Saturday, 3 June 2023

International Volleyball

Gray leads Cook, Plummer, Conegliano to Italian League title; Nuneviller, Lee, Rivers get big wins

Gray leads Cook, Plummer, Conegliano to Italian League title; Nuneviller, Lee, Rivers get big wins

Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano celebrates winning the Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile title

This is the last of our weekly reports for the 2022-23 pro women’s volleyball season. For all the reports and other features about USA women playing pro, click on this link:

Canadian Alexa Gray, who was a 2015 Volleyball magazine second-team All-American for BYU, could probably get elected as mayor Conegliano, Italy.

That’s because on Monday the 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Calgary came into the fifth match of the best-of-five Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile series and put on an offensive show.

Gray had 22 kills, hit .626, and was named MVP after Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano defeated Vero Volley Milano 23-25, 26-24, 25-17, 25-21.

It was the fifth Italian league title in a row for Conegliano.

“I don’t remember much, I’m completely blacked out!” Gray said. “I’m so proud of the team and happy to have helped through a difficult time.”

In the second set, Conegliano trailed 18-12, was still down 20-17 and then rallied from a 23-21 deficit behind Gray, who also finished with two blocks and an ace. She came into the match for Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer, who had four kills and a block.

Swede Isabelle Haak led Conegliano with 24 kills and a block. The other American on the winning team, Olympian and Nebraska product Kelsey Robinson Cook, had seven kills, four blocks and an ace.

Milano got a spectacular performance from injured opposite Jordan Thompson, the former Cincinnati star who, despite a heavily wrapped leg, had 31 kills and an ace. American teammate and fellow USA Olympian Jordan Larson of Nebraska had nine kills. Former Wisconsin star Dana Rettke had a kill and a block in a brief appearance in set three. Milano lost in the final for the second straight year.

This was an exciting, close series throughout. Conegliano won the first match 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 25-11, which was in our report last week.

In the second match, Milano won 25-22, 25-23, 25-18 as Thompson had 17 kills and two aces. Larson had eight kills and an ace. Robinson Cook had three kills and an ace, while Plummer was limited to one kill.

Conegliano’s Kathryyn Plummer attacks against Milano’s Jordan Thompson/Filippo Rubin, LVF photo

Milano took a 2-1 series lead with a 25-21, 14-25, 20-25, 27-25, 15-13 victory. Thompson continued to lead, this time with 24 kills, three blocks and an ace. Larson added…

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