U.S. Collegiate National Team Wins First Match in China

By Charlie Snyder | May 23, 2018, 6:21 p.m. (ET)

CNT China vs. Shanghai


The U.S. Collegiate National Team - China kicked off its five-match, 10-day trip with a victory over Shanghai Bright Ubest, a professional team from the China Volleyball League in Shanghai Tuesday.

The informal scrimmage was played at the end of a training session, but that didn’t make any difference to Team USA, who took the first set 25-22 before dropping sets two and three both 25-17. The squad regrouped to even the match at two sets each, winning the fourth 25-20 and then the fifth 15-8.

Opposite Stephanie Samedy (Univ. of Minnesota) led all scorers with 18 points on 36 swings. Outside hitter Carlyle Nusbaum (Lipscomb Univ.) had 13 and Thayer Hall (Univ. of Florida) had an efficient 11 points, scoring nine kills on 16 attempts.

CNT China Roster and Schedule | Player Bios 

For head coach Chris Tamas (Univ. of Illinois) this first match of the trip was mostly learning about the U.S. team. Like many international trips for college or age group team, the United States does not have experience playing together and almost always are playing against established lineups.

“I told them in the middle of the match it’s no easy task what we’re doing,” Tamas said. “Trying to get 12 players who’ve never played together before, come together and play as a team. You have setters who’ve never set the hitters, passers who’ve never passed next to each other, and [you] still try to figure out how to win. We were able to do that today, and I was very proud that they were able to figure it out as the match went on.”

NEXT MATCH: Thursday, May 24, USA vs. Zhejiang in Jiashan, 7 p.m. local; 7 a.m. Eastern

Moving forward, Tamas said that he was expecting more of the same.

“It’s a short trip, and the goal of USA Volleyball is to put out a winning product, but also one that learns and strives for great teamwork. We’re going to try and instill that the best we can. I’ve got a great coaching staff with me and a great group of players. We’ll just continue on that path and hopefully we’ll get some good results along the way.”


  • May 22, USA def. Shanghai Bright Ubest 25-22, 17-25, 17-25, 25-20, 15-8
  • May 24, USA vs. Zhejiang Jiaxing Xitang in Jiashan<
  • May 25, USA vs Zhejiang Jiaxing Xitang in Pinghu City
  • May 29, USA vs. Beijing BAIC Motor in Beijing
  • May 30, USA vs. Hebei in Beijing

All teams are professional teams that play in the top division of the Chinese Volleyball League.


you rang?

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About the Team

The team features an All-American roster. Samedy and Dana Rettke (Univ. of Wisconsin) were the only two freshmen given AVCA First-Team All-America honors in 2017. Setter Madison Lilley (Univ. of Kentucky) and middle Rachael Kramer (Univ. of Florida) earned second-team and third-team honors respectively.

So, the team is talented and packed with college superstars but also includes someone who has yet to play a college match: Thayer Hall (Univ. of Florida). Hall, an outside hitter, capped a stellar prep career with the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award. Like many players on the team, Hall has experience playing for Team USA on either the Youth, Junior or Collegiate National Teams.

Last year, Hall and Lilley represented the U.S. on the Women’s Junior National Team, earning a gold medal with Hall earning the MVP award at the U20 Pan American Cup in Costa Rica. Hall and Kramer played in the FIVB U20 World Championships in Mexico.


Following the match, the team went to YuYuan Mart where the players enjoyed dumplings, shopping and taking in great Chinese architecture. The visit concluded with a spectacular view of The Bund of Shanghai, the city’s most famous landmark on the waterfront. The area is considered ‘the museum of buildings’ featuring dozens of architectural styles.
This trip will also include sightseeing at the Great Wall, the 2008 Olympic Village, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Also, the team will conduct a youth clinic at the Nanjing Elementary School.

a little Shanghai for ya

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