Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Professional | Courtney Thompson leads Zurich to upset win over Istanbul

Former Washington great helps shake up CEV Cup with a win over a team featuring USA teammate Jordan Larson-Burbach; UW & Notre Dame still silent about McLaughlin job change

  • Volero Zurich def. Eczacibasi Istanbul 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-16)

Former Washington star Courtney Thompson (far right) celebrates a Volero point in Istanbul earlier today
-photo courtesy CEV

Courtney Thompson—US Olympian and former Washington All-American—today helped lead visiting Volero Zurich to a surprising 3-0 sweep of powerhouse Istanbul Excacibasi.

Istanbul’s roster includes Jordan Larson-Burbach, a Thompson teammate on the USA National Team and one of the world’s most accomplished international players.

Team USA's Jordan Larson-Burbach (right, in red), attacks for her
Istanbul Excacibasi team against USA teammate Courtney Thompson (#15),
the setter and captain for Volero Zurich
-photo courtesy CEV
Today’s match was part of the CEV Champions League, an annual competition featuring the top professional clubs in Europe. Last year, Larson-Burbach led Dinamo Kazan—a club based in Russia—to both the CEV Championship and the FIVB Club World Championship. Thompson and Larson Burbach were members of the Team USA squad that won the 2014 World Championship, the first gold medal in the history of the Women’s USA National Team.

Istanbul came into today’s match undefeated in pool play, including a 3-1 December victory in Zurich. But during today’s match, played in Turkey, Volero held Larson-Burbach to 7 kills, while team captain Thompson set the team to an eye-popping .540 team hitting average.

“This was our best game since the start of the season,” Thompson said. “We come together and celebrate every point. We are very happy that we won so smoothly.”

Nothing new to report about Jim McLaughlin’s announcement to his team last Thursday that he is leaving Washington, although additional sources have confirmed the move. The University of Washington has not released any statement. A spokesman for Notre Dame says the school is “getting closer” to making an announcement about a replacement for departed volleyball coach Debbie Brown.

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