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Team USA in Volleyball Nations League

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Team USA Women To Host Portion Of Women’s Nations League In Lincoln

 

The U.S. Women’s National Team will host a weekend of the newly formed FIVB Volleyball Nations League in Lincoln, Nebraska from May 15-17. They will host a four-team round-robin tournament in the opening weekend of the competition.

 

Team USA is ranked #2 in the world and will welcome in #7 Italy, #12 Turkey and #22 Poland in the Bob Devaney Sports Center which can hold 7,900 fans.

Schedule

Tuesday, May 15

  • Turkey vs. Italy at 5 PM CT
  • USA vs. Poland at 7 PM CT

Wednesday, May 16

  • Poland vs. Italy at 5 PM CT
  • USA vs. Turkey at 7 PM CT

Thursday, May 17

  • Turkey vs. Poland at 5 PM CT
  • USA vs. Italy at 7 PM CT

With the tournament being held at the University of Nebraska, a number of former Huskers could make the team for the competition – Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson, Justine Wong-Orantes and Amber Rolfzen.

 

Team USA ended the 2017 season with an 18-8 record, picking up the bronze medal at the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup. Italy finished in second place at the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix with an up-and-coming roster while Turkey finished in 11th place at the same event. Poland is one of the challengers in the upcoming event and won Group 2 of the FIVB World Grand Prix.

 

Lincoln, Nebraska is no stranger to hosting international volleyball events as they welcomed in the 2016 NORCECA Olympic Qualification Tournament, in which Team USA won and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. That event was held at the Pinnacle Bank Arena while this will take place at the Bob Devaney Sports Arena.

 

Tickets for the event will go on sale for Nebraska season ticket holders on December 18 at 10 AM CT while the remaining tickets available will be available to the public on December 19 at 10 AM CT.

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We can only go to the 5/15 match. Pretty stoked about it, though.

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We will make every effort to go. What a great honor for Lincoln to host this.

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Lost to Turkey. Their national team was at Good Life Fitness when I was there in Lincoln working out. Definitely world class athletes.

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35 minutes ago, spurs1990 said:

Lost to Turkey. Their national team was at Good Life Fitness when I was there in Lincoln working out. Definitely world class athletes.

 

I blame @knapplc

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10 hours ago, Mavric said:

 

I blame @knapplc

 

I wasn't even there!

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We're on to Round Two of the VNL. Team USA is in a group with Belgium, Japan and the Netherlands.  The group is playing at Sky Hall Toyota, in Toyota, Japan.

 

We played host team Japan on Tuesday.
 

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USA def. Japan 3-0

 

The Americans used a strong block and a 21-point effort from Michelle Bartsch-Hackley to score a 25-20, 25-16, 25-23 sweep of Japan to open week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League.

 

The United States outblocked the Japanese 12-3, including seven stuffs by Lauren Gibbemeyer, and outserved them 4-1 in aces, with three by Bartsch-Hackley, en route to the win.

 

Bartsch-Hackley continued to make her presence known as the standout scorer for the Americans with a match-high 18 kills, followed by Kim Hill‘s 17 points (15 kills, 2 blocks) and Gibbemeyer’s 11 (3 kills, 7 blocks, 1 ace). Kelly Murphy chipped in six putaways.

 

Yuki Ishii was the top scorer for Japan with 13 points, all on kills. Mami Uchiseto and Mari Horikawa managed six points apiece, all on kills, while seven other players notched a kill. Japan changed its lineup throughout the match, utilizing 12 of its 14 players in the match, with just Ishii and Haruyo Shimamura going the distance alongside libero Kotoe Inoue.

 

 

Last night (Wednesday) we played the Dutch.


 

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United States def. Netherlands 3-0

 

Five aces and a balanced offensive attack lifted the USA to a quick sweep of the Netherlands, taking down the final unbeaten side in Volleyball Nations League play. The match was a homecoming of sorts as it pitted the Americans against a familiar face in former assistant coach Jamie Morrison, who is now the coach for the Dutch side.

 

Jordan Larson led the American attack with 18 points (14 kills, 2 blocks, 2 aces), followed by Kim Hill (12) and Kelly Murphy (10). Hill downed 12 kills, while Murphy notched seven to go with two blocks and an ace. Foluke Akinradewo and Tori Dixon rounded out the offense with six kills apiece.

 

Maret Balkestein-Grothues paced the Dutch with 14 points (11 kills, 3 blocks), while Lonneke Sloetjes added 12 (10 kills, 1 block, 1 ace). Four other players turned in three of more kills, but it was not enough to get past the United States.

 

The Americans outdid their foes in kills (45-39) and aces (5-1), while trailing 9-8 in blocks.

 

Team USA staked their claim early with a 10-5 lead and went on to cap the 25-19 win on Larson’s hand.

 

In Set 2, the Americans trailed briefly at 15-14 but scored five straight to surge ahead. The Dutch countered to tie it up at 19 all, but in the end, USA staved off their foes for the victory.

 

The United States now stand atop the standings with 13 points with one match remaining in Week 2 play.

 

Postmatch reaction:

Netherlands captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues: “I think the US team did a good job. We were always working behind. We have to improve every day. In the third set we did good defense but it was too late.”

 

USA captain Jordan Larson said: “We are proud of ourselves. It was a lot of fun to battle against the Netherlands team. We are getting better.”

 

 

 

Karch made a move after Team USA's Week One loss to Turkey and put Kelsey Robinson at Libero instead of her usual Outside Hitter position. For Week Two, Kiraly made the move permanent, and Robinson joins Justine Wong-Orantes as Team USA's two Liberos. Robinson replaces Amanda Benson (Oregon).  Kiraly added another Outside to compensate for Robinson's move, bringing in Sarah Wilhite (Minnesota). 

 

With that move, ten of the 14 women on Team USA played college ball in the Big Ten.

 

Team USA Roster (Round Two)

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Found the standings for VNL. Team USA is on top, right where they should be.

 

  Matches Pts Sets Points
Rank Team W L W L Ratio W L Ratio
1 23px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png United States 4 1 13 14 4 3.500 435 383 1.136
2 23px-Flag_of_Serbia.svg.png Serbia 4 1 12 13 5 2.600 424 383 1.107
3 22px-Flag_of_Brazil.svg.png Brazil 4 1 12 13 6 2.167 453 375 1.208
4 23px-Flag_of_Turkey.svg.png Turkey 4 1 11 13 6 2.167 437 415 1.053
5 23px-Flag_of_South_Korea.svg.png South Korea 4 1 11 12 6 2.000 422 351 1.202
6 23px-Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg.png Netherlands 4 1 11 12 6 2.000 428 377 1.135
7 23px-Flag_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_ China 3 2 10 11 7 1.571 388 359 1.081
8 23px-Flag_of_Russia.svg.png Russia 3 2 9 9 8 1.125 381 378 1.008
9 23px-Flag_of_Belgium_%28civil%29.svg.png Belgium 2 3 6 8 11 0.727 390 417 0.935
10 23px-Flag_of_Japan.svg.png Japan 2 3 6 7 10 0.700 364 391 0.931
11 23px-Flag_of_Poland.svg.png Poland 2 3 4 8 13 0.615 448 463 0.968
12 23px-Flag_of_the_Dominican_Republic.svg. Dominican Republic 1 4 5 8 12 0.667 397 448 0.886
13 23px-Flag_of_Italy.svg.png Italy 1 4 4 5 12 0.417 349 391 0.893
14 23px-Flag_of_Thailand.svg.png Thailand 1 4 3 6 12 0.500 400 411 0.973
15 23px-Flag_of_Germany.svg.png Germany 1 4 3 5 13 0.385 371 430 0.863
16 23px-Flag_of_Argentina.svg.png Argentina 0 5 0 2 15 0.133 304 419 0.726

 


 

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USA Leads Standings After Day 5 of the Women’s #VNL

 

Two days after teams scrambled into new pools and new locations for Week 2 of the Volleyball Nations League, with rosters including a few key changes, the results have been anything but expected.

 

Pool 5 has gone according to plan as the World No. 2 Americans have seemingly hit their stride with a pair of sweeps of No. 6 Japan and No. 8 Netherlands. Both the Japanese and Dutch have in turn defeated No. 13 Belgium, although the latter match was a close one, going five sets on Tuesday.

 

What has all of that meant for the overall standings? A lot of movement. The United States has climbed into the top spot with 13 points, the most among the six 4-1 squads.

 

China’s mixed results have dropped the team out of the Top 5, but the side is still within striking distance, trailing fourth place Turkey by just one point. South Korea, on the other hand, has moved into the top group with a pair of victories.

 

The Dominican Republic and Italy both notched their first victories of the competition, while Argentina remains winless.

 

Belgium and Poland are doing the best among the four challenge teams, each standing at 2-3.

 

 

CsneWvZ.jpg

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And just for fun, here's some highlights of the first few matches

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Hannah Abbott said:

 

Thanks for the link! those are some great photos!

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Belgium had a bad day.

 

yagKWc1.jpg


 

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USA Crushes Belgium for Fourth-Straight #VNL Win

 

USA coach Karch Kiraly tabbed a mix of seasoned and newer players, including opposite Annie Drews and middle Lauren Gibbemeyer, to lead the team against Belgium on Thursday and the Americans came through with a dominating sweep, their fourth straight Volleyball Nations League win.

 

The star of the tournament for the Americans, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, led the group with 14 points (12 kills, 2 blocks), while Drews chipped in 12 (10 kills, 2 blocks). Jordan Larson (11) and Gibbemeyer rounded (10) out the double-digit scorers, while Rachael Adams turned in eight points. Larson served up two aces, while Gibbemeyer notched a team-leading four blocks and an ace.

 

Team USA nearly doubled Belgium’s offensive output (44-24 in kills) and overpowered its foe at the net (11-2 in blocks).

 

Celine Van Gestel paced the Belgian attack with 10 points (all kills), while Britt Herbot, Nathalie Lemmens and Kaja Grobelna were limited to four points apiece.

 

The United States showed its diversity in scoring as three different players sealed the set victories: Larson in Set 1, Adams in Set 2 and Gibbemeyer in Set 3.

 

Here are some post-match reactions.

 

Belgium coach Gert Vande Broek said: “We were not able to play well and the US team impressed us both physically and technically. But we’ve learned a lot, as I have said these three days. Today’s main goal was to match our opponents on serves, pick-ups, and receptions.”

 

USA captain Jordan Larson said: “I am really proud of our team. We have stepped up and focused on teamwork. And we will keep building on it.”

 

 

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The Huskers I mean... Team USA keeps rolling along with another dominant win.


 

Quote

 

USA def. Germany 3-0

 

25-18, 25-17, 25-17

 

The United States outdid Germany 48-30 in kills and 5-2 in aces as Michelle Bartsch-Hackley once again led the way in a sweep Tuesday.

 

Bartsch-Hackley racked up 16 points with 15 kills and a block. Kelly Murphy added 12 points (10 kills, 2 blocks) and Jordan Larson followed with 10 (8 kills, 1 block, 1 ace). Rachael Adams (7), Tori Dixon (7) and Annie Drews (5) rounded out the scoring. Adams notched six kills and an ace, while Dixon posted four kills, two aces and a block. Drews’ points all came on putaways.

 

Louisa Lippman was the top scorer for Germany, but was held to just nine points.

 

The opening stanza saw Team USA surge ahead with the first four points of the match and never look back, despite a knotup at 11, in a 25-18 win. The Americans trailed briefly in Set 2 at 14-13, but closed out the set on a 12-3 run, capped by a Murphy putaway. The United States struck first again in Set 3, going up 7-2 and hanging on for a 25-17 win, securing the victory on its third match-point try, a kill from Adams.

 

Kelsey Robinson relished her new role as the team’s second libero, starting the match and handling 27 of the team’s 43 service receptions, with a 59 positive reception percent.

 

The USA (#2) will face off with NORCECA foe, the Dominican Republic (#9) at 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

BSWobJs.jpg

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3 hours ago, Mavric said:

So Robinson is apparently playing Libero now?  Interesting.

 

Yep. She took the spot of Amanda Benson, from Xavier. Sarah Wilhite, from Minnesota, came in for Robinson at OH. 

 

Yet another endorsement for Cook's demand that his players learn all six rotations.  Robinson would likely be off the team if she couldn't dominate in the back court like she has.  I'm sure Cook will be hitting that point home on his recruiting visits.

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Quote

 

Team USA earns record 8th straight sweep in dismantling the Russians

 

The United States crushed eight aces and also led the Russians in kills and blocks in a quick sweep on Tuesday to earn its eighth straight world level victory, its best since a run of nine in a row at the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix. Even more impressive is that the Americans have won those eight matches via sweep, setting a new program best, surpassing a string of seven sweeps from 1978-81 (1978 World Championship and 1981 World Cup).

 

Team USA boasted the advantage in kills (39-32), aces (8-4) and blocks (8-4), while running an efficient offense, committing just eight errors to 22 for Russia.

 

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley paced the team with 16 points (13 kills, 2 aces, 1 block). Annie Drews chipped in nine points (5 kills, 4 blocks) and Kim Hill also notched nine (7 kills, 2 aces). Tori Dixon (7), Rachael Adams (6) and Carli Lloyd (5) rounded out the scoring. Dixon downed seven kills and an ace, while Adams scored on four putaways, a block and an ace. Lloyd served up two aces as well.

 

Drews, Bartsch-Hackley, Hill, Adams and Dixon got the starts across the front with Lloyd dishing the ball and Kelsey Robinson playing libero. Murphy and Micha Hanc$%k were the only other players to see the court for the USA.

 

Kseniia Parubets (12) and Irina Voronkova (10) paced the Russian attack, scoring all of their points on kills. Natalia Malykh chipped in five putaways. Angelina Lazarenko put up a team-leading two blocks, while Daria Ryseva notched two aces.

 

The United States slowly built a 9-5 lead in Set 1 as four different players turned in kills. The American lead stood at six (15-9) after Russia chipped in three errors, but the Russians slice the margin to two with four straight points including two aces. Hill answered with two aces and a Dixon kill and Murphy block helped push the USA lead to seven at 21-13. A Bartsch-Hackley putaway and Dixon ace gave the Americans the easy 25-14 win.

 

Set 2 was a much closer affair as the teams were within just one point at 11-10 midway through, that coming after Team USA used its balanced attack to surged ahead 9-5. An ace by Lloyd and putaways by Drews and Murphy highlighted a 7-3 run that put the Americans on top 18-13. The serve continued to give to the U.S. with Adams adding one to make it 21-15. Bartsch-Hackley sealed the 25-18 win with a pair of kills.

 

Russia did not go quietly, however, taking an early 6-3 lead in Set 3. The United States chipped away, however, eventually tying it up at 13-all as Hill, Bartsch-Hackley and Dixon chimed in offensively. At the second technical timeout, the Americans boasted a 16-15 advantage. Trailing 17-15 after a Lloyd ace, Russia scored three straight to go up 18-17. Team USA countered with a 8-0 run of its own including stuffs by Drews and Adams and a pair of Bartsch-Hackley aces to round out the 25-18 win and the match. Hill issued the final blow with a kill.

 

The Americans are set to face rival Brazil at 4 a.m. ET Wednesday in Jiangmen, China, while Russia will take on China.

 

 

y5I0nIo.jpg

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Time for some Big Girl volleyball.

 

After feasting on some relatively weaker teams, the Americans faced off against Brazil last night in a battle of 9-1 teams. 

 

Brazil ended Team USA's record streak of eight straight sweeps, but fell in four to leave America alone atop the VNL standings. America runs their record up to 10-1, while Brazil falls to 9-2.

 


7Mjm1Z4.jpg

 

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United States def. Brazil 3-1

 

Lauren Gibbemeyer had a breakout game, posting a match-high 16 points, including eight of the USA’s 14 blocks, as the Americans rolled on to its ninth straight win on Wednesday.

 

Gibbemeyer also added eight kills and had help from three other double-digit scoring performances. Captain Jordan Larson led the offense with 15 kills and also chipped in a block, while a well-rested Foluke Akinradewo racked up 13 points (9 kills, 4 blocks) and Kim Hill notched 12 points (11 kills, 1 ace). Annie Drews and Kelly Murphy split time, each managing eight points and tallying seven kills. Drews added an ace, while Murphy rounded out the team’s blocking game. Michelle Bartsch-Hackley appeared as a serving substitute. Kelsey Robinson was the team’s libero for the match.

 

Ana Carolina DaSilva paced Brazil despite not starting the match, tallying 15 points on 11 kills, two blocks and two aces. Amanda Francisco tacked on 12 points, all on kills. Adenizia Da Silva followed with eight points on five kills and a team-leading three blocks. Star Tandara Caixeta played in just the first two sets, notching four kills in 15 swings before exiting the match. Ana Beatriz Correa took played in just the opening set and twok just two offensive swings.

 

The United States gave up 28 points on errors, but made up the difference with a 60-47 lead in kills and 14-11 edge in blocks. Brazil boasted a slight 4-3 advantage in aces and gifted the USA 23 points on miscues.

 

The Americans trailed by as many as five in the opening stanza (11-6) and were down 15-12 before putting together a 5-1 run to surge into the lead at 17-16 en route to a 25-23 win. Larson, Hill and Akinradewo shined offensively in the USA rally. Brazil tied it up at 29, but a Drews kill and Bartsch-Hackley ace gave the United States some breathing room at 23-21. As it turned out, they needed it as Brazil tied it up at 23, before a Akinradewo ace and Brazilian hitting error sealed the victory.

 

Team USA played from behind again late in Set 2, trailing 22-20 and facing two Brazilian set-point tries, before earning one of its own at 26-25. In the end, Brazil held on for the 28-26 win and snapped the United States’ 25-set win streak. Early on in the set, Brazil led 11-8, before the Americans rallied to take a 14-13 lead. The Brazilians went up 22-20, but a Gibbemeyer block and kills by Larson and Hill gave the USA a 23-22 edge. Brazil had the first set point try at 24-23, but a kill and a block by Akinradewo gave the USA a chance to save it set-winning streak at 26-25. Brazil closed out the set with three straight points.

 

The USA took an early 6-3 lead in Set 3, but boasted a 16-13 advantage midway through. Murphy, Hill, Akinradewo and Larson notched kills as the United States picked up steam down the stretch, tying it at 16 and 18 before charging ahead 21-19.  The Americans posted a final 4-0 run to clinch the 25-21 win with a Gibbemeyer putaway issuing the final point.

 

The USA turned a 5-3 deficit into an eight-point lead courtesy of an 11-3 run before capping the match with a 25-18 victory. Despite boasting a 5-3 lead, Brazil fell apart early on in Set 4 with three errors, which put the United States on top 8-5. The Americans carried the momentum to a 14-8 lead on a Murphy putaway. Gibbemeyer added a kill to make it a seven-point game at 16-9. In the end, the margin was too large for the Brazilians to overcome and a hitting error and service error gave the United States the win and the match.

 

 

 

 

 

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Boom goes the dynamite!

 

Team USA defeats defending Olympic Champs China, sweeping the host team.

 

 

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Michelle Bartsch-Hackley turns up the power as USA sweep China aside

 

Jiangmen, China, June 7, 2018 - Michelle Bartsch-Hackley came up huge with 18 points but the talk will be all about the United States' all-round game after a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20) victory over China that has officially spelt out their intentions for this inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

 
The wing spiker led the way with 16 spikes among her tally - and continues to be the leading American player - but she found ample support from the likes of middle blocker Tetori Dixon and wing spiker Jordan Larson (11 points each).
 
There were moments when the US were put under pressure by the host nation but they were fleeting as the reigning world champions marched on towards the VNL finals. That the visitors came back from 15-20 down in the third set before sealing the deal spoke volumes about their form. Every move has worked for the Americans since a shock 3-2 loss to Turkey back on May 16 seemed to fine-tune their focus.
 
China in the meantime had star and captain Zhu Ting adding to her collection of points - and highlight reel moves - with a team-leading 14. They would also be pleased with the continued form of wing spiker Liu Xiaotong, who chimed in with 11 points. But the Rio Olympic gold medal winners are yet to fully find a consistent flow of form as coach Lang Ping plays around with her team sheet. 
 
The US had been in superb form coming into the clash, winning nine on end and only losing one set in the process - to Brazil the night before in their 3-1 victory.
 
Coach Karch Kiraly has been able to rotate his talent-laden squad with abandon during that run - even at one point giving captain Larson a night off - but it has not hampered the world champion's progress through the rounds. The barnstorming Bartsch-Hackley has been at the forefront of their charge and such was the case again on Thursday.
 
The Americans finished their trip to Jiangmen 3-0 - and 11-1 overall - and they'll take some beating from now on in, as they head to Santa Fe, Argentina, for the next round of matches, against Serbia, South Korea and the host nation.


 

 

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After dominating the 15-match pool play round, Team USA sits alone atop the standings at 13-2.  That includes a Team USA record number of consecutive matches won via sweep, eight straight. 

 

The final roster is set for the championship tournament, the Final 6. 

 

U.S. Women Excited for VNL Final Six

 

The U.S. Women’s National Team finished atop the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary round standings with an impressive 13-2 record over five grueling weeks. The Americans competed in five different countries and on three continents during the preliminary round.

 

Now, Team USA takes another step forward in its development as it takes part in the Volleyball Nations League Final Six June 27 to July 1 in Nanjing, China. The VNL Final Six has the top five teams from the preliminary round, plus host China playing in two pools of three teams.

 

The second-seeded Americans (13-2, 40 points) will face sixth-seeded Turkey (11-4, 35 points) on June 27 at 3 a.m. ET followed by third-seeded Serbia (12-3, 37 points) on June 29 at 3 a.m. ET. Ironically, Turkey and Serbia are the only teams to defeat the Americans in the preliminary round.

 

“We certainly had some weaknesses exposed during our Turkey and Serbia,” U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly said. “Against Turkey, we learned that we needed to stabilize some things in serve-receive, and to continue to emphasize some new, less comfortable offensive routes. Against Serbia, neither team was at its best after their long travel to Argentina. The main takeaway from that loss was that we have to make improvements in defending out-of-system players. Bottom line: we are excited to have a chance to play the two teams that beat us in 15-match schedule.”

 

China (7-8, 22 points), the top seed as hosts, will face fourth-seeded Brazil (12-3, 35 points) and fifth-seeded Netherlands (12-3, 34 points) in its pool.

 

The VNL semifinals will have pool winners facing the opposing pool’s second-place team on June 30. Medal round matches are set for July 1.

 

Team USA will make one change to its roster for the VNL Final Six as outside hitter Madi Kingdon Rishel (Phoenix, Arizona) will replace Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) on the 14-player roster.

 

While the Team USA roster has remained consistent from the opening week to the Final Six round with just two changes total, the same cannot be said for the personnel on the court for each match. Kiraly penciled in 12 different starting lineup during the 15-match preliminary round.

 

“Being able to play at a high level with so many different lineups speaks really well to the depth we are blessed with,” Kiraly said on the various lineups he has put on the court. “We feel comfortable competing with any two middles, any of our three main outsides and either opposite, all hitting off Carli and passing with Kelsey, plus running the double sub with Micha and whichever opposite isn’t starting. We are extremely fortunate to be able to play so many different lineups, to conserve energy in a long five-week, 15-match series and to have chances to learn more about our personnel.”

 

Team USA struggled early in the VNL, having just a couple training days with the full team available before traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska. After splitting their first two matches on home soil, the Americans made a major switch to the lineup that resulted in a 10-match win streak with wins over Final Six participants Brazil, China and the Netherlands.

 

“We did struggle a little bit in Lincoln,” Kiraly said. “The big part of the turnaround was stabilizing our serve reception, as Kelsey switched positions to libero. She has really embraced the role, and is diving into it and taking great pride in making us better in a new position. We are very grateful for that.”

 

Bartsch-Hackley was Team USA’s leading scorer during the 15-match preliminary round. She tallied 165 kills, 12 blocks and 15 aces for 192 points for 10th place in the VNL rankings. Bartsch-Hackley converted 47.97 percent of her attacks for points, ranking second in Best Spiker. She held a .387 hitting efficiency (165-32-344). Bartsch-Hackley ranked sixth in Best Server with a 0.30 ace average (15) over USA sets played.

 

“Bartschy has been a force, and that comes as no surprise to anyone who knows her game,” Kiraly said. “She has a big arm, and when she is playing around other strong players – Carli, the middles, the opposites and people like Jordan and Kim – she has a real chance to shine. She is doing a great job and contributing in lots of areas, including being very efficient at the service line. She had a nice run to finish the China match. We were down 20-15, sided out once, she terminated to earn the service back, then served nine straight points to end that match.”

 

Robinson, who started the final 13 matches at libero, averaged 1.88 digs per set (94) of USA competition to rank fourth in Best Digger. She ranked third in Best Receiver with a 19.67 efficiency percent, handling 239 receptions with 63 excellent passes.

 

Lloyd, who started all 15 VNL preliminary matches, averaged 16.89 running sets per set for second in Best Setter. She ranked sixth in Best Digger with 1.60 digs per set

 

Larson ranked 33rd in scoring with 129 points (101 kills, 14 blocks and 14 aces), followed closely behind by Hill with 126 points (110 kills, 9 blocks, 7 aces) for 36th place. Hill led all receivers with a 22.32 receiving efficiency, handling 233 receptions with 61 excellent passes.

 

Gibbemeyer averaged 0.52 blocks per set (26 blocks) of USA competition for 11th place in Best Blocker. Rachael Adams ranked 25th in Best Blocker with a 0.38 block average (19) of USA sets played.

 

Larson ranked 10th in Best Server with a 0.28 ace average (14) in USA sets played. Hill ranked 20th in Best Spiker with a 37.40 kill percent and .256 hitting efficiency.

 

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB Volleyball Nations League Final Six
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Micha Hanc$%k (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
3 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, California, Bonsall, California)
4 – Justine Wong-Orantes (L, 5-6, Nebraska, Cypress, California)
5 – Rachael Adams (M, 6-2, Texas, Cincinnati, Ohio)
6 – Tori Dixon (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Burnsville, Minnesota)
8 – Lauren Gibbemeyer (M, 6-2, Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota)
9 – Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
10 – Jordan Larson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Hooper, Nebraska)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
12 – Kelly Murphy (OPP, 6-2, Florida, Wilmington, Illinois)
14 – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (OH, 6-3, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois)
15 – Kim Hill (OH, 6-4, Pepperdine, Portland, Oregon)
16 – Foluke Akinradewo (M, 6-3, Stanford, Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (L, 6-2, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, California)

 

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Luka Slabe, Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue
 

 

Women’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League Preliminary Round Results

U.S. Women’s Schedule for FIVB Volleyball Nations League Preliminary Round
May 15: USA def. Poland 28-26, 25-22, 22-25, 25-15 (at Lincoln, Nebraska)
May 16: USA lost to Turkey 28-26, 25-19, 20-25, 24-26, 16-14 (at Lincoln, Nebraska)
May 17: USA def. Italy 25-21, 25-18, 25-21 (at Lincoln, Nebraska)
May 22: USA def. Japan 25-20, 25-16, 25-23 (at Toyota, Japan)
May 23: USA def. Netherlands 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 (at Toyota, Japan)
May 24: USA def. Belgium 25-11, 25-17, 25-18 (at Toyota, Japan)
May 29: USA def. Germany 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 (at Bangkok, Thailand)
May 30: USA def. Dominican Republic 25-20, 25-23, 25-21 (at Bangkok, Thailand)
May 31: USA def. Thailand 25-10, 25-22, 25-16 (at Bangkok, Thailand)
June 5: USA def. Russia 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 (at Jiangmen, China)
June 6: USA def. Brazil 25-23, 26-28, 25-21, 25-18 (at Jiangmen, China)
June 7: USA def. China 25-20, 25-22, 25-20 (at Jiangmen, China)
June 12: USA lost to Serbia 30-28, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18 (at Santa Fe, Argentina)
June 13: USA def. Korea 25-13, 25-23, 25-19 (at Santa Fe, Argentina)
June 14: USA def. Argentina 25-15, 25-14, 25-15 (at Santa Fe, Argentina)

 

FIVB Volleyball Nations League Final Six at Nanjing, China

 

Pool A
June 27: China vs. Netherlands, 7:15 a.m. ET
June 28: Brazil vs. Netherlands, 5:15 a.m. ET
June 29: China vs. Brazil, 8:30 a.m. ET

 

Pool B
June 27: USA vs. Turkey, 3 a.m. ET
June 28: Serbia vs. Turkey, 3 a.m. ET
June 29: USA vs. Serbia, 3 a.m. ET

 

Semifinals
June 30: Pool A Winner vs. Pool B 2nd Place, 3 a.m. ET
June 30: Pool B Winner vs. Pool A 2nd Place, 7:45 a.m. ET

 

Medal Rounds
July 1: Bronze-Medal Match, 3 a.m. ET
July 1: Gold-Medal Match, 7 a.m. ET

 

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Oh, you know, ho-hum, just another win for Team USA at the VNL Finals.

 

 

Err... not so much. This is the Finals, big-girl volleyball, so of course it's not going to be easy.  And Turkey gave the Fightin' 'Mericans their first loss of the VNL tournament way back in May.  So when Team USA went down 0-2 to these guys, it didn't look so good.

 

The match against Turkey was the only one of America's matches I got to see live in this tournament. The Turks are just giants, and they can move with that size like a bunch of LeBrons.  So many times you see bigs playing Middle, or in football you'll see a big dude in the trenches or in BB you'll see a very tall center, and the size is great but they just can't move.

 

Turkey doesn't have that problem. Their bigs are mobile and deadly.  So they pose a very tough challenge for us.

 

Thank goodness for Michelle Bartsch-Hackley.  :D

 

Quote

 

Bartsch-Hackley makes all the difference as USA rally and over-run Turkey

 

Nanjing, China, June 27, 2018 - Team USA brushed off an early scare - and rallied behind wing spiker Michelle Bartsch-Hackley's 21 points - to open their 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League finals campaign with a nervy but ultimately dominant  3-2 (17-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-11) win over Turkey.

 

After her team had lost the first two sets - and she had sat on the bench for the most part, itching to be thrown into the fray - Bartsch-Hackley took the match by the scruff of the neck, taking control over the last three sets and ending up with 19 kills from 41 attempts. There was also a block and an ace to add to the match-winning effort. Support came in the shape of opposite Kelly Murphy with 17 points and skipper Jordan Larson's 14 points which included five aces. 
 
Fans at the Olympic Sports Centre could not have asked for more from the opening exchange in this six-team finals series as the Turks blew their rivals away early, before Team USA rallied then ground out the points across a pulsating final set. The Turks gave their all, overwhelming their opponents with sustained pressure early and hanging in to the death.
 
Wing spiker Meliha Ismailoglu took the honors for the Europeans with 18 points, while middle blocker Eda Erdem Dündar was also a major player with 14 points.
 
But it was a huge effort from the Americans, the reigning world champions having been previously upset by the Turks, who downed them 3-2 during VNL pool play. It was a loss which saw USA coach Karch Kiraly re-think his game plan for the rest of the tournament, shifting opposite Kelsey Robinson to the libero position. It had the right results as the Americans won their next 11 matches and ended up topping the table with a 13-2 record coming into the finals.
 
The tinkering certainly worked wonders again against Turkey on Wednesday, a fresh Bartsch-Hackley hitting the court towards the end of the second set and then taking control while middle blocker Tetori Dixon sat out the first two sets entirely, before heading out and collecting an invaluable 12 points that included four blocks.
 
The Americans also shook off a worrying early error count that threaten to derail their chances - it read 13-6 to their opponents' benefit after two sets, but had levelled out to 25-22 by the final whistle. The warning for their rivals ahead in the finals series of this inaugural VNL was that the USA grew in strength the longer the match played out.
 
The Americans will now have a day's rest, as they prepare to take on Serbia on Friday - the only other team to have so far beaten them in the VNL. That was a 3-1 loss back on June 12. 
 
The Turks will meanwhile have to quickly dust off the disappointment from this afternoon and line up against the Serbs on Thursday night.

 

 
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