American outside hitter Eric Mochalski has been transferred to Finnish side Raision Loimun and made his debut this week in a 3-2 (25-20, 25-18, 18-25, 20-25, 15-9) win over Liiga-Riento. While its early in Mochalski’s tenure with the club, the initial result will be a confidence-booster for his new club with a win over Riento, who sits on the bottom of the table with just 1 win this season.
Mochalski takes over for Kenyan Michael Chemos, who two weeks ago was transferred to play the rest of the season in the Qatari League with Al Arabi (where in turn he replaces Leandro Vissotto, who was transferred to the Italian A1 League and Monza).
In his debut with the Finnish side, Mochalski had 27 points in his debut, hitting at 65% efficiency. His teammate, setter Ville Juntura, praised the American’s debut.
“By all sides positive play, and in addition he encouraged others to play well. He was not quite at Chemos’ level hitting the ball, but there wasn’t much lacking. In addition, he blocked and passed well,” Juntura said.
Mochalski finished his career at Stanford University in the United States in 2014, where he hit .378 for his career with 2 kills per set throughout his college career. In 2010 and 2011, he was a member of the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team that won gold at the 2010 NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship, but that failed to advance from group play at the next year’s U19 World Championship.
As for Chemos, he said the decision to leave was difficult, but he feels the right one.
“This for me is a step forward in my career,” Chemos said. “I believe that the experience in Qatar will be great. I am grateful that Loimulle allowed me to make this transfer. It’s unfortunate that the season will remain here between, but this was such an opportunity, which I really would not want to refuse.”
Chemos’ contract is the first to be bought out in the 59-year history of Loimun.
The move comes as part of a rebuilding process for the Finnish side, who earlier this month announced that new coach Daniele Capriotti would be returned next season.