LOVB Pro goes for the gold with signings of Madi Bugg, Daly Santana, Heather Gneiting, Candelaria Herrera and Morgan Miller

LOVBThursday, Mar 14, 2024


LOVB Pro goes for the gold with signings of Madi Bugg, Daly Santana, Heather Gneiting, Candelaria Herrera and Morgan Miller

After a series of significant additions to its pro roster, LOVB today revealed it will be bringing even more star power to its pro league with the signings of international volleyball sensations Madi Bugg, Daly Santana, Heather Gneiting and Candelaria Herrera, and welcome back to professional volleyball for Morgan Miller. Drawing the right mix of international and domestic talent, these athletes will dazzle spectators as they show their prowess on the court, with team assignments announced later this year.

"LOVB’s commitment to being an athlete-centric, values-driven league has been instrumental in signing talent like Santana, Candelaria, Heather, Morgan and Madi,” said Tom Hogan, director of sport for LOVB Pro. “These athletes bring a world-class level of play and will represent our values both on an off the court, and we are thrilled to welcome them into the LOVB family. We are taking a strategic and deliberate approach towards building teams that will bring pro volleyball in the United States to new heights, and create an electrifying and inspiring experience for our fans.”

A setter from Apex, North Carolina, Bugg was a 3x All-American at Stanford where she finished her career with 5,014 assists, earning the record for the program's second most assists of all-time. As a member of the U.S. Youth National team, she was named the best setter at NORCECA. She's played professionally in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Poland, and France where she was named Best Setter in French Ligue in 2020/2021.

“I have played professionally in Europe for eight years now, which is something I never imagined when I signed my first contract in Switzerland. And now, an even more wild sentence, I will play professionally traveling in the country I was born in,” said Bugg. “I have immense gratitude for all that has gone into making this a reality and I can’t wait for the inaugural season to start!”

Demonstrating LOVB’s youth to pro ecosystem in action, middle blocker Gneiting started playing volleyball at LOVB’s CLUB V, and from there progressed to becoming a 2x All-American at Brigham Young University, receiving AVCA National Freshman of the Year honors in 2018, a first in the program's history. Originally from Pleasant Grove, Utah, she currently plays professionally in Turkey, where she helped her team to win a BVA Championship in Italy. 

“​​I’m so grateful that I get to be working with the best of the best at LOVB. I feel so lucky to work with this program and can be playing in the place I call home,” said Gneitling. “I'm looking forward to every future practice and game I get to experience here!”

Hailing from San Juan, Argentina, middle blocker Herrera played collegiate volleyball at Florida A&M and then transferred to Iowa State University, where she received conference honors at both. Competing for the Argentine National Team, she played in the 2016 Pan-American Cup and the 2021 Summer Olympics.

Originally from Corozal, Puerto Rico, outside hitter Santana has been a part of the Puerto Rican national team since 2011, and competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics. She played for the University of Minnesota where she received All-American honors and helped the team reach the NCAA Championship Finals. She has played professionally in Puerto Rico, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Italy, and was named the Best Outside Hitter in the Korean V-League in 2022/2023.

An outside hitter from Newport Beach, California, Miller began her college career at Cal Berkeley where she helped the team to their first-ever NCAA Championship semi-final appearance. She played professionally in Cyprus, Russia and Puerto Rico, and made the transition from indoor to beach in 2011, where she played for both the US National Team and the AVP Beach Volleyball. After taking time off from the sport to have children, Morgan will be making her pro comeback with LOVB in the fall. 

“I am beyond excited and grateful to be able to step back into the sport I love so much after years of focusing on family,” said Miller. “To get to be a part of this elite group of athletes elevating women’s volleyball to a mainstream level is a privilege and I can’t wait to be back on the court.”

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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