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Men’s pro volleyball report: Averill, Projekt Warsaw win CEV Challenge Cup

Men’s pro volleyball report: Averill, Projekt Warsaw win CEV Challenge Cup

Taylor Averill and Projekt Warsaw beat Vero Volley Monza to win the CEV Challenge Cup/projektwarsawa.waw.pl photo

This is Blair Lambert’s men’s professional volleyball report, featuring Americans around the world and foreigners who played for NCAA programs. Got a note about a player or a comment for Blair? Email him at blairlambert2@gmail.com

Taylor Averill didn’t play, but nonetheless became the first American player to claim a continental trophy this season when his Projekt Warsaw team beat Vero Volley Monza in four sets last week in Poland and repeated the result Tuesday to win the CEV Challenge Cup. 

This is first Averill’s second trophy as a professional. He previously won the 2021 French Ligue A title with AS Cannes.

The quarterfinals of the CEV Champions league are almost completed after an entertaining week of matches where Italian clubs took three of the four semifinal spots.

Cody Kessel saw limited action and scored a point in the third set for Berlin Recycling Volleys, which was swept by Itas Trentino. The defending Italian champions went on the road in the first leg and won in just 70 minutes.

Lube Civitanova is hoping to hold on to the fourth seed in the Italian SuperLega playoffs with one match remaining. A loss could see Micah Christenson’s first professional club fall to sixth place, but its performance in the Champions League has been steady. Aleksandar Nikolov led Lube with 15 kills and two aces. Micah Ma’a set Halkbank Ankara to a .369 hitting percentage and put away three kills in a four-set defeat. Halkbank will have to go to Italy, win the match in no more than four sets, and win a golden set in order to advance.

Ziraat Bankasi lost the first set to CV Guagas. Ogulcan Yatgin was brought in to set and that was the needed change as Matt Anderson’s team recovered to take the next three sets. Anderson had 13 kills, two blocks and an ace.

In the only quarterfinal match not to feature an American player, Gas Sales Piacenza defeated Jastrzębski Węgiel in five sets.

CEV Cup

TJ DeFalco was not in the lineup but Asseco Resovia Rzeszów defeated Fenerbahce in the first leg of the semifinals.

SVG Lüneburg  got swept by Arkas Izmir but Matt Knigge had seven kills on seven attempts in addition to two blocks. Gage Worsley passed 25 percent positively and zero percent perfect.

Poland

ZAKSA Kędzierzyn-Koźle traveled to Ukraine and beat Barkom Kazany Lviv in four sets. Erik Shoji passed 83 percent positive and 58 percent perfect. Dave Smith…

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