting percentage
November 25 — Netzhoppers KW-Bestensee 3, Berlin Recycling Volleys 2 (German Cup Quarterfinals): Ben Patch (Berlin), 31 kills, 3 blocks, 1 ace, hit .363. Cody Kessel (Berlin), 9 kills, 1 block, hit .156
November 25 — VfB Friedrichshafen 3, SVG Lüneburg 0 (German Cup Quarterfinals): Jordan Ewert (Lüneburg), 13 kills, 1 block, 1 ace, hit .206. Joe Worsley (Friedrichshafen), completed 2 serves
November 28 — Berlin 3, United Volleys Frankfurt 0: Patch (Berlin 16 kills, 1 block, hit .652. Kessell (Berlin) 9 kills, 2 aces, hit .350
November 28 — Friedrichshafen 3, Helios Grizzlys Giesen 0: Worsley (Friedrichshafen) 1 block, set team to .455 hitting percentage. Avery Aylsworth (Friedrichshafen), 42% positive passes, 23% perfect passes
November 29 — TSV Unterhaching 3, SVG Lüneburg 1: Ewert (Lüneburg), 20 kills, 3 blocks, 2 aces, hit .680. Solbrig (Lüneburg), 5 kills, 1 block, hit .571
November 28 — Maaseik 3, Tectum Achtel 0: Stahl (Maaseik), 7 aces, 5 kills, 1 ace, hit .167
November 28 — Roeselare 3, BDO Haasrode Leuven 0: Huhmann (Roeselare), 2 kills, 2 blocks, hit .333
November 24 — Tokat Belediye Plevne 3, Sorgun Belediye 0, Matt West (Tokat), 1 kill, 1 block, set his team to a .370 hitting percentage
November 28 — Galatasaray 3, Altekma 0: Maurice Torres (Galatasaray) 20 kills, 4 blocks, hit .533
November 25 — ACH Volley Ljubljana 3, Triglav 0: Kyle Dagostino (ACH) 71% positive passes, 57% perfect passes
November 28 — ACH Volley Ljubljana 3, Krka 0: Dagostino (ACH) 55% positive passes, 45% perfect passes
November 28 — CV Cuagas 3, Arenal Emeve 1, Knigge (Cuagas) 12 kills, 1 block, 1 ace, hit .667. Rattray (Emeve) 21 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace, hit .261
November 28 — Voleibol Almoradí 3, UD Ibiza Ushuaïa Volley 2: Brendan Schmidt (Ibiza), 4 blocks, 1 kill, 1 ace, hit .000
November 26 — KEPCO 3, OK Financial Group 0: Kyle Russell (KEPCO) 9 kills, 5 blocks, 2 aces, hit .075
Czech Republic
November 29 Beskydy 3, Praha 2: August (Beskydy) 5 blocks, 3 kills, 1 ace, hit -.100


November 27 — Pafiakos 3, Nea Salamis 1: Greg Petty (Pafiakos) 19 kills, 7 aces, 1 block, hit .516. Tanner Syftestad (Pafiakos), 20 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces, hit .424
November 28 — Vantaa Ducks 3, Kokkolan Tiikerit 1: Tommy Carmody (Vantaa), 9 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace, hit .571
November 29 — Vantaa Ducks 3,-Etta Oulu 1: Carmody (Vantaa) 4 kills, 4 blocks, 1 ace, hit .250
November 29 — VaLePa 3, Raison Loimu 0: Ryan Manoogian (Loimu) 33% positive passes, 7% perfect passes

Related Posts


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here