Monday, 27 May 2024

NT Update: Kyle Russell Shines in Korea

After a well-deserved break from volleyball, the U.S. National Team players are back in action, joining their respective club teams overseas. USA Volleyball has witnessed a surge of over 150 transfers since the opening of the portal on August 17.


One notable achievement comes from Kyle Russell and his Korean team, Suwon KEPCO Vixtorm. They emerged victorious in the 2020 KOVO Cup, defeating the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos in a thrilling final match that ended with a score of 3-2 (25-18, 19-25, 25-20, 23-25, 20-18). Russell, who played as an outside hitter, showcased exceptional performance by scoring 27 points and was deservedly named the Most Valuable Player.


Italy welcomed the return of women’s professional volleyball after a long hiatus since March 7 with the highly-anticipated women’s SuperCup. In the quarterfinals held on September 1, Unet E-Work Busto Arxizio, led by U.S. setter Jordyn Poulter, defeated Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in a gripping match, with a score of 25-22, 25-27, 25-20, 25-17. Poulter’s contribution of five points, including four blocks and one kill, proved instrumental in the team’s victory.

In another quarterfinal encounter, Igor Gorgonzola Novara, featuring U.S. setter Micha Hancock and middle blocker Haleigh Washington, triumphed over Il Bisonte Firenze with a score of 23-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-18, 15-12. Washington secured eight points through six kills and two blocks, while Hancock contributed four points, including three aces and one kill.

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The SuperCup’s semifinals and final will be held on September 5-6 at the picturesque Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza.


Jordan Thompson and her Turkish team, Eczacıbaşı, hosted and claimed victory in a friendly tournament held from August 14-16. In an exciting final, Eczacıbaşı defeated Turkish Airlines, which included U.S. setter Lauren Carlini and outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel, with a flawless score of 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-21).


Four men’s teams in Poland are set to compete in the Super Cup of Polish Champions on September 5-6 in Arłamów. The U.S. players participating in the tournament are David Smith (Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle), Taylor Sander (PGE Skra Bełchatów), and Jeff Jendryk (Asseco Resovia Rzeszów). The fourth team joining the competition is Jastrzębski Węgiel.


We extend our heartfelt congratulations to U.S. opposite Matt Anderson and Jackie Gillum, who tied the knot on August 29 in Indiana. The couple is blessed with a beautiful son named Jamie, born in January. The wedding ceremony was graced by the presence of 2012 Olympian Paul Lotman.


Q: What is the KOVO Cup?

The KOVO Cup is a prestigious volleyball tournament held in Korea. It showcases top-tier teams competing for the title and is known for its intense matches and high-level performances.

Q: When will the SuperCup’s semifinals and final take place?

The SuperCup’s semifinals and final matches will be held on September 5-6 at the stunning Piazza dei Signori in Vicenza, Italy.

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In this update, we highlight the outstanding performances and achievements of U.S. National Team players competing overseas. Kyle Russell’s exceptional display in Korea, leading his team to victory, captivated volleyball enthusiasts. Additionally, women’s professional volleyball made a triumphant return to Italy with the women’s SuperCup, featuring notable contributions from U.S. setters and blockers. The friendly tournament in Turkey showcased the talent of Jordan Thompson and her team, while Poland gears up for an exciting competition with four esteemed men’s teams. Lastly, we send our warmest congratulations to Matt Anderson and Jackie Gillum on their wedding, a joyous celebration of love and family.

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