USA Volleyball Features Americans Ready for ...

Americans Ready for Champions League Quarters

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | March 01, 2020, 8:37 p.m. (ET)

Kelsey Robinson attacking
Kelsey Robinson attacking for her pro team Fenerbahce, which is one of six teams U.S. Women's National Team players compete for that have advanced to the European Champions League quarterfinals

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (March 1, 2020) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will be heavily featured in the prestigious European Champions League quarterfinals that begin this week.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE BEGINS QUARTERFINALS: All 11 members of the U.S. Women’s National Team competing the European Champions League this year have advanced to the quarterfinals. Imoco Volley Conegliano with Kim Hill and Chiaka Ogbogu won Pool D with a 6-0 record, while Igor Gorgonzola Novara with Megan Courtney and Micha Hancock won Pool C with a 5-1 record. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley was added late to the VakifBank roster this winter and has helped them win Pool B with a 5-1 record. Dinamo Moscow and Lauren Carlini won Pool E with a 4-2 record. Kelsey Robinson and Jordan Thompson helped Fenerbahce into the quarterfinal by placing second in Pool A with a 4-2 record. Krystal Rivers, Simone Lee and Jenna Rosenthal helped Allianz MTV Stuttgart into the quarterfinals by finishing second in Pool C with a 4-2 record. Quarterfinal matches have Fenerbahce facing Novara in a home-and-home series March 5 and March 11. VakifBank meets Dinamo Moscow on March 3 and March 12 in their home-and-home series. Conegliano plays Stuttgart in the home-and-home quarterfinals on March 4 and March 10. All matches are scheduled to stream on FloVolleyball.tv.

ITALIAN LEAGUE TO RESUME PLAY AFTER HIATUS DUE CORONAVIRUS: Italian Serie A1 will resume action this week after being on hiatus to address concerns regarding an influx of coronavirus cases within Italy. Each team missed 2-3 matches during the postponement of matches. Contests that were originally scheduled for Feb. 22-23 will now be made up on March 18. Matches that were to have played Feb. 26 will now be played April 1. Matches that were scheduled for Feb. 29-March 1 will now be played the weekend of April 4-5. Teams can request alternative dates if there are previous conflicts such as European Championships, CEV Cup or CEV Challenge Cup matches, or conflicts with facility availabilities. The U.S. Women’s National Team has 10 players competing on eight different teams, along with several other Americans throughout the league.

ROBINSON, THOMPSON WITH FENERBAHCE IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Website) and Jordan Thompson (Edina, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Fenerbahce in the Turkish League and European Champions League this winter. In the Turkish league, Fenerbahce overcame a slow start to defeat Aydin B.Sehir Bld 21-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-18 on Feb. 25. Robinson collected 15 points with 13 kills on 32 swings and two blocks. She was credited with a 43 positive reception percent on seven chances. Thompson had a matching 15 points, all on kills via 32 swings. Fenerbahce swept Nilufer 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 on March 1. Thompson pocketed 11 points with eight kills on 19 wings and three aces. Robinson added six kills on 16 swings and two aces. She handled eight receptions with a 38 positive reception percent. Fenerbahce (16-4, 48 points), now in third place, plays eighth-place PTT (8-12, 26 points) on March 8. In the European Champions Cup, Fenerbahce faces Italy’s Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the home-and-home quarterfinals on March 5 and March 11.

BARTSCH-HACKLEY WITH VAKIFBANK IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) has transferred to VakifBank in the Turkish League and the European Champions League after finishing the Chinese League season with a third-place finish. In the Turkish League, VakifBank blanked 10th-place Karayollari 25-14, 25-17, 25-17 on Feb. 26. VakifBank followed with a 25-13, 25-14, 25-12 victory over 11th-place Besiktas. Bartsch-Hackley did not play in either match. VakifBank (19-1, 57 points), in first place in the Turkish League, takes on fourth-place Galatasaray (14-5, 41 points) on March 8. In the European Champions League, VakifBank plays Pool E winner Dinamo Moscow in the home-and-home quarterfinal round on March 3 and March 12.

KINGDON-RISHEL WITH THY IN TURKISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Turk Hava Yollari (THY) in the Turkish League this winter. In the Turkish League, THY lost a heart-breaking 19-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 15-12 match to fourth-place Galatasaray on Feb. 27. Kingdon Rishel scored 15 kills on 37 swings in the loss and had 39 receptions. THY lost to second-place Eczacibasi 25-20, 26-24, 25-19 on March 1. Kingdon Rishel contributed 13 kills on 27 attacks and was 58 percent positive on 43 of the team’s 66 receptions. THY (9-11, 31 points), now in sixth places, resumes action on March 8 against seventh-place Aydin B.Sehir BLD (9-11, 26 points). In the CEV Challenge Cup, THY can advance to the CEV Cup semifinals with a victory over Asko Linz-Steg on the series finale on March 4.

CARLINI WITH DINAMO MOSCOW IN RUSSIA LEAGUE: Setter Lauren Carlini (Aurora, Illinois, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dinamo Moscow in the Russia Super League and the European Champions League. In the Russia Super League, Dinamo Moscow opened the quarterfinals with a 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory over Proton on Feb. 29. Carlini set Dinamo Moscow to a 45 kill percent and scored one kill and one block for two points. The return match is scheduled for March 8. In the European Champions League, Dinamo finished group play with a 4-2 record and will now face Pool B winner VakifBank in the quarterfinals on March 3 and March 12.

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Bringin the heat 🔥

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RIVERS, LEE, ROSENTHAL WITH STUTTGART IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Opposite Krystal Rivers (Birmingham, Alabama, Instagram, Twitter), opposite Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Instagram, Twitter) and middle Jenna RosenthalInstagram, Twitter) are playing for Allianz MTV Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga and the European Champions League. Further, Americans Ainise Havili and Jennifer Hamson are playing for Stuttgart. In the German Bundesliga, Stuttgart blanked VfB Suhl LOTTO Thuringen 25-17, 25-22, 25-22 on Feb. 26. Rivers and Lee did not play in the match. Rosenthal slammed five kills on nine attacks and four blocks for nine points. Hamson tallied 16 points with 11 kills, three aces and two blocks. Stuttgart followed with a 25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20 victory over Schwarz Weiss Erfurt on Feb. 29. Rivers pocketed 15 kills on 42 swings and three blocks for 18 points. Lee and Rosenthal did not play. Stuttgart (15-3, 46 points), now in second place, returns to German Bundesliga action on March 7 against fourth-place Vilsbiburg (10-7, 30 points). In European Champions League, Stuttgart meets Pool C winner Imoco Volley Conegliano in the home-and-home semifinals on March 4 and March 10.

WONG-ORANTES WITH SCHWERIN IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (Cypress, California, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for SSC Palmberg Schwerin in the German Bundesliga this winter. American Lauren Barfield is also a member of the team. In the German Bundesliga, Schwerin eased past NawaRo Straubing 25-18, 25-22, 25-19 on Feb. 26. Wong-Orantes turned in a 60 positive reception percent on 10 chances to help Schwerin to a 44 kill percent. Barfield scored two kills and a block in the victory. Schwerin rumbled to a 25-17, 25-21, 25-17 victory over VC Wiesbaden on Feb. 29. Wong-Orantes was 67 percent positive on 12 receptions to help Schwerin to a 48 kill percent. Schwerin (16-1, 46 points), which leads the league, returns to action on March 7 against third-place Potsdam (12-5, 38 points). In the CEV Cup, Schwerin can close out its home-and-home series with Asterix Avo Beveren on March 3 and advance to the CEV Cup semifinals.

KADIE ROLFZEN WITH DRESDNER IN GERMAN BUNDESLIGA: Outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Dresdner in the German Bundesliga and the CEV Challenge Cup. In the German Bundesliga, Dresdner fell to USC Munster 25-20, 25-22, 25-19 on Feb. 26. Rolfzen scored three kills and a block for four points in the loss. Dresdner (9-9, 28 points), in fifth place, returns to German Bundesliga action on March 7 against eighth-place Straubing (9-10, 24 points). In the CEV Challenge Cup, Dresdner needs to win its home match with AO Thiras Santorini on March 4 along with the golden set to advance to the semifinals.

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Year 22 was a complete whirlwind full of blessings and new beginnings... Way more than I could have imagined.💛When I stop and reflect on what God has done in my heart and life this past year— during both the growing pains & times of immeasurable joy— I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude. He is soooooso faithful and His plan will always.always.always. be a billion times greater than mine... even when we don’t see it, He’s working 🙌🏼 Here’s to continual growth, pursuing undying trust in Jesus, and everything else He has in store for 23✨woohoo Jordan Year baby!! • • • ps THANK YOU everyone for the birthday wishes! Felt the love from miles and miles away☺️🥳🥰

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SELIGER-SWENSON WITH BEZIERS IN FRENCH LEAGUE: Setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson (Minnetonka, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Beziers in the French League and the CEV Challenge Cup along with American teammate Alexa Smith (Colorado Springs, Colorado). In the French League, Beziers lost to Le Cannet 25-15, 25-27, 25-22, 25-19 on Feb. 29. Seliger-Swenson set Beziers to a 35 kill percent and added one individual kill. Beziers (17-6, 51 points), which is in fifth place, resumes French League action on March 7 against third-place Cannes (18-5, 54 points). In the CEV Challenge Cup, Beziers can advance to the CEV Challenge Cup semifinals with a win over Germany’s Aachen on March 4.

WILHITE PARSONS WITH SESI BAURU IN BRAZILIAN SUPERLIGA: Outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons (Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Sesi Bauru in the Brazilian Superliga this winter. Bauru lost to second-place Itambe Minas 17-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-21 on Feb. 28. Wilhite Parsons tallied eight kills on 22 swings and a block for nine points. She handled 17 receptions in the match. Sesi Bauru (11-8, 36 points), currently in fifth place, returns to action on March 3 against 11th-place Valinhos followed by a March 6 match against league-leader Dentil Praia Clube.

JONES-PERRY WITH E.LECLERC RADOMKA IN POLISH LEAGUE: Outside hitter Roni Jones-Perry (West Jordan, Utah, Instagram, Twitter) has transferred to Poland’s E.Leclerc Radomka in the Polish League after playing with Brescia earlier this year in the Italian Serie A1. Radomka lost to Developres SkyRes Rzeszow 22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-17 on Feb. 25. Jones-Perry pocketed 12 kills on 39 swings, three aces and two blocks for 17 points. Radomka finished the regular season with a 25-20, 25-18, 25-23 loss to Chemik Police on Feb. 29. Jones-Perry scored 11 points with nine kills on 18 swings and two aces. Radomka (7-15, 20 points) finished the regular season in in 10th place.

BENSON WITH NUC IN SWISS LEAGUE: Libero Amanda Benson (Litchfield Park, Arizona) is playing for Viteos Neuchatel UC in the Swiss League and CEV Cup this winter along with American teammates Tia Scambray (Dana Point, California) and Kyra Holt (Hercules, California). Neuchatel defeated Volley Lugano 25-11, 20-25, 25-20, 25-14 on Feb. 27 to win its best-of-five quarterfinal round series in three matches. Benson was 75 percent positive on 12 receptions. Holt scored 18 kills on 29 attacks, two blocks and an ace for 21 points. Holt added 13 kills on 30 swings, one block and one ace for 15 points. Scambray was 80 percent positive on 15 receptions and Holt was 68 percent positive on 31 receptions.

OGBOGU, HILL WITH CONEGLIANO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Chiaka Ogbogu (Coppell, Texas, Instagram, Twitter) and outside hitter Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon, Instagram) are playing in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League for Imoco Volleyball Conegliano this winter. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, Conegliano had its third consecutive match postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. However, the league has announced matches will resume this week. Conegliano (18-1, 54 points), which is in first place with a six-point lead, will face 11th-place Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (8-11, 21 points) on March 7 in its next Italian Serie A1 match. In European Champions League, Conegliano has advanced to the home-and-home quarterfinals where it will meet Pool C second-place Allianz MTV Stuttgart on March 4 and March 10.

WASHINGTON, LOWE WITH BUSTO ARSIZIO IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Middle Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) and opposite Karsta Lowe (Rancho Santa Fe, California, Instagram) are playing for Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio in the Italian Serie A1 and CEV Cup this winter. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, Busto Arsizio had its third consecutive match postponed due to the influx of coronavirus cases in Italy. However, the Italian Serie A1 has confirmed matches will resume this week. Busto Arsizio (16-3, 48 points), which remains in second place, will face sixth-place Pomi Casalmaggiore (11-9, 34 points) on March 8 in its next league match. In the CEV Cup, Busto Arsizio must to defeat Dinamo Kazan on March 4 in the return match of its 4th Finals Round home-and-home series plus win a golden set to reach the CEV Cup semifinals.

COURTNEY, HANCKOCK WITH NOVARA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Libero/outside hitter Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio, Instagram) and setter Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma, Instagram, Twitter) are playing for Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the Italian Serie A1 and European Champions League this winter. In the Italian Serie A1 regular season, Novara had its third consecutive match postponed due to a recent outbreak of coronavirus in Italy. However, the Italian Serie A1 has confirmed matches will resume this week. Novara (13-6, 38 points), now in fourth place, will face ninth-place Il Bisonte Firenze (8-12, 24 points) on March 8. In European Champions League, Novara moves into the home-and-home quarterfinal round against Turkey’s Fenerbahce with matches on March 5 and March 11.

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Pretending I’m in the Rockies with a Coors.

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POULTER WITH CHIERI IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Setter Jordyn Poulter (Aurora, Colorado, Instagram, Twitter) is competing for Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-20 pro season along with American Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Nebraska). Chieri had its third consecutive match postponed due to recent coronavirus outbreaks in Italy. However, the Italian Serie A1 has confirmed matches will resume this week. Chieri (8-11, 27 points), now in seventh place, will face fifth-place Saugella Monza (12-8, 36 points) on March 8.

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Ready to spike some more balls soon

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PLUMMER WITH MONZA IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Kathryn Plummer (Aliso Viejo, California, Instagram, Twitter) has signed her first professional contract to play for Saugella Monza in the Italian Serie A1. In the Italian Serie A1, Monza had two matches postponed last week due to the recent coronavirus outbreak in Italy. However, the Italian Serie A1 has confirmed matches will resume this week. Monza (12-8, 36 points), which is in fifth place, will face seventh-place Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (8-11, 27 points) on March 8.

FOECKE WITH FIRENZE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Outside hitter Mikaela Foecke (West Point, Iowa, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Il Bisonte Firenze in the Italian Serie A1 for the 2019-2020 season. Firenze had two matches postponed last week due to influx of coronavirus cases in Italy. However, the Italian Serie A1 has confirmed the league will resume matches this week. Firenze (8-12, 24 points), now in ninth place, will challenge fourth-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara (13-6, 38 points) on March 8.

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*sighs heavily* Check the weather kids

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CUTTINO WITH CASALMAGGIORE IN ITALIAN LEAGUE: Opposite Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Indiana, Instagram, Twitter) is playing for Epiu Pomi Casalmaggiore in the Italian Serie A1 during the 2019-2020 pro season. Casalmaggiore had two matches postponed last week due to the rise of coronavirus cases in Italy. However, the Italian Serie A1 has confirmed the league will resume play this week. Casalmaggiore (11-9, 34 points), now in sixth place, will face second-place Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (16-3, 48 points) on March 8.

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