Women’s pro volleyball: Skinner, Mohler, Lilley, JWO lead Beziers to French title
This is our weekly update on USA women playing professional volleyball around the world. Most of the players are former NCAA standouts:
Beziers won the team’s first French Cup with a 25-22, 21-25, 25-17, 15-25, 15-10 victory over Cannes. Avery Skinner was named MVP after getting a match-high 23 kills. Blake Molher added 10 kills and an ace. Setter Madison Lilley added an ace and libero Justine Wong-Orantes was credited with 50% positive reception.
Carli Snyder led Cannes with 17 kills, two blocks and two aces. Claire Felix had 12 kills and three blocks. Madeline Gates added six kills and an ace. Setter Jenna Gray had three kills and a block.
Milano won its fourth in a row by sweeping Firenze 25-11, 25-23, 25-22. Jordan Larson had nine kills (.500), a block and an ace for Milano (19-6). Dana Rettke added five kills (.556), two blocks and an ace. Jordan Thompson did not play. Reserve Rhamat Alhassan had three blocks for Firenze (9-16), which was eliminated from playoff contention.
Novara (18-7) overcame a slow start and beat Vallefoglia 16-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21. McKenzie Adams had two kills and an ace as a substitute. Annie Drews led Vallefoglia (10-15) with 17 kills and a block. Micha Hancock had four blocks as Vallefoglia was eliminated from playoff contention.
Busto Arsizio snuffed out Cuneo’s playoff hopes with a 25-22, 24-26, 19-25, 25-22, 15-12 win. Carli Lloyd had four blocks and a kill for Busto Arsizio (12-13), currently seventh in the standings. Anna Stevenson-Hall had her best match of the season with 16 kills and three blocks for Cuneo (9-16).
Imoco Conegliano (24-1) continued its dominance by sweeping Macerata 25-15, 25-22, 25-21. Kathryn Plummer led with 12 kills (.526), two blocks and two aces. Stephanie Samedy added four kills. Claire Chausee led Macerata (3-22) with 13 kills. Macerata’s fate of relegation was sealed.
Pinerolo moved out of the relegation zone with a 25-17, 26-28, 25-21, 25-19 win over Casalmaggiore (12-13). Ali Frantti was limited to six kills, a block and an ace for Casalmaggiore and setter Lauren Carlini had two kills and a block.
Second-place Scandicci (20-5) put on a clinic by sweeping Bergamo 25-15, 25-14, 25-15. Haleigh Washington had two kills, a block and an ace. Reserve Khalia Lanier had 12 kills (.400) and an ace for Bergamo (11-14), which has lost three in a row. Bergamo clinched a playoff spot and currently sit sin eighth position.
VakifBank (19-3) earned its fourth win in a row by sweeping PTT 25-22, 25-13, 25-21. Chiaka Ogbogu had five kills and two blocks and Kara Bajema had three kills as a late substitute.
Nilufer earned its second win in three matches by beating Aydin 22-25, 14-25, 25-21, 27-25, 17-15. Sherridan Atkinson led Nilufer with 21 kills and six blocks. Reserve Brooke Nuneviller had seven kills for Nilufer (11-11).
Galatasaray beat Sariyer 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21. Logan Eggleston was the second-top scorer for Galatasaray (15-7) with 11 kills, two blocks, and an ace.
Bolu (4-18) kept its survival hopes alive by beating Ilbank 17-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-16. Tori Dixon was the second-top scorer with 10 kills (.769), four blocks, and three aces.
THY (16-6) swept SigortaShop 25-17, 25-17, 25-16 as Madi Kingdon Ruschel led with 12 kills, a block and an ace. Kelsie Payne led SigortaShop (4-18) with 10 kills. Marin Grote had two kills and a block.
Stuttgart ended the regular season with a 22-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 win over Dresden. Simone Lee came off the bench to lead Stuttgart (19-1) with 20 kills, two blocks and an ace. Alexis Hart added 16 kills, one block and an ace. Stuttgart finished the regular season in first place.
Suhl (9-11) earned a playoff bid by beating Vilsbiburg 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20. Danielle Harbin was named MVP with 23 kills, a block and an ace for Suhl. Julia Brown added 11 kills. Setter Jenna Ewert had two kills and two aces. Suhl, which has won six of seven, got the the sixth seed.
Potsdam swept Munster 25-21, 25-23, 26-24 to end its regular season. Zoe Fleck was credited with 41% positive reception for Munster (9-11), who clinched the seventh seed.
Aachen (8-12) lost it last six and was \eliminated from playoff contention by losing to Wiesbaden 20-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-19. Setter Ashley Evans had two blocks and a kill.
Roni Jones-Perry earned MVP as she led SESC RJ (14-8) in its last match of the regular season, a 25-19, 25-17, 25-19 of Maringa, that got it the fourth seed in the playoffs. Jones-Perry had 16 kills (.520), a block and an ace
Santurce overcame a slow start to beat Manati 13-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-19. Gina Mancuso, Gabby Simpson, and Madi Kubik were a part of a balanced effort for Santurce. Mancuso led with 12 kills, two blocks and an ace. Simpson added 11 kills, while Kubik had 10 kills, a block and an ace. Gloria Mutiri led Manati with 14 kills and a block. Callie Schwarzenbach had five kills and four blocks. Mackenzi Welsh set for Manati and had a block and an ace.
Corozal escaped Ponce’s upset bid 25-17, 21-25, 20-25, 25-20, 15-12. Ronika Stone was named MVP with nine kills and six blocks. Adanna Rollins had 15 kills and two blocks. Tori Dilfer set for Corozal and had two kills, two blocks and three aces. Nia Robinson led Ponce with 22 kills, three aces, and a block. Eleanor Holthaus added 17 kills, four blocks, and two aces. Setter Jhenna Gabriel had two blocks.
Naranjito was upset by Juncos 23-25, 25-20, 25-16, 16-25, 15-11. Naya Gros had seven kills and three blocks and setter Natalie Hayward had three blocks, three aces, and two kills. Lindsey Vander Weide had 13 kills and two blocks for Naranjito. Shelly Stafford made her debut for Naranjito as a mid-season acquisition and had six kills, two blocks and an ace. Setter Saige Ka’aha’aina-Torres had two blocks and a kill.
Ponce was eliminated from playoff contention when it lost to Caguas 25-13, 20-25, 25-14, 25-16. Kash Williams led Caguas with 17 kills. Kayla Caffey added eight kills and a block. Robinson led Ponce with 16 kills. Holthaus contributed 12 kills and a block. Gabriel had an ace.
Santurce rolled on by beating Naranjito 21-25, 25-23, 25-13, 26-24 as Kubik had 14 kills and a block. Mancuso chipped in seven kills and three blocks. Simpson had two kills as a substitute. Stafford had 11 kills and a block for Naranjito. Vander Wedie added six kills and two blocks. Ka’aha’aina-Torres had a kill and one block.
Corozal (12-5) beat Juncos 27-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-20 as Rollins had 16 kills, four blocks and an ace. Stone was named MVP again as she had 14 kills and four blocks. Dilfer added two blocks and a kill. Gros had five kills and three blocks for Juncos, while Hayward added one ace.
Caguas (11-7) finished the regular season by sweeping Juncos 25-19, 25-16, 25-22. as Williams had 11 kills and Caffey added eight kills, a block, and an ace. New signing Nia Reed did not play. Gros had six kills and two blocks for Juncos (5-13). Hayward added two kills, two blocks, and an ace.
Santurce lost to Manati 25-19,18-25, 25-19, 25-21. Kubik led Santurce (12-5) with 18 kills. Mancuso added 13 kills and Simpson had one as a substitute. Mutiri was the second-top scorer for Manati (8-10) with 14 kills and a block. Schwarzenbach had six kills and five blocks in the upset. Welsh had one kill.
Naranjito finished the regular season with a 25-12, 20-25, 25-22, 25-17 win over Ponce. Stafford led Naranjito (11-7) with 15 kills, five blocks and an ace. Vander Weide had 17 kills, two aces and a block. Ka’aha’aina-Torres added three blocks, two aces and a kill. Robinson led Ponce (3-15) with 19 kills, two aces and a block. Holthaus had 17 kills and two blocks. Gabriel set for Ponce and had two aces, a block and a kill.