LOVB Reveals Seven More Standout Athletes for its Inaugural Pro Roster

LOVB StaffThursday, May 2, 2024

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As the league marches towards its highly anticipated November pre-season start, LOVB brings on the talent of Ka'aha'aina-Torres, Hardeman, Anwusi, Medved, Milana Day, Markovic and Pogany to its Pro squad

With its highly anticipated November pre-season start on the horizon, LOVB today revealed seven more standout athletes on its pro team roster. These strategic group of setters, outside hitters, middle blockers and liberos, including Saige Ka'aha'aina-Torres, Leah Hardeman, Anita Anwusi, Milica Medved, Gia Milana Day, Danica Markovic and Anna Pogany will help LOVB continue to set the bar for the future of professional volleyball in the U.S., with each player’s individual team assignments to be announced soon.

"LOVB continues to successfully raise the bar, with athletes who are ready to play a crucial part in the next chapter in volleyball’s history,” said Tom Hogan, director of sport for LOVB Pro. “We welcome Saige, Leah, Anita, Milica, Gia, Danica and Anna into the LOVB family and can’t wait to see what they have in store as our pre-season kicks off this November.”

A setter from Hawaii, Torres began her college career playing for Utah University. In 2021, she made waves as she transferred onto Texas University, where she not only received the distinguished honor of being named best setter in the Big 12 conference, but also in 2023 helped her team win gold in the NCAA championships versus Nebraska.  Since college, Saige has also played professionally for Puerto Rican club Changas de Naranjito, and for the French club Vandœuvre Nancy Volley-Ball.

“Knowing that I will be part of the first season of LOVB is such an exciting feeling. Getting to play in the states in front of my family and friends is something that I never thought I would be able to do again and I am so glad that it is now a reality.” said Torres. “I loved my experience overseas, but I look forward to being able to inspire another generation of young volleyball players back at home. I can’t wait for the season to start and I am so grateful for the opportunity!

Originally from Clarkston, Georgia, outside hitter Hardeman played for Coastal Carolina University. While there, she not only helped lead her team win Gold at the NCAA Sunbelt Conference in both 2016/17 and 2017/18, but was conference MVP two years in a row. Hardeman recently played for club Cda Volley Talmassons Fvg, which is part of the Italian Serie A1. Prior to joining Cda, she played for Greek club ASP Thetis in 2022/23 and Italian club LPM BAM Mondovì in 2021/22.

A middle blocker at LSU, Anwusi earned a number of accolades while in college, including being named to the 2023 SMU Invitational All-Tournament Team and receiving AVCA South All-Region Honorable Mention in 2022. A Houston native, Anwusi was a member of the USA Volleyball Junior National Team that took home Gold at the NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship. 

A libero from Serbia, Medved has played for clubs OK Omladinac from 2017-2019 and for Jedinstvo Stara Pazova, from 2019-2024. While playing for Jedinstvo, she made her mark on the international stage, earning Best receiver at the Serbian Superleague 2023/24 and Best libero at the same conference. 

Hailing from Michigan, Day began playing as an outside hitter for Maryland University in 2016. In 2018, she transferred to Baylor University, where in 2019, she helped her team win gold at the NCAA Big 12 tournament and bronze at the NCAA Championships. Continuing her playing career in Puerto Rico, Gia helped her team earn silver at the 2021 Puerto Rican League tournament. This season as part of the club Daejeon Jungkwanjang Red Sparks, she helped her team earn Bronze at the Korean V-League tournament.

"When I started my professional journey, all I could think about was one season at a time, knowing how hard it would be to be away from my family for 8 months at a time. ‘I'll give it a try this season’ I said to myself before going to Europe for the first time. I love what I do, but it is truly painful not seeing my family for so long, so much so that I often question if it's all worth it,” said Day. “Now I am so thankful to say that I don't have to choose between my family and my career. Thank you, LOVB, for giving us all a place to grow, learn, and improve our craft, all while being in the US. What a blessing this is! I am so excited to get started!"

A setter from Niš, Serbia, Markovic joined the Serbian youth national team in 2009. She received Best Setter at the U19 World Championships in 2009 and the 2010 Junior European Championships. She has played professionally in Serbia as well as top tier clubs like 

Rebecchi Nordmeccanica Piacenza, Schweriner SC, and Èpiù Pomì Casalmaggiore. She was named "Best Setter" of the Azerbaijan Superleague in 2016/17 and 2021/22, and MVP of the Kazakhstan Cup in 2019/20 and Kazakhstan Super Cup in 2020/21. She also received "Best Setter" at the Asian Club Championship in 2021/22.

Originally from Germany, libero Pogany began playing professionally in 2009/10 for Rote Raben Vilsbiburg II. From there, she moved up to Rote Raben Vilsbiburg where she played for four seasons. In 2018, she left Germany for Switzerland, where she played for Sm'Aesch Pfeffingen from 2018/19. Since 2019, she has played for German club SSC Palmberg Schwerin. In 2022, she earned accolades like Best receiver at the Volleyball Nations League, and Best receiver at the German Bundesliga 2020/21.

Founded in 2020, LOVB built the largest volleyball club business in the United States, in just four years, and has its pro league launching in November 2024.  LOVB has been deliberate in its approach, focusing on building from the ground-up versus top-down like other leagues. By focusing on building its club business first and then strategically choosing markets where it can tie its pro teams to its clubs, LOVB is creating a real pathway for American professional volleyball to be built from the grassroots-up, and opportunities for club players to train alongside professional athletes, a first in American sports.

To enable LOVB’s Founding Athletes to focus on defending their 2020 Olympic gold medal, LOVB Pro is intentionally starting its inaugural season after the 2024 Paris Olympics. Pre-season will start in November 2024, with first serve in January 2025 and the LOVB Pro Championships in April 2025, with teams in the volleyball-obsessed markets of Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Madison, Omaha, and Salt Lake to start. 

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