This is Blair Lambert’s VolleyballMag.com weekly men’s professional volleyball report, featuring Americans around the world. Got a note about a player or a comment for Blair? Email him at email@example.com
As the holidays approach, some leagues are about to go on hiatus until 2023 and some leagues have already started their breaks. Last week marked the end of CEV competitions until the second week of January.
The Polish PlusLiga has matches but none this weekend. The German Cup semifinal matches are taking place Wednesday (today), but there are no Bundesliga matches this weekend.
The Russian Cup traditionally concludes right around Christmas, and this year is no exception. Micah Christenson and Zenit Kazan will face Belogorie Belgorod on December 24 and will play in the final on Christmas if they win.
The Italian SuperLega is off this weekend. Lube Civitanova will make up a match against Siena Wednesday and then there will be a full slate of Boxing Day matches similar to the schedule of soccer’s English Premier League.
CEV Champions League
Gabi Garcia and Lube Civitanova swept Yours VB 25-23, 25-13, 25-17 to stay on top of Pool C after four matches. Garcia was a serving sub in the first two sets. Alex Nikolov finished with nine kills (.388) and an ace.
ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Kozle remained in second place of Pool D with a 25-16, 25-17, 25-21 win over Decospan VT Menen of Belgium. Dave Smith scored on five kills (.571), two blocks and two aces. Erik Shoji passed 52 percent positively and 33 percent perfectly.
SVG Lüneburg eliminated Lycurgus with a 25-22, 25-17, 25-20 win in the second leg. No stats were available. Lüneburg will play Modena in the quarterfinals.
Michael Michelau and David Kisiel were knocked out of the tournament when Savo Volley fell 25-15, 28-30, 25-18, 25-21 to C.S. Arcada Galati. Michelau led Savo with 12 kills, two blocks and an ace. Kisiel scored on nine kills (.353) and a block.
CEV Challenge Cup
Dennis Del Valle passed 53 percent positively and 47 percent perfectly for AJ Fonte Bastardo in a 25-17, 22-25, 25-11, 25-13 win over SC Duo Tartu to advance to the quarterfinals. Ryan Manoogian received three serves with a 67-percent positive pass rate.
Poland: The PlusLiga announced its all-league teams for the first half of the season. TJ DeFalco made first team and Taylor Averil and Erik Shoji were on the second team.
Jake Hanes scored 27 points for BBTS Bielsko-Biała in a 25-16, 25-21, 21-25, 25-20 win over Cuprum Lubin on 22 kills and five aces.
Indykpol AZS Olsztyn outlasted ZAKSA as Josh Tuaniga set Olsztyn to a .350 hitting percentage in the 17-25, 25-22, 18-25, 27-25, 15-12 victory. Tuaniga also registered two aces and a kill. Taylor Averill finished with three kills, two aces and a block. Dave Smith put away six kills (.750), two aces and had a block for ZAKSA. Erik Shoji did not play.
LUK Lublin defeated Cerrad Czarni Radom 23-25, 25-21, 25-18, 22-25, 15-8 as Jeff Jendryk had eight kills (.411) and a block. Dustin Watten passed 54 percent positively and 21 percent perfectly. Matt West got his first action in the Polish PlusLiga when he came off the bench to serve in the second set for Radom.
Asseco Resovia Rzeszów climbed back into second place behind 19 points from TJ DeFalco in a 25-13, 25-16, 25-17 sweep of Projekt Warszawa on Sunday. DeFalco finished the night with a match-high 16 kills (.480), two blocks and an ace.
LUK Lublin pulled off an upset of ZAKSA on Tuesday in five sets. It was a rough outing on offense for Jendryk, who hit .083 on his way to four kills. He had three blocks and an ace. Watten registered a 64 and 29 percent passing performance. Nicolas Szerszen finished with 17 kills and a pair of aces. Smith had seven kills and four blocks for ZAKSA. Shoji was back on the court, passing 64 percent positively and 45 percent perfectly.
Russia: Christenson set Zenit Kazan to a .302 hitting percentage in a 25-23, 23-25, 25-15, 25-15 win over Gazprom Yugra Surgut and had a kill, an ace and a block.
Matt Anderson led Zenit Saint Petersburg with 22 points again in a 26-24, 29-27, 25-22 victory over Fakel Novy Urengoy. Anderson, who continues to play at opposite, hit .273 while getting 17 kills, two blocks and three aces.
Italy: Lube Civitanova defeated Gioiella Prisma Taranto as Nikolov had 13 kills (.417) and a block in the 25-20, 25-22, 35-33 win. Garia was used as a serving substitute in all three sets, finishing with no points and no errors.
Davide Gardini scored three points on two kills (.000) and an ace for Pallavolo Padova in a 25-23, 25-20, 25-23 loss to Modena.
Türkiye: Micah Ma’a set Halkbank Ankara to a .403 attack average in a 25-15, 25-22, 25-21 win over Bursa B. Sehir Bld. Ma’a also contributed an ace.
Arkas Spor beat Galatasaray 22-25, 25-8, 25-202, 25-23 last weekend. Dan McDonnell finished the match with four kills.
Japan: The Japanese V-League is on hiatus until January. The semifinals and finals of the Emperor’s Cup took place last weekend. Aaron Russell and JT Thunders Hiroshima lost 20-25, 29-31, 27-25, 25-18, 15-12 to JTEKT Stings in the semifinals on Saturday.
China: There were no matches in China this week, but Mitch Stahl has arrived in China. He will be joining Tianjin.
France: Chaumont fell three points behind league-leading Tours with a 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-14 loss to Nice. Patrick Gasman had nine kills (.333) and three blocks. Michael Marshman started the last two sets and had two kills for Chaumont.
Saint Nazaire had to fight back from a two-set deficit to beat Tourcoing 22-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-12. Kyle Ensing led with 29 kills (.531), one block, and one ace. Quinn Isaacson scored on four kills and set Saint Nazaire to a .413 hitting percentage.
Tyler Mitchem posted consecutive double-digit scoring performances when he earned seven kills (.438) and three blocks for Plessis-Robinson in a 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 35-33 defeat to Nantes Rezé.
Kyle Russell scored 19 for Arago de Sète in a 25-22, 17-25, 25-16, 15-25, 15-13 defeat to Poitiers with 15 kills (.100), three blocks and an ace.
Germany: WWK Volleys Herrsching swept VCO Berlin 25-16, 25-18, 25-20. James Shaw was used as a substitute in the third set and scored on a kill.
Berlin Recycling Volleys lost its first domestic match of the season when VfB Friedrichshafen prevailed 29-27, 20-25, 25-23, 25-27, 15-12. Cody Kessel started the fifth set and had four kills (.200).
Ray Barsemian led Netzhoppers KW Bestensee with 14 points in a 25-16, 22-25, 25-17, 25-19 defeat to SWD powervolleys Duren. He finished with 12 kills (.032), a kill, and an ace. Max Chamberlain was right behind with eight kills (.583) and two blocks. Randy Deweese contributed two aces as a substitute.
Spain: Matt Knigge hit .733 without an error in a 25-22, 25-18, 20-25, 25-18 win for CV Guaguas over Rio Duero Soria and added an ace and a block. Brandon Rattray was used as a substitute in each set and had a kill on two attempts.
Greece: AOP Kifisias earned a 25-19, 26-28, 25-21, 23-25, 15-13 win over Pigasos Polichnis. Corey Chavers had 16 kills (.333), two aces, and a block.
Finland: Greg Petty’s 14 points helped Akaa-Volley claim a 25*17, 27-25, 20-25, 25-17 win over Hurrikaani Loimaa. He hit .429 on his way to 11 kills, two aces, and one block.
Daniel Wetter scored on nine kills (.471) and a match-high seven blocks in a 25-18, 25-16, 25-27, 22-25, 14-16 loss by Perungan Pojat to Karelian Hurmos.
Czech Republic: Odolena Voda pulled off a 27-25, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18 win over Kladno. Tommy Carmody led the match with four aces to go along with four kills (.375) and a block.
Switzerland: JT Hatch got the start at outside hitter for Lausanne UC and led with 17 kills (.533) and two aces in a 25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 25-18 loss to Chênois Genève Volleyball.
Denmark: Chris Hall played the first two sets for Middelfart VK in a 25-13, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19 win over DHV Odense. While he was on the court he set Middelfart to a .375 hitting percentage.
Seamus McDonagh set Hvidovre VK to a .200 hitting percentage while scoring from three kills and an ace in a 25-14, 26-24, 25-16 defeat to Ikast KFUM.