February 8, 2023

Women’s pro volleyball: Pro debuts for Eggleston, Nuneviller, Dvoracek; 40 kills for Lowe; 37 for Cuttino

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

CEV Champions League

Imoco Conegliano overcame a slow start to bounce back with a 16-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16 win over Rzeszow). Kelsey Cook had six kills for Conegliano. Kathryn Plummer appeared in two sets as a substitute and had three kills.

Volero Le Cannet earned the upset of the week by beating Milano 23-25, 25-20, 14-25, 25-15, 15-6. Jordan Thompson had 11 kills and four blocks for Milano. Both Dana Rettke and Jordan Larson appeared as substitutes, but did not score.

VakifBank stayed on top of its group with a 25-21, 25-22, 25-19 sweep of Novara. Chiaka Ogbogu had a match high five blocks and three kills. Kara Bajema was a serving substitute. McKenzie Adams came off the bench and had four kills for Novara.

Stuttgart also stayed on top of its group by sweeping La Laguna 25-19, 25-15, 25-18. Krystal Rivers had 11 kills (hitting .474) and a block. Simone Lee added nine kills (.563), a block, and an ace. Alexis Hart finished with two kills and a block in a substitute appearance for Stuttgart.

CEV Cup

Olympiacos began the round of 16 with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-19 sweep over KP Brno. Jaali Winters had eight kills (.438) and a match high four aces.

Scandicci dispatched Mladost in the first leg of the series 25-19, 25-22, 25-19. Haleigh Washington was the top scorer for Scandicci with nine kills (.538), two aces, and a block.

Schwerin also swept, beating Bekescsaba 25-20, 27-25, 25-22. Lindsey Ruddins contributed six kills, a block, and an ace for Schwerin.

THY battled past TFOC in a back-and-forth encounter 25-15, 23-25, 25-14, 26-24. Madison Kingdon had 10 kills (.500). Taylor Fricano led TFOC with 16 kills, four blocks and an ace. Shannon Scully chipped in six kills. Kendall White was credited with 59% positive reception on 39 passes.

CEV Challenge Cup

Suhl began its round-of-16 series with a 21-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-14 win over Haifa of Israel. Danielle Harbin led all scorers with 17 kills (.438), three aces, and a block for Suhl. Julia Brown added 15 kills, two aces, and a block. Jenna Ewert had one kill and an ace while setting her teammates to hit .357. Briana Holman led Haifa with eight kills, four blocks, and three aces.

Chieri stormed past Panathinaikos 25-18, 25-17, 25-22. Brionne Butler had four kills, two blocks, and an ace for Chieri. Adora Anae was limited to six kills and a block for Panathinaikos.

Porto ended the week with an upset victory over Rapid Bucharest 22-25, 28-26, 25-21, 23-25, 15-10. Kyra Holt led all scorers with 26 kills, three blocks, and an ace. Porto teammate Tia Jimerson was right behind with 12 kills, a match-high six blocks and an ace.

Kyra Holt attacks for Porto/CEV photo

Italy

Chieri (11-4) survived a third set lapse against Cuneo 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22. Butler was limited to only one kill in a brief appearance. Anna Stevenson-Hall was the second top scorer for Cuneo with eight kills and four blocks. Dani Drews came off the bench to contribute two kills and a block as Cuneo (6-9), which has lost four of five.

Novara (12-3) easily swept Pinerolo 25-12, 25-17, 25-22. Adams had 10 kills and two blocks. Rainelle Jones made her first start of her professional career as she had two kills and a block for Pinerolo (2-13).

Rainelle Jones, right, made her pro debut

Scandicci (12-3) held off a fast start from Vallefoglia to win 21-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19. Washington had eight kills (.583) and three blocks. Annie Drews led Vallefoglia (6-9) with 12 kills and two aces. Micha Hancock had four kills.

Conegliano overcame a slow start again to beat Busto Arsizio 23-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-21. Cook was named the match MVP as she had 13 kills, a block and an ace. She also passed a match high 88% positive. Plummer had seven kills as she played the first two sets for Conegliano (12-1). Carli Lloyd had two blocks and a kill for Busto Arsizio (6-9).

Honors for Kelsey Cook

Bergamo could not hold onto a lead and lost to Firenze 21-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 15-10. Khalia Lanier led Bergamo with 16 kills, two blocks and an ace. Mac May had five kills and a block for Bergamo (6-9), which lost its fourth match in a row.

Casalmaggiore handed Milano its second upset loss of the week as 25-17, 11-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-10. Ali Frantti had 14 kills and three blocks for Casalmaggiore (8-7). Lauren Carlini added two kills. Larson had eight kills for Milano (12-3). Dana Rettke had two kills and a block in a substitute appearance. Jordan Thompson came off the bench to anchor Milano’s fourth set comeback as she had five kills (.500) and an ace.

Turkey

Logan Eggleston had eight kills and an ace as she made her pro debut as Galatasaray (9-5) beat Kuzeyboru 25-14, 25-22, 21-25, 25-23. Annie Mitchem had 12 kills and a block for Kuzeyboru (5-9).

Brooke Nuneviller also made her pro debut as Nilufer (9-5) swept Ilbank 25-19, 25-11, 25-16) Nuneviller came off the bench to have six kills and a block. Sherridan Atkinson had eight kills (.533) and three blocks.

Aydin upset THY in the last match of the weekend 25-23, 25-17, 21-25, 25-23. Kingdon led THY (10-4) with 15 kills, three blocks, and three aces.

SigortaShop lost to Sariyer 25-18, 24-26, 25-23, 25-20. Kelsie Payne led SigortaShop (3-11) with 21 kills and two blocks.

VakifBank (13-1) easily dispatched Bolu 25-10, 25-17, 25-17. Bajema had 10 kills, four aces, and a block. Ogbogu did not play. Tori Dixon had three kills and an ace for Bolu (2-12).

Japan

Toyota Autobody Queenseis (8-8) and Danielle Cuttino were swept in the series by Ageo. Ageo won the first match 25-17, 23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 16-14 despite 37 kills by Cuttino, who hit .342. Ageo then won 30-28, 25-16, 25-15. Cuttino had 15 kills, a block, and an ace.

Karsta Lowe’s career night with 40 kills (.395) was not enough as JT Marvelous (13-3) fell to NEC Red Rockets 27-25, 25-15, 32-34, 20-25, 15-11. JT Marvelous won 25-20, 22-25, 25-17, 15-25, 15-12 as Lowe had seven kills as a double sub. Sarah Wilhite did not play for NEC (11-3).

France

Saint Raphael had a commanding upset win over Cannes 25-21, 25-17, 25-16. Malina Terrell led with 19 kills (.621) and a block. Carli Snyder led Cannes with 14 kills (.387) and a block. Claire Felix added seven kills and a block while Madeleine Gates was limited to two kills and two blocks.

Beziers won its sixth match in a row by sweeping Nancy 31-29, 25-18, 25-20. Avery Skinner had 11 kills (.500). Madison Lilley had two aces, a kill and a block while leading Beziers to hit .364. Blake Mohler also added three kills for Beziers (10-5). Annayka Legros had eight kills and a block for Nancy (7-8).

Nantes stayed in first place by beating Venelles 25-21, 25-22, 15-25, 25-16. Jaelyn Keene was named MVP after having eight kills, two blocks and two aces. Taylor Mims added eight kills and an ace as Nantes improved to 13-2. Katelyn Evans led Venelles (7-8) with 13 kills and an ace. Samantha Drechsel had 12 kills and two aces in the defeat.

Germany

Aachen began with a sweep over a depleted Straubing squad 36-34, 25-17, 25-10. Ashley Evans chipped in four kills and a block as Aachen (7-5) hit .563.

Schwerin (10-2) won its fourth match in a row by sweeping Erfurt 25-16, 25-16, 25-15 as Lindsey Ruddins had 10 kills and a block. Jaidyn Blanchfield had five kills for Erfurt (2-10).

Simone Lee was named MVP as Stuttgart (11-1) beat Suhl 25-20, 21-25, 27-25, 25-21. Lee had 19 kills and an ace. Hart made the start as Rivers was absent and had 13 kills and two blocks. Julia Brown led Suhl with 20 kills (.425). Harbin added eight kills, two blocks, and two aces. Ewert finished with two kills as Suhl fell to 4-8.

Brazil

In the match of the season so far, Osasco battled past SESC RJ 25-23, 27-25, 29-31, 30-28 as Roni Jones-Perry led SESC with 18 kills, two aces, and a block. Micaya White did not play for Osasco.

Greece

PAOK against Panathinaikos 13-25, 26-28, 25-23, 25-22, 16-14. Payton Caffrey had nine kills and three blocks for PAOK (11-1). Adora Anae had 13 kills and three blocks for Panathinaikos (9-3) as its six-match winning streak was snapped.

ASP Thetis fell to Aris 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 15-12. Leah Hardeman led Thetis with 22 kills and two blocks. Mariena Hayden added 10 kills, two blocks and an ace for Thetis (6-6), which had won four in a row.

AEK moved into second place by beating Olympiacos 28-26, 25-21, 18-25, 18-25, 19-17. Winters had 11 kills, a block and an ace for Olympiacos (9-3), which fell into third place.

Markopoulo’s woes continued with a 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20 to Aigaleo. Audriana Fitzmorris was Markopoulo’s top scorer yet again as she had 18 kills, two blocks and an ace. Becca Latham added 10 kills and an ace as Markopoulo (4-8) lost its eighth match in a row.

Around Europe

Maia Dvoracek had 33 kills in her pro debut, but her team MAV Elore fell in five sets to Szent Benedek in the Hungarian league. Dvoracek also had a block and an ace for a match-high 35 points.

Anezka Szabo was top scorer as Geneve (Switzerland) ended its six-match losing streak by beating Sm’Aesch Pfeffingen 25-21, 13-25, 28-26, 18-25, 15-12. Szabo had 16 kills, five blocks and two aces. Teammate Jody Larson also had 23 points with 22 kills (.431) and an ace.

Four Americans powered NUC Viteos past Montagnes in the Swiss league 25-16, 25-22, 22-25, 25-14. Madeline Haynes was the top scorer with 19 kills, three aces and two blocks. Tessa Grubbs had 19 kills, three blocks and an ace. Kayla Lund added 12 kills and an ace while Jasmine Gross had eight kills, three blocks and an ace. Viteos sit atop the league at 13-0.