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Women’s pro report: Americans lead the way in CEV Champions League, Cup

Dana Rettke attacks for Milano against Stara Pazova of Serbia/CEV photo

This is our weekly update on USA women playing professional volleyball around the world. Most of the players are former NCAA standouts:

Champions League

The CEV Champions League group stage began as Potsdam swept Budowlani Lodz. Justine Wong-Orantes was credited with 36% positive reception for Potsdam. Danielle Harbin had three kills and a block as a substitute. Mac May had six kills, one block, and an ace for Lodz.

Mac May passes for Lodz/CEV photo

Dana Rettke had four kills and a match-high five blocks as Milano cruised past Stara Pazova of Serbia. Kara Bajema did not play.

VakifBank began its title defense by sweeping Mulhouse as Ali Frantti led with 10 kills and three aces. Jordan Thompson had 10 kills. Chiaka Ogbogu added five kills, two blocks and an ace. Annayka Legros led Mulhouse with 10 kills and an ace. Jaali Winters had nine kills and a block and Carli Snyder had two kills.

Taylor Bannister had 12 kills but Vasas Budapest was swept by Turkish giant Eczacibasi.

Scandicci swept Plovdiv of Bulgaria. Haleigh Washington had six kills (hitting .750) for Scandicci. Ciara DeBell had five kills and a block for Plovdiv.

Conegliano overcame a relatively slow start to sweep Asterix Beveren. Khalia Lanier had nine kills and an ace. Madi Bugg, setting for Conegliano, added two kills and a block. Kathryn Plummer had three kills as a substitute.

Stuttgart fell in a back-and-forth five-set encounter with the Polish team Rzeszow. Krystal Rivers had 22 kills and two blocks for Stuttgart. Kayla Haneline was injured.


Porto beat Oudegem in four in the round of 32 as Taylor Sandbothe had 13 kills and two blocks. Lauren Matthews had nine kills and five blocks. Lauren Page had six kills, two blocks and two aces. Kyra Holt came off the bench to have three kills and an ace.

Beziers swept Brcko to gain the advantage in the series. Taylor Fricano had nine kills and a block. Serena Gray added seven kills (.778) and a block. Claire Hoffman led Beziers with seven kills, two blocks and two aces. Setter Ella May Powell had a kill, a block and an ace.

Chieri swept Dudingen as Madi Kingdon had seven kills (.700) and two blocks while playing the first two sets. Avery Skinner did not play.

Grace Frohling helped Dresdner past Gran Canaria with 13 kills. Tia Jimerson added five kills and four blocks.

CEV Challenge Cup

Kash Williams led PAOK past Prostejov in their first round-of-32 match with17 kills (.455) and two blocks.

Kash Williams hits for PAOK past Prostejov/CEV photo

Galatasaray easily swept Hameenlinna of Finland in the first match of the series. Logan Eggleston led with16 kills (.552) and two aces. Danielle Cuttino added 11 kills. Heather Gneiting finished with three aces, two kills, and a block.

Panathinaikos swept Nova Gorica of Slovenia. Sherridan Atkinson led with 14 kills, a block and an ace.

Setter Ashley Evans, how led CSM Bucharesti past Fatum Nyiregyhaza in four sets, had a match-high five blocks to go along with two aces.

Nantes beat Olymp Prague and Taylor Mims was the top scorer with 21 kills (.442) and a block.


Milano (5-1) used strong service pressure and block defense to beat Novara in the highlight match of the week. Rettke provided an immediate impact, starting the match with three aces and finished with five kills, four blocks, and four aces. Bajema had a kill.

Trentino (1-6) beat Cuneo in five for its first win of the season as Carly DeHoog had 25 kills and an ace. Madi Kubik came off the bench to lead Cuneo (3-4) with 17 kills (.471) and a block. Anna Stevenson-Hall had three blocks and a kill in a brief appearance.

Chieri used an epic comeback to defeat Bergamo in five sets. Kingdon went to the service line with Chieri down 11-6 in the final set. Her team scored nine straight points to win it. Skinner led Chieri (4-2) with 18 kills, one block and an ace. Kingdon added 11 kills and an ace.

Conegliano (6-0) easily swept Firenze as Plummer was second-top scorer with 12 kills, a block and an ace. Kelsey Robinson Cook had two perfect passes as a brief substitute. Lauren Stivrins led Firenze (3-4) with nine kills (.571), one block, and an ace.

Lauren Stivrins (Nebraska) of Firenze hits against Kathryn Plummer (Stanford) of Conegliano. They played each other in the 2018 NCAA championship match/LVF photo

Micha Hancock had an ace as Casalmaggiore (2-5) was upset by Busto Arsizio in four sets. 

Scandicci (5-2) ended the week by sweeping Vallefoglia. Lindsay Ruddins returned to her familiar outside hitter position and had 10 kills and a block


Simone Lee led Sariyer (3-4) sweep of PTT with 13 kills (.524), three blocks and an ace. Payton Caffrey had 12 kills and two blocks for PTT (2-5).

VakifBank (8-0) swept Cukurova in three sets as Frantti had eight kills, two blocks and two aces. Thompson added three kills and an ace as a substitute.

Stephanie Samedy’s 22 points were not enough as Muratpasa (4-3) fell to Fenerbahce in four sets. Samedy had 21 kills (.357) and an ace. Micaya White finished with two kills and two aces.

Setter Lauren Carlini led Aydin to a five-set upset of Galatasaray in five sets, leaving both teams 2-5. Carlini had three kills, three blocks and an ace. Cuttino led Galatasaray with 26 kills and a block. Eggleston added 10 kills and Gneiting had a kill.


JT Marvelous stayed unbeaten with two victories. In a sweep of Kurobe, Annie Drews had 10 kills and three blocks. In a four-set win over PFU, Drews had 17 kills and two blocks.

NEC Red Rockets was swept by Hisamitsu Springs. Dani Drews had seven kills. McKenzie Adams had 15 kills and an ace for Hisamitsu Springs. NEC then swept Aranmare as Drews had 13 kills and two blocks.

Hisamitsu Springs swept Denso and Adams had 14 kills, five blocks and an ace.


Callie Schwarzenbach made her Brazilian league debut as Osasco swept Brasilia and was named MVP for having nine kills (.692) and three blocks.

Setter Jenna Gray earned a win in her debut as Minas beat Bluvolei in four sets. Gray had a kill, a ace and one block. Annie Mitchem had one kill and a block in a brief appearance.


Dresdner (4-1) rallied from being down 2-1 to beat Suhl in five. Frohling led with 22 kills and an ace. Jimerson added six kills and three blocks. Julia Brown had 12 kills, two blocks and an ace for Suhl (2-3). Eleanor Holthaus added eight kills and two blocks.

Munster was swept by Schwerin. Zoe Fleck was credited with 44% positive reception for Munster (1-4). Gloria Mutiri had three kills while Jenna Ewert added a kill.

Potsdam (4-1) won its second straight by beating Wiesbaden. Harbin had nine kills and three blocks and Breland Morrissette added three kills and three blocks. Wong-Orantes was credited with 47% positive reception. Izeballa Rapacz led Wiesbaden (1-4) with 22 kills, two blocks and an ace.


Chamalieres (2-4) lost in four to TFOC, but Courtney Buzzerio had 17 kills, two blocks and two aces. Sabrina Starks added four kills, a block and an ace.

Nantes (5-1) overcame a slow start to beat France 2024 in four as Mims had four kills.

Cannes (3-4) beat newly promoted Quimper in four as Madelyn Robinson had eight kills, two aces and a block.

Beziers (3-3) was no match for the defending champions, getting swept by Le Cannet. Hoffman led Beziers with 14 kills, two aces and a block. Fricano added eight kills. Gray finished with one kill and an ace.

Haylie Bennett was named MVP as Nancy (5-2) beat Marcq en Barouel. She had 16 kills, six blocks and an ace. Katelyn Evans added 12 kills and four aces. Setter Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres had two kills, two blocks and two aces.

Paris SC (6-1) beat Mulhouse (4-1) in five to leap to the top of the standings. Emily Thater had six kills, two blocks and an ace for Paris. Legros led Mulhouse with 15 kills and three aces. Snyder added five kills and an ace and Winters finished with three kills and an ace.