This is our weekly update on USA women playing professional volleyball around the world. Most of the players are former NCAA standouts. Speaking of which, see our other story that lists where the most recent crop of college players have signed:
League-leading JT Marvelous (12-2) started the second half with a weekend
sweep of Hisamitsu Springs, winning the first 25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23. Karsta Lowe had 20 kills (.413), one block, and an ace. Her team won the second 25-20, 22-25, 25-18, 25-14) and she had 13 kills (.500).
Hitachi Rivale (6-8) split with Himeji. In the first match, Hitachi swept 25-22, 25-21, 25-20 as Hannah Tapp had six kills, three blocks and two aces. In the second, Himeji won 25-23, 28-26, 9-25, 25-23 and Tapp finished with seven kills, two blocks and an ace..
Toyota Autobody Queenseis (8-6) split with third-place Toray, sweeping the first 25-17, 25-10, 25-15. Danielle Cuttino was the top scorer for Queenseis with 12 kills. Queenseis bounced back 20-25, 25-19, 28-26, 25-21 in the second and Cuttino led all scorers with 25 kills.
Chieri (10-4) won its third in a row, battling past a short-handed Casalmaggiore 19-25, 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 15-12 as Brionne Butler came off the bench and contributed a block. Ali Frantti led Casalmaggiore (7-7) with 20 kills, two aces and a block. Lauren Carlini added a block and an ace.
Busto Arsizio swept Firenze 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 Carli Lloyd had two kills and an ace for Busto Arsizio (6-8). Rhamat Alhassan came off the bench to add two blocks as Firenze (4-10) lost its fourth in a row.
Imoco Conegliano (13-1) held off a late challenge to sweep Bergamo 25-21, 25-17, 28-26. Kathryn Plummer had 10 kills (hitting .421) and two blocks. Kelsey Robinson-Cook came off the bench as a receiving specialist and recorded two perfect passes. Khalia Lanier led Bergamo with eight kills, a blockand an ace. Mac May added four kills as Bergamo (6-8) lost its third in a row.
Scandicci (11-3) won its fifth in a row as it began the second half by sweeping Perugia (25-13, 25-17, 25-19). Haleigh Washington did not play. Stephanie Samedy came off the bench to add four kills and an ace for Perugia. Tori Dilfer left the team over the break due to injury.
Dana Rettke made her return to the starting lineup as Milano (12-2) swept Pinerolo 25-22, 25-21, 25-21 and finished with eight kills (.889) and two blocks. Jordan Larson added eight kills and an ace.
Vallefoglia battled past Cuneo 25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 19-25, 15-7. Annie Drews marked her debut for Vallefoglia (6-8) with 19 kills. Setter Micha Hancock added two kills. Anna Stevenson-Hall was the second top scorer for Cuneo with 11 kills, four blocks, and an ace. Dani Drews appeared as a substitute for Cuneo (6-8), chipping in two kills.
In the first round of the week, Annayka Legros was named MVP as Nancy fell to Mulhouse 19-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21. Nancy’s Legros had 13 kills, five aces, and three blocks. Lauren Page added three kills and a block. Shalya Hoeft came off the bench to contribute four kills.
Saint Raphael upset Venelles 22-25, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-9 as Malina Terrell had 14 kills and a block. Katelyn Evans led Venelles with 22 kills, two blocks and an ace. August Raskie added four kills, two blocks, and an ace. Samantha Drechsel chipped in three kills for Venelles.
TFOC pulled off the upset of the week by beating league-leading Nantes 26-24, 18-25, 17-25, 25-18, 25-13. Alohi Robins-Hardy came off the bench and was named MVP as she had two key blocks. Taylor Fricano was the top scorer for TFOC with 26 kills and four aces. Shannon Scully added 10 kills, a block, and an ace. Kendall White was credited with 63% positive reception. Across the net, Taylor Mims led Nantes with 31 kills, four blocks, and an ace. Jaelyn Keene added nine kills and four blocks.
Beziers swept Cannes 27-25, 25-22, 25-22. Justine Wong-Orantes was named MVP for Beziers. Avery Skinner had nine kills and a block while Blake Mohler added four kills and three blocks. Madison Lilley added an ace for Beziers. Carli Snyder led Cannes with 10 kills and two blocks. Claire Felix had 11 kills and an ace. Madeleine Gates added nine kills and an ace. Jenna Gray had an ace and a block for Cannes.
In the second round of matches, Cannes bounced back as they swept Chamalieres 25-21, 25-21, 25-18. Snyder had five kills, a block and an ace. Gates was limited to just one block while Felix had three kills and two blocks. Jenna Gray led Cannes (8-6) to a .400 hitting percentage.
Nancy also bounced back by sweepign Saint Raphael 25-23, 25-17, 25-19. Legros had nine kills, three aces and two blocks. Page added two kills and two blocks for Nancy (7-7). Terrell had nine kills, one block, and an ace for Saint Raphael (5-9).
Beziers rebounded from a slow start to beat Marcq en Barouel 26-28, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20. Skinner was named MVP after compiling 18 kills and four blocks. Mohler added 10 kills (.500) and two blocks. Lilley added a match-high three aces and two kills as Beziers (9-5) won their fifth match in a row.
Nantes swept Levallois 25-17, 25-10, 25-10. Mims had seven kills and a block for Nantes. Keene was top scorer with eight kills (.533) and five blocks as Nantes (12-2) remained in first place. Alli Stumler left the team over the midseason break due to personal reasons. Haylie Bennett had five kills for Levallois (1-13).
TFOC (10-4) had another big win, beating second-placed Paris SC 20-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-17. Fricano was top scorer again with 13 kills, three blocks, and three aces. Scully followed with 15 kills, two aces, and a block. White was credited with 33% positive reception.
Venelles finished with an upset of Volero Le Cannet 25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 25-23. Raskie was named MVP and had three kills. Evans led Venelles (7-7) with 13 kills, five aces and a block. Drechsel had 10 kills, two blocks and an ace.
Stuttgart jumped into first place by beating Dresden 20-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-17. Krystal Rivers led all scorers with 20 kills (.415) and an ace. Simone Lee came off the bench to add seven kills and two blocks. Stuttgart (10-1) won their fifth match in a row and leads Potsdam (10-1) in the standings on points. Kayla Haneline was named MVP for Dresden (7-4) as she had 10 kills (.600) and two blocks.
Jenna Ewert made her professional debut as Suhl lost to Vilsbiburg 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13. Danielle Harbin led Suhl with 17 kills, four blocks and an ace. Ewert had two blocks, a kill, and an ace for Suhl (4-7). Lindsay Flory came off the bench to add a kill for Vilsbiburg (5-6).
PAOK (10-1) lost for the first time when it was swept by AEK 25-15, 25-16, 25-23. Payton Caffey had six kills and a block.
Olympiacos (9-2) won its third in a row by sweeping AO Thiras 25-17, 25-19, 25-19. Jaali Winters had six kills, two blocks and two aces.
ASP Thetis beat Markopoulo 21-25, 25-21, 26-24, 31-29. Mariena Hayden led Thetis with eight aces 13 kills and a block. Leah Hardeman had 15 kills, three blocks and an ace. Marokpoulo (4-7) has lost seven in a row. Audriana Fitzmorris has made the switch from opposite to outside hitter and had 20 kills and a block. Becca Latham, who made a mid-season transfer from Thetis, had 11 kills and a block.
Panathinaikos swept Aris 25-21, 25-16, 25-19. Adora Anae had nine kills, two aces, and a block for Panathinaikos (9-2), which won its sixth in a row.
Roni Jones-Perry led SESC-RJ (6-5) to a five set victory over Maringa 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 20-25, 15-9. Jones-Perry had 19 kills, a block and an ace.
VakifBank returned from its break and swept Aydin 25-21, 25-16, 25-22. Kara Bajema led with 13 kills and a block. Chiaka Ogbogu added six kills, two blocks and an ace as Vakifbank improved to 12-1.