Making Moves: Off-Season Transfers and Re-Signings

The 2018-19 professional volleyball season wrapped up in May, and since then, as the world’s top national teams competed in the Volleyball Nations League, the international volleyball world has been abuzz with news of transfers and re-signings in the club ranks. 

(This list includes all players on the 25-player VNL roster, with the exception of the three players still in college—Mary Lake, Dana Rettke, and Jordan Thompson.)

Rachael Adams

From: Vero Volley Monza (Italy)

To: TBD

The 2018-19 season was Adams’ first with Monza of Italy’s Serie A, and there’s been no word whether the middle blocker will stay with the team for another year or make a move, however she is not listed on the 2019-20 roster posted on the team’s website. Last year, Adams helped Monza, which also included American setter Micha Hancock, to a fourth-place finish in the regular season and an appearance in the semis of the Italian league playoffs.

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley

From: Igor Novara Volley, aka AGIL Volley (Italy)
To: BAIC Motor Beijing 

After winning the 2019 CEV Champions League crown with Novara, Bartsch-Hackley will join another championship team, the defending Chinese Volleyball Super League winner BAIC Motor Beijing. The 2018-19 Beijing roster included Americans Madi Kingdon and Tori Dixon, but Kingdon is for sure leaving, and there’s been no word about Dixon’s placement for the upcoming season, but more on those two later...

Lauren Carlini

From: Igor Novara Volley, aka AGIL Volley (Italy)

To: Dinamo Moscow (Russia)

Setter Carlini had a fantastic year with Novara, winning the 2019 CEV Champions League, but for the coming season, she’ll move to Russia to play for Dinamo Moscow. The departure of former Dinamo setter Maja Ognjenovic, who signed a contract with VakifBank of the Turkish league in June, opened up a position with the decorated Russia club. According to this article, Carlini will be just the second American woman to play professionally in Russia, following in the footsteps of Logan Tom. 

Megan Courtney

From: Volley Bergamo (Italy)

To: Igor Novara Volley, aka AGIL Volley (Italy)

Courtney tore her ACL in the fall of 2017 and then last year spent her first pro season back with Bergamo. For 2019-20, she’ll remain in Italy, but climb the ranks to Champions League winner Novara. An outside hitter professionally, Courtney plays libero for Team USA and even earned the “Best Libero” designation at VNL.

Danielle Cuttino

From: Pomi Casalmaggiore, aka Pallavolo Rosa (Italy)

To: TBD

My best guess, based on a happy birthday tweet Pallavolo Rosa sent out to Cuttino last month, is that the former Purdue opposite plans to return for a second season with this Italian squad. Cuttino signed with Casalmaggiore right out of college and helped the team finish sixth in the regular season Italian league standings.

Tori Dixon

From: BAIC Motor Beijing (China)

To: TBD

Dixon contributed to Beijing’s 2018-19 Chinese League championship and she still lists the team in her Instagram bio, but we’ve heard no official word from the middle blocker as to whether she’s re-signed with the team.

Annie Drews

From: Beylikduzu (Turkey)

To: TBD

Drews played for a middle-of-the-pack team in the Turkish league last season, and you would think, after her MVP performance at VNL, clubs would be bombarding her with offers. BUT, there’s been no official word yet on whether Drews will stay with Beylikduzu or move on to bigger and better things.

Mikaela Foecke

From: N/A

To: Il Bisonte Firenze (Italy)

Just as she was getting ready for her first summer with Team USA, Mikaela Foecke signed her first professional contract with Il Bisonte Firenze. The recent grad of the University of Nebraska will join a fellow former Big Ten star in Minnesota’s Daly Santana, who recently signed with Il Bisonte for a third season.

Lauren Gibbemeyer

Resigned with Eczacibasi Istanbul (Turkey)

It’s a season of turnover for Eczacibasi Istanbul. Seven players from the 2018-19 roster have announced their departure and a new septet of athletes has signed contracts with the team for the upcoming season. USA middle blocker Gibbemeyer, however, is staying put for her second season with the Turkish league runner-up. 

Micha Hancock

From: Vero Volley Monza (Italy)

To: Igor Novara Volley, aka AGIL Volley (Italy)

Hancock will join USA teammate Courtney at Novara this coming season. Hancock saw playing time early in VNL and then went on to lead the Pan Am Cup team to a gold medal, earning MVP and Best Setter honors along the way.

Kim Hill

Re-signed with Imoco Volley Conegliano

Outside hitter Hill will play for Italian league champion Imoco for a third consecutive year, stating in a press release, “I am always proud to wear the Imoco Volley shirt! Conegliano is my team, I want to help this super company and these wonderful fans to conquer as many trophies as possible next season.”

Madi Kingdon Rishel

From: BAIC Motor Beijing 

To: Turk Hava Yollari, aka Turkish Airlines or THY (Turkey)

Kingdon Rishel’s professional volleyball career has taken her from Azerbaijan to Korea to China, and for 2019-20, she’ll add another country, Turkey, to her list. After winning the 2018-19 Chinese League championship, Kingdon will join THY, which finished fifth in the 2018-19 Turkish league regular season standings.


Jordan Larson

From: Eczacibasi Istanbul (Turkey)

To: Shanghai Bright Ubest (China)

USA captain Larson joined Eczacibasi way back in 2014, and the outside hitter won numerous championships and individual awards in her five years with the elite Turkish team. Larson begins a new chapter of her volleyball career this year in China, joining the team based in Shanghai.

Simone Lee

From: Beylikduzu (Turkey)

To: Kurobe Aqua Fairies (Japan)

Lee signed her first professional contract with Imoco in Italy, where she played a half a season filling in for injured Megan Easy. Lee then signed in Turkey for her first full pro slate. This season, she’s on the move again, joining the Kurobe Aqua Fairies of Japan’s V-League.


Carli Lloyd

From: Praia Clube (Brazil)

To: Eczacibasi Istanbul (Turkey)

Setter Carli Lloyd will take the place of Ezgi Dilik on the 2019-20 Eczacibasi roster, joining Gamze Alikaya as the second setter on the roster. With fellow USA player Gibbemeyer also playing for Eczacibasi, Lloyd should have an easier time transitioning to life on and off the court in Istanbul.

Karsta Lowe

From: Imoco Volley Conegliano (Italy)

To: Futura Volley Busto Arsizio aka UYBA (Italy)

An injury to opposite Miyu Nagaoka created an opening for Lowe to reenter the world of professional volleyball last winter after taking a break from the sport. Lowe will now transfer from Imoco, where she helped the team win the Italian league title, to Busto Arsizio.

Chiaka Ogbogu

From: Chemik Police (Poland)

To: Imoco Volley Conegliano (Italy)

This transfer for Ogbogu from the Polish league to Italy’s Serie A honors the improvement she’s made in her game since graduating from the University of Texas. The middle blocker starred for USA at the 2019 VNL and will fit in nicely at this top Italian club.

Jordyn Poulter

Resigned with Chieri ‘76 (Italy)

Soon after she graduated from the University of Illinois in December, setter Poulter signed with Chieri of Italy’s Serie A for the second half of the 2018-19 season. Despite the team being relegated to A2, Poulter will stick with the squad for the upcoming season. “I’m excited to go back and kind of have an idea of what to expect now,” Poulter said to the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette. “To dip my toe in—only go in for the second half of the season after my eligibility was done—now I know a little bit more what to expect.”

Kelsey Robinson

From: VakifBank Istanbul (Turkey)

To: Fenerbahce (Turkey)

Outside hitter Robinson is very popular in Turkey, and the feeling must be mutual because she just signed a new contract with Fenerbahce after two seasons with VakifBank. While she was on the roster of VakifBank, the team won the FIVB Club World Championships, the Champions League, and back-to-back Turkish League titles.

Hannah Tapp

From: Volley Bergamo (Italy)

To: Flamengo (Brazil)

After one season with Bergamo, middle blocker Tapp will join Flamengo, a Brazilian team preparing to compete in the league’s top division after earning promotion last season. Tapp saw playing time early in the VNL tournament and then starred at the Pan Am Cup for USA, winning Best Blocker.

Haleigh Washington

From: Volley Millenium Brescia (Italy)

To: Futura Volley Busto Arsizio aka UYBA (Italy)

Middle blocker Washington remains in Italy for another season, but is moving up in the world, going from Brescia, a team only recently promoted into the A1 division, to UYBA, which finished fifth in the 2018-19 regular season. Washington also performed well at the VNL, ranking tied for first on the team with 33 stuff blocks.


Sarah Wilhite Parsons

From: Allianz MTV Stuttgart (Germany)

To: Sesi Vôlei Bauru (Brazil)

Wilhite Parsons joins Sesi Bauru of Brazil’s Superliga for the 2019-20 season after helping Stuttgart win its first German championship in the spring. The 23-year-old outside hitter traveled with Team USA for the first two weeks of VNL, earning four starts.

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