Wednesday, 29 May 2024

CNT-Europe To Compete for Gold at the Global Challenge

Global Challenge

For the second consecutive year, the United States Collegiate National Team-Europe (CNT-Europe) has advanced to the final of the European Global Challenge. In an exciting semifinal match, CNT-Europe defeated Northumbria with a score of 25-20, 24-26, 25-14, 25-19. They will now face the Mountain West Conference All-Stars in the championship match.

A Success Story

The success of CNT-Europe can be attributed to their outstanding ball control and strong blocking performance. Head coach Dani Busboom Kelly commended her team’s ability to control the ball, which allowed their middle blockers to shine. The team’s blocking was also commendable, with a total of 16 blocks compared to Northumbria’s 5. Standout players include Kirstie Hillyer from Colorado State with five block points and Danielle Hart from Wisconsin with four blocks.

CNT-Europe showed their versatility on the court with a total of 47 kills, with Taylor Mims from Washington State leading the team with 16 kills and Kirstie Hillyer contributing 10 kills. Their impressive performance in the semifinals was fueled by their energy, teamwork, and consistency in hitting. August Raskie from Oregon, who set the entire match, emphasized the importance of their passing game in achieving their rhythm.

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The Road to the Final

In last year’s final, CNT-Europe emerged as the champions with a 3-0 victory against the Mountain West team. Coach Busboom Kelly acknowledged the strength of the Mountain West Conference and expects a tough battle in this year’s final. With both teams familiar with each other’s style of play, the match is anticipated to be a thrilling dogfight.

A Recap of the Semifinals

  • Set 1: CNT-Europe took an early lead of 12-4, and despite Northumbria’s efforts to narrow the gap, timely blocks from Hillyer and Green secured the set win.
  • Set 2: CNT-Europe had a comfortable lead of 11-4, but Northumbria made a comeback to tie the score at 20. Despite the tie, CNT-Europe remains resilient and focused.
  • Set 3: With a 12-10 lead, the U.S. team went on an impressive 8-0 run, taking control of the set with strong serving from Jessica Schaben and key plays from Danielle Hart.
  • Set 4: Amanda Green played a vital role in securing the victory, leading a run in the middle of the set that gave CNT-Europe an advantage they never relinquished.

The Starting Lineup

The starting lineup for CNT-Europe included Leah Edmond from Kentucky and Amanda Green as outside hitters, Kirstie Hillyer and Danielle Hart as middle blockers, Taylor Mims as an opposite, August Raskie as the setter, and Alexis Dirige from Washington State as libero.


Q: What is the European Global Challenge?
A: The European Global Challenge is a prestigious volleyball tournament that brings together top collegiate teams from around the world to compete for the championship.

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Q: How does CNT-Europe qualify for this tournament?
A: CNT-Europe consists of a select group of collegiate players who are chosen based on their exceptional skills and performance. They represent the United States in international competitions.

Q: How can I watch the championship match?
A: The championship match will be broadcast live on the Global Challenge website.


CNT-Europe has once again demonstrated their strength and determination, securing a spot in the European Global Challenge final. With their exceptional ball control, dominant blocking, and powerful hitting, they have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with on the volleyball court. As they prepare to face the Mountain West Conference All-Stars in the final, the stage is set for an epic showdown. Stay tuned to witness the thrilling conclusion of this prestigious tournament.