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:

Champions League

Vakifbank opened the Champions League semifinals with a 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-18 win over Fenerbahce. Michelle Barstch-Hackley had one of her best matches of the season as she had 17 kills (.500) and one block. Chiaka Ogbogu added seven kills (.313), two blocks, and an ace.

Vakifbank will play Fenerbahce in the second leg on Wednesday. The winner will face Imoco Conegliano in the final in May.

Aydin ended the regular season by beating Sariyer 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21. Anna Stevenson was the second-leading with 11 kills (.500) and two blocks. Aydin (12-14) has won four of its past five matches and finished in seventh place.

THY passed by PTT with ease 25-18, 25-13, 25-14. Madi Kingdon-Rishel had 14 points for THY, adding 10 kills (.154), two blocks, and an ace. Tori Dixon contributed four kills (.667) and a block. Lauren Carlini was the top blocker, having four while also adding a kill. Carlini set THY to hit .372. THY (21-5) finished the season in fourth place and will face Vakifbank in the semifinal round of the league playoffs.

Vakifbank ended the regular season with a 22-25, 25-15, 25-13, 25-21 win over Kuzeyboru. Ogbogu came off the bench to have five kills (.500) and four blocks. Barstch-Hackley had one ace in a brief appearance for Vakifbank (24-2). Annie Mitchem had eight kills (.278) and three blocks for Kuzeyboru (11-15)

The start of the Turkish League playoffs is TBA. The top four teams will play for the title:
Vakifbank (Barstch-Hackley, Ogbogu) vs. 4. THY (Kingdon-Rishel, Carlini, Dixon)
Eczacibasi (McKenzie Adams) vs. 3. Fenerbahce

The remaining four teams will play for a place in the CEV Challenge Cup next season.
5. Galatasaray vs. 8. Kuzeyboru (Mitchem)
6. Ankara PTT vs. 7. Aydin (Stevenson)

Italy

Saturday was the last day of the regular season in Italy, with matches across the board having an impact on the playoffs as well as relegation.

Imoco Conegliano clinched the top spot in the playoffs, sweeping Bergamo 25-13, 28-26, 25-16. Kathryn Plummer had 12 kills (.409), one block, and an ace for Conegliano. Megan Courtney-Lush made just a brief substitute appearance, recording no stats. Khalia Lanier led Bergamo with 13 points. Lanier added 11 kills (.226), one block, and an ace. Mackenzie May added five kills (.200). Conegliano finished on the top of the table in the regular season for the third straight season. Bergamo (7-19) fought off relegation once again and finished the season 12th.

Kathryn Plummer hits for Imoco Conegliano against Bergamo/Filippo Rubin, LVF photo

Monza put the nail in Trentino’s hope of survival as Monza swept 25-22, 25-22, 29-27. Dana Rettke finished with three kills (.333) and two blocks. Jordan Larson did not play. Monza (20-6) will be the third seed in the playoffs. Trentino (5-21) will be relegated to A2, after two seasons in A1.

Novara claimed second place by sweeping Chieri 25-12, 25-19, 25-21. Haleigh Washington had four kills (.300), two blocks, and two aces for Novara. Teammate Micha Hancock had two kills as she led Novara to hit .373. Ali Frantti had four kills (.078) for Chieri while Rhamat Alhassan had three (.000). Novara (23-3) will face Cuneo in the playoff quarterfinals. Chieri finishes the regular season at 13-13, in sixth place.

Roma came back to defeat Vallefoglia 25-23, 19-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-12 but it was not enough to fight off relegation for the Romans. Madison Bugg had two kills, one block, and an ace for Roma while leading them to hit .178. Roma (7-19) will make a return to A2 after one season in A1.

The Italian League playoffs start Saturday:
Imoco Conegliano (Plummer, Courtney-Lush) vs. 8. Firenze
Novara (Washington, Hancock) vs. 7. Cuneo
Monza (Larson, Rettke) vs. 6. Chieri (Frantti, Alhassan)
Scandicci vs. 5. Busto Arsizio (Poulter, injured)

Japan

Hisamitsu Springs needed three wins in a row to qualify for the playoffs. It started off the week by upsetting JT Marvelous 25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20. Foluke Akinradewo-Gunderson had eight kills (.500) for Hisamitsu Springs. Annie Drews had 18 kills (.306) for JT Marvelous.

Hisamitsu Springs followed by beating NEC Red Rockets 25-22, 25-22, 25-18. Akinradewo-Gunderson had 13 kills (.591) and two blocks in the win. For NEC, Sarah Wilhite-Parsons had eight kills (.250).

Hitachi Rivale ended the season with a 25-19, 25-23, 25-23) sweep of Kurobe. Hannah Tapp had nine kills (.643) and three blocks for Hitachi Rivale. Hitachi (14-17) finished the season in seventh place.

JT Marvelous kept its quest for the top seed in the playoffs alive with a 25-14, 26-24, 25-20 sweep over PFU. Drews had 19 kills (.600) in the win.

Hisamitsu Springs clinched a playoff berth with a 26-24, 25-20, 17-25, 25-21 win over NEC. Akinradewo-Gunderson led all players with 19 kills (.633) for Hisamitsu Springs. Wilhite-Parsons had seven kills (.250) as she played the first two sets. Hisamitsu Springs (23-10) finished third in the standings, claiming the last playoff spot. NEC Red Rockets (23-10) finished in fourth place, losing the set tiebreaker.

JT Marvelous clinched the top position in the playoffs by sweeping PFU again 25-20, 25-19, 25-18. Drews was top scorer again with 19 kills (.621) and an ace. JT Marvelous (26-6) finished on top of the standings for the second consecutive season.

Hisamitsu Springs will play Toray Arrows in the first round of the playoffs. As the second seed, Toray will start the series with a 1-0 advantage over Hisamitsu Springs. Hisamitsu Springs must win this match to force a golden set tiebreak.

The winner of this series will face Drews and JT Marvelous in the championship series.

Germany

The final makeup games took place in Germany this week as playoff places were to be determined.

Dresdner started the week with a 23-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-22 win over Neuwied. Madeleine Gates had six kills (.625), four blocks, and two aces for Dresdner. Jenna Gray came off of the bench to steady the ship and added two kills and an ace. Lauren Bevan-Matis led Neuwied with 20 points as she had 15 kills (.389), four blocks, and an ace.

Stuttgart eased by Schwerin 25-22, 25-21, 25-17. Krystal Rivers had 14 kills (.306) while T’ara Ceasar had four (-.136) for Stuttgart. Simone Lee did not play. Lindsay Ruddins was top scorer as she had 15 points; 13 kills (.346) and two blocks for Schwerin. Stephanie Samedy had nine kills (.320) and a block.

Stuttgart ended the regular season with a 25-17, 25-19, 25-19 sweep over a short-handed Dresdner. Caesar came off of the bench to have 13 kills (.435) for Stuttgart. Lee and Rivers did not play. Gates had four kills (.167) and a block for Dresdner. Gray set Dresdner to hit .128 as it was without four starters and all but one of its middle blockers.

The German league playoffs will begin this week. The pairings will be:
Stuttgart (Lee, Caesar, Rivers) vs. 8. Vilsbiburg (Alexis Hart, Tiffany Clark, Lindsay Flory)
Dresdner (Gates, Gray) vs. 7. Wiesbaden (Wong-Orantes, Jaimeson Lee, Anna Wruck)
Potsdam (Madison Lilley, Lauren Page) vs. 6. Aachen (Tess Clark, Lindsay Dowd,
Schwerin (Ruddins, Samedy, Symone Speech) vs. 5. Suhl (Kayla Haneline, Danielle Harbin, Brianna Kadiku, Roxie Wiblin)

Poland

There were no matches in Poland this week. The playoffs for Rzeszow and LKS Lodz will begin on Monday, April 4.

Brazil

Minas advanced to the semifinals by beating Barueri 22-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-4. Danielle Cuttino had 11 kills (.103) for Minas.

Sesi Bauru also advanced with a 25-15, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19 win over Fluminense. Nia Reed was top scorer with 20 points as she had 17 kills (.250) and three blocks. Sesi Bauru wins the series 2-0 and will play Minas in the semifinals.

In the second match of the series, Osasco was swept by SESC RJ 26-24, 26-24, 25-14. Rachael Adams had five kills (.333).

In the final match of the series, Osasco was again upset by SESC RJ as SESC won 28-26, 25-18, 13-25, 25-20. Adams had 11 kills (.381) and three blocks as she finished her first season in Brazil.

France

The Coupe de France competition took place this week, before the playoffs. TFOC and Nantes were already eliminated before the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, RC Cannes swept Venelles 30-28, 25-22, 25-20. Carli Synder was the top scorer with 21 points. Snyder had 18 kills (.395), two aces, and one block. Jaali Winters came off the bench to add seven kills (.211), in place of Micaya White who suffered an injury. Carly De Hoog added 10 points while Claire Felix had seven for Cannes.

In the semifinals, RC Cannes beat Saint-Raphael 25-20, 25-16, 25-22. De Hoog was top scorer with 14 points as she had 12 kills (.524) and two blocks. Felix had 11, with five kills (.250) and six blocks. Winters chipped in 7 points while Snyder had 9.

RC Cannes’ magic ran out in the final to Volero Le Cannet 25-12, 25-19, 19-25, 25-23. Winters had 19 points in the final as she had 17 kills (.325), one block, and an ace. Snyder also had 17 kills (.277) and two blocks. Felix added 8 kills (.313) and De Hoog had one kill in a brief appearance due to injury.

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