After spending her inaugural rookie season playing professionally in Slovenia, former Penn State All-American Ali Frantti has moved up in the world and signed with French side ASPTT Mulhouse for the 2018-2019 season. She announced the decision on her Instagram account.
She becomes one of 4 Americans confirmed on Mulhouse’s roster for next season. That includes former University of Florida player Carli Snyder, a peer of Frantti’s in the NCAA; 6’8″ former Stanford opposite Hayley Spelman, who re-signed with the club this week, and Ciara Michel who also re-signed in late May.
Lexi Dannemiller, the team’s incumbent at setter – a challenging spot for the team last year – had originally signed to return, but 2 weeks after that agreement changed her mind and wound up with Potsdam in Germany. The change of heart seems to have been precipitated by the signing of Greek setter Athina Papafotiou, who was voted the best setter in the French League in both the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons in her last round with Mulhouse. She injured her meniscus in January, resulting in termination of her contract, and joined LKS Lodz for the Polish playoffs.
Frantti was one of the leading scorers for Slovenian runners-up Calcit Volley next season. In the best-of-5 finals series, she scored 29 points, making her the team’s leading scorer in the series, in spite of missing a significant portion of that series with an injury that she suffered in the 2nd game.
She joins a Mulhouse side that won the French Championship in 2017, their first in club history, but slipped to 3rd in 2018 before losing in the playoff semi-finals to RC Cannes. With the re-signing of Bojana Markovic for next season, Frantti will likely assume the starting role of 18-year old Belgian star Britt Herbots, who left to join Busto Arsizio in Italy next season. Herbots was ranked as the 2nd-best outside hitter in the French League last season, while Markovic was 4th.
Frantti is a 6’1″ (182cm) outside hitter who originally hails from Spring Creek, Illinois: about halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee.
She was a vital part of the Penn State squad that made it all the way to the 2017 NCAA Final 4, ultimately falling to eventual champions Nebraska in five sets. She was one of Penn State’s six-student athletes named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-American teams, herself being an Honorable mention.
Frantti started her college career in Penn State with the right foot in 2014, being awarded AVCA’s Freshman of the Year award as well as being recognized as a AVCA All-American second teamer by the end of her first season. Likewise, she also ended her 4 years there in style, becoming a part of the school’s elite 1000 kill club.
Mulhouse has also added Leandra Olinga, Lea Soldner, Lisa Jeanpierre, Ukrainian outside hitter Olga Trach, and the aforementioned Greek setter Athina Papafotiou.