COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 18, 2020) – The 2020 season has started for China’s women’s pro league where U.S. National Team members Jordan Larson (far left in photo) and Kelsey Robinson are both playing.
The Chinese season will be very short, Nov. 8-Dec. 19. Foreign players had to quarantine for roughly three weeks before they could be with their teams. They are playing in a bubble, much like the NBA in the U.S.
The schedule is intense, with matches going on every day. The first stage is already complete, with Larson and Shanghai finishing 5-0 to lead Group B. Shanghai was the only team to finish undefeated.
Robinson and Guangdong Evergrande finished third in Group A at 5-1. In the second phase, the teams from the two groups will play each other.
On Nov. 16, Larson and Shanghai (4-0) beat Shandong, 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-25, 16-14). Larson led all scorers with 25 points on 24 kills and one block.
On Nov. 18, Robinson and Guangdong Evergrande beat Henan Silver Pigeon, 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 28-26, 25-16). Robinson scored 18 points on 15 kills and three aces.
Several teams in Italy have missed matches due to the pandemic.
Outside hitter T.J. DeFalco and Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia (6-3) got a big victory over league-leading Cucine Lube Civitanova (8-1) on Nov. 15.
DeFalco scored 17 points as Vibo Valentia won 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23). DeFalco scored on 15 kills and two aces.
Middle blocker Max Holt and Vero Volley Monza (4-5) beat outside hitter Aaron Russell and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza, 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 28-26, 25-17) on Nov. 14.
Holt played as a sub and started the final two sets, scoring six points on five kills and one block. Russell led his Piacenza (4-5) with 17 points on 16 kills and one ace.
Setter Kawika Shoji and Kioene Padova (1-9) took Allianz Milano (6-2) to five sets on Nov. 11 before falling, 3-2 (25-16, 21-25, 25-15, 18-25, 15-11). Shoji scored three points on two aces and one block and set his team to a .382 hitting efficiency.
For the women, outside hitter Kim Hill and league-leading Imoco Volley Conegliano (11-0) beat setter Micha Hancock, middle blocker Haleigh Washington and second-place Igor Gorgonzola Novara, 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-16) on Nov. 14.
Hill scored 13 points on 12 kills and one ace. American outside hitter McKenzie Adams scored eight points on six kills and two aces. Washington scored five points on three kills and two blocks. Hancock scored four points on one kill and three aces. She set Novara (7-2) to a .232 hitting efficiency.
Outside hitter Megan Courtney and Savino Del Bene Scandicci (6-3) beat Banca Valsabbina Millenium Brescia (1-9), 3-2 (25-13, 22-25, 25-18, 14-25, 15-13) on Nov. 15. Courtney started sets 1, 2, 4 and 5 and scored nine points on eight kills and one block.
Setter Jordyn Poulter and Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio (2-5) fell to Bosca S.Bernardo Cuneo (4-3), 3-2 (25-23, 18-25, 26-24, 25-27, 15-10) on Nov. 15. Poulter scored three points on one kill and two blocks and set her team to a .302 hitting efficiency.
Setter Josh Tuaniga and Ślepsk Malow Suwałki (7-5) defeated Asseco Resovia Rzeszów (5-2), 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21) on Nov. 17. Tuaniga scored four points on three blocks and one kill. He set his team to a .409 hitting efficiency. Middle blocker Jeff Jendryk is on Resovia Rzeszów’s roster but did not play.
Libero Dustin Watten and GKS Katowice (4-3) beat outside hitter Brenden Sander and Cerrad Enea Czarni Radom (4-7), 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-21) on Nov. 14. Watten was credited with 11 receptions, 82 percent positive. Sander scored five points on five kills.
Vakifbank (15-0) with outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley beat Aydin B.Sehir Bld., 3-1 (25-8, 25-14, 22-25, 25-15) on Nov. 18.
Bartsch-Hackley scored 10 points on seven kills, two aces and one block. Rachael Adams is on the roster for Aydin B.Sehir Bld. (9-8) but did not play.
Nilüfer Bld. (10-5) with outside hitter Sarah Wilhite Parsons beat Sistem9 Yeşilyurt (6-6), 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-19) on Nov. 18. Parsons led all scorers with 22 points on 19 kills, two blocks and one ace.
Türk Hava Yolları (12-5) with setter Lauren Carlini and outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel fell to Galatasaray HDI Sigorta (11-5), 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 15-8) on Nov. 18. Kingdon led all scorers with 25 points on 23 kills, one block and one ace. Carlini scored two points on two kills and set her team to a .295 hitting efficiency.
Outside hitter Simone Lee and the Kurobe Aqua Fairies beat middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson and Hisamitsu Springs, 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13).
Lee scored 29 points on 25 kills, three aces and one block. Gunderson finished with 12 points on five kills, four aces and three blocks.
Opposite Annie Drews and JT Marvelous (7-1) beat Lee and the Aqua Fairies (2-5), 3-1 (17-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-17) on Nov. 15. Drews scored 22 points on 21 kills and one block. Lee led all scorers with 25 points on 24 kills and one block.
Opposite Kathryn Plummer and the Denso Airybees (5-3) fell to the Toray Arrows (7-0), 3-2 (25-19, 25-23, 16-25, 21-25, 15-13 on Nov. 14. Plummer scored five points on three kills and two blocks before having to leave the match with an injury in the second set.
Middle blocker Hannah Tapp and Hitachi Rivale (2-6) fell to the NEC Red Rockets (7-2), 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-14) on Nov. 15. Tapp scored 11 points on nine kills and two blocks.
Gunderson and Hisamitsu Springs (5-4) beat the PFU Bluecats (0-7), 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-15, 25-11) on Nov. 15. Gunderson scored 15 points on 12 kills, two blocks and one ace.
Middle blocker Taylor Averill and Cannes beat Toulouse, 3-1 (25-19, 29-27, 23-25, 25-20) on Nov. 14. Averill scored 18 points on 11 kills, five blocks and two aces. He was named the match MVP.
Opposite Ben Patch, outside hitter Cody Kessel and the Berlin Recycling Volleys (4-1) beat the Helios Grizzlys Giesen, 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-21) on Nov. 14. Patch scored 17 points on 14 kills, two aces and one block. Kessel played as a substitute.
Setter Joe Worsley and VfB Friedrichshafen (3-1) beat TSV Unterhaching (0-5), 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-18, 25-13) on Nov. 15. Worsley started the last two sets and scored one point with a block. He helped set Friedrichshafen to a .381 hitting efficiency.
Libero Erik Shoji and Fakel Novy Urengoy fell to Zenit Kazan in the preliminaries of the Cup of Russia, 3-1 (25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 25-18) and did not advance to the semifinals.