U.S. Women Cruise Past Germany in VNL

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 29, 2018, 6:20 a.m. (ET)

U.S. Women's National Team in Thailand prior to its match with Germany
U.S. Women won their fifth straight match and stay atop the Volleyball Nations League standings

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 29, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team blanked Germany 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 on Tuesday to start the third week of FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary pool play in Bangkok, Thailand.

The U.S., ranked second in the world, improves to 6-1 overall with 19 points for first place in the Volleyball Nations League standings. Team USA has now won five straight matches in straight sets. Germany, which opened the Volleyball Nations League by upsetting host Brazil, has now lost six straight matches. The Americans face Dominican Republic on May 29 at 4 a.m. ET, followed by host Thailand at 7 a.m. ET.

Team USA used a 4-0 run to break an 11-all tie in the opening set and cruised to a 25-18 victory. Trailing 14-13 in the second set, the U.S. used a 10-1 run to stake a 23-15 advantage en route to winning 25-17. The Americans quickly established a 7-2 lead in the third set and cruised to a 25-17 victory.

Outside hitter Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) led the American offense with 16 points via 15 kills on 29 attacks and a block. Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois) charted 10 kills on 21 swings and two blocks for 12 points. Outside hitter Jordan Larson (Hooper, Nebraska) hammered eight kills on 14 errorless swings to go with one block and one ace for 10 points.

Middles Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Tori Dixon (Burnsville, Minnesota) each pocketed seven points. Adams blasted six kills on eight swings and served an ace, while Dixon contributed four kills on nine errorless attacks with two aces and a block. Annie Drews (Elkhart, Indiana), who came in on the double-sub with Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), totaled five points with five kills on five swings. Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) rounded out the scoring with an ace.

Libero Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) handled 27 of the team’s 43 receptions with a 59 positive reception percent. Lloyd set the American offense to a 56 kill percent and .465 hitting efficiency (48-8-86).

The U.S. offense held a 48-30 advantage in kills and a 5-2 margin in aces. Both teams had five blocks. The American defense limited the Germans to a 40 kill percent and .267 hitting efficiency (30-10-75).

The U.S. started Lloyd at setter, Murphy at opposite, Larson and Bartsch-Hackley at outside, and Adams and Dixon at middle. Robinson served as the libero.

Germany’s Louisa Lippmann was her team’s leading scorer with nine points. Germany had no other player with more than seven points.

The Volleyball Nations League utilizes a five-week preliminary round robin schedule where all 16 teams play each other. The Volleyball Nations League Final Round will

The U.S. built a 9-6 advantage early in the first set, but Germany leveled the set at 11-11. Team USA answered with four quick points of its own to establish a 15-11 lead. The Americans extended their margin to five at 19-14 with back-to-back points. The U.S. used three unanswered points to increase the advantage to seven points at 23-16, then sided out to win 25-18.

Germany gained a 3-1 margin in the second set, only to have the U.S. quickly square the set at 3-all. Germany responded with its own two-point run to stake a 5-3 lead. The Americans leveled the set again at 7-all with back-to-back points. Team USA used a 10-1 run to take a 23-15 advantage. The U.S. closed out the set at 25-17.

The U.S. bolted to a 4-1 lead in the third set, then pushed the advantage to 7-2 with three unanswered points. After trailing 10-4, Germany charged back to within three at 11-8. The U.S. answered with consecutive points to resume a five-point edge at 13-8. Germany continued to put pressure on the U.S. by closing the gap to 15-12. The U.S. scored three unanswered points to grab a six-point cushion at 18-12. The Americans rolled off three straight points to increase their advantage to 22-13. Team USA closed out the set at 25-17 after Germany saved two match points.

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 def. Germany 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 (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