This is our weekly update on USA women playing professional volleyball around the world. Most of the players are former NCAA standouts. The season is winding down as playoff series near their ends:
VakifBank won its third Turkish Cup in a row.
VakifBank advanced to the Turkish Cup final by beating Aydin 26-24, 25-20, 25-16 as Kara Bajema had eight kills (.467) while playing the first two sets. Chiaka Ogbogu came off the bench to have one kill.
Vakifbank then swept Fenerbahce for the title 25-15, 25-23, 29-27. Bajema had nine kills, six in the third set for Vakifbank. Ogbogu did not play due to foreigner limits.
Kathryn Plummer and Conegliano are in the Italian league tournament final.
In the first match of the semifinals, Conegliano cruised past Novara 25-16, 25-22, 26-24 and Plummer was the second-top scorer with 11 kills and two aces. Kelsey Cook added 11 kills and one block. Novara’s McKenzie Adams had a kill.
Conegliano then beat Novara 25-21, 25-18, 20-25, 25-23 as Plummer led with 19 kills, three blocks and an ace. Cook had nine kills. Adams had six kills as Novara’s season ended.
Scandicci plays Milano in winner-take-all match Wednesday for the right to play Conegliano.
Scandicci gained the advantage in the first match of their semifinals series by beating Milano 21-25, 25-12, 25-13, 25-23. Haleigh Washington had four kills and two blocks for Scandicci. Jordan Thompson led Milano with 19 kills, one block and an ace. Jordan Larson added six kills and an ace. Dana Rettke provided a boost with four kills and an ace in her brief appearance.
The Jordans lifted Milano as it bounced back to beat Sandicci 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21. Larson was named MVP with 10 kills and three blocks. Thompson led Milano as she had 17 kills and an ace. Washington finished with three blocks and two kills for Scandicci.
In the playoff challenge, Firenze opened the group stage with an upset of Chieri (25-19, 25-18, 25-19). Rhamat Alhassan had four kills and two blocks for Firenze. Brionne Butler played two sets but didn’t score for Chieri.
Firenze then advanced to the final with a reverse sweep of Busto Arsizio (21-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-13). Alhassan had three kills and three blocks in a two set appearance. Setter Carli Lloyd had three blocks and a kill for Busto Arsizio.
Casalmaggiore earned its first group stage win by…
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