WNT Update: Americans Lead Upsets in Pro Leagues

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | Jan. 07, 2019, 10:26 a.m. (ET)

Kelly Murphy
Kelly Murphy scored 25 points last week in helping Shanghai remain in second place in the Chinese pro league.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 7, 2019) – Several U.S. Women’s National Team players got back on the court with their overseas club teams this past week, with a handful of upsets dotting the schedule.

QUICK SETS

  • Kelly Murphy has helped Shanghai to second-place in the Chinese pro league following two victories last week. Shanghai will face third-place BAIC Motors, which has Tori Dixon and Madi Kingdon Rishel, this week in a key match.
  • Haleigh Washington helped her Italian club Brescia to an upset victory over league-leader Novara last week, which is Brescia’s second win in 10 days over a top-three team in the Italian league standings.
  • Chiaka Ogbogu scored 20 points in leading Polish league-leader Chemik Police to another victory.
  • Karsta Lowe arrived in Italy last week as she signed with Imoco Volley Conegliano.

TRIVIA QUESTION: Which current U.S. Women’s National Team players were part of the 12-player U.S. Women’s Junior National Team that placed fourth at the 2007 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship?

AKINRADEWO WITH HISAMITSU SPRINGS IN JAPAN: Middle Foluke Akinradewo (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Twitter, Instagram) has returned to Hisamitsu Springs of the Japanese V-League this winter. Hisamitsu Springs defeated Okayama 23-25, 25-20, 25-9, 25-20 on Jan. 5. Akinradewo hammered out 17 kills on 30 attacks with just one error for a .533 hitting efficiency. She added three blocks and an ace for 21 points in the victory. Hisamitsu Springs swept PFU Blue Cats 25-14, 25-16, 25-23 on Jan. 6. Akinradewo totaled eight points with five kills on 13 swings and three blocks. Hisamitsu Springs (9-1, 28 points), in first place in the V-League Western Conference and leads both divisions, plays Kurobe on Jan. 12 followed by JT Marvelous on Jan. 13.

DIXON AND KINGDON-RISHEL PLAYING FOR BEIJING BAIC IN CHINESE LEAGUE: Middle Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) and Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Beijing BAIC Motors Volleyball Club in China during the 2018-19 pro season. BAIC Motors defeated eighth-place Fujian 25-10, 25-17, 22-25 25-20 on Jan. 5. Dixon totaled eight kills on 14 errorless swings to go with a match-high seven blocks – one more block than Fujian had as a team. Kingdon Rishel did not play. BAIC Motors, now in third place with a 7-3 record and 20 points, resumes action on Jan. 8 against fifth-place Lianoning Yingkou Bayuquan (5-5, 15 points) followed by second-place Shanghai Guangming Yoube (8-2, 21 points) on Jan. 12.

MURPHY WITH SHANGHAI VOLLEYBALL CLUB: Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Shanghai Volleyball Club this winter. Shanghai battled past fourth-place Jiangsu Zhongtian Iron and Steel 23-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19, 15-11 on Jan. 5. Murphy pocketed a team-high 25 points with 23 kills on 52 swings and two aces on 25 serves. Shanghai, now in second place with an 8-2 record and 21 points in the second round Group C, resumes league action on Jan. 8 against sixth-place Shandong Sports Lottery (4-6, 13 points) followed by a Jan 12 meeting with third-place Beijing Auto (7-3, 20 points).

BARTSCH-HACKLEY, CARLINI WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) and setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and the European Champions League this winter. In the Italian Serie A1, Novara lost to Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 18-25, 15-13 on Jan. 6 in the second half opener. Bartsch-Hackley tallied 15 kills on 22 errorless attacks and charted 19 receptions as part of a 74 positive reception percent. Carlini set Novara to a 42 kill percent and tacked on two blocks and an individual kill. Novara (11-2, 33 points), in first place in the Italian Serie A1, challenges second-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci (11-2, 31 points) on Jan. 9 followed by eighth-place Zanetti Bergamo (6-7, 18 points) on Jan. 13. In the European Champions League, Novara (2-0) returns to Pool C action on Jan. 23 against France’s RC Cannes (1-1).

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Welcome @karstalowe #imocoboom💥 💛💙

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HILL, LOWE WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Imoco Volley Conegliano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. In the Italian Serie A1, Conegliano blanked Pomi Casalmaggiore 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 on Jan. 6. Hill amassed a team-leading 13 points with 11 kills on 32 swing and two blocks. She was credited with a 77 positive reception percent on 13 chances. Lowe did not suit up for the match as she just arrived in Italy. Conegliano (10-3, 31 points), which is in third place, challenges fourth-place Saugella Team Monza (8-5, 26 points) on Jan. 13 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. In the European Champions League, Conegliano (1-1) returns to Champions League action on Jan. 23 against Poland’s LKS Commercecon Lodz (1-1).

ADAMS AND HANCOCK WITH TEAM MONZA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio, Twitter, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Saugella Team Monza in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Challenge Cup this winter. In the Italian Serie A1, Team Monza opened the second half of the season by defeating last-place Club Italia Crai 25-23, 25-22, 25-19 on Jan. 6. Hancock set Team Monza to a 45 kill percent and added four kills on six errorless attacks and an ace. Adams pocketed four points with three kills and an ace. Team Monza (8-5, 26 points), which moved up two spots to fourth place, starts faces fifth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (8-5, 24 points) on Jan. 10 followed by third-place Imoco Volley Conegliano (10-3, 31 points) on Jan. 13. In the CEV Challenge Cup, Team Monza leads its 8th Finals Round home-and-home series against VDK Bank Gent and series concluding on Jan. 23.

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best walk we’ve been on to date

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COURTNEY AND HANNAH TAPP WITH BERGAMO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and Hannah Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) are playing for Zanetti Bergamo in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2018-19 pro season. Bergamo upset then-fourth-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio 29-27, 25-23, 18-25, 25-23 on Jan. 6 to start the second half of the Italian Serie A series. Courtney slammed 15 kills on 31 attacks, served an ace on 17 serves and added a block for 17 points. Tapp provided two kills, one block and an ace for four points in the victory. Bergamo (6-7, 18 points), now in eighth place, will play sixth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (8-5, 23 points) on Jan. 9 followed by league-leader Igor Gorgonzola Novara (11-2, 33 points) on Jan. 13.

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k.t.s.e all 2019 💫

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WHITNEY WITH FILOTTRANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Aiyana Whitney (Norwood, New Jersey, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Lardini Filotrrano in the Italian Serie A1 this winter along with American Courtney Schwan. Filottrano lost to second-place Savino Del Bene Scandicci 25-21, 25-15, 25-14 on Jan. 5 to start the second half of the season. Whitney scored seven points, all on kills for 23 attacks. Schwan did not play in the match. Filottrano (3-10, 8 points), in 11th-place, resumes action on Jan. 9 against last-place Club Italia Crai (0-13, 2 points).

WASHINGTON WITH BRESCIA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia in the Italian Serie A1 this winter. Brescia, who upset Conegliano right after Christmas, pulled off a second major upset by defeating league-leader Igor Gorgonzola Novara 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 18-25, 15-13 on Jan. 6. Washington scored nine kills on 16 attacks while adding two blocks and an ace for 12 points in the victory. Brescia (6-7, 17 points), now in ninth place, challenges seventh-place Il Bisonte Firenze (6-7, 19 points) on Jan. 9 followed by last-place Club Italia Crai (0-13, 2 points) on Jan. 13.

OGBOGU WITH CHEMIK POLICE IN POLAND: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Chemik Police in the Polish League and European Champions League this winter. In the Polish Orlen Liga, Chemiki Police topped DPD Legionovia Legionowo 25-17, 25-16, 18-25, 25-20 on Jan. 5 to start the new year on the right path. Ogbogu piled on a match-high 20 points as she converted 15 of 27 attacks into points while adding three blocks and two aces on 11 serves. She was named the match’s most valuable player. Chemik Police (11-1, 34 points), which expands its first-place lead by a match and five standings points, returns to Polish Orlen Liga action on Jan. 12 against fourth-place Bank Pocztowy Palac Bydgoszcz (8-4, 25 points). In European Champions League action, Police (0-2) returns to action on Jan. 24 against Russia’s Dinamo Moscow (1-1).

LLOYD WITH PRAIA CLUBE IN BRAZIL: Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California, Instagram) is playing for Praia Clube in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Praia Clube also has former U.S. Women’s National Team member Nicole Fawcett playing at opposite. Praia Clube lost its first match of the season in a 26-24, 17-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-13 battle against second-place Minas Tenis Clube (8-0, 22 points) on Jan. 4 in a battle of undefeated teams. Lloyd set Praia Clube to a 40 kill percent while adding two blocks and an individual kill on three chances. Fawcett turned in 19 points with 16 kills on 45 swings and three aces. Praia Clube (8-1, 21 points), which remains in first place in the Brazilian Superliga, returns to action on Jan. 8 against third-place Sesi Volei Bauru (6-3, 18 points) followed by fourth-place SESC RJ (6-3, 16 points) on Jan. 11.

LARSON AND GIBBEMEYER WITH ECZACIBASI IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska, Twitter, Instagram) and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram) are competing with Eczacibasi in the Turkish League this winter. Larson is serving as the team’s captain. In the Turkish League, Eczacibasi was idle as the league was on hiatus for the new year. Eczacibasi (10-0), in first place in the Turkish League as the only undefeated team, plays ninth-place Nilufer (5-6) on Jan. 13 after a break for the holidays. In the European Champions League, Eczacibasi (2-0) challenges Russia’s Dinamo Moscow (1-1) on Jan. 24 in its next European Champions League match.

ROBINSON WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Twitter, Instagram, Website) is playing club volleyball with VakifBank in the Turkish professional league and European Champions League this winter. In the Turkish League, VakifBank was idle this past week as the league is on hiatus. VakifBank (10-1), now in second place, faces seventh-place Karayollari (5-6) in its next Turkish League match on Jan. 13. In European Champions League, VakifBank (2-0) returns to action on Jan. 23 against France’s Beziers (1-1). Robinson has launched her own website, www.nomandplay.com on her passions for play, travel and food. To read more about her website, click here. In addition, Robinson has created her first vlog on what it is like to be an American citizen and play professional volleyball overseas.

DREWS AND LEE WITH BEYLIKDUZU IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Opposite Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana, Twitter, Instagram) and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Twitter, Instagram) are competing with Kameroglu Beylikduzu Voleybol Ihtisas alongside fellow American setter Kelly Hunter in the Turkish League for the 2018-19 season. Beylikduzu did not play this past week as the league was on hiatus. Beylikduzu (4-7), now in 10th place, returns to Turkish League action on Jan. 13 against last-place Halkbank (0-11).

WILHITE PARSONS, PAIGE TAPP, RIVERS AND McCAGE WITH MTV STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), middles Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Twitter, Instagram) and Paige Tapp (Stewartville, Minnesota, Twitter, Instagram), opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama) and setter Madi Bugg are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga. All but Bugg played for the U.S. Women in the 2018 season. In the German Bundesliga, Stuttgart was idle this past week. Stuttgart (8-0, 20 points), which is in second place two points behind Schwerin but with one less match played, plays eighth-place Vilsbiburg (3-5, 8 points) on Jan. 9 in its next Bundesliga match. In the European Champions League, Stuttgart (1-1) resumes Champions League action on Jan. 23 against pool leader VakifBank (2-0).

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back to work 😤

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BENSON WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona, Twitter, Instagram) is playing for Dresdner SC in the German Bundesliga this winter. Dresdner was idle this past week. Dresdner (7-2, 21 points), in third place, resumes Bundesliga action on Jan. 12 against 12th-place VCO Berlin (0-9, 1 point).

TRIVIA ANSWER: Lauren Gibbemeyer and Kelly Murphy helped Team USA finish fourth at the 2007 FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship in Thailand. In addition, former national team member and current beach star Alix Klineman was part of the 12-player roster, as well as former national team member Cassidy Lichtman.