Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

WNT Update: Hisamitsu Springs Clinches Victory in Empress Cup

Empress Cup

Middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson, a three-time Olympic medalist, continued her winning streak in Japan as Hisamitsu Springs secured the Empress Cup on Dec. 19. In a thrilling final, Hisamitsu Springs triumphed over the Toray Arrows with a score of 3-2 (18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-27, 15-11). Akinradewo played a pivotal role, scoring 21 points on 17 kills (.630) and four blocks, leading her team to victory.

Japanese League Update

In the quarterfinals, Hisamitsu Springs also claimed victory against U.S. opposite Annie Drews and JT Marvelous in a tight match that ended with a score of 3-2 (31-29, 25-21, 13-25, 18-25, 15-12). Meanwhile, the NEC Red Rockets, led by Sarah Wilhite Parsons, secured the third-place position.

JT Marvelous concluded the first half of the regular season at the top of the league standings with an impressive 13-1 record. The NEC Red Rockets finished third with an 11-3 record, while Hisamitsu Springs placed fourth with a 9-5 record. Hitachi Rivale, featuring middle Hannah Tapp, finished eighth with a 6-8 record. On the other hand, the Toyota Auto Body Queenseis, with outside hitter Kelsey Robinson, experienced a challenging season and placed 12th with a 0-14 record. The Japanese league will resume on Jan. 9 following the holiday break.

China Update

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Olympic MVP Jordan Larson and the Shanghai Guangming Ube Volleyball Club reached the league semifinals, but unfortunately lost in a best-of-three playoff against Jiangsu Zhongtian Iron and Steel. In the decisive match on Jan. 1, Shanghai suffered a 3-0 defeat (25-21, 25-12, 25-16). Larson gave her all, leading Shanghai with 11 points on nine kills and two blocks. She also displayed excellent reception skills, with a 75% positive rate. Shanghai is now competing for third place against Liaoning Huajun in a best-of-three series.

Italy Update

Dana Rettke, a valuable asset to the University of Wisconsin’s volleyball team, has signed with Vero Volley Monza in Italy. Monza finished the first half of the season in an impressive third place with a 9-3 record. Rettke’s previous experience with the U.S. Women’s team in the Volleyball Nations League and the Olympic qualifier will undoubtedly contribute to Monza’s success.

Several other teams have advanced to the semifinals of the Italian Cup. Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano, led by outside hitters Megan Courtney and Kathryn Plummer, Igor Gorgonzola Novara, featuring middle Haleigh Washington and setter Micha Hancock, and Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio, with setter Jordyn Poulter, are among the top contenders. The semifinal matches are scheduled for Jan. 5, with the final set to take place on Jan. 6.

FIVB Club World Championship Update

Turkey’s VakifBank, with middle Chiaka Ogbogu and outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, emerged victorious in the FIVB Club World Championship on Dec. 19. In a thrilling final that went to five sets, VakifBank defeated Italy’s Imoco Volley Conegliano, featuring Courtney and Plummer, with a score of 3-2 (25-15, 22-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-7). Ogbogu, Bartsch-Hackley, Plummer, and Courtney all played crucial roles in their respective teams’ performances. Danielle Cuttino, playing as an opposite for her Brazilian club Itambé Minas, finished in fourth place.

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CEV Tournaments Update

The CEV Champions League is currently in pool play, with Turkey’s VakifBank and Italy’s Igor Gorganzola Novara and Imoco Conegliano all maintaining undefeated records of 3-0. Turkey’s THY Istanbul is also performing well, with a 2-1 record. Notably, THY Istanbul, with outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel, setter Lauren Carlini, and middle blocker Tori Dixon, secured a convincing victory over VC Dukla Luberec of the Czech Republic on Dec. 21, winning with a score of 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-22).

German League Update

Justine Wong-Orantes, libero for Wiesbaden, broke her team’s three-match losing streak with a thrilling 3-2 victory (26-24, 25-23, 19-25, 20-25, 15-12) over Dresden on Jan. 4. Wong-Orantes showcased her exceptional reception skills, achieving a 52% positive rate in the match.

Turkish League Update

The Turkish league concluded its matches for 2021 on Dec. 11. VakifBank, with Ogbogu and Bartsch-Hackley, finished in an impressive third place with an 11-2 record. THY Istanbul, with Kingdon Rishel, Carlini, and Dixon, secured fourth place with a 10-3 record. Ogbogu currently leads the league in kill percentage, boasting an impressive 64% success rate (73-114).

Brazilian League Update

Rachael Adams and Osasco São Cristóvão Saúde finished 2021 on a high note with a commanding 3-0 victory (25-20, 25-17, 25-23) over Unilife-Maringa. Adams was acknowledged with the VivaVolley trophy for her outstanding performance. Unfortunately, the team’s plans for the start of the 2022 season have been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases. Danielle Cuttino and Itambé Minas, on the other hand, are scheduled to resume their league matches on Jan. 7. They currently hold the third-place position in the league standings.

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Q: When does the Japanese league resume after the holiday break?
A: The Japanese league will resume on Jan. 9 following the holiday break.

Q: Who won the FIVB Club World Championship?
A: Turkey’s VakifBank emerged victorious in the FIVB Club World Championship.

Q: Who are the top contenders in the Italian Cup?
A: Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano, Igor Gorgonzola Novara, and Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio are among the top contenders in the Italian Cup.

Q: Which teams are undefeated in the CEV Champions League?
A: Turkey’s VakifBank and Italy’s Igor Gorganzola Novara and Imoco Conegliano are all currently undefeated in the CEV Champions League.

Q: Who leads the Turkish league in kill percentage?
A: Chiaka Ogbogu of VakifBank leads the Turkish league in kill percentage with an impressive 64% success rate.

Q: When will Osasco São Cristóvão Saúde begin their 2022 season?
A: Osasco São Cristóvão Saúde will have to postpone the start of their 2022 season due to positive COVID-19 cases.