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*** The Official 2019 Volleyball Nations League Thread ***

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You know it's official because of the asterisks. ;)

 

Friends, it's time once again to celebrate America's dominance over the rest of the planet in volleyball.

 

The 2019 VNL Roster has been announced, and it features three Huskers - Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson and Mikaela Foecke. 

 

Team USA played their first match, a three-game sweep against Belgium. Robinson and Larson didn't play - like most of the roster regulars, they just finished Club Ball (in Europe, where they actually value women's athletics), so head coach Karch Kiraly is giving them some time off to R&R.

 

This week's travel roster features a LOT of Big Ten players.

 

 

Quote

 

14-woman USA roster for VNL features youth, 10 former B1G players

Early last week, USA women’s volleyball coach Karch Kiraly announced the 25-team player pool from which he would choose rosters for this year’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL).

 

The 14-player squad he ultimately chose for the first trip has plenty of new faces on the nation’s top international team, including two Big Ten stars who played in last season’s NCAA national semifinals in Illinois setter Jordyn Poulter and Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke. For that matter, 10 of the players on the list played in the Big Ten.

 

Four of the players are former Penn State stars and three will be seniors in college this fall.

 

The other setter is former Penn State star Micha Hanc$%k. There were two other setters on the 25-player roster, Carli Lloyd and Lauren Carlini.

 

The outside hitters joining Foecke in Bulgaria are Madi Kingdon Rishel (who played at Arizona), Penn State product Simone Lee, and former Big Ten player of the year for Wisconsin Sarah Wilhite Parsons.

 

The liberos are former Penn State outside hitter Megan Courtney and Mary Lake, who played with BYU in the NCAA national semifinals and will be a senior in 2019.

 

Purdue’s Annie Drews is one opposite and the other is Jordan Thompson, who led the NCAA  — by far — in total kills and kills per set last season for Cincinnati. Thompson will be a senior for the Bearcats in 2019.

 

And the middles are Chiaka Ogbogu, who played at Texas, Dana Rettke, who will be a junior at Wisconsin next season, Minnesota product Hannah Tapp, and Penn State’s Haleigh Washington.

 

 

Expect the Big Guns (Bartschy, Larson, Robinson, et al) to return for other matches once they've rested up, and for Karch to mix in the youths as the season progresses.

 

 

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USA off on right foot in defence of VNL title

Ruse, Bulgaria, May 21, 2019 - It took a little bit of concentration to seal the first set, but USA got off to a cracking start in the 2019 FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League as they began the defence of last year's title with a solid and convincing 3-0 (25-23, 25-8, 25-22) win over Belgium at Ruse.

USA's early lead in the first set quickly evarporated as Belgium brought the score level - but it still took the Americans only one set ball to bring it home, after a huge diving dig by libero Megan Courtney followed by a spike from the right by opposite Andrea Drews for the last point.

 

There was none of that in the remainder of match, though, as Belgium's receiving failed to cope with USA's serving. At 25-8, the second set tied the lowest-scoring record in the VNL, set last year in the Netherlands v Argentina match (third set in the 3-1 win of the Dutch).

 

It was all just a bit more balanced in the third set at Ruse, but the gap between the two sides was still evident, despite the fact that coach Karch Kiraly has brought on some fresh faces to the USA squad, giving several of his more established players the chance to rest after a gruelling club season that wrapped up just three days ago.
 

Belgium came to within a point towards the end, but a serve by Madison Kingdon at match point created havoc on the other side and allowed Sarah Wilhite to stuff a free ball on the net and bring the whole operation to a close.
 
Drews was top scorer of the game with 19 points, including five of USA's six aces and a 61% (14/23) attacking efficiency. Grobelna, with 12 points, was the only Belgian to score in double digits.

 

 
 
Foecke played in the first & third sets as a serving sub.
 
There was much rejoicing after the win.
 
8RncSPd.jpg
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Team USA vs. Japan today. Foecke got the start. It's currently 8-7 Japan in the first set.

 

Your pre-match photo. Not sure why they're all leaning to the right like that. :D

 

 

TT3SP9F.jpg

 

 

(edit: it's 9-9, first set)

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Foecke working hard in the back row.

 

 

 

Team USA wins the third game and leads the match 2-1. This would have been a 3-game sweep but we blew a 20-12 lead in the 2nd game and lost 26-24.

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Final. USA beats #6 Japan, 3-1.

 

Foecke finished with 10 kills on 26 swings and one block. Haleigh Washington (Penn State) led the 'Mericans with 12 kills, 5 blocks & 3 aces.

 

I'd give you more stats but the site went down (503 error) because of traffic. They are really underestimating interest in these matches. Gotta up that bandwidth.

 

Site came back up. Here's the most important photos of the match.

 

ZwQAMz4.jpg

 

Gh87JAY.jpg

 

X0gz0Mh.jpg

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Back in action again today, this time against Bulgaria. Mikaela Foecke is once again in the starting lineup.

 

0LrU91V.jpg

 

The Good Guys won set one 25-20, outblocking the Bulgarians 6-2.

 

We're up 14-10 in Game 2.

 

EDIT - we won the 2nd, 25-16.

 

Quick-moving match so far. Game 1 took 29 minutes, Game 2 only took 26 minutes.

 

Looking for the sweep here in Game 3.

 

Team USA holds a 12-3 advantage in blocks, and has five ace serves.

 

 

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It's over. Swept them in less than 90 minutes.

 

Foecke finished with 8 kills, 2 blocks and an ace. Hit .500 for the match.

 

Something for those of you nostalgic for Foecke Bombs.

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty cool to see Karch talk up Foecke like this. I can remember back in the day when I was a young knapplc and I actually got Karch's autograph on a pink hat. Could be the last autograph I ever got.

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U.S. Women Head into VNL Week 2 in First Place

The U.S. Women’s National Team opened the first week of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League with a 3-0 record and hold a tie for first place with Turkey – the squad Team USA defeated in last year’s VNL gold-medal match.

 

The Americans defeated Belgium in straight sets, followed by a four-set win over Japan and a sweep over host Bulgaria this past week with eight players on the 14-player roster making their FIVB debuts.

 

Now Team USA travels to Italy to face a stiffer group of competition that includes Serbia and Italy – which made up the 2018 FIVB World Championship gold-medal match – and NORCECA rival Dominican Republic. Italy is the only other undefeated team in the VNL besides the U.S. and Turkey. Both Serbia and Dominican Republic head into the second preliminary week with 2-1 records.

 

The U.S. will have a near identical 14-player roster as last week. The only exception is that rookie Mikaela Foecke (West Point, Iowa) is not part of the travel roster as she headed back to the United States to get married this coming weekend.

 

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff have chosen the following players for the VNL second weekend in Conegliano Venato, Italy:

 

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for FIVB Volleyball Nations League Week #2 in Italy
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Micha Hanc$%k (S, 5-11, Penn State, Edmond, Oklahoma)
2 – Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Illinois, Aurora, Colorado)
9 – Madi Kingdon Rishel (OH, 6-1, Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona)
11 – Annie Drews (OPP, 6-4, Purdue, Elkhart, Indiana)
12 – Jordan Thompson (OPP, 6-4, Cincinnati, Edina, Minnesota)
13 – Sarah Wilhite Parsons (OH, 6-2, Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
18 – Mikaela Foecke (OH, 6-3, Nebraska, West Point, Iowa)
19 – Hannah Tapp (M, 6-3, Minnesota, Stewartville, Minnesota)
20 – Dana Rettke (M, 6-8, Wisconsin, Riverside, Illinois)
21 – Simone Lee (OH, 6-1, Penn State, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin)
22 – Haleigh Washington (M, 6-3, Penn State, Colorado Springs, Colorado)
24 – Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Texas, Coppell, Texas)
27 – Mary Lake (L, 5-7, BYU, Palm Springs, California)

 

 

 

 

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And we're underway against World #1 Serbia. This is a rematch of the 2018 VNL Finals, where USA defeated the Serbs.

 

Karch is going with a 13-woman roster this weekend in Italy as Foecke is home getting married.

 

All smiles before the match.

 

mYecpFi.jpg

 

It's currently 7-7 in the first game.

 

 

 

EDIT - the Serbs take the first game 25-23. USA outblocked the Serbs 3-1, but the Serb attack was dominant, outhitting Team USA 17-11.

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The Americans aren't going to go away quietly. It's 15-9 in the 2nd. Team USA holds a 6-1 advantage in blocks, and kills are evening up, 21-23.

 

The Americans won Set 2 going away, 25-16.

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Game 3 is over. Team USA takes a 2-1 match lead, dominating the Serbs 25-15.

 

We're into Game 4 right now.  13-10 USA on top.

 

EDIT - 20-16 good guys.

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Final. Team USA takes down world #1 Serbia in four, 23-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-21.

 

The Americans dominated on the block, winning at the net 16-2. That's pretty impressive against a hot-hitting team like the Serbs.

 

MOvBGbq.jpg

 

Some highlights from the match.

 

WARNING. NSFL as several Serbian souls are crushed during this footage.

 

 

 

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A couple of observations just from the highlights I've seen (reality, i.e. full matches, might be completely different). Annie Drews, an opposite,  jumps out at you during highlights and not just because of her offense and blocking, but largely because of her digging. She just doesn't care about her well being in chasing down balls. And, more often than not, she is effective.

 

Haleigh Washington has made tremendous improvements to her service game. She was above average, but pretty much run of the mill when serving in college. She looks lethal now.

 

The women's VNL really is enjoyable to watch. When I contrast it to how clumsy women's basketball is visually, I think it would be a good play for another network to televise these matches straight up against the WNBA. It might take a couple of years for the VNL to take hold, but I see a superior product.

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It's a battle of the two remaining unbeatens as Team USA takes on Italy today. Match location - ITALY! Tell me that's not rigged.

 

Heh.

 

We pick up match action in the third. It's tied 1-1, with Team USA winning the first 25-22, and Italy taking the second, 25-17.

 

It's 9-7 Good Guys in the third.

 

Here's a match pic for you.

 

GET THAT SHOT OUTTA HERE!

 

1TpGhFS.jpg

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I'd like to bring good news, but frankly, I don't think you guys are cheering hard enough. This is on you.

 

Team USA is currently down 2-1 in the match. The good news is that we're tied on overall points 82-82 as we play in the fourth, with the Good Guys leading 17-10.

 

Gotta get this win & push it to five. Then we'll see who's in better shape.

 

My money's on America.

 

UPDATE - The Fightin' Red, White & Blue have taken Game 4. It's a race to 15 for all the marbles.

 

 

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UPDATE - It's 10-8 in Game 5.

 

13-10. We got this.

 

BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!

 

15-11, Team USA takes Game 5 and the match, three sets to two.

 

I feel like getting some canolis tonight in celebration.

 

And then grinding them under my heel. 

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Early match today against a familiar opponent, fellow NORCECA member Dominican Republic.

 

The DR is 2-3 in the 2019 VNL, having lost their last three matches to Italy, Serbia and China. All three losses were lopsided, 3-1 affairs.

 

We'll see what kind of fire Team USA brings in today's match. Could be a trap game after yesterday's big win over Italy. Still, I think the Americans should win, and 3-1 seems pretty likely. Could drop one of the first two games, then come back and put them away.

 

Remember, kids, that this is a little bit the American B Team. We're allowing Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, Kelsey Robinson, Carli Lloyd and Captain Jordan Larson to rest these first two weeks since their club seasons ended just a few weeks ago.  Expect to see these guys next week in Lincoln.

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2 hours ago, knapplc said:

We'll see what kind of fire Team USA brings in today's match. Could be a trap game after yesterday's big win over Italy. Still, I think the Americans should win, and 3-1 seems pretty likely. Could drop one of the first two games, then come back and put them away. 

 

Yeah. So. About that.

 

Team USA got trounced in Game 1, 25-10.  :blink::blink:

 

We won Game 2 25-16.

 

So just a bit of a hangover from yesterday's match.

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Getting a little concerning now. Team USA is playing lackluster volleyball. Dominican Republic won Game Three and leads the match two games to one.

 

Early in the fourth. Gotta win 'em all now.

 

EDIT - We took Game 4. Tied up 2-2, heading to the Fifth.

 

It was 17-17, then America closed out on an 8-2 run to win 25-19.

 

That (hopefully) bodes well for the fifth.

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Welp. There's no more unbeatens in the VNL.

 

Dominican Republic defeats previously unbeaten America 3-2, winning the fifth 15-11.

 

More on this in a bit. Weird fifth game.

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A new day, a new pool, time to move on. The VNL comes to Lincoln for the second straight year, this time to fill up the Vault.

 

Team USA announced their roster for the Lincoln matches. You may find some of the names familiar...

 

 

Quote

 

U.S. Women Set Roster for VNL Matches in Lincoln

The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team returns to Lincoln, Nebraska, to play Korea, Germany and Brazil June 4-6 as part of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.

 

U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff have chosen a balance of veteran players to compete alongside younger athletes getting their first real taste of FIVB competition - and turning some heads on the court with a strong start in the early stages of the VNL.

 

Larson, Robinson, Lloyd, Dixon and Gibbemeyer are making their 2019 VNL debuts in Lincoln.

 

The U.S. Women host No. 9 Korea on June 4, No. 13 Germany on June 5 and No. 4 Brazil on June 6. All matches will be played at the 15,500-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena. The U.S. matches start at 7:30 p.m. CT in the round robin format, while the non-USA match is at 4:30 p.m. CT each day. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

 

Team USA is in second place in the 16-team VNL. The Americans, 5-1 in the VNL with 15 points, won their first five matches before losing to zonal rival Dominican Republic in a heart-breaking five-set loss. While using a young roster, the U.S. has already defeated the gold and silver medalists from the 2018 FIVB World Championships in this year’s VNL in Serbia and Italy.

 

The American roster heading to Lincoln includes Olympians Larson, Robinson and Lloyd as the veteran cornerstones. All three players did not participate in the opening two weeks of VNL as a means to recover from a long overseas professional season. Larson and Robinson competed on separate teams in Turkey, while Lloyd played with a club in Brazil.

 

Meanwhile, the U.S. roster has youth on sides that continues to earn roster spots into week three of VNL. Foecke and Poulter finished their collegiate eligibility at Nebraska and Illinois this past fall. Rettke still has two years of college eligibility remaining at Wisconsin, while Thompson and Lake will be seniors this fall at Cincinnati and BYU, respectively. All five made their FIVB debuts in the opening week of the VNL and have been key parts on why Team USA is 5-1 in the early going.

 

U.S. Women's National Team Roster for FIVB Volleyball Nations League Week #3 – Lincoln, Nebraska
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
2 – Jordyn Poulter (S, 6-2, Illinois, Aurora, Colorado)
3 – Carli Lloyd (S, 5-11, California, Bonsall, California)
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 – Jordan Thompson (OPP, 6-4, Cincinnati, Edina, Minnesota)
17 – Megan Courtney (L, 6-1, Penn State, Dayton, Ohio)
18 – Mikaela Foecke (OH, 6-3, Nebraska, West Point, Iowa)
20 – Dana Rettke (M, 6-8, Wisconsin, Riverside, Illinois)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (OH, 6-2, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, California)
24 – Chiaka Ogbogu (M, 6-2, Texas, Coppell, Texas)
27 – Mary Lake (L, 5-7, BYU, Palm Springs, California)

 

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Luka Slabe, Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu

 

 

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I knew Carli Lloyd was an incredible athlete but this is taking it to a whole new level....

 

USWNTBS09042018357-720x540.jpg

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On 5/30/2019 at 1:27 PM, knapplc said:

Welp. There's no more unbeatens in the VNL.

 

Dominican Republic defeats previously unbeaten America 3-2, winning the fifth 15-11.

 

More on this in a bit. Weird fifth game.

 

I still haven't seen a replay of the Dominican Republic vs USA so I'm quasi curious  of what the "weirdness" was in the fifth game of the match.

 

As far as the upcoming matches in Lincoln, I find it interesting that Kiraly is confident enough in his young talent that Bartsch-Hackley can sit this week out also (last year's VNL MVP). Dixon and Gibbemeyer are on notice in the middle, because Rettke isn't going anywhere and Haleigh Washington has shown she can perform at a high level (Washington isn't on the 14 team roster for Lincoln). It will be interesting to see if Kiraly makes Robinson a libero again after this set of matches and allows Foecke to stay while bringing in Bartsch-Hackley. Foecke probably needs to come up big (but that is her wheelhouse).

I was watching the Serbia highlights and I continue to be impressed with the athleticism of the play, It really is enjoyable to watch as a spectator. It is too bad that it is not more mainstream i.e. Fox Sports or ESPN. Much more entertaining than the WNBA.

 

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Hey. Hi. Busy tonight.

 

Here's Jordan Larson giving some Korean victim a face full of volleyball.

 

 

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Team Good Guys wins Set 3 and takes a 2-1 match lead.

 

I can't go to this match, or tomorrow's match, because of reasons. But I am SORELY disappointed that the Lincolntonian crowd isn't raising utter hell in defense of this team.

 

You can be damned sure I will not have a voice on Friday after cheering on the Huskers (*I mean Team USA) on Thursday.

 

 

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Here are some stats and highlights

 

http://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9925-usa-korea/post

 

It was interesting in who did and didn't play. It wouldn't surprise me to see a completely different team out there tomorrow with the exceptions of the opposites (Drew and Thompson) and perhaps Larson. Considering the players who aren't even here, the depth of the US team is impressive.

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Took my two oldest daughters to the match last night.   They had an absolute blast.   It was a great night cheering on team USA.   They were lucky enough to get pics with both Jordan and Mikaela last night.   Thank you to @KnappIcwithout this thread, I would not have known this was coming and would not have had the experience last night.   

 

 

 

 

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Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

 

NO!!!

 

And it ain't over now!!!

 

(except that it is over, Bluto, and we bombed the Germans tonight 3-0)

 

Here's in-game action featuring Huskers Mikaela Foecke and Kelsey Robinson. Team Good Guys won this point, FYI.

 

WTvHAY1.jpg

 

I think we won all these points, too.

 

uL5llJ1.png

 

OVpyHMO.png

 

xUzsNJ7.png

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I have watched a lot of USA volleyball over the years. This was easily the worst match I've seen live. Couldn't pass, block, serve, set or hit.

 

Bizarre match in a lot of ways. Lots of young 'Mericans played, but even that doesn't explain veteran players shanking passes or launching serves long.

 

But it was great to see Jordan Larson, Kelsey Robinson and Mikaela Foecke play again.  Sad to think this may have been the last time I got to see Jordan play in person.

 

 

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It's off to China where Turkey has an 8-1 record and the other three teams (USA, China, and Poland) are 7-2. The US continues to add veterans to the team including Bartsch-Hartley, last years MVP of the VNL, on the outside and Carlini at setter. As a result, Foecke and Poulter did not make the 14 player roster this go around. An interesting change was subbing Washington for Rettke in the middle. I'm a little surprised Lake is still there at libero and they didn't have Robinson as libero / outside, then add another outside (maybe Foecke) to the team.

 

https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball/Features/2019/June/07/3-US-Women-Making-VNL-Season-Debut-in-China

 

A tough set of matches with China having the home court.

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Between Lake and Courtney, Lake looked to be the better Libero, by far. Courtney spent her college career at OH, and is only recently trying to make the transition to Libero. I'm frankly shocked that she made the team and Justine Wong-Orantes didn't. There was nothing special about Courtney in the back court.

 

Rettke is in Europe with her Wisconsintonian teammates. They're probably on the tail end of their foreign trip this year. She is going to be a nightmare this year and next. The kind of player the Huskers have to work around rather than try and stop.

 

I'm over my disappointment with how poorly Team USA played in the only match I was able to attend last week. I know Karch is messing around with his roster, getting a lot of people a lot of playing time, to see what he has for the Olympics. But still - it sucks watching your team play that poorly, especially after talking to a guy whose good friend is one of the Asst. Coaches for Brazil, who said the Brazilians don't even take the VNL seriously and left four of their top players home. They expected to lose the match with America, and honestly shouldn't have even lost that one game.

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As mentioned above, the US was sweep by Turkey in the opening match at China. Here are some stats and highlights:

 

https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9952-usa-turkey/post

 

Fortunately the US came back and beat Poland this morning in four sets:

 

https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9960-poland-usa/post

 

Drews led the US followed by Bartsch-Hackley who saw extended play for the first time this season. Kiraly played only 7 for the entire match.

 

Next up is China who just swept league leader Turkey after sweeping Poland the opening night. This looks to be a tough out for team USA.

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Team Good Guys wins Set One, 25-17. Playing better with Bartsch-Hackley in the lineup. That girl is money.

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT - Team USA now up 2-0 in the match.

 

Kelsey Robinson with the REJECTION.

 

 

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It's all over. Team USA sweeps China 3-0:   25-17, 25-22 & 25-21.

 

C03tHBG.gif

 

USA outhit China 58-37, outblocked them 7-3, had 7 ace serves to China's 4, but committed 16 errors vs. China's 3.  Very dominant match, if a bit sloppy.

 

 

 

 

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Here is a link to the US - China results and photos. No video yet; that will be populated later in the day.

 

https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/schedule/9969-china-usa/post

 

Obviously a huge win and a sweep to boot. China had been rolling along and was on its home court. Again Kiraly played only 7 players with the only difference between the Poland and China line ups was Washington for Dixon in the middle vs China. It will be interesting when Rettke becomes available if Washington goes out of the rotation or if one of the more experienced middles takes a seat (Ogbogu isn't going anywhere).

 

On 6/11/2019 at 9:23 AM, knapplc said:

Between Lake and Courtney, Lake looked to be the better Libero, by far. Courtney spent her college career at OH, and is only recently trying to make the transition to Libero. I'm frankly shocked that she made the team and Justine Wong-Orantes didn't. There was nothing special about Courtney in the back court.

 

After that comment I went and looked at the stats and saw Courtney was the only US player in the top 15 in digs and had nearly 1.5 more digs per set than Lake. I was going to throw that stat back but decided against it. A good thing I held back. Apparently Kiraly agrees with @knapplc assessment of the libero position. In wins over Poland and China, Lake played every set and Courtney played none. As the line up starts to get more defined, Kiraly is going with Lake over Courtney.

 

The next set of matches are in Russia and, at least by rankings, this is the easiest group the US has had (Russia, Netherlands, and Thailand). The US currently sits in 4th and has a two match lead over Japan and Poland (6 & 7 in the rankings). Barring a complete collapse, it appears the US will make the final round of 6 for the 2 million bucks.

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I thought so, but wanted to double-check the stat sheet. Jordan Larson didn't play. Karch used only eight players for the match.

 

aSlyHRN.png

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Getting back to updates for this thread. Team Good Guys went to Ekaterinburg, Russia to take on the Rooskies.

 

Much like the Cold War, this one didn't go so well for Team Borscht. 

 

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, back with the Americans, led with 16 points, followed by Team Captain Jordan Larson with 15.

 

Not sure when Kelsey Robinson made the move back to Libero, but she started all three games in the back court, and acquitted herself well.

 

Mikaela Foecke has made the trip once again after missing last weekend (maybe due to a honeymoon or something?), but did not play in the match. Karch only played six position players today.

 

Scores for the match:  25-23, 25-17, 25-18.

 

Some ginormous photos, featuring Bartsch-Hackley and Larson about to impart severe violence to the ball.

 

I'm sure the ball had it coming.

 

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Match highlights.

 

 

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Big-time comeback win over the Netherlands today in Ekaterinburg. Team Good Guys trailed 2-1, then won the fourth 28-26 before pulling away to win the fifth game 15-9.

 

Mikaela Foecke played all five games and was the team's second-leading scorer with 18 kills on 41 attempts. Annie Drews led the Americans with 20 kills on 41 attempts.

 

Karch once again messed with his lineup, and frankly I'm confused and have no idea why you'd do this, but Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, the team's best hitter, played all five games in the back court at Libero today.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Kelsey Robinson switched from Libero to OH for the match, played all five games, and tallied 8 kills.

 

Jordan Larson did not play, apparently due to a coach's decision.

 

My only guess is that, because we're already qualified for the final rounds, Karch is experimenting with his lineup to get people experience all over. Or something.

 

It worked today, so, whatever.

 

USA topped the Dutch in every major statistical category. 

 

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Less than 24 hours after their last match, Team USA makes quick work of Thailand, sweeping them 25-13, 25-20, 25-17.

 

America outblocked the Thai 15-2 and held a 48-35 advantage in attacks. Karsta Lowe (UCLA) led the Americans with 20 kills, followed by a trio of players with 12 kills, Lauren Gibbemeyer (Minnesota), Haleigh Washington (Penn State) and Kelsey Robinson (Nebraska).

 

Karch continues to mess with his lineup, as Mikaela Foecke played the match at Libero. 

 

The US finished the preliminary round of 15 matches with a 12-3 record. 

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