There are hundreds of American women playing professional volleyball internationally. Our weekly report tracks many of them. Almost all in this report are former NCAA stars:
Eczacibasi advanced to the final after sweeping Alba Blaj (Romania) 25-15, 25-18, 25-19. McKenzie Adams had six kills (hitting .545), three blocks, and an ace.
Stuttgart also advanced to the finals as they swept Mladost (Croatia) 25-16, 25-13, 25-10. Krystal Rivers was top scorer with 16 kills (.591). Simone Lee added 13 kills (.417) and a block. T’Ara Ceasar entered the match in set 3, contributing 2 kills (.200).
Eczacibasi and Stuttgart will face off in the two-legged final, with the matches tentatively taking place on March 15 and 22.
Aydin fell in the semifinals of the Challenge Cup after being swept by Scandicci 25-14, 25-15, 25-22. Anna Stevenson had four kills (.067), two blocks, and an ace for Aydin.
THY started the week on Monday with a 25-19, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21 win over Nilufer. Madi Kingdon-Rishel had 14 kills (.483), one block, and an ace for THY. Kingdon-Rishel was also the match’s top passer, receiving 23 serves and passing with 74% positively. Lauren Carlini added two kills, a block, and an ace as she set THY to a .317 hitting percentage. Tori Dixon did not play.
Vakifbank swept THY 25-20, 25-15, 25-20 on Saturday. Michelle Barstch-Hackley had two kills (.000) and three blocks for Vakifbank. Kingdon-Rishel had three kills (-.067) for THY. Carlini added one kill while setting THY to hit .082. Tori Dixon and Chiaka Ogbogu did not play. This was the twelfth successive league victory for Vakifbank (20-2) which remained in first place. THY had its four-match win streak broken, falling to 17-5 and in fourth place.
Aydin had no problem with Karayollari, winning 25-15, 25-15, 25-21. Anna Stevenson had 10 kills (.474) and two aces for Aydin. Aydin improved to 8-13 and remains just a point out of the last playoff position, currently in ninth place.
In a mid-week clash, Novara beat Imoco Conegliano for the first time since 2019, winning 25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19. Micha Hancock had four kills, one block, and an ace as she excellently set Novara, which hit .367. Haleigh Washington finished with five kills (.231) and two blocks. Kathryn Plummer had 14 kills (.367), one block, and an ace for Imoco. Megan Courtney-Lush added nine kills (.304).
Jordan Larson made her Italian League debut as Monza swept Cuneo 25-23, 25-21, 25-20. Larson came into the match during set 2 and she finished with six kills (.231) and an ace. She also passed 80% positive. Dana Rettke contributed six kills (.455). Monza improved to 17-5.
Bergamo jumped out of the relegation zone after a 25-23, 31-29, 25-19 sweep of Roma. Khalia Lanier was the match’s top scorer with 26 points. Lanier had 22 kills (.400), three blocks, and an ace. Mac May had two kills (.125) in two sets. Madison Bugg had two aces and a block for Roma, which hit .167. Bergamo improved to 5-15 with 16 points while Roma fell to 6-15, also with 16 points.
Chieri’s freefall continued as it lost its fifth match in a row, this time to Firenze 25-23, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22. Rhamat Alhassan had two kills (.333) and two blocks before exiting the match in set two. Alli Frantti did not record any stats, making only a brief appearance in set four. Chieri is 10-10 and in sixth place, 14 points behind Busto Arsizio.
Novara continued its high level play, with a 25-18, 20-25, 25-18, 25-12 win over Busto Arsizio. Washington was a part of a balanced Novara attack, finishing with eight kills (.500) and three blocks. Hancock added two aces and a block as she led Novara to hit .366. Jordyn Poulter apparently sustained a knee injury before the match and did not appear for Busto Arsizio. Novara (18-2) won its eighth league match in a row. Busto Arsizio (14-8) saw a three-match win streak end.
Imoco Conegliano held off Scandicci in a very high level match, winning 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22. Plummer had 19 points for Imoco, finishing with 16 kills (.364), two blocks, and an ace. Courtney-Lush did not record any kills, but received 11 serves with 64% positive passing after starting the first two sets and making substitute appearances in the last two. Imoco (18-3) bounced back from a defeat to Novara and is now in third.
Hisamitsu Springs swept Toyota Autobody Queenseis in a close match 26-24, 25-22, 25-20. Foluke Akinradewo-Gunderson had eight kills (.471) and a block for Hisamitsu Springs. For Queenseis, Kelsey Robinson had 16 kills (.245), two blocks, and two aces.
Hitachi Rivale upset PFU 25-22, 26-28, 25-17, 25-22. Hannah Tapp had 10 kills (.563), two blocks, and two aces for Hitachi.
NEC Red Rockets put on its best performance of the season, sweeping league-leading JT Marvelous 28-26, 25-17, 25-20. Sarah Wilhite-Parsons had 18 kills (.450) and two blocks for NEC in her best performance of the season so far. Annie Drews had five kills (.071) for JT Marvelous.
— NECレッドロケッツ (@nec_rr_official) March 5, 2022
Hisamitsu Springs held off NEC, winning in five 18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 15-12. Akinradewo-Gunderson had 11 kills (.300) and five blocks for Hisamitsu Springs. Wilhite-Parsons finished with 20 kills (.333), two aces, and one block in the defeat for NEC. NEC (17-7) holds a narrow lead on third place, over Hisamitsu Springs (16-7) who have played one less game. The top three in the standings will qualify for the league finals.
Hitachi Rivale fell to Toray 25-13, 25-22, 25-20. Tapp contributed six kills (.455) and one block. Hitachi finished the weekend at 11-15 and in eighth place in the standings.
JT Marvelous held off an in-form Toyota Autobody Queenseis, winning the last match of the weekend 25-19, 24-26, 25-23, 25-21. Drews led JT Marvelous with 31 kills (.324), two blocks, and two aces. Robinson led Queenseis with 22 kills (.281). JT Marvelous (20-4) holds on to a slim lead in first place, over Toray. Queenseis falls to 6-21, in 10th.
Schwerin returned to action with a 25-20, 25-23, 25-14 sweep of Munster. Stephanie Samedy was top scorer as she finished with 12 kills (.435) and a block. Lindsey Ruddins added eight kills (.154) and an ace for Schwerin (13-5).
Wiesbaden pulled off one of its best performances of the season as it swept Potsdam 25-23, 25-17, 25-20. Justine Wong-Orantes had 15 receptions for Wiesbaden, passing 47% positive. Madison Lilley started the first two sets as setter for Potsdam. She made a brief appearance as an outside hitter in set three, due to a Potsdam injury. Potsdam is 13-5 and tied for third with Schwerin.
Stuttgart overcame Wiesbaden’s hot start to finish the weekend with an 18-25, 25-13, 25-16, 25-20 victory. Match MVP Ceasar had 14 kills (.212), three aces, and a block. Rivers led the match with 17 kills (.233), three blocks, and an ace. Wong-Orantes was limited to only three service receptions, due to Stuttgart’s excellent tactics, finishing with 33% positive reception. Stuttgart remains undefeated at 17-0. Wiesbaden fell to 9-9, but remained in seventh place.
Rzeszow narrowly avoided an upset against Legionowo, 16-25, 25-17, 26-28, 27-25, 15-12. Kara Bajema had nine kills (.108) for Rzeszow while also contributing three blocks and an ace. Rzeszow improved to 19-1 after its 11th consecutive league match win.
LKS Lodz was upset by Budowlani Lodz 25-22, 25-18, 26-24. Veronica Jones-Perry was top scorer for LKS as she had 10 points. Jones-Perry finished with nine kills (.269) and an ace. LKS Lodz fell to 13-7 and into fourth place in the league standings.
Former Utah star Dani Drews has left Chemik Police due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Chemik was not pleased and released a statement saying she had a contract it would enforce.
Osasco swept Brasilia 25-22, 25-21, 25-19. Rachael Adams added three kills (.091), four blocks, and an ace for Osasco (15-5).
SESI Bauru pulled off the win in a back-and-forth battle against Minas, winning 17-25, 25-17, 25-22, 18-25, 15-9. Nia Reed was top scorer of the match as she led SESI with 24 kills (.356) and two blocks. Rival opposite, Danielle Cuttino, had 19 kills (.244) and one block to lead Minas (16-4). SESI (15-5) jumped Osasco in the standings, and sits in third place, behind Minas.
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