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:
Turkish Cup — VakifBank beat Fenerbahce 21-25, 25-21, 25-13, 27-29, 17-15 in one of the most thrilling matches this season to claim the Turkish Cup title.
Michelle Barstch-Hackley, who had 13 kills in the semifinals, was limited to only four kills, hitting .100. But she was the match’s top passer. She received 36 serves which she passed 61% positively to go along with outstanding floor defense. Chiaka Ogbogu did not play due to foreigner limits.
VakifBank advanced to the final by beating THY 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19. Barstch-Hackley had those 13 kills and hit .357 with a block. Ogbogu did not play. Madi Kingdon-Rishel had 10 kills (.037) and a block for THY, while Lauren Carlini had one kill and an ace.
VolleyballMag.com has heard that Bartsch-Hackley, the former Illinois great and standout on the USA Olympic team when it won gold last summer, is set to either take a break or retire from international competition.
Click here for the full match replay:
Turkish League — PTT advanced to the final round of the 5-8th playoffs by beating Aydin 27-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-23. Anna Stevenson had 12 kills (.391), five aces, and two blocks for Aydin.
Aydin started the playoff series for seventh place with a 25-16, 19-25, 25-17, 25-20 win over Kuzeyboru. Stevenson had eight kills (.235) and three blocks. Annie Mitchem had 17 kills (.286) for Kuzeyboru.
Novara was upset by Cuneo in the second match of their playoff series 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15. Haleigh Washington had seven kills (.357), five blocks, and an ace for Novara. Micha Hancock added two aces as she led Novara to hit .158.
In the final match of the series, Novara avoided a disastrous upset by sweeping Cuneo 25-23, 25-12, 25-23. Washington had eight kills (.727), two blocks, and an ace. Hancock had two aces as Novara hit .279. Novara advanced to the semifinals after winning the series 2-1.
Monza advanced to the semifinals by beating Chieri 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19. Jordan Larson had 11 kills (.161) and a block for Monza. Dana Rettke added one kill (.000) and one block in a brief appearance. For Chieri, Rhamat Alhassan had six kills (.364) and three blocks. Ali Frantti chipped in five kills (.417) and an ace in a substitute appearance.
Imoco Conegliano also advanced to the semifinals by sweeping Firenze 25-17, 25-22, 25-23. Kathryn Plummer had nine kills (.313). Megan Courtney-Lush came on as a receiving specialist and had 100% perfect reception on five attempts.
Novara will face off against Monza while Conegliano will play Scandicci in the semifinals.
In the first match of the finals series, Hisamitsu Springs beat the defending champion JT Marvelous 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23. In a battle of the gold medalists, Foluke Akinradewo-Gunderson came out on top as she had an errorless 20 kills (.690) and five blocks for Hisamitsu Springs. Annie Drews had 29 kills (.382), two blocks, and an ace for JT Marvelous.
The second match was set to be played on Saturday. However, both JT Marvelous and Hisamitsu Springs had players/staff test positive for COVID-19. The league protocols set the standard that in this case, the winner of the first match of the series would be crowned champions.
Akinradewo-Gunderson and Hisamitsu Springs are the champions of Japan! This is Akinradewo-Gunderson’s third championship with Hisamitsu Springs after winning in 2018 and 2019.
Drews and Akinradewo-Gunderson were both named to the league’s Dream Team. Drews also received the award for “Fighting Spirit” while Akinradewo-Gunderson received the award for ‘Best Spiker’ and recognition for outstanding personal records in the league.
Potsdam upset Dresdner in the first match of their semifinals series 25-23, 25-22, 25-21. Madison Lilley made a double substitute appearance for Potsdam. For Dresdner, Madeleine Gates had five kills (.364) and one block. Jenna Gray chipped in two blocks while setting Dresdner to hit .171. Potsdam leads the best-of-three series 1-0.
Stuttgart’s dynamic duo of Simone Lee and Krystal Rivers powered their team to a 25-18, 25-14, 30-32, 25-17 win over Schwerin. Rivers was named MVP as she had 21 kills (.462), five blocks, and one ace. Lee countered that with 21 kills (.476), three blocks, and two aces of her own. Stephanie Samedy led Schwerin with 14 kills (.135). Lindsey Ruddins had six kills (.000), two blocks, and an ace. Symone Speech also had six kills (.375) and one block. Stuttgart leads the series 1-0.
Minas advanced to the Brazilian league playoff final by beating Sesi Bauru 21-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-19. Danielle Cuttino was injured for Minas and has since returned to America. For Bauru, Nia Reed had 11 kills (.070) and three blocks.
TFOC moved on to the semifinals by sweeping Nantes 25-23, 26-24, 28-26. Taylor Mims was named MVP as she had 18 kills (.372), two blocks, and one ace. Kendall White had 11 receptions, which she passed 55% positively. Ashley Evans was the match’s top blocker with 3 as she also added an ace. Evans led TFOC to hit .197. Jaelyn Keene had five kills and two blocks for Nantes while Lauren Schad added three kills in her final professional match, as she announced her retirement.
RC Cannes finished off the upset in the series by beaeting Venelles 25-17, 18-25, 25-16, 25-16. Claire Felix was named MVP as she had an errorless 13 kills (.565), five blocks, and an ace. Carli Snyder added 18 kills (.204). Jaali Winters had 13 kills (.231) and an ace. Winters was also the match’s top passer as she had 22 receptions, which she passed 77% positively.
— RC Cannes VB (@rccannes) April 13, 2022
TFOC will face the top seed Volero Le Cannet in the semifinals. RC Cannes will face off against the second seeded Mulhouse.
NUC Viteos gained the upper hand in the Swiss playoff final by sweeping Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen 25-15, 25-19, 25-20. Samantha Drechsel was top scorer as she had 13 kills (.458), three blocks, and an ace. Tia Scambray added 11 kills (.426) and three blocks while Kyra Holt had 14 kills (.333) and two aces. Jasmine Gross had an errorless six kills (.750) and a block for NUC. For Sm’Aesch, Madison Duello had six kills (.095) and two blocks. Lauren Barfield had five kills on five swings (1.000) while Jaidyn Blanchfield had seven kills (.211).
NUC Viteos leads the best of five series 2-1.
Regatas Lima won the Peruvian championship by pulling off the reverse sweep to beat Club Alianza Lima 13-25, 18-25, 25-18, 25-15, 15-6 in the final match of the finals series. Lauren Sanders had 10 kills (.529) and four blocks for Regatas, while Desiree Suhkov added two kills after coming off the bench. Sanders was named the best blocker in the league.
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