French side VBC Chamalieres, who finished last in the French Pro Volley A league last season, has been spared from relegation after a season plagued by financial issues and just a 4-18 win-loss record. the LVN has decided to expand France’s top women’s league from 12 teams to 14 next season, and the administrative relegation of Evreux, the team was granted a second season in the top tier. With financial limitations, they’ve been cleared to trawl the transfer market, with financial limitations, to sign replacements for 6 departures.
Among the additions are former Oregon State University player Amanda Brown and Canadian National Teamer Marie-Alex Belanger.
Belanger is the prize of the class – she was named the 2017-2018 Canadian U Sports Female Athlete of the Year as Canada’s top collegiate athlete after her senior season at the University of Montreal. Already 25-years old, older than most athletes embarking on their first seasons of professional volleyball, Belanger is a 186cm (6’1″) opposite who is ascribed to play outside hitter with Chamalieres.
She had 9 points and led Canada with 6 digs in the 5-set championship match of the NORCECA qualifier for the FIVB Challenger Cup earlier this year, which was a 3-2 Canadian loss to the Puerto Ricans. She’ll play with Canada at this summer’s World Championships, which run from September 29th through October 20th, and cuts into the French League season.
Last season, she led all of Canadian collegiate volleyball with 3.98 kills/set while hitting .302 at the opposite position good for 15th in the nation among all positions, and 2nd among non-middles.
The 25-year old Brown, who has played in Denmark, Germany, and Greece to this point of her career, is a 6’1″ middle blocker.
Chamalieres New Additions:
- Amanda Brown – 6’1″ middle blocker, United States (25-years old)
- Marie-Alex Belanger – 6’1″ outside hitter, Canada (25-years old)
- Diana Arrechea – 5’11” outside hitter, Columbia (23-years old) – sometimes-member of Colombia’s National Team, she has played professionally in Italy with Forli, and Potsdam in Germany’s Bundesliga. She’s an explosive leaper, in spite of being undersized for a hitter.
- Yolande Amana Guigolo – 6’0 setter, Cameroon (20-years old) – A member of Cameroon’s National Team at both the 2016 Olympic Games and scheduled for the upcoming World Championships, this is Guigolo’s first professional deal outside of her home country of Cameroon (she’s played until now with Bafia Volleyball. She’s another player who will be committed through October with the World Championships before joining the team.
- Marjorie Correa – 6’1″ middle blocker, Brazil (26-years old) – A former selection of Brazil’s U18 and U20 national teams, will also play her first professional season outside of her home country. She was previously signed with Sesi in the Brazilian Superliga.