Tuesday, 23 April 2024
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International Volleyball

Pro Volleyball Federation’s Fury signs Olympian Bartsch-Hackley; CSUN men upset Hawai’i

Pro Volleyball Federation's Fury signs Olympian Bartsch-Hackley; CSUN men upset Hawai'i

Hawaii was stung on its home court as CSUN pulled off a huge Big West upset, BYU doubled down at Pepperdine and the MIVA produced fireworks on a busy Saturday of NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball.

Jon Diedrich of Purdue Fort Wayne exploded for 38 kills, the high for the season in men’s college ball, but his heavy lifting couldn’t get his Mastodons over the hump in a five-set defeat to MIVA pacesetter Ball State.

The MIVA also saw a ranked upset as McKendree, 18th in the AVCA coaches poll, swept Loyola Chicago, which had risen to 11th in the weekly rankings.

But arguably the biggest development of the day came off the court in the women’s Pro Volleyball Federation.

The Columbus Fury signed superstar outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, the first member of the USA Olympic gold-medal-winning team from the 2021 Tokyo Games landed by the startup league.

No matches are scheduled on Sunday in NCAA men’s volleyball. On Monday, Lincoln Memorial (16-5) entertains fellow independent Missouri S&T (10-10).

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley during the Tokyo Olympics/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

PVF: Fury add Bartsch-Hackley, Perovic

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, 34, had stepped away from competitive volleyball after finishing the 2022 season with the VakΔ±fBank Istanbul club in the Turkish League, and worked as an assistant coach under Jen Flynn Oldenburg at Ohio State during the 2023 campaign. She also had served in a coaching and advisory capacity with the Fury.

Although League One Volleyball, which will launch its regular season in January of 2025, has ballyhooed the signings of a number of members of the 2021 USA Olympic team, Bartsch-Hackley represents a significant breakthrough addition for the Pro Volleyball Federation.

The gaudy and lengthy resume for the former Illinois great includes being named co-Best Outside Hitter (with teammate Jordan Larson) in the Tokyo Olympics, as well as the MVP and Best Hitter of the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

Even after a break of roughly two years, the 6-foot-3 Bartsch-Hackley quickly figures to make an impact as the Fury (4-5), who have lost three in a row, continue to reshape their roster. Coach Angel Perez said, β€œWe expect great things,” from a player who ranked among the most feared hitters in the world not that long ago.

β€œEverybody knows what Michelle brings to the table,” Perez said in a team release. β€œShe is an Olympic gold medalist, has played in the best leagues in the world with the best clubs in the world.

β€œShe…

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