U.S. Women Sweep Dominican for 6th Straight VNL Win

By Bill Kauffman (bill.kauffman@usav.org) | May 30, 2018, 6:03 a.m. (ET)

Kim Hill attacking from the wing against Dominican Republic
Kim Hill attacking for one of her 16 kills in Team USA's sweep over Dominican Republic

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 30, 2018) – Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (Champaign, Illinois) scored 19 points to lead the second-ranked U.S. Women’s National Team to a 25-20, 25-23, 25-21 victory over Dominican Republic in FIVB Volleyball Nations League action on Wednesday in Bangkok, Thailand.

The U.S. improves to 7-1 overall with 22 points for first place in the Volleyball Nations League standings. Team USA has now won six straight matches in straight sets. The Americans face host pool host Thailand on Thursday at 7 a.m. ET.

The U.S. broke a 10-all tie in the opening set with three consecutive points to take a 13-10 lead, then pushed out to as much as a seven-point lead before winning 25-20. Dominican overcame a 16-12 deficit in the second set to take a 21-19 advantage, but Team USA rallied late to win 25-23 with the final two points. The Americans used a 4-0 run to break a 19-all tie in the third set en route to winning 25-21.

Bartsch-Hackley registered 14 kills on 33 swings, four aces and a block for 19 points at her outside hitter position. Kim Hill (Portland, Oregon) turned in 16 kills on 26 attacks in the American victory. Middle Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minnesota) charted nine kills on 11 swings to go with a block and ace for 11 points. Opposite Kelly Murphy (Wilmington, Illinois) totaled 10 kills on 19 swings.

Middle Rachael Adams (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied two kills, one ace and one block for four points. Sarah Wilhite (Eden Prairie, Minnesota) and strong>Micha Hancock (Edmond, Oklahoma), both used in the double-sub in all three sets, rounded out the scoring with a kill and ace, respectively.

Kelsey Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) handled 14 receptions as part of a 50 positive reception percent. Setter Carli Lloyd (Bonsall, California) and Hancock led the Americans to a 51.3 kill percent on the match. The Team USA defense limited Dominican Republic to a 42.6 kill percent. The American offense netted a 60-43 advantage in kills and a 7-5 margin aces. Dominican Republic registered an 8-3 lead in blocks. The U.S. committed 10 errors in the match to Dominican’s 14.

The U.S. started Lloyd at setter, Murphy at opposite, Hill and Bartsch-Hackley at outside, and Adams and Gibbemeyer at middle. Robinson (Manhattan Beach, California) served as the libero.

Dominican Republic was led by Brayelin Martinez and her 19 points, while Yonkaira Pena Isabel added 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 have host China joining the top five teams from the preliminary standings.

The U.S. opened the first set with an early 3-1 lead, and Dominican Republic came back to tie the set at 6-all. Team USA answered with three consecutive points to take 9-6 lead capped by a Bartsch-Hackley block. Dominican Republic leveled the score at 10-all with a 4-1 run. Murphy and Gibbemeyer slammed kills after a Dominican error to push the U.S. lead to 13-10. The Americans pushed to 15-11 with a Dominican error and Gibbemeyer ace. Hancock served an ace after the second technical timeout to extend the U.S. lead to 17-12. Bartsch-Hackley slammed a kill and Gibbemeyer put up a block to inch the Team USA lead to 22-16. Bartsch-Hackley and Hill scored back-to-back kills to give U.S. set points at 24-17. Dominican saved three set points before the Americans finished the set at 25-20 on a Murphy kill.

The U.S. rattled off four unanswered points capped by two Hill kills and to take a 4-1 lead in the second set. Hill slammed a kill and Dominican hit wide to extend the Team USA advantage to 6-2. Bartsch-Hackley and Hill scored back-to-back kills to move the American lead to 9-4 at a Dominican timeout. Dominican Republic closed the deficit to 10-9 with two aces on a 4-0 run prompting a Team USA timeout. Murphy and Gibbemeyer nailed back-to-back kills to increase the American lead to 12-9, only to have Dominican score two straight to close to 12-11. Hill scored two kills around a Murphy slam to trigger a 15-11 USA lead. Dominican went on a 6-1 run to take the lead at 18-17. Dominican extended the lead to 21-19. Bartsch-Hackley slammed a kill then served a winner to square the set at 21-all. Team USA took the lead back with a Dominican service error and Murphy block at 23-22. Murphy gave the U.S. set point and Lloyd followed with a block for a 25-23 U.S. victory.

Bartsch-Hackley scored consecutive back-row kills to give the Americans a 3-1 lead in the third set. Dominican Republic tied the set at 3-all on an American rotational fault, then went up 6-4 on three straight points. Dominican extended its lead to 10-7. Murphy scored consecutive kills and Hill followed with a kill to tie the set at 10-all. The U.S. went up 13-10 on consecutive Dominican errors and a Bartsch-Hackley ace as part of a 6-0 run. Dominican scored three straight points to knot the score at 14-all. Dominican went back in front at 18-17. Bartsch-Hackley collected back-to-back kills to reverse the lead to the U.S. at 19-18. Team USA gained a three-point cushion at 22-19 on kills from Murphy kill and Bartsch-Hackley around a Dominican error. Out of a Dominican timeout, Bartsch-Hackley served an ace to push the U.S. lead to 23-19. Team USA won the set 25-21 on a Hill kill.

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 def. Dominican Republic 25-20, 25-23, 25-21 (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