Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
knapplc

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

Recommended Posts

25 minutes ago, knapplc said:

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. 

 

But did we celebrate too much?

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Mavric said:

 

But did we celebrate too much?

 

The poor Thai women have to be having nightmares about facing the Americans after the last couple of weeks!  :D

 

 

 

Here are some match highlights.

 

 

 

  • Plus1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The US finishes the VNL preliminary round at 12 wins and 3 losses, tied with China for first. They also tied with China with 35 points. Evidently the tie-breaker isn't head to head since China is listed as number 1. It probably goes sets won / lost ratio then points won / lost ratio since that is how it is listed in the standings. China had a superior sets won / lost ratio over the US.

 

https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/women/resultsandranking/round1

 

Congratulations to Mikaela Foecke as I think she played her way onto the final round roster. She was a late add to the team in Russia and Mary Lake was a late withdrawal. Lots of speculation about Lake withdrawing (everything from personal reasons to Karch not being happy with her reception percentage) on the VolleyTalk boards but no concrete news.

 

Lets talk USA team Libero which is turning into the proverbial "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." Lake is pulled at the last minute. Megan Courtney makes the trip but doesn't play a set AND (depending on which box score you look at for the China match), hasn't played in 6 matches. First Karch sticks Robinson at the position against the Russians, which makes sense since that is what Kelsey played the majority of last year in the VNL after Kiraly dumped Wong-Orantes from the line up early on. And then he puts Bartsch-Hackley, his best attacker and one of his better servers, back at Libero, a position she can do neither, in the Netherlands match. For the Thailand match, I was betting on Larson at Libero and instead he puts in a rookie with Foecke. I have no idea what is going on with Megan Courtney. Unsubstantiated rumor is that Kiraly thinks she is too slow. If that is the case or if she was injured, why was she on the roster. And still no word on the status of Mary Lake. Hell, if Kiraly is looking for more athleticism at Libero, he should take a long look at Kenzie Maloney. Or talk Kayla out of retirement (just kidding).

 

The final round is next. Last year they split up the six teams into two pools of 3. Those three teams play each other with the bottom team being eliminated from each pool. I don't know how the tie-breakers go (last year none were needed), but I imagine that if all three teams go 1-1, then they go to the match points (3 points for a slaughter, 2 points for a close win, and 1 point for a close loss),  then sets won / loss ratio, and finally points won / loss ratio. I'm not sure how they decide to set up the pools, but last year when the US won the preliminary round, one pool had the 1, 2, and 5 ranked teams, while the other pool had 3, 4, and 9 (9th being China which had automatic entry since they hosted). After pool play, the remaining four teams play a typical semifinals (no. 1 team from pool A plays no. 2 team from pool B and vice versa) and finals. If you get out of pool play, the teams play 4 matches in 5 days.

 

I don't know if, or how often, a team can adjust it's 14 roster line-up in the final round, but all indications are that Foecke will be on that list with Larson and Robinson. And at this point I would guess that Kiraly will carry one Libero, and rotate an outside hitter to that position if necessary.

 

And finally, what is the deal with China. Out of the 5 weeks of pool play, they play in their own country for 4 of them. China in week one went to Brazil (where they went 1-2 by the way) and since have not left the country (4 weeks and 12 matches going 11 - 1). Plus for the 2nd year in a row they host the championship. I understand that women's volleyball is popular in the country and as a pro, the Chinese leagues and teams pay well, but still, it looks a little rigged. Just sayin'.

 

 

 

  • Plus1 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those following along, Mary Lake, one of the liberos, could not enter Russia for the final week of pool play because she lost her passport on the flight from China to Russia (or it was stolen from her). Megan Courtney has 'health issues" and has had them since pool play in China. What they are exactly----no idea.

For the final round, I expect one of the libero slots to be filled by Lake and the other by committee. As I stated previously, I think Foecke has earned a spot on the 14 team roster headed into the finals. It will be interesting to see if Rettke makes the finals roster or not. Nixon and Gibbemeyer would be the ones on the chopping block in my opinion. I know Ogbogu makes it, and I think Washington has earned a spot as well.

 

And now, a VLOG from one Kelsey Robinson::

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZDOyMDyNFA

 

The fact that I'm watching this video (and actually enjoying it) probably means I have to turn in my man card. Which is fine. My man card wasn't worth a ton anyway.

 

And finally, a shout out to Karsta Lowe. Since she has rejoined the team, she has been relegated to the bench with the opposite position playing time being dominated by Drews and the freak that is Jordan Thompson. So when Karch finally calls her number, she simply puts up a 20 spot to lead all US players in the match against Thailand. A consummate PRO. You have to appreciate that.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×