U.S. Women Travel to Thailand Atop VNL

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 28, 2018, 12:46 a.m. (ET)

Michelle Bartsch-Hackley is leading the U.S. Women in scoring through the first two weeks of the Volleyball Nations League
Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (hitting) is the leading Team USA scorer through the first two weeks of the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 27, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team heads into the third week of the inaugural 16-team FIVB Volleyball Nations League atop the standings.

Team USA travels to Bangkok, Thailand, where it will face Germany on May 29 at 4 a.m. ET, followed by Dominican Republic on May 30 at 4 a.m. ET and host Thailand on May 31 at 7 a.m. ET. Thailand is ranked 12th in the overall standings with a 2-4 record, while Dominican Republic and Germany are 14th and 15th, respectively, with 1-5 records.

The U.S. coaching staff has elected to keep the same roster it used last week in Japan where the Americans swept all three of their opponents to improve to 5-1 overall with 16 points.

Team USA has shifted its starting lineup consistently through the first six matches of the Volleyball Nations League. Bartsch-Hackley, who has seen time at both outside and opposite, is the top American scorer with 71 points (61 kills, 6 blocks, 4 aces) for sixth place and is eighth in Best Spiker with a 46.21 kill percent. Outside hitter Larson follows with 65 points (52 kills, 5 blocks, 8 aces) and in eighth place. Outside hitter Hill is 14th in scoring with 60 points (51 kills, 6 blocks, 3 aces) and is also third in Best Receiver with a 35.42 receiving efficiency.

Lloyd ranks first in Best Setter with a 20.52 running sets average per set. Ironically, she is also third in Best Digger with 2.19 digs per set from her setter position. Robinson, who shifted from outside hitter to libero in the third match of the VNL, ranks fourth in digs with 2.19 digs per set. Gibbemeyerhas made the most of her chances at the net with a 0.71 block averages for second-best among all players in the VNL. Larson is second in Best Server with a 0.38 ace average per set.

While the U.S. leads the pack, six teams are all within one win of the Americans in the standings. Brazil and Serbia are second and third in the standings with 5-1 records and 15 points. Turkey and Netherlands follow in fourth- and fifth-place with 5-1 records and 14 points. Russia is sixth overall with a 4-2 record and 12 points, followed by Korea with a 4-2 record and 11 points. Through the first two weeks, the U.S. has only faced Turkey and Netherlands among teams in the top seven.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster for FIVB Volleyball Nations League May 29-31
# - Player (Position, Height, College, Hometown)
1 – Micha Hancock (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)
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)
13 – Sarah Wilhite (OH, 6-1, Minnesota, Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
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, Plantation, Florida)
23 – Kelsey Robinson (L, 6-2, Nebraska, Manhattan Beach, California)

Head Coach: Karch Kiraly
Assistant Coaches: Luka Slabe, Tama Miyashiro, Erin Virtue
Technical Coordinator: Jeff Liu
Athletic Trainer: Kara Kessans
Team Manager: Jimmy Stitz

Women’s FIVB Volleyball Nations League Schedule

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 vs. Germany, 4 a.m. ET (at Bangkok, Thailand)
May 30: USA vs. Dominican Republic, 4 a.m. ET (at Bangkok, Thailand)
May 31: USA vs. Thailand, 7 a.m. ET (at Bangkok, Thailand)
June 5: USA vs. Russia, 4 a.m. ET (at Jiangmen, China)
June 6: USA vs. Brazil, 4 a.m. ET (at Jiangmen, China)
June 7: USA vs. China, 7:30 a.m. ET (at Jiangmen, China)
June 12: USA vs. Serbia, 4:40 p.m. ET (at Santa Fe, Argentina)
June 13: USA vs. Korea, 4:40 p.m. ET (at Santa Fe, Argentina)
June 14: USA vs. Argentina, 7:40 p.m. ET (at Santa Fe, Argentina)

June 27-July 1: FIVB Volleyball Nations League Final Round (Host China + Top 5 Teams)
At Nanjing, China