Club Volleyball

Europeans Abroad: Kök scores 49 points in Korea


Article Sun, Nov 19 2023
Author: Guilherme Torres

European volleyball players are spread all over the world during the 2023-2024 club season, playing big roles in their teams. Many of them are currently away from the continent, competing in some of the top leagues on the planet, and we’ll help you follow their journeys by providing periodic updates on how they’re doing.

Kök celebrates a point with his team Seoul Woori Card (Photo: KOVO)


Two European players starred in the most exciting match of the week in the Korean Men’s V-League as Slovenian outside hitter Matej Kök and Spanish opposite Andrés Villena had both massive productions when their teams Seoul Woori Card and Uijeongbu KB Insurance Stars met on Thursday.

Kök was instrumental in Woori Card’s five-set victory, leaving the court with an incredible 49 points (44 kills, three aces, two blocks), while Villena was the KB Insurance Stars’ leading scorer with 39 (34 kills, four blocks, one ace).

Villena returned to the court with his team on Sunday and saw them fall again in five sets, this time to Daejeon Samsung Bluefangs. The Spanish star opposite scored 29 points, with 24 kills and five blocks.

Dutch outside hitter Thijs Ter Horst had a productive week in Korea too, getting a pair of wins with Suwon KEPCO Vixtorm. He scored 17 points (all in kills) in a sweep over Ansan OK Financial Group on Tuesday and got another 29 in a four-set victory over the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos on Saturday.

Bukilić in action with Gimcheon Korea Expressway Hi-Pass (Photo: KOVO)

In the women’s league, Serbian opposite Vanja Bukilić got to celebrate a pair of wins with her team Gimcheon Korea Expressway Hi-Pass. Bukilić registered 29 points (26 kills, two aces, one block) in a 3-1 victory over Gwangju Pepper Savings Bank on Wednesday and then got 27 (19 kills, seven blocks, one ace) in a five-set match against the Daejeon Jungkwanjang Red Sparks on Saturday.

Bosnian opposite Jelena Mladenović also got on the court and helped her team Incheon Heungkuk Life Pink Spiders get a sweep over the GS Caltex Seoul with 18 points (all in kills) on Friday.


The two Brazilian teams that have European players in their squads met this week in the country's Superliga and Russian Sofya Kuznetsova and Bulgarian Dobriana Rabadziheva and their Dentil Praia Clube got the better of Serbian Aleksandra Uzelac and Fluminense on Friday.

With 14 points (11 kills, two aces, one block) from Kuznetsova, Praia triumphed 3-1 – Rabadzhieva didn’t leave the bench. Uzelac was Fluminense’s top scorer with 15 points, all in kills.

Both teams got on the court earlier in the week with Praia topping Bluvolei/FURB/SME in three sets with 14 points (11 kills, two blocks, one ace) from Kuznetsova and Fluminense sweeping EC Pinheiros with 15 points (12 kills, two blocks, one ace) from Uzelac. Both matches were held on Tuesday.


The Japanese Women’s V-League had an unusually slow weekend, with just three matches, and Serbian world champion Sara Lozo was among the standouts, leading her team Saitama Ageo Medics to get victories in two of them.

The 26-year-old outside hitter fired 17 points (14 kills, two aces, one block) in a 3-0 win over the Okayama Seagulls on Saturday and tallied another 13 (11 kills, one ace, one block) on Sunday, when they swept the Toray Arrows, who counted on 17 points (15 kills, one block, one ace) from Italian opposite Sylvia Nwakalor.


The men’s league featured ten matches over the weekend and some of them had Europeans playing prominent roles to their teams. Russian Olympic champion opposite Dmitriy Muserskiy was the only of them to celebrate two wins with the Suntory Sunbirds, sweeping the Osaka Sakai Blazers twice, with 20 points (16 kills, two aces, two blocks) scored on Saturday and another 21 (all in kills) on Sunday.

Polish national team captain Bartosz Kurek had a mixed weekend with the Wolfdogs Nagoya, firing 15 points (12 kills, two aces, one block) in a 3-0 win over the Panasonic Panthers on Saturday and getting 19 (18 kills, one block) on Sunday, when his team lost to the same opponent in four sets.

It was the same with Slovenian national team captain Tine Urnaut, who got 16 points (14 kills, two blocks) on Friday, when his team JTEKT Stings topped Voreas Hokkaido 3-1 and was limited to eight (all in kills) on Saturday, when his side went down in straight sets.