This is our weekly update on USA women playing professional volleyball around the world. Most of the players are former NCAA standouts:
VakifBank moved on after winning two sets because of superior set ratio but went on to beat Milano 18-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 15-11 to advance to the semifinals
Kara Bajema was the second-top scorer for VakifBank with 16 kills, two aces and a block. Chiaka Ogbogu added five kills and two blocks. Jordan Thompson led Milano with 25 kills, a block, and an ace. Jordan Larson had 12 kills, three aces and a block. Dana Rettke had two kills and a block ias a sub.
Fenerbahce eliminated Conegliano after winning the first two sets even though Conegliano won the match 25-23, 25-15, 23-25, 20-25, 13-15. Kathryn Plummer had 12 kills and a block and Kelsey Robinson-Cook had 12 kills.
Novara was the only Italian team to advance when it swept Stuttgart 25-18, 25-19, 25-21. McKenzie Adams did not play for Novara. Krystal Rivers led Stuttgart with 14 kills. Simone Lee had seven kills and a block in a substitute appearance.
Scandicci advanced to the final despite losing 25-21, 18-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-10 to THY, but advanced because of a superior set ratio. Haleigh Washington had four blocks and three kills for Scandicci. Madi Kingdon Rishel had 21 kills and two aces for THY.
Alba Blaj advanced to the final by beating CSM Targoviste 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20. Kaitlyn Hord made her return to the Alba Blaj lineup and came off the bench to have three kills and a block.
Brionne Butler, who had a kill, and Chieri were crowned Challenge Cup champions after they dispatched CSM Lugoj in the final 25-21, 25-21, 25-21.
Scandicci (19-5) held off Cuneo 25-19, 22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-13 for its fourth win in five matches. Washington had seven kills, ablock, and an ace. Anna Stevenson-Hall had nine kills and two blocks for Cuneo (9-15). Dani Drews had five kills as a substitute.
Conegliano (23-1) bounced back to sweep Firenze 25-15, 25-20, 25-17 as Robinson-Cook had 10 kills (.500) and three blocks. Stephanie Samedy had two kills as a substitute. Rhamat Alhassan had a kill for Firenze (9-15).
Milano (18-6) won its third league match in a row by beating Novara 17-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-21. Larson had nine kills and two aces and Thompson had three kills in a brief appearance. Adams had five kills for Novara.
Chieri beat Bergamo 29-27, 25-19, 21-25, 25-19. Khalia Lanier led Bergamo (11-13) with 20 kills, a block and an ace.
Busto Arsizio (11-13) upset Casalmaggiore 22-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-21. Setter Carli Lloyd had three kills, one block and an ace. Ali Frantti had four kills and two aces for Casalmaggiore (12-12) and Lauren Carlini added a kill and a block.
Macerata (3-21) lost in a reverse sweep to Pinerolo 24-26, 19-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-12 despite 17 kills, a block and an ace from Claire Chaussee. The defeat confirmed Macerata’s relegation from A1.
Vallefoglia (10-14) ended the weekend with a 25-27, 25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 15-13 win over Perugia. Annie Drews led with 18 kills and an ace. Micha Hancock had three kills and two aces.
Bolu (3-18) snapped its losing streak by beating SigortaShop 29-27, 12-25, 25-23, 15-25, 15-8. Tori Dixon had nine kills and an ace. Kelsie Payne led SigortaShop (4-17) with 22 kills, three blocks and an ace. Marin Grote added eight kills, two blocks and an ace.
Galatasaray (14-7) slipped by Nilufer 25-22, 25-23, 25-18 as Logan Eggleston had nine kills and a block Sherridan Atkinson led Nilufer (10-11) with 16 kills and three aces. Brooke Nuneviller had one kill as a substitute.
VakifBank (18-3) upended a shorthanded THY 25-19, 25-23, 25-23. Ogbogu had three blocks and a kill. Kingdon played opposite for THY (14-6) and had 13 kills and two aces.
NEC Red Rockets (23-10) needed both its final matches to make the playoffs. NEC swept Denso in the first match 25-17, 25-20, 25-18 as Sarah Wilhite-Parson had seven kills. NEC clinched by sweeping Ageo 25-21, 25-16, 26-24 as Wilhite-Parsons had 11 kills, three blocks and two aces.
JT Marvelous (23-10), in turn, needed NEC to lose one match to advance and subsequently ended its season with a 25-17, 26-24, 25-12 sweep of Toyota Autobody Queenseis. Karsta Lowe had 11 kills. Danielle Cuttino 16 kills and three aces for Queenseis (14-19). JT Marvelous finished in fifth place, while Queenseis finished eighth. Cuttino was recognized as the league’s top scorer.
Stuttgart (18-1) clinched the top position in the playoffs by sweeping Vilsbiburg 25-17, 25-18, 30-28. Rivers had six kills and a block in a one-set appearance. Alexis Hart replaced Rivers and had nine kills and two blocks. Simone Lee had eight kills.
Schwerin (16-3) clinched the second position by sweeping Potsdam 25-17, 25-18, 25-16 as Lindsey Ruddins had 11 kills, two blocks and an ace.
Suhl (8-11) stayed in playoff contention by winning its fifth in a row by sweepig Aachen 25-15, 25-19, 25-23). Danielle Harbin led with 15 kills and a block. Julia Brown had 13 kills and a block. Setter Jenna Ewert was named MVP as she had four kills and a block. Ashley Evans had one kill while setting for Aachen (8-11), which lost its fifth in a row.
Nancy (13-12) won its sixth in a row as it beat Marcq en Barouel 25-22, 16-25, 26-24, 27-25 to keep its playoff hopes alive. Annayka Legros had 12 kills (.524), a block and an ace. Shayla Hoeft had nine kills (.500), two blocks and two aces.
Venelles (14-11) clinched a playoff spot by sweeping France 2024 25-20, 25-8, 25-17. Samantha Drechsel had seven kills, one block and an ace in two sets. Setter August Raskie had a block and an ace.
TFOC beat Chamalieres 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22. Taylor Fricano led with 20 kills (.447) and a block. Shannon Scully had 16 kills while Kendall White was credited with 62% positive reception.
Beziers (17-8) kept its quest for a top-four playoff position alive by beating Saint Raphael 21-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-18 as libero Justine Wong-Orantes was named MVP. Avery Skinner had 16 kills while Blake Mohler added five. Setter Madison Lilley had three aces and a kill. Malina Terrell had 12 kills for Saint Raphael (11-14).
Cannes (13-12) got the win it needed to stay in playoff contention by upsetting Volero Le Cannet 21-25, 25-19, 30-28, 25-20. Carli Snyder led with 16 kills, two blocks and an ace. Madeleine Gates added nine kills and a block while Claire Felix had six kills and a block. Cannes sits one point ahead of Nancy for the final playoff spot with one match remaining. Cannes, a 21-time league champion, has not missed the playoffs of the French league in team history.
NUC Viteos roared back from a two-set deficit to claim the Swiss Cup title by beating Lugano 22-25, 14-25, 25-16, 25-20, 15-7. Madeline Haynes and Tessa Grubbs were the top scorers as Haynes had 14 kills and three aces and Grubbs had 16 kills and a block. Kayla Lund chipped in 11 kills, two blocks and two aces. Jasmine Gross finished with seven kills, a block and an ace. Jada Stackhouse had three kills for Lugano.
Santurce got back in the winning column by sweeping Ponce 25-18, 25-21, 25-18. Madi Kubik led all scorers with 17 kills and a block. Gina Mancuso had 11 kills, one block, and an ace. Gabby Simpson added four kills and three blocks. Nia Robinson led Ponce with 15 kills. Eleanor Holthaus had 11 kills and two aces.
Corozal beat Naranjito 25-13, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16 as Adanna Rollins had 21 kills and two blocks. Ronika Stone added 10 kills and two blocks. Setter Tori Dilfer had two kills and two aces. Lindsey Vander Weide led Naranjito with 14 kills, two blocks and an ace. Taylor Sandbothe had five kills and three blocks. Setter Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres finished with a kill and one block.
Roni Jones-Perry led SESC-RJ to an important win over Sao Caetano 25-13, 26-24, 25-23 with 16 kills (.481), two aces and a block as her team clinched a top four seed in the playoffs.